The Tribune’s Top 10 Prep Football Rankings
Team — Record — First-place votes — Points — Last week
1. Paso Robles (9-0, 3-0 PAC 5) — 7 — 79 — 1
2. Lompoc (9-0, 3-0 LPL) — 1 — 72 — 2
3. Arroyo Grande (7-2, 2-1 PAC 5) — 0 — 65 — 3
4. Atascadero (7-2, 2-1 PAC 5) — 0 — 55 — 4
5. Nipomo (6-4, 3-1 NL) — 0 — 38 — 5
5. Templeton (7-2, 2-1 NL) — 0 — 38 — 9
7. St. Joseph (5-4, 2-1 LPL) — 0 — 32 — 7
8. Morro Bay (4-5, 2-1 NL) — 0 — 25 — 8 9. Righetti (4-5, 1-3 PAC 5) — 0 — 21 — 6
10. Pioneer Valley (4-5, 2-2 LPL) — 0 — 12 — 10
Others receiving votes: Mission Prep (4-5, 1-2 NL) — 1.
Voters this week: Ashley Conklin (The Tribune), Kenny Cress (Santa Maria Times), Mike Moreno (KZOZ 93.3 FM), Matt SantaMaria (KSBY), Joshua D. Scroggin (The Tribune), Tom Sepulveda (The Tribune), Alex J. Jankowski (The Tribune), Jeff Poirier (Paso Robles Press).
A look at this week's matchups:
ARROYO GRANDE (7-2, 2-1 PAC 5) AT SAN LUIS OBISPO (2-7, 0-3), 7 P.M.
Last week: Arroyo Grande 35, Atascadero 21; San Luis Obispo BYE.
What to Watch: Arroyo Grande — The Eagles gained 32 first downs and 473 yards of total offense in their crucial PAC 5 victory over the Greyhounds on Saturday. Alex Cecchi ran 24 times for 144 yards and three scores, and Jordan Harrigan added nine rushes for 86 yards, including the game-clinching score with 40 seconds left. Sam Coleman caught eight passes from quarterback Sawyer May for 110 yards, and May finished 14-of-18 passing for 152 yards. Arroyo Grande can clinch a share of the league title if it wins and Atascadero defeats Paso Robles. If the Eagles and Greyhounds both lose, Arroyo Grande would be the second seed behind Paso Robles because it owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.
San Luis Obispo — The Tigers head into the season finale coming off a bye week following a 41-24 homecoming defeat against Atascadero. Starting quarterback Sam Thompson returned from injury to run and pass for more than 100 yards. The senior was 13-of-26 passing for 163 yards and two scores, and also ran 30 times for 141 yards and another TD. Fellow senior Nate Greenelsh caught eight passes for 112 yards and a score in addition to four rushes for 26 yards and a game-high 16 tackles on defense. James Zanoli caught the other TD from Thompson, a 32-yard strike.
NOTE: Arroyo Grande is ranked fourth in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division poll.
PASO ROBLES (9-0, 3-0 PAC 5) AT ATASCADERO (7-2, 2-1), 7:30 P.M.
Last week: Paso Robles 40, Righetti 12; Arroyo Grande 35, Atascadero 21.
What to Watch: Paso Robles — The Bearcats boast one of the most complete teams in school history when they head to Atascadero to face their North County rival for a chance to finish the season a perfect 10-0. Junior QB Justin Davis has thrown for 1,693 yards and 23 touchdowns against just three interceptions — all of which came in a 28-27 win over Arroyo Grande. Sophomore RB Christian Erickson is averaging 153.0 rushing yards per game to go along with 16 scores, and classmate Mark Armstrong had a 15-carry, 145-yard performance in the second half of the Righetti win.
Atascadero — Junior RB Marc Martin continued his strong season in the loss to Arroyo Grande, scoring three times and rushing for 111 yards on 20 carries. Classmate R.J. Reusche provided a change of pace in the backfield, showing some spark with five carries for 49 yards on a drive that Martin missed early in the second half with a nagging ankle injury. But Martin returned to score his third and most impressive TD of the day, a 25-yard run on fourth-and-1 in which he hurtled a defender at the 15.
NOTE: Paso Robles is ranked first in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division poll. Atascadero is ranked eighth in the Northern Division poll.
MISSION PREP (4-5, 1-2 NL) AT MORRO BAY (4-5, 2-1), 7 P.M.
Last week: Mission Prep 24, Santa Maria 6; Morro Bay BYE.
What to Watch: Mission Prep — The Royals braved the driving rain at home Friday to defeat the Saints and get into the Northern League win column for the first time. Senior RB Dyllan Smiley ran 20 times for 161 yards and a touchdown, and Jack Balentine added 48 yards and a score on eight carries. Sophomore quarterback Bryce Fledderman completed 6 of 13 passes in the rainstorm for 62 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown toss to Sal LaCasto, as Mission Prep outscored Santa Maria 10-0 in the fourth quarter after taking a 14-6 lead at halftime. Junior Conrad Ochotorena recorded two sacks to go along with a pair of fumble recoveries. With a win, Mission Prep would finish third in the Northern League.
Morro Bay — A win would clinch a share of the Northern League title for the Pirates, who come into Friday’s matchup off a bye following a thorough 40-0 win over Santa Maria. Senior RB Will Unks shouldered the load in the win over the Saints, rushing for 140 yards and two scores on 11 carries. QB Isaac Manaputy and running backs Isaac Hudson and Jordan Liberatore also recorded rushing touchdowns. Noah Garcia had a team-high eight tackles, and Liberatore had four tackles for a loss, including 1.5 of the Pirates’ five sacks. Manaputy was also 5 for 5 on extra points and also hit a 35-yard field goal.
NOTE: Morro Bay is ranked sixth in the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division poll.
TEMPLETON (7-2, 2-1 NL) AT SANTA MARIA (1-8, 0-3), 7 P.M.
Last week: Templeton 15, Nipomo 14; Mission Prep 24, Santa Maria 6.
What to Watch: Templeton — The Eagles can also clinch a share of the Northern League title with a win and would also be the league’s No. 1 seed in the Northwest Division playoffs by virtue of a preseason draw. Templeton’s come-from-behind victory over Nipomo helped make that possible, as the Eagles’ Angel Avelar hit a 25-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Eagles to the upset victory amidst the muck and rain on Halloween night. Templeton amassed 329 yards of offense in the win, including 15 rushes for 88 yards and a touchdown by Bryson Messer. Gunnar Griffin was able to pass for 129 yards, including a 19-yard pass to running back Nate Avery.
Santa Maria — Miguel Carlos scored the Saints’ lone touchdown in their 24-6 loss to Mission Prep. Carlos’ touchdown came in the second quarter on a rush from 12 yards out. No season statistics have been provided by Santa Maria, which has been outscored 352-117 this season and has lost three straight games after earning its first victory of the season, 27-6 at Hueneme on Oct. 10.
NOTE: Templeton is ranked seventh in the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division poll.