Downey's Bryce Peterson gets a block and runs up field during a non-conference game with McClymonds of the Oakland Section on Sept. 14, 2018. (Dan Harris Photography)

Party of five! With league looming, CCAL places five in large-school top-10

James Burns

The large-school rankings are comprised of teams from the Central California Athletic League, Central California Conference, Valley Oak League and Western Athletic Conference. Last week’s ranking and current record in parenthesis.

1. (1) Central Catholic (4-1, 1-0): As long as Dawaiian McNeely stays healthy it won’t matter who the Raiders start at quarterback. The running back with a scholarship offers from Louisiana on west rushed for a season-high 215 yards in Central Catholic’s 35-28 victory over Manteca. Next: at Sierra.

2. (2) Merced (5-0, 1-0): Perhaps Central Catholic should stay with two QBs — it’s working just fine for Merced. Junior Garcia threw three first-half touchdowns in a rout of Central Valley, while Dhameer Warren left his mark on defense (pick-six) and special teams (90-yard kickoff return). Next: vs. El Capitan.

3. (3) Pitman (5-0, 0-0): The Pride pitched a shutout in their final tune-up for Central California Athletic League play, pinning a 42-0 defeat on struggling Summerville. Next: Bye.

4. (4) Downey (3-2, 0-0): The Knights may have lost more than a game to McClymonds, a defending CIF State Bowl champion. Freshman quarterback Beau Green has AC joint pain his shoulder, according to The Modesto Bee, and could miss up to three weeks. Next: Bye.

5. (5) Turlock (2-3, 0-0): The Bulldogs have lost two straight and are 0-3 on the road after a loss to the top team in the Fresno area — Central — but the Bulldogs are rewarded for taking on one of the toughest non-conference schedules. Regardless of record, Turlock is one of the top teams in the region. Next: Bye.

6. (6) Oakdale (4-1, 1-0): Zeke Saffar and Max Moore each ran for more than 190 yards as the Mustangs survived a scare from East Union in their Valley Oak League opener. Next: vs. Weston Ranch.

7. (7) Buhach Colony (4-1, 1-0): The Thunder knocked Patterson out of the top-10 with a convincing 65-21 victory in their Central California Conference opener, rushing for eight touchdowns. The Thunder have won three straight games. Next: Bye.

8. (9) Modesto (3-1, 0-0): Defensively, the Panthers intercepted three passes in a 56-20 victory at Franklin, fueling an offense that has averaged 49 points over its last three games — all victories. Next: vs. Stagg (at Downey).

9. (8) Manteca (2-3, 0-1): Quarterback Ryan Ward and the Buffaloes picked on Central Catholic’s depleted secondary and nearly escaped David Patton Field with their first-ever victory over the Raiders. Next: Bye.

10. (nr) Gregori (3-2, 0-0): Isaac Herman scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and answered Weston Ranch’s only touchdown with an 85-yard kickoff return as Gregori climbed back into the top-10 with its third straight victory. Next: Bye.

Dropped out: Patterson (2-3, 0-1).

On the bubble: Atwater (4-1, 1-0), Patterson (2-3, 0-1).

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