Escalon coach Andrew Beam can shake up the small-school rankings with a victory over Trans-Valley League rival Ripon, also the region's top-ranked team.

Ripon still No. 1. This time next week, though, it could be any of the TVL's Big 4.

James Burns

EDITOR’S NOTE: The small-school rankings are comprised of teams from the Central California Athletic Alliance, Mother Lode League, Southern League and Trans-Valley League. Last week’s ranking and current records in parenthesis.

1. (1) Ripon (7-0, 3-0) — The Indians were idle on Friday. Next: at Escalon.

2. (2) Modesto Christian (8-0, 4-0) — Johnny Williams, Jose Hernandez and Isaac Schinmann each scored two touchdowns as the Crusaders romped past Livingston, but talented defensive end Xavier Carlton may miss next week’s game after being ejected. Next: at Hilmar.

3. (3) Hilmar (6-1, 2-1) — Isaac Sharp was named the player of the game after rushing for 166 yards and two touchdowns in the Yellowjackets’ homecoming victory over Hughson. Next: vs. Modesto Christian.

4. (4) Ripon Christian (7-0, 4-0) — Michael Kamps scored the opening touchdown on a short run and then turned the spotlight over to the defense. Drew Van Vliet and Sean McGovern returned fumbles for a touchdown as the Knights rolled over Gustine. Next: vs. Mariposa.

5. (5) Escalon (5-2, 1-2) — With a showdown against top-ranked Ripon on the horizon, first-year coach Andrew Beam decided to give offensive catalysts Lucciano Dutra and Luke Anderson the night off. They weren’t needed in a 62-7 victory over Riverbank. It was 41-0 with four minutes left in the first quarter. Next: vs. Ripon.

6. (7) Denair (6-1, 3-1) — The Coyotes leapfrogged Orestimba in the Southern League standings and the regional small-school rankings following an impressive 35-28 road victory over the Warriors, and they accomplished this without standout running back Dylan De Silva. Next: vs. Delhi.

7. (8) Sonora (3-4, 2-0) — It’s been a tale of two season for the reigning Mother Lode League champions. After losing four straight to start the season, the Wildcats have ripped off three consecutive wins. Dual-threat quarterback Jake Gookin engineered the latest victory, a 42-7 rout of Argonaut. Next: vs. Amador.

8. (6) Orestimba (4-3, 2-2) — After orbiting above the Southern League for four calendar years, the three-time defending champion Warriors have come crashing back to the Earth with a THUD! Orestimba has lost two straight and isn’t out of the pressure-cooker just yet. Coach Aaron Souza's defense has to find a way to contain Wildcat QB Michael Vivo. Next: at Waterford.

9. (10) Waterford (6-1, 3-1) — After a midseason hiccup against Southern League favorite Ripon Christian, the Wildcats are healthy and brimming with confidence again. Vivo continued his MVP campaign by dissecting Mariposa's secondary early, but defense and special teams highlighted the win. Next: vs. Orestimba

10. (9) Big Valley Christian (5-1, 2-0) — The Lions traveled to Millennium on Saturday evening. The results weren’t available by press time. Next: at Delta Charter, Saturday.

Dropped out: Hughson (5-3, 2-2).

On the bubble: Hughson (5-3, 2-2); Calaveras (4-3, 2-0).

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