The unbeaten Escalon Cougars remain the No. 1 team in the Front Row Preps small-school rankings.

Small-school rankings: Trans-Valley League dominates with five entrants

Joe Cortez

Small Schools

Editor’s note: Comprised of teams from the Central California Athletic Alliance, Mother Lode League, Southern League and Trans-Valley League.

1. Escalon (7-0, 3-0) — After layups against Modesto Christian and Riverbank, things get a lot tougher this week for the small-school kingpins. Next: Friday at Ripon

2. Hilmar (6-1, 2-1) — Defeated longtime rival Hughson 28-13 and gets a week off this week after Modesto Christian announced it will forfeit. Next: Oct. 25 vs. Riverbank 

3. Ripon (6-1, 2-1) — Coming off a bye, Ripon’s TVL title hopes depend on victory this week. Next: Friday vs. Escalon

4. Calaveras (5-2, 2-0) — Calaveras handed Amador its first loss of the season and braces for another Mother Lode League clash this week. Next: Friday at Sonora

5. Ripon Christian (6-1, 4-0) — Remained on course to defend its Southern League title with a 48-0 blanking of Gustine. Next: Friday at Mariposa

6. Amador (6-1, 1-1) — Despite suffering its first loss of the season, Amador remains in the hunt for the MLL title. Next: Friday at Summerville 

7. Livingston (5-2, 2-1) — Had little trouble last week, blanking Modesto Christian 52-0. Next: Friday at Riverbank

8. Denair (5-2, 3-1) — The reigning D-VII state champs defeated Orestimba for a second consecutive season. Next: Friday at Delhi

9. Mariposa (5-2, 4-0) — Displaced by the Briceburg fire, the Grizzlies went on the road to beat Waterford 51-0 in their “homecoming” game. Next: Friday vs. Ripon Christian

10. Hughson (4-4, 2-2) — Still in it mathematically, but realistically the Huskies have no path to the TVL title after losing to Hilmar: Next: Oct. 25 vs. Ripon

On the bubble: Sonora, Orestimba