There's a lot to debate in high school football this season, including who's the best quarterback in Southern California and how many points it will take to defeat Corona Centennial, but no one can challenge one indisputable fact: the strength of the Trinity League.
For the first time in the history of The Times' top-25 rankings, all six Trinity League teams are ranked. It's just another reminder of how grueling the weekly league games will be when they start in early October.
"It kind of validates what people say about the league in terms of Southern California football," Santa Ana Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson said. "We have great coaching staffs and great players."
Top-ranked Bellflower St. John Bosco (2-0), No. 3 Mater Dei (2-0), No. 13 Orange Lutheran (2-0) and No. 24 San Juan Capistrano JSerra (1-0) are unbeaten. No. 19 Anaheim Servite (1-1) knocked off defending Pac-5 champion Long Beach Poly last week. And No. 25 Santa Margarita (0-2) lost in overtime to the top team in Nevada, Bishop Gorman.
"It's arguably one of the toughest leagues in the nation," Mater Dei quarterback Chase Forrest said. "Every game is at a new level. Every game is so crucial."
It's going to be challenging for players not to look ahead to the many showdown games, such as Mater Dei at St. John Bosco on Nov. 1.
"It's in the back of our heads," Forrest said. "We'll get there eventually."
It's a record night
Near 11:30 on Saturday night, the calculators were still getting a workout trying to add all the offense from Corona Centennial's 69-55 victory over Ventura St. Bonaventure at Oceanside High. When a football game resembles a basketball score, that means it was a wild game.
Tre Watson, Centennial's senior running back who has committed to California, set a school record with 468 yards rushing in 37 carries. He scored seven touchdowns. Centennial gained 870 yards. The two teams combined for a state-record 1,377 yards. Centennial scored touchdowns on eight consecutive possessions.
"I can't lie, I'm a little tired," Watson said. "But it feels good. The feeling of winning takes over the tiredness."
Centennial Coach Matt Logan tried to pull his starters, but St. Bonaventure (1-1) wouldn't quit, so Watson and quarterback Robert Webber (331 yards passing) had to come back in the fourth quarter.
As for Watson, who has scored 12 touchdowns in two games, Logan said, "He was incredible, absolutely incredible. With that comes a lot of good blocking from the offensive line and the receivers downfield. But he had a great night."
More big games are ahead
Mission Viejo is playing host to a two-day event Friday and Saturday with four intriguing matchups.
On Friday, Crenshaw will play Los Angeles Loyola at 4:30 p.m., followed by Centennial taking on Long Beach Poly at 8. On Saturday, St. John Bosco will play Chandler (Airz.) at 4:30 p.m., followed by Mission Viejo-Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep at 7.
It's a week for the top teams in the City Section playing their counterparts in the Southern Section. There's Harbor City Narbonne at Mission Hills Alemany, Westlake Village Oaks Christian at Venice, Dorsey playing Santa Margarita at Aliso Niguel and Mater Dei at Carson.