Skip to main content

CIF Central Section Top 15 football rankings presented by SBLive Sports/Sports Illustrated (11-06-2023)

Five of the 15 received first-round playoff byes, but now the action gets really fierce

The temperatures have finally dipped into playoff weather in the Central Section and while four of the top schools in our Fab 15 had bye weeks there were tons of big time scores last Friday.

In D1, Central easily handled Arroyo Grande 42-14 and Sanger shutout Garces 35-0, setting up tasty matchups with the No. 4 Grizzlies visit No. 2 Frontier and the No. 5 Apaches travel to No. 4 Clovis East.

No. 8 Clovis West defeated Hanford 42-30 and advances to face undefeated and No. 1 Clovis North. Clovis routed St. Joseph 42-7 and will take on 2-time defending D1 champs Liberty-Bakersfield.

Buckle up everyone, we are in for a wild ride the rest of the way.

1. Clovis North (10-0)

Last week rank: 1

Last week: Bye

Next game: Thursday home against Clovis West in D1 playoffs

The top seed in D1, the Broncos await league foe Clovis West, whom they beat 34-27 in Week 8, in the second round of the D1 playoffs. Jackson Cinfel (1,355 yards, 13 TDs) leads a rushing attack that averages 280 yards on the ground with 42 touchdowns. Remarkably, Clovis North has turned the ball over only once this season.

2. Frontier (10-0)

Last week rank: 2

Last week result: Bye

Next game: Thursday home against Central in D1 playoffs

The Titans host talented Central in a Round 2 showdown and shines with senior Malakhi Stater’s 2,509 passing yards and a 30:6 TD to INT ratio. The sophomore receiving duo of Malcolm Watkins (589 yards, 8 TDs) and Kobe Watson (545, 6 TDs) have been superb. Frontier has a signature 25-20 win over No. 3 Liberty but will face a Grizzly team that is peaking at the right time.

3. Liberty-Bakersfield (8-2)

Last week rank: 3

Last week: Bye

Next game: Thursday home against Clovis in D1 playoffs

The 2-time defending Central Section champs received a bye and will take on Clovis at home in the D1 playoffs. However, the big question is who will play QB for the Patriots with senior Cole O’brien missing the last three games due to injury. Running back Mehki Delouth (1,43 yards, 16 TDs) will be relied upon heavily.

4. Central (8-3)

Last week rank: 4

Last week result: Defeated Arroyo Grande 42-14 in D1 playoffs

Next game: Thursday at Liberty in D1 playoffs

David Marquez passed for 327 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-14 win over Arroyo Grande as the Grizzlies advance to play at No. 2 Frontier. Big games for David Bell (109 rushing, 1 TD) and receivers Braylen Hall (6-63-2) and Noey Felix (8-120-1). Central has averaged 35 ppg in their last five while the Titans have allowed no more than 20 all season.

5. Clovis East (8-2)

Last week rank: 5

Last week result: Bye

Next game: Thursday home against Sanger in D1 playoffs

The Timberwolves take on rival Sanger this Thursday in a rematch from Week 2 that saw Clovis East win 42-21. Quarterback Ty Miller has passed for 3,096 yards and 38 TDs and has two weapons in receivers Tommy Nix (58-1,109-15) and Harold Duvall (28-917-12). Miller threw for 202 yards with three TDs against the Apaches.

6. Sanger (10-1)

Last week rank: 6

Last week result: Defeated Garces 35-0

Next game: Thursday at Clovis East in D1 playoffs

Marquis Cropper scored on a pick-6 and Connor Bohlken returned a fumble 15 yards for a TD for the Apaches first two scores en route to a 35-0 shutout over Garces. Senior Isaiah Robles rushed for 173 and two touchdowns upping his season total to 20. They’ll try to avenge an earlier 42-21 loss to Clovis East on the road this Thursday.

7. Clovis (8-3)

Last week rank: 7

Last week result: Defeated St. Joseph 42-7 in D1 playoffs

Next game: Thursday at Liberty in D1 playoffs

Deagan Rose continued his torrid pace by completing 18-21 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-7 home win over St. Joseph. Rose, who also rushed for a score, connected often with Jacob Saldate (7-133-1) and Tyler Marquez (4-138-3).

8. Clovis West (6-5)

Last week rank: 8

Last week result: Defeated Hanford 42-30

Next game: Thursday at Clovis North in D1 playoffs

Tyler Patrick threw three touchdowns and linebacker Tytus Khajavi recorded 15 tackles, seven TFL and five sacks as the Golden Eagles sprinted to a 36-0 lead before holding off Hanford 42-30. Jordan Pierro and Steven Macias added rushing TDs in the first quarter. They’ll take on No. 1 Clovis North in a rematch from Oct. 13 when they fell 34-27.

9. Central Valley Christian (10-1)

Last week rank: 10

Last week result: Defeated Stockdale 43-7

Next game: Thursday home against Tehachapi in D2

Brent Kroeze threw five touchdowns–three to running back Bryson Donelson–while the Cavaliers scored all 43 points in the first half in a 43-7 win over Stockdale. Gunnar Piepgrass caught two TDs and Drew DeGroff added a rushing score. They’ll host 11-0 Tehachapi on Thursday.

10. Lemoore (8-3)

Last week rank: 11

Last week result: Defeated Justin Garza 38-27 in D2 playoffs

Next game: Thursday home against Sunnyside in D2

Backup quarterback Aiden McDaniel threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers advance after a 38-27 win over Justin Garza. Kobe Green caught nine passes for 143 yards and a TD and Lucas Jensen caught two touchdowns for the defending D2 champs.

11. Hanford (9-2)

Last week rank: 9

Last week result: Lost to Clovis West 42-30

Next game: Season over

The Bullpups dug themselves into a 36-0 to Clovis West before cutting the lead to 36-30 in the third quarter, eventually falling 42-30. Kourdey Glass scored three TDs and Daniel Gomez tossed a touchdown to Jordan Black.

12. Kingsburg (9-2)

Last week rank: Not ranked

Last week result: Defeated Dinuba 42-8 in D2 playoffs

Next game: Thursday at Tulare in D2 playoffs

The Vikings scored 42 straight en route to a 42-8 win over Dinuba in the D2 playoffs behind Max Warkentin’s 229 passing yards and three touchdowns. Warkentin, Dennis Gagnon and Kalen Peterson scored on the ground. They’ll travel to Tulare Union, who they lost to 42-12 on Sept. 22.

13. Shafter (10-0)

Last week rank: 14

Last week: Bye

Next game: Thursday home against Golden Valley in D4

The top seeded Generals had a bye and will face Golden Valley in the D4 second round playoffs. Sophomore Ezekiel Osborne–in his second year as the starting QB–has thrown for 2,392 yards and 33 touchdowns for a team that averages 43 points per game.

14. Sunnyside (10-1)

Last week rank: Not ranked

Last week result: Defeated Redwood 39-21 in D2 playoffs

Next game: Thursday at Lemoore in D2 playoffs

Tanner Wilson tossed two touchdowns and ran for scores of 22 and 80 yards in a 39-21 win over Redwood. The Wildcats–who lost in the D3 final last year–also returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the 4th quarter.

15. Garces (5-6)

Last week rank: 15

Last week result: Lost to Sanger 35-0

Next game: Season over

The Rams couldn’t muster any offense against No. 5 Sanger, ending their season. However, they return a bulk of their skill position players next season including sophomore QB Gunther Golla and running backs Ricky Johnson and Austyn Hernandez.