With the first week of league season underway, we had a few teams make big statements against their first league opponent, while others were left disappointed.
Here’s the high school football power rankings after Week 5 of the 2015 season:
1. Palm Springs (last week No. 1): The Indians got a chance to rest up, and for some, see exactly what they’d be up against in Palm Desert and La Quinta. They’ve got to stay focused on their next two games against Coachella Valley and Xavier Prep, though.
2. Palm Desert (last week No. 6): The Aztecs clinched arguably the biggest win for the Palm Desert program, in nearly a decade, over La Quinta, and now they’ve got a week to rest up and nurse some nagging injuries.
3. Coachella Valley (last week No. 4): The Arabs have overcome their slow start to the season with three dominating, double-digit wins — the latest coming while taming the big-play ability of Cathedral City’s Cameron Lee and Jordan Wallace. Next up, their biggest test thus far: Palm Springs.
4. Desert Chapel (last week No. 3): The Eagles haven’t been seriously tested all season, but we’ll see what this senior-laden team is made of next Saturday against Desert Christian Academy on the road.
5. Desert Hot Springs (last week No. 7): The Golden Eagles made a statement Friday, holding the electric ground game of Desert Mirage to just two touchdowns, both from Jesus Angel. The DHS offense had its most balanced night thus far with the duo of QB Andrew Moreno and running back Markese Denmen.
6. Rancho Mirage (last week No. 2): Before Friday, the Rattlers had cruised to 3-1, but they got a taste Friday of just how hard winning a De Anza League title will be. They’ve got maybe their toughest test of the year next Saturday, traveling to Big Bear.
7. Desert Christian Academy (last week No. 10): The Conquerors have glided through their last three games, but we’ll see how far this team may be able to go after their test against Desert Chapel Saturday.
8. La Quinta (last week No. 9): This loss will haunt the Blackhawks – especially the seniors – for a little while. Still, though, they proved that banged up, they can still compete with the best of the DVL this year.
9. Desert Mirage (last week No. 5): The Rams may need to go back to the drawing board, after giving up two huge offensive outputs to their opponents two weeks in a row. Jesus Angel is anchoring the offense, but they’ve got to have more than him to contend for a league title.
10. Shadow Hills (last week No. 8): The Knights had a week to rest up and enjoy their shutout of Cathedral City, but they sure would have liked to keep that momentum rolling rather than having a bye week. Still, they have a real chance to get rolling in the De Anza League at home against a struggling Desert Mirage squad.
11. Xavier Prep (last week No. 11): Darrell Lewis is now the face of this offense, after getting moved to quarterback with an injury to Michael Johnson. He led the Saints to a solid home win against Indio, but they’ll have to win next week’s game against Cathedral City to keep pace for a playoff run.
12. Palm Valley (last week No. 14): The Firebirds finally found their way into the win column Saturday against Calvary Baptist, albeit not the toughest opponent, but for George Thomas’ small roster, 50 points on the scoreboard is a step in the right direction no matter what.
13. Indio (last week No. 12): The Rajahs have a tough road ahead, facing La Quinta and Palm Desert in back-to-back weeks. If they can survive those, a winnable game against Cathedral City lurks.
14. Cathedral City (last week No. 13): The Lions just don’t appear to have enough defensive fortitude to keep pace with their opponents this year. Cameron Lee and Jordan Wallace continue to impress, but it’s not enough.