This week’s power poll brings with it one significant change.
Santa Cruz, last week’s No. 4, drops down to No. 5 and switches spots with Soquel.
Of course, those two teams could switch again come tonight, when the Cardinals and Knights square off in the 50th meeting of The Stump game.
The reason for the switch is simple, though, and it involves Scotts Valley.
Santa Cruz dropped a 49-29 defeat to Scotts Valley last week in a game that was dominated by the Falcons in the first half; they led 28-3 at the break.
Earlier this season, though, Soquel dropped a much tighter 30-26 defeat to Scotts Valley in a game where the Knights were leading deep into the fourth quarter.
That’s pretty much the reason why Santa Cruz went from No. 4 to No. 5, despite losing to a team we had ranked at No. 3.
You can make the point of the TIMING of the two contests. As the season progresses, a league-title contender in Scotts Valley should only be improving [and it has], making them a much more difficult opponent to beat later in the season [when Santa Cruz played them] as opposed to earlier in the season [when Soquel played them].
The only way to decide it, of course, is on the field. No. 4 and No. 5 will be settled tonight in Soquel.
Sentinel Power Poll Rankings
1. MVC [8-0, 4-0 MBL]: Each week it’s new school record for the Mustangs, who won their eighth straight game last week against Pajaro Valley and claimed the top spot for a sixth time in 10 weeks. Next: at Monterey. Last 1.
2. APTOS [7-1, 4-0 SCCAL]: The Mariners remain the top-ranked team from the SCCAL after they compiled 620 yards rushing against SLV last week. Next: vs. Harbor. Last: 2.
3. SCOTTS VALLEY [7-2, 4-1 SCCAL]: The Falcons needed a win over Santa Cruz last week and they got it behind 273 yards rushing by Collin Corbella. Next: vs. St. Francis. Last: 3.
4. SOQUEL [4-4, 2-2 SCCAL]: The Knights moved up a spot to No. 4 based on their strength of schedule to date and their stronger performance against Scotts Valley from earlier this season. Next: vs. Santa Cruz. Last: 5.
5. SANTA CRUZ [6-2, 3-1 SCCAL]: The Cardinals dropped two spots after falling to Scotts Valley last week, but they could move up to No. 4 with a win tonight. Next: at Soquel. Last: 4.
6. SLV [3-6, 1-4 SCCAL]: The Cougars are off this week, but they’ll look to finish the season strong in their finale at Harbor. Next: Idle. Last: 6.
7. WATSONVILLE [1-7, 0-4 MBL]: The Wildcatz, trying to snap a losing streak, should have their hands full tonight. Next: at Christopher. Last: 7.
8. PAJARO VALLEY [1-6-1, 0-4 MBL]: The Grizzlies have a chance to play spoiler with North County’s playoff chances tonight. Next: vs. North Monterey County. Last: 8.
9. HARBOR [2-6, 1-3 SCCAL]: The Pirates, who have lost two straight, will see their toughest opponent of the season tonight. Next: at Aptos. Last: 9.
10. ST. FRANCIS [2-6, 0-4 SCCAL]: The Sharks are fresh off a bye and will look to upset a formidable Scotts Valley team tonight. Next: at Scotts Valley. Last: 10.
NOTE: The Power Poll is compiled by the Sentinel sports staff. It will appear every Friday during the season.