Here’s a look at last week’s rankings. With few upsets (hey, how else do you think we all picked so many right?), there are few dramatic changes, although I flipped a few teams based on differences in their strength of schedules. As you know if you’ve read this blog, that’s something I feel is a major factor in these rankings, whether it’s football or basketball.
So, with that in mind…
1. New Rochelle (5-0) – Wow, that one was close. Mahopac put a serious scare into the Huguenots, so the question now is: Can they regroup? They’ll need to. New Ro faces the clear No. 3 team in Class AA this week, a team that came to town and pitched a shutout last year around this time. I expect the Huguenots to play well because of that very fact.
2. Iona Prep (4-1) – Has Iona begun to peak? After its shocking loss to Chaminade and a slow start against Xaverian the following week, it appears that way. The Gaels were super impressive in a wipeout of a good Holy Cross team, winning by a whopping six touchdowns. Mario Biaggi-to-Chris Cooper-and-Austin Jones has given the offense much better balance than it had a year ago.
3. North Rockland (4-1) – Tom Lynch’s team won again by two touchdowns, but he was very critical of its 10-penalty performance. “It was a total disgrace – looked like we never even coached the guys,” Lynch said. Hmm. Poor Ramapo. When Lynch wants North Rockland to play better, that usually means a week of very physical practice.
4. Harrison (5-0) – The Huskies have been so dominant the last two weeks, none of their backs have had more than a handful of carries. But they have all run the ball well, and Vin Nicita has continued to play efficient football. Right now, this team’s defense can still improve, but the explosiveness of its offense is Harrison’s best in years.
5. Somers (5-0) – I’m not surprised the Tuskers were pushed by Ossining, a program with a lot of pride and no fear. They also lost TE/DE Peter Mueller for the season. He was a 6-5, 220-pound two-way player and one of the rare guys with experience. But even without Mueller, I expect last week to be something of a wake-up call. That won’t be a positive for a Panas team coming off its first loss.
6. Poughkeepsie (4-1) – Despite Arlington’s winless record, that was a quality win by Poughkeepsie. The Admirals had been very competitive against a tough Class AA schedule and earned an early lead, but the Pioneers stormed right back. No rest for the weary, though; after playing perhaps the section’s best winless team, they have one of its best 2-3 teams in Ossining.
7. John Jay-East Fishkill (4-1) – The battle of Wappingers wasn’t so hotly contested. The Patriots continued to prove they are a top-three team in Class AA. Now, they have a prime opportunity to prove this conversation about future sectional champions should include them.
8. Clarkstown South (3-2) – After an emotional win against their rival, the Vikings welcome a team of equal – and perhaps better – ability to their turf. Mahopac will make them work for every yard and South knows it may need to beat ‘Pac and John Jay back to back to qualify for the playoffs again. There’s no slowing down now.
9. Sleepy Hollow (4-1) – After they joined the Top 10 last week, I continued to gain respect for the Headless Horsemen last week. Their dismissal of any threat from Hen Hud was perhaps the most impressive effort of the week. They have three wins over winning teams (Rye, John Jay, Hen Hud), which is more than most.
10. Our Lady of Lourdes (5-0) – It seems to be a revolving door of challengers in Class B, but Lourdes might face its toughest test this week. The Warriors have dispatched every previous opponent and will now try to do the same against Pleasantville. It looks to me like their second matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in three weeks.
On the bubble: Brewster (5-0), Clarkstown North (3-2), John Jay (3-2), Mahopac (2-3).
SMALL SCHOOL TOP 10
1. Our Lady of Lourdes
10. Rye Country Day
Here are the class-by-class rankings:
Class AA – Ketcham has not been very competitive against John Jay, Mahopac and North, but I can’t jump Mamaroneck over the Indians, who won head-to-head a couple weeks ago.
1. New Rochelle
2. North Rockland
3. John Jay-East Fishkill
4. Clarkstown South
6. Clarkstown North
Class A – A bit of a shakeup from No. 5 on down despite wins by some of the teams that dropped. Brewster’s squeaked out its win against Eastchester, as did Yorktown at Lakeland.
4. Sleepy Hollow
5. John Jay
Class B – Nanuet’s competitiveness without its QB has been impressive. Ardsley jumped Irvington based on its strong win over Croton, a team which beat the Bulldogs.
1. Our Lady of Lourdes
8. Putnam Valley
Class C/D – It’s very difficult to figure out what happened with Tuckahoe, but I think it says more about Haldane than Tuckahoe.
3. Dobbs Ferry
5. Rye Neck
7. Albertus Magnus
Catholics/Privates – Yup, Hackley over Rye Country Day.
1. Iona Prep
4. Rye Country Day