FYI: I won’t post my predictions until Thursday. I have a few phone calls to make first. I should have everything locked down tonight, so we can resume the picks’ contest in the morning.
Here’s a look at last week’s rankings. Now, let’s move on to this week…
1. New Rochelle (6-0) - They may not have the most firepower, but playing the top six teams in Class AA and holding them to 13 points total is some pretty serious defense. In fact, the next three teams in my Class AA rankings scored a combined six points on New Rochelle’s defense. Impressive.
2. Iona Prep (5-1) - The Gaels won their third straight blowout and are now lining up for rival Stepinac. Coach Vic Quirolo said the biggest difference from earlier in the season is the development of Mario Biaggi as a passer. Iona now has more balance than it has at any point during Biaggi’s two seasons as the starter.
3. North Rockland (5-1) - Nick Connell stepped into the starting running back job this year and has delivered. The senior has rushed for 100-plus yards in his last four games, including 357 the last two weeks.
4. Harrison (6-0) - The Huskies were relaxed when I visited practice on Tuesday. I think there’s a quiet confidence, knowing that they can beat Rye and snap the streak as long as they maintain the level of play that has propelled them to this 6-0 start. I can’t say I blame them. It’s true.
5. Somers (6-0) - The Tuskers may not earn the top seed out of their league, but that may be a blessing in disguise. Just as Brewster may remain ahead of Somers, Sleepy can stay ahead of Harrison. That would allow the teams to avoid one another until the final (if they get there).
6. Poughkeepsie (5-1) - Poughkeepsie can’t sleep this week against a talented Nyack team, but it won’t. There’s too much at stake. The reigning champ still needs to win to get it, as crazy as that sounds.
7. John Jay-East Fishkill (5-1) - No reason to drop John Jay this week. The Patriots established themselves as the No. 3 team in Class AA and that hasn’t changed. They actually played New Ro very tough until allowed a touchdown midway through the third quarter. If they qualify for the playoffs, they’ll have to find a way to generate offense in the semifinals against one of the two favorites.
8. Sleepy Hollow (5-1) - I’ll say this because I’m certain it’s true: No team in the section has exceeded my expectations more than Sleepy. Rallying late to beat Lakeland by three touchdowns is yet another strong win for the Horsemen, who are certainly a dangerous team in the Class A playoffs.
9. John Jay (4-2) - John Jay’s quarterbacks continue to pile up eye-popping numbers. If the Indians slip into a No. 4 playoff seed, they will be an unwelcome sight for whoever earns the top seed.
10. Mahopac (3-3) - The Indians earned another solid win, rallying late to beat South. Scoff if you want at a 3-3 team being in the Top 10, but Mahopac lost to three of the teams in the Top 7, and played New Ro and North Rockland tougher than anyone outside of those two teams themselves. That’s a strong resume.
On the bubble: Our Lady of Lourdes (6-0), Clarkstown South (3-3), Yorktown (4-2), Rye (4-2), Brewster (6-0), Clarkstown North (4-2).
SMALL SCHOOL TOP 10 Woodlands was very impressive. The Falcons have a ton of firepower.
1. Our Lady of Lourdes
8. Rye Country Day
Here are the class-by-class rankings:
Class AA - Even at 3-3, yes, Mahopac has earned the No. 4 spot in my AA poll.
1. New Rochelle
2. North Rockland
3. John Jay-East Fishkill
5. Clarkstown South
6. Clarkstown North
9. White Plains
Class A - When you see a playoff team, you know it. Yorktown is playoff-caliber. No doubt.
4. Sleepy Hollow
5. John Jay
Class B - Unlike the other classes, it looks like the Top 4 teams will get in the Class B playoffs. Only one deserving team (Ardsley, Croton, or Nanuet) will be left home.
1. Our Lady of Lourdes
7. Putnam Valley
Class C/D - Bronxville moves up two spots in advance of its meeting with Dobbs, which needs a win to make the playoffs.
4. Dobbs Ferry
5. Rye Neck
7. Albertus Magnus
Catholics/Privates - Rye Country Day bounced back with a strong performance last week against an unbeaten St. Luke’s team.
1. Iona Prep
4. Rye Country Day