Every Monday, I’ll hand out game balls to the top performers from the week that was. If you have someone who you think is worthy, tweet me @lohudinsider or shoot me an e-mail with that player’s credentials at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first week is always one of the more challenging ones. Teams don’t have a great feel for one another, the weather is great, the tracks are fast, and offenses thrive. This week was no different.
So here’s a countdown from No. 10 to No. 1. As always, gaudy stats are impossible to ignore, but the situation and the importance of the game are factored into the equation.
WEEK 1 GAME BALLS
(Recipients are from schools in the coverage area—Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties; they are selected from statistics reported to The Journal News/lohud.com)
Honorable mention:—Nick D’Arrigo rushed for 88 yards and a score and recorded eight tackles and an interception in Irvington’s 14-6 win over visiting Nanuet.—George DiFiore rushed for 157 yards and two TDs as Ardsley defeated visiting Westlake 27-13.—Anthony Cappozzi returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score and piled up 150 yards rushing and two other TDs on just five carries in a 53-0 win at Saunders.—Winston Britton, a freshman, scored twice in his varsity debut, catching a 28-yard TD and returning an interception 54 yards for a score. He also recorded four tackles and forced and recovered a fumble in Hackley’s 47-0 win at Kennedy.—Tyrone Barber rolled up 187 yards rushing and five touchdowns on just 11 carries in Woodlands’ 52-13 win over visiting Blind Brook.—Ian Ricketts had 23 carries, 218 yards and four TDs to lead Gorton past visiting Peekskill, 50-14.
10. Adonis Alcime, Nyack: The junior fullback powered to 187 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries as Nyack shutout Pelham 55-0. The Indians rolled to a 48-0 halftime lead.
9. James Leyden, Pleasantville: The senior linebacker had 11 tackles, three sacks, forced a fumble, recovered another, and had the game-sealing pick-six in a 21-7 win over visiting Croton.
8. Liam DaRos, Brewster: In his first varsity start, the Brewster senior went 15 for 21 for 167 yards and four touchdowns, including one on fourth-and-goal from the 21 to Joe Buonadonna.
7. Anthony Gallucci, Eastchester: The senior kept the mistake-prone Eagles close in their 28-27 loss to visiting Tappan Zee. He rushed for 137 yards and a TD and went 10 for 15 with 104 yards and a last-second TD to end the first half. It was set up by Gallucci returning an interception (pictured right) 34 yards.
6. Jakob Calvini, Rye Neck: The senior rushed for 35 yards and a TD on just five carries, but made his impact felt most on defense in a 24-0 shutout at Tuckahoe, last year’s Class D state runner-up. He recorded eight solo tackles, including three for a loss, two sacks and an interception, which he returned 79 yards for a score.
5. Jake Marino, Harrison: The senior running back rushed for 155 yards and two scores on just 11 carries and caught a pair of balls for 33 yards in Harrison’s 34-25 home victory against Brewster.
4. Chris Jordan, White Plains: The stout senior bulled his way to 174 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries as the Tigers held off Clarkstown North, 27-20, in a tight game at home.
3. Malcolm Major, Stepinac: The speedy junior raced to 180 yards and four touchdowns rushing on just 10 carries, the longest of which went for 82 yards. He also made a pair of first-down receptions in a 47-14 defeat of visiting Mount St. Michael.
2. Andrew Livingston, Rye: The third-year starter thrived in his team’s new wide-open offense. He went 11 for 19 for 347 yards and four touchdowns as Rye routed visiting Spring Valley 38-6.
1. Justin Davidov, Ossining: The senior QB (pictured above and right) delivered big numbers in a 53-35 shootout win against visiting Beacon. He went 11 for 17 for 237 yards and three touchdowns and also scored three and rushed for 144 yards on the ground.