Photo credit: Stepinac senior Jerry Thompson makes a one-handed catch against Xavier. Photo by David Spagnolo / Stepinac
1. Stepinac (2-0, Last week: 1) — The Crusaders have done everything Mike O’Donnell could’ve hoped for to this point, but they will now wade out of the shallow end of the pool. Two years ago, Stepinac started strong as well and St. Anthony’s hung 56 points on them. I don’t expect that to happen, but I do expect a high-scoring game. Can the Crusaders withstand the physical toll?
2. John Jay-East Fishkill (2-0, Last week: 2) — A three-touchdown win over Carmel certainly suffices. Now, the Patriots have chance to reassert their Dutchess supremacy against an Arlington team also off to a 2-0 start.
3. Ketcham (2-0, Last week: 3) — Consistency has been Ketcham’s weakness in the past, and the Indians didn’t exactly dominate Scarsdale last week. The game was a one-score game at one point in the fourth quarter. The Indians will have to rediscover the level of play that served them so well early on against New Rochelle.
4. North Rockland (1-1, Last week: 6) — The offense needs to be more productive if the Red Raiders want to win big this year, but the defense remains sharp. It has allowed 17 points this season and just a field goal since early in that Week 1 loss to John Jay.
5. New Rochelle (1-1, Last week: 7) — The Huguenots proved what they were all about yet again last week. Pressed, they built some momentum late to beat Mahopac, a team that they may hear from again before the season is through.
6. Mahopac (1-1, Last week: 4) — The Indians didn’t deserve to drop too far. Let’s remember, they were on the road against the defending state champs and lost in the final minute by a TD. Yes, New Ro is a different team now, but Mahopac still had a solid showing in defeat.
7. Harrison (2-0, Last week: 5) — The Huskies dropping for the second straight week may seem like a sign of disrespect, but, right now, I like the best of the Class AA teams better than those at the top in Class A. Plus, with Mike Amicucci (ankle) hobbled, Harrison isn’t quite running at all cylinders.
8. Rye (2-0, Last week: 9) — Rye was impressive Sunday at Somers, not just because it won, but because it overcame some early issues to improve as the game wore on. That’s a testament to Dino Garr and the toughness of his players.
9. Somers (1-1, Last week: 10) — If you followed me on Twitter Sunday, you knew this was coming. A few Class A fans may be disappointed, but I just couldn’t discredit Somers too much for losing to a higher-ranked team by a touchdown. The Tuskers still showed plenty of positive signs. Their pass rush and pass defense were excellent at times. Their backs are solid and explosive. With a little more experience, Somers can still contend.
10. White Plains (2-0, Last week: NR) — I may find myself suckered in, but the Tigers look vastly improved this season. Their offense is dangerous and checks off just about every item on the list: dual threat QB (Cameron Crabbe), strong running back (Chris Jordan), big tackle (Anthony Tocto), excellent outside (Marshon Morris) and insider (Lukas Repetti) receiving threats. Friday’s game at Mahopac should tell us a lot about both teams.
On the bubble: John Jay (2-0), Sleepy Hollow (2-0), Ossining (2-0)
Here are my class-by-class rankings:
CLASS AA — Question to ponder: Will anyone break into this Top 5?
1. John Jay-EF
3. North Rockland
4. New Rochelle
CLASS A — Yeah, um, I did not see John Jay coming.
4. John Jay
5. Sleepy Hollow
CLASS B — Take your pick on Nos. 3 through 5. Right now, Class B is wide open.
1. Our Lady of Lourdes
CLASS C/D — The top four are all 2-0, but they’re going to start to knock one another off, beginning with Woodlands-Bronxville this week.
2. Rye Neck
3. Dobbs Ferry
5. Albertus Magnus
CHSFL/Private — Rye Country Day and Hackley are going to humble some Section 1 teams this year.
2. Iona Prep
4. Rye Country Day