We had just one big winner this week and it was “Don 10545,” who tied the season’s best weekly record by going 9-1. “Mr. Clean” remains the overall leader at a robust 44-16. I continued my worst picks’ contest performance, falling eight games back.
You might have heard, there are a few big rivalry games this week. Here’s how I see ’em:
Josh’s picks —
Top 10: 36-24 (6-4 last week)
Overall: 178-53 (29-10 last week)
THE TOP 10 —
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Harrison (4-2) vs. Rye (6-0)
When: Saturday, 11 a.m.
Where: Harrison High School
Key players: Harrison — Jake Marino (5-10, 175), Sr., RB/DB; Ryan Knox (5-11, 205), Sr., OL/DL; Brendan Pyne (5-11, 190), So., QB/LB. Rye — Andrew Livingston (6-1, 170), Jr., QB; Chris Santangelo (5-10, 170), Sr., WR/DB; Shane O’Malley (5-9, 170), Sr., RB/LB.
Key matchup: Rye’s pass protection vs. Harrison’s defensive front
Outlook: The 83rd edition of Westchester County’s most storied rivalry pits two teams in very different positions than a year ago. Back then, it was Rye on the outside of the playoff picture and Harrison poised to enter the postseason unbeaten. The Huskies won, of course, 21-0, thus ending a rivalry record nine-game losing streak. They now lead the all-time series 42-37-3 but will be hard-pressed to repeat that feat against Section 1’s second-highest scoring team. Case in point: The Garnets, now the unbeaten ones, handed Ossining and Sleepy Hollow their only losses and scored 101 points in the process. Harrison, which failed to qualify for the postseason, has been susceptible to the pass, which happens to be Rye’s greatest strength. Livingston has thrown 25 touchdowns through six games. That includes six last week alone. The Garnets should have success through the air if they can protect. Last year, the Huskies pressured Livingston at will. Pyne led the way with four sacks. Harrison will probably need to dominate again up front in order to pull off the upset. Remember: Stranger things have happened in the long history of this rivalry.
Prediction: Rye 27, Harrison 14. As I said above, I know some strange things have occurred in this rivalry, but I don’t expect another one here. Rye has proven — against better competition, you could argue — that it has Class A’s best team, outscoring opponents by an average of more than 30 points per game. I think the passion of the rivalry will keep it close, but Rye’s big-play offense and speed on defense will be the deciding factors.
Sleepy Hollow (5-1) vs. Ossining (5-1)
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Ossining High School
Key players: Sleepy Hollow — Devin Lopez (5-9, 165), Sr., QB/DB; Dante Ellis (5-8, 175), Sr., RB/LB; Nick Arduino (6-1, 175), Sr., WR/DB. Ossining — Justin Davidov (5-11, 180), Sr., QB; James Johnson (5-11, 160), Sr., WR/DB; Solomon White (5-7, 160), Sr., RB/DB/KR.
Key matchup: Sleepy Hollow pass defense vs. Davidov and his receivers
Outlook: Sleepy Hollow ended its longest losing streak in the rivalry’s history last year and regained the edge in the all-time series, 19-18-2. Still, Ossining would seemingly have the edge this year, especially because Lopez, who has an injured left shoulder, is not expected to play. Normally, the teams are similar: Fast, athletic and largely dependent on the ability of their quarterbacks. But the lineups could look very different. Both have qualified for the Class A playoffs and could proceed with caution despite the fact the game means so much to their communities. Whole or not, the Headless Horsemen will be forced to prove they can defend the pass after allowing six touchdowns through the air last week, but they can move the ball, too. Expect plenty of offense no matter who plays.
Stepianc (4-2) vs. Iona Prep (2-4)
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Archbishop Stepinac, White Plains
Key players: Stepinac — Damarcus Miller (6-1, 170), Jr., WR/LB; Gavin Heslop (6-1, 180), Jr., HB/CB; Brian Harris (6-1, 240), Sr., C/DL. Iona Prep — Qaadir Sheppard (6-3, 210), Jr., TE/LB; Taj Marable (6-0, 185), Jr., RB/DB; Eric DeSalvo (6-1, 230), Sr., OL/DE.
Key matchup: Iona’s defense vs. Stepinac’s team speed
Outlook: Although it seems like two teams experiencing very different seasons, in some way, not as much separates Stepinac and Iona Prep. In fact, just one game separates the teams in the CHSFL standings in their pursuit of homefield in the opening round of the playoffs. Despite an 0-3 start, Iona Prep has played better in recent weeks as juniors Marable and Stephon Smith have helped solidify the backfield. The Gaels’ strength has been their defense, but Stepinac will test it with terrific team speed. The Crusaders won their first three, but have dropped two of three, most recently an OT loss to defending league champ Chaminade. They now want to erase that memory and back up their strong start by beating Iona Prep for only the second time since 2002. The Gaels have won two straight and eight of the last nine in the series.
Prediction: Stepinac 23, Iona Prep 20. The Gaels will play good defense and stay close. They are improved since finalizing on the lineups, but I don’t think they score enough on Stepinac’s improved defense.
Clarkstown South 27, Clarkstown North 7. South’s defense has kept it to within a field goal of two of Class AA’s best the last two weeks. It should be a force against a young, struggling North team.
Ramapo 19, Spring Valley 13. The Tigers have been dangerous, but Ramapo is strong defensively and should be riding high after locking up a playoff berth last week.
Our Lady of Lourdes 26, Pleasantville 19. Can the Panthers stop the big play? Maybe. But can they score enough to win?
Somers 27, Brewster 20. Brewster has won three straight, but Somers is one of the hottest teams in the section few are talking about.
Mahopac 17, Carmel 10. Carmel has improved late in the season, but, again, Mahopac probably has Class AA’s best non-playoff team. Normally, a team could be hampered by the disappointment of missing the postseason, so this game comes at the right time for the Indians.
North Rockland 14, New Rochelle 7. This should be a pretty vanilla game. It could come down to turnovers, but it could also come down to who actually tries to win with a rematch set for the following week.
Pearl River 20, Nanuet 13. This could go either way. Seriously. Pearl River has played better and it’s high-octane offense could be risk-reward against a stout Nanuet team. But the Pirates are tested, having played the more difficult schedule. Plus, Nanuet has plenty to look forward to with the Class B playoffs scheduled to begin next week.
Arlington 28, Suffern 8
Tappan Zee 27, Lakeland 21
Mamaroneck 21, Port Chester 7
Yorktown 33, Poughkeepsie 13
John Jay 34, Fox Lane 14
Nyack 48, Yonkers 0
Woodlands 34, Albertus Magnus 18
Horace Greeley 28, Gorton 13
Putnam Valley 44, Early College 0
Saunders 19, Riverside 13
Lincoln 22, Peekskill 12
Panas 17, Mount Vernon 6
Pawling 32, Yonkers Montessori 20
Byram Hills 24, Westlake 6
Hackley 27, Irvington 14
Dobbs Ferry 27, Tuckahoe 20
Harvey 36, Forman 14
Rye Country Day 20, St. Luke’s 13
Ketcham 27, John Jay-East Fishkill 23
Rye Neck 51, Palisade Prep 0
Edgemont 41, Briarcliff/Hamilton 20
Croton-Harmon 27, Hen Hud 13
Ardsley 31, Valhalla 6
Beacon 34, Pelham 7
Bronxville 34, Haldane 14
Hastings 16, Blind Brook 12
Scarsdale 22, Eastchester 14
PICKS’ CONTEST —
Overall, after Week 6:
44 — Mr. Clean
43 — The Champ is Here
42 — Prince, Panasonic
41 — Voice of the Panthers
40 — Joey D, coolbrze
39 — Don 10545, KnightNation
38 — IonaPower, I’m No Al Bundy, dooyah
37 — oldnintheway, Cuse, aces wild, ASHS, Moe Green, HAYWOOD, Snowman, redknight
36 — Gael Force, Josh, Dragon Fever, 3rd and about 7
35 — class b observer, Chief Wild Eagle, HornetD, The Donald, Hollow Fan
34 — WingTGuy, LG#21, RIVER INDIAN, Rotten Tomato
33 — jetsstink, COACH-D-23
32 — Halle Lynhart, Football 44
31 — DutchessFBFan
30 — Matt the CHSFL Fan
29 — Jeff P., 10960
28 — Statesman, Loudmouth
27 — garnet10580
26 — Big Blue
25 — MisterFist
24 — football’s awesome
22 — HSFootballFan13
21 — I’m Sorry
19 — djardan, Rocklandfootball
18 — jppville
15 — In the Stands
14 — MurdaMark
12 — Wondering, Sect 1
6 — Stepinac #1
5 — Bulldogs, Step Rulez, Headless
9 — Don 10545
8 — Mr. Clean, The Champ is Here, Prince, Joey D, oldnintheway, Cuse, aces wild, Gael Force, class b observer, Chief Wild Eagle, MisterFist, jppville
7 — Panasonic, Voice of the Panthers, coolbrze, KnightNation, IonaPower, I’m No Al Bundy, dooyah, ASHS, Moe Green, HAYWOOD, HornetD, WingTGuy, jetsstink, Jeff P., djardan
6 — Snowman, Josh, redknight, Dragon Fever, LG#21, RIVER INDIAN, COACH-D-23, Halle Lynhart, 10960, Statesman, Loudmouth, garnet10580, Big Blue, Wondering, Stepinac #1
5 — 3rd and about 7, The Donald, Hollow Fan, Rotten Tomato, Football 44, Matt the CHSFL Fan, football’s awesome, In the Stands
DNP — DutchessFBFan, HSFootballFan13, I’m Sorry, Rocklandfootball, MurdaMark, Sect 1, Bulldogs, Step Rulez, Headlessi