With the pressure on, “The Voice of the Panthers” delivered, posting a 9-2 mark to enter the final week of our contest in first place, one ahead of defending champ “Prince.” It’s essentially a two-man race with third place “The Champ is Here” four off the lead with just five games remaining.
The performance of the week belonged to “Loudmouth,” who went 10-1. How dominant was that? Well, only four others had eight right and just our leader hit on nine games.
I had seven right and now find myself a robust 13 games out of first.
Josh’s Picks –
Top 10: 55-38 (7-4 last week)
Overall: 257-79 (22-11 last week)
With just five games remaining locally, we’ll pick all five this week. It’s the final week of this season’s picks’ contest. I’ll post the final results early next week.
Good luck to all those involved. And yes, Prince, that even includes you.
THE FINAL FIVE
1 p.m. at Kingswood-Oxford: Kingswood-Oxford 34, Rye Country Day 22. The Wildcats face one of Connecticut’s highest-powered teams, one that averages over 40 points per game. That would be tough enough, but their without their No. 2 option on offense, Tyler Miller, who is out for the year. Under those circumstances, it’s tough to imagine them going on the road and beating a good team that has a league title to play for.
Class D championship, 12 p.m. at Mahopac High School: Tuckahoe 26, Haldane 6. John D’Arco is nothing if not honest, and he believes this year’s Tuckahoe team is a lot better than its .500 record may indicate. Remember, his Tigers lost all four games against the four playoff teams in Class C, all of which were state-ranked at some point this season. Their defense has been tested and will prove it by quieting Haldane.
Class AA championship, 3:30 p.m. at Mahopac High School: North Rockland 21, White Plains 14. As I’ve said earlier this week, I was convinced by 4:30 Saturday afternoon last week that I would pick North Rockland. Then White Plains went out and basically played a perfect game to dispatch of John Jay. The Tigers not only won, but they looked championship caliber offensively and defensively. I think some of their offensive weapons will prove to be a tough matchup for North Rockland, particularly big Lukas Repetti at tight end. But North Rockland’s strong defensive front will again be the dominant force in the game. That group is capable of containing QB Cameron Crabbe, who ignites everything White Plains does. If the Red Raiders protect the ball enough, they will win.
Class A championship, 7 p.m. at Mahopac High School: Rye 28, Somers 21. A few people I know and trust like Somers to win, and that makes sense. The Tuskers are healthier and had as good a chance as anyone to beat Rye this year. But I think the Garnets are better than they were in Week 2. The same can be said for Somers, but Rye’s “A game” is just a touch better. As long as a reconfigured offensive line can protect the quarterback and open up running lanes for Shane O’Malley, the Garnets should have just enough to win. You also can’t overlook the fact that they are better built to win playing from behind than Somers, a great running and defensive team but one that isn’t best served falling behind early.
CHSFL AAA quarterfinal, 1 p.m. at Stepinac: Iona Prep 24, Stepinac 21. This is the toughest pick of the week. Iona Prep dominated late in its last meeting with Stepinac and has been in command of the rivalry for years. If the Gaels were at full strength, you almost have to pick them. But junior Stephon Smith — the best player on the field last time — has battled a knee injury and was ineffective in last week’s loss vs. Farrell. The team’s other two main backs Nick D’Angelo and Taj Marable are also injured, and they’re not alone. Vic Quirolo isn’t sure who will play, which has complicated Iona’s preparation this week. But I just can’t pick against the Gaels, who always seem to find a way to elevate their game on Stepinac’s home field.
PICKS CONTEST —
Overall, after Week 9:
68 — Voice of the Panthers
67 — Prince
64 — The Champ is Here
63 — KnightNation
62 — Don 10545, coolbrze
61 — Cuse, IonaPower, oldnintheway
60 — Panasonic
59 — HAYWOOD, I’m No Al Bundy, Moe Green
58 — ASHS, The Donald, Snowman
57 — clas b observer, Dragon Fever, dooyah, LG#21
56 — jetsstink, Chief Wild Eagle
55 — Gael Force, redknight, Joey D, WingTGuy, Josh
54 — 3rd and about 7, Halle Lynhart, Loudmouth
53 — COACH-D-23
51 — Mr. Clean, Football 44
50 — RIVER INDIAN
49 — Matt the CHSFL Fan, garnet10580
48 — Big Blue
47 — 10960
46 — Statesman
39 — Rotten Tomato, jppville, djardan
38 — football’s awesome
37 — aces wild
35 — HornetD, Hollow Fan
34 — Jeff P.
31 — Mister Fist, DutchessFBFan
22 — HSFootballFan13
21 — I’m Sorry
19 — In the Stands, RocklandFootball
14 — MurdaMark
12 — Wondering, Sect 1
8 — Nydude2473
7 — George
6 — Stepinac #1
5 — Bulldogs, Step Rulez, Headless
10 — Loudmouth
9 — Voice of the Panthers
8 — oldnintheway, Panasonic, Moe Green, Big Blue
7 — Prince, KnightNation, Don10545, coolbrze, Cuse, IonaPower, HAYWOOOD, I’m No Al Bundy, Snowman, LG#21, jetsstink, Chief Wild Eagle, WingTGuy, Josh, Football44, garnet10580, 10960, George
6 — The Champ is Here, class b observer, Dragon Fever, dooyah, Joey D, Halle Lynhart, RIVER INDIAN, djardan
5 — The Donald, Matt the CHSFL Fan, Statesman, jppville, Jeff P.
4 — ASHS, Gael Force, redknight, 3rd and about 7, COACH-D-23
DNP — Mr. Clean, Rotten Tomato, football’s awesome, aces wild, HornetD, Hollow Fan, MisterFist, DutchessFBFan, HSFootballFan13, I’m Sorry, In the Stands, Rocklandfootball, MurdaMark, Wondering, Sect 1, NYdude2473, Stepinac #1, Bulldogs, Step Rulez, Headless