Well, this should be fun. Have at it…
Josh’s picks —
Top 10: 7-3 (30-10 total)
Overall: 30-8 (114-33 total)
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Horace Greeley (3-1) vs. Yorktown (4-0)
When: Thursday, 4 p.m.
Where: Horace Greeley High School
Key players: Horace Greeley — Cameron Ciero (6-1, 185), Sr., QB/DB; Connor Schinderman (6-4, 235), Sr., TE/DE; Bo Phillips (5-11, 175), Sr., DB. Yorktown — Nick Santavicca (5-7, 165), Jr., RB/DB; Ryan Baker (5-8, 155), Sr., QB; Logan Peters (6-2, 235), Sr., OL/DL.
Outlook: The game would be good on its own, but there are two interesting wrinkles to this matchup. First, Horace Greeley coach Tim Sullivan is a guidance counselor at Yorktown, which pits his team against some of his current students. Second, while the game is a barometer for two teams with playoff aspirations, it is a non-league game, meaning it won’t count toward playoff qualification. That leaves the coaches in a bind. Will they play their players 100 percent and risk injury? That remains to be seen.
Prediction: Yorktown 27, Greeley 20. The coaches probably don’t want a smashmouth game that goes to the wire. Unfortunately, I kind of think that’s what they’ll get.
Clarsktown North (2-2) vs. Clarkstown South (2-2)
When: Thursday, 6 p.m.
Where: Clarkstown North High School
Key players: Clarkstown North — Steven Haber (5-10, 180), Sr., RB/S; James Valle (5-10, 200), Sr., OL/LB; Michael Porco (5-9, 165), Jr., RB. Clarkstown South — Jong Mutala (5-9, 170), Sr., RB/CB; Brendan Cioffi (6-0, 180), Sr., RB/LB; Michael Barron (5-11, 190), Sr., FB/LB.
Outlook: South has won four straight Supervisor’s Cups and leads the all-time series 27-14. Could this be the year that streak ends? Clarkstown North has played better than its record would indicate, losing its two games to New Rochelle and Scarsdale, which are both unbeaten. South has had similar luck, losing to unbeaten Mamaroneck and one-loss Arlington. Both sides have already dealt with their share of injuries, but the rivalry should supercede that. This is one of the section’s best. Both teams will be hungry regardless of who is on the field.
Prediction: Clarkstown North 17, Clarkstown South 13. The streak ends Thursday night. I think the Rams have played a little better so far and will prove it. I think South will have trouble getting the ball in the end zone.
Iona Prep (3-1) vs. Stepinac (4-0)
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Iona Prep
Key players: Iona Prep — Qaadir Sheppard (6-4, 239), Sr., TE/DE; Robert Madison (6-3, 196), Sr., QB; Brian Thompson (6-3, 195), Sr., WR/CB. Stepinac — Gavin Heslop (6-1, 175), Sr., HB/CB; Damarcus Miller (6-1, 180), Sr., WR/LB; Brandon Coleman (5-10, 160), Sr., QB.
Outlook: This could be the best game between two teams in the area all year. Stepinac enters ranked No. 2 in the state. Iona Prep is No. 19, but probably deserves to be higher. They are arguably the two best teams in the area (with New Rochelle a possible exception). Stepinac has outscored opponents by an average of 44-6. Its defense has been terrific, led by Heslop, Miller and linebacker Daniel Negron. That speedy group will be tasked with slowing down Madison, who, after missing three weeks due to injury, returned to throw for 369 yards and five touchdowns last week against Mount St. Michael. Stepinac will have to prove it can slow down Sheppard, the area’s top recruit, who caught four of those Madison touchdowns. Likewise, Stepinac has a bevy of game-breaking weapons, led by Coleman. If he and the Crusaders can move the ball consistently, they will be tough to beat.
Prediction: Iona Prep 21, Stepinac 17. Well, if you’re a Stepinac fan, this is probably a good sign. I have a habit of choosing the wrong side whenever these teams meet. Having said that, I can definitely see a very strong case for both sides. Stepinac has played outstanding so far, and the defense is better than it has been in years. However, Iona and Vic Quirolo have proven over the years that they hold the upper hand in the rivalry. Is this the year that changes? Maybe, but Stepinac still needs to prove it can move the ball consistently in big games. Iona is very talented in its own right. I think the Gaels have been tested so far and are ready for another big performance.
THE SUPER SEVEN
Tappan Zee 20, Pearl River 13. TZ is a little too strong up front to be denied.
Arlington 27, Mamaroneck 20. Sounds like Alex Parkinson will be out. If so, that leaves the Tigers without a two-way player it needs to beat a team of Arlington’s caliber.
Sleepy Hollow 33, Harrison 21. I expect a big effort from Harrison, arguably with its season on the line. I just don’t know if the defense can stop Sleepy.
John Jay 41, Beacon 13. John Jay is a major step up in competition for unbeaten Beacon.
Rye Neck 26, Tuckahoe 12. There’s no shame in losing to a top Class C team, and I’m not sure Tuckahoe can quite compete with hungry Rye Neck off a loss.
Rye 34, Byram Hills 21. Rye can obviously throw it, but Byram is no slouch. Expect more aerodynamics from the Garnets out of necessity.
Ardsley 20, Pleasantville 12. Offense vs. defense. If Ardsley’s going to compete for a title, now is when it turns the corner toward contention.
Dobbs Ferry 39, Hastings 6
North Rockland 28, Ramapo 6
Scarsdale 34, Port Chester 13
Carmel 27, Mount Vernon 7
Brewster 22, Spring Valley 13
Westlake 33, Edgemont 20
Nanuet 14, Irvington 7
Woodlands 34, Yonkers Montessori 13
Blind Brook 20, Haldane 19
Palisade Prep 22, Riverside 14
Lincoln 41, Yonkers 6
Gorton 38, Roosevelt 20
Dalton 16, Harvey 14
Bronxville 42, Valhalla 0
New Rochelle 35, Ossining 7
Panas 29, Pelahm 6
Nyack 34, Hen Hud 10
John Jay-East Fishkill 35, Fox Lane 7
Mahopac 41, Ketcham 7
Lakeland 29, Putnam Valley 13
Briarcliff/Hamilton 22, Albertus Magnus 13
White Plains 21, Suffern 13
Cardinal Spellman 32, Kennedy 6
Somers 44, Eastchester 13
Rye Country Day 20, Hopkins 14
Lourdes 40, Croton-Harmon 7
Kellenberg 20, Hackley 13