Congrats to our Week 8 winners, of which there were four. Unfortunately for those of us holding out hope for a late run, two of the four were “jim”, who is alone in first, and “IonaPower”, now alone in second. Those two and “dooyah” and our defending champ “Prince” all picked 10 of 12 games correct.
I am in a tie for fourth with “Step2K14” and “dooyah,” five games behind “jim” and four behind “IonaPower.” It’s pretty much an insurmountable lead at this point.
This week should be a terrific week of games, but there are only six picks to be made. Choose wisely, my friends…
Josh’s picks —
Top 10: 9-3 (60-22 total)
Overall: 29-9 (234-65 total)
THE SUPER SIX
Class AA semifinals: No. 3A Mamaroneck at No. 1A John Jay-East Fishkill, 7 p.m. — PREDICTION: Mamaroneck 34, John Jay-East Fishkill 31. I’m as shocked as you probably are. I had John Jay going to the final since the preseason, and I rarely go against my pre-tournament predictions, as I am here. Having said that, I was THAT impressed with Mamaroneck last week. This is much, much more a pro-Mamaroneck pick than an anti-John Jay pick. The Tigers really reminded me last week of last year’s White Plains team or even a little of 2012 New Rochelle. They have five or six impact players who are very, very hard to stop. I’d be a little more confident in this pick if the game was being played on a difference surface because I think Mamaroneck thrives more in space. Still, if the Tigers throw the ball like they did last week, they really can win. I don’t think John Jay will overpower them, at least not to an extreme. I liked what I saw from the front on both sides of the ball last week, and the trio of Sommer, Jackson-Allen and Parkinson is terrific in the back 7. The key will be slowing down Ryan Schumacher and the John Jay passing attack. Or, simply outscoring it.
Class A semifinals: No. 2B Sleepy Hollow at No. 1A Yorktown, 7 p.m. — PREDICTION: Yorktown 35, Sleepy Hollow 26. Each week, a little of Yorktown’s invincibility has been chipped away. Injuries to top linebackers Ryan Brandt and Mike Dedvukaj has taken a toll on the defense, which is predicated on excellent linebacker play. I still think Yorktown will have enough to win this week because I think it will move the ball. I expect Sleepy to score, too, but not quite enough. Next week? Hmmm. Might have to rethink that — and that’s if Yorktown survives here.
Class AA semifinals: No. 2A Arlington at No. 1B New Rochelle, 1:30 p.m. — PREDICTION: New Rochelle 14, Arlington 7. As I’ve said in recent weeks, Arlington is a bit of a sleeper. The Admirals played a championship-caliber opponent, but that was back in Week 1. They went on to beat a Mamaroneck team that I consider in (or approaching) that class at midseason, but Mamaroneck played without one of the section’s top players. Truthfully, I think I’m still finding out what Arlington is or isn’t capable of, and there’s no better test of that than New Rochelle. The Huguenots have developed some other options, but look for Jonathan Forrest to play and be at least part of the offense. Either way, the key for them will be defense, like always, and I don’t see Arlington scoring more than one or two TDs.
Class A semifinals: No. 2A Somers at No. 1B Rye, 7 p.m. — PREDICTION: Somers 31, Rye 21. There are two things working in Somers’ favor, in my opinion: 1. No team in Class A defends the pass better. 2. No team in Class A looked better last week. When everything works smoothly, Somers is almost machine-like. The Tuskers will hope they can operate the machine exactly like they did last year against Rye in the final: Rush and/or surround the quarterback and cover effectively downfield. As I’ve said all season, I’m not sure this Rye team is at the same level it was a year ago. I definitely think the defense will struggle to contain Somers offensively. I do expect Rye to throw the ball pretty well because I think the Garnets are better up front because they are healthy. But they’ll need some stops to win, because Somers will make a few itself.
Class B championship: No. 1 Nanuet (7-1) vs. No. 3 Our Lady of Lourdes (7-1), 3:30 p.m. — PREDICTION: Lourdes 13, Nanuet 6. The score in Week 1 was 35-14 Lourdes. Nanuet has allowed just 19 points in the seven games since and is riding a seven-game winning streak. It also has yet to play an opponent of Lourdes’ caliber during the streak. I don’t think the Warriors will roll up five touchdowns in the rematch. Nanuet’s defense has improved and the weather won’t be as conducive to an uptempo game. However, they showed last week that they can grind it out, too. Their win over Ardsley wasn’t pretty, but it was decisive. I think Lourdes will prove yet again that it can play a physical game with any team in Class B — even the biggest.
Class C championship: No. 2 Rye Neck (6-1) vs. No. 4 Woodlands (3-4), 12 p.m. — PREDICTION: Rye Neck 27, Woodlands 6. Last time the score was 34-0 Rye Neck, but that was back in Week 2. It was also Woodlands’ first game following a Week 1 bye. Woodlands has been here before and shouldn’t be intimidated, so I expect a better effort. Still, the records are what they are for a season. Sure, the Falcons will feel confident off last week’s victory over favorite Bronxville, but this particular Rye Neck team knows what it needs to do to win. And I don’t think Woodlands can stop the running attack of Dom Brescia and Jake Sevean.
Panas 20, Beacon 12
Nyack 28, John Jay 20
Lakeland 28, Pearl River 15
Suffern 19, Carmel 14
Brewster 22, Harrison 21 (OT)
Clarkstown North 21, Ramapo 6
Fox Lane 26, Ossining 20
Tappan Zee 18, Hen Hud 13
Mahopac 21, North Rockland 14
Albertus Magnus 22, Millbrook 13
Fordham Prep 42, Kennedy 8
Scarsdale 28, Horace Greeley 20
Ardsley 14, Pleasantville 6
Saunders 26, Roosevelt 13
Blind Brook 13, Briarcliff/Hamilton 7
New York Military Academy 34, Harvey 14
Peekskill 33, Yonkers 6
White Plains 26, Port Chester 12
Valhalla 12, Riverside 6
Clarkstown South 40, Mount Vernon 8
Irvington 22, Westlake 14
Ketcham 13, Spring Valley 0
Byram Hills 27, Eastchester 14
Yonkers Montessori 25, Palisade Prep 6
Iona Prep 33, Chaminade 13
Stepinac 34, Monsignor Farrell 14
King 27, Rye Country Day 14
Gorton 28, Lincoln 26