After nine weeks, we enter the final week of our 2014 picks’ contest. Did that fly by or what?
With just three games left, only three people remain in the competition: “jim” is in first by two wins. He is a certainly a major favorite this week. “IonaPower” is two back, and “lg6493” is three back. Basically, they better hope Jim goes 0-3.
Congrats to “Glydino,” out Panas fan, who won Week 9. He was the only person to pick five out of the six games. (It was a tough week, right? I mean, my 2-4 was not so hot.)
Good luck to those of you still alive in the contest. And, without further ado, my picks for the last weekend of the Section 1 football season…
Josh’s picks —
Top 10: 2-4 (62-26 total)
Overall: 23-10 (255-75 total)
THE FINAL THREE
Class AA championship: No. 1A John Jay-East Fishkill vs. No. 2A Arlington, at Mahopac High School, 12 p.m. — PREDICTION: John Jay 21, Arlington 10. I don’t think the first-ever all-Dutchess final will be a dud. I expect this to be a game going into the fourth quarter. Arlington’s pass defense was so strong in last week’s upset of New Rochelle, but it will face a much more difficult challenge this week. John Jay has one of the area’s top QBs and several big-play receivers. Can the Admirals take advantage of John Jay’s pass defense? That could determine just how close this game is, or if Arlington has a chance to win it. I’m not sure either team will run for big yardage. That’s why I favor the Patriots, who are stronger in the air and stronger up front on defense.
Class D championship: No. 1 Tuckahoe vs. No. 2 Haldane, at Mahopac High School, 3:30 p.m. — PREDICTION: Tuckahoe 38, Haldane 22. Expect these teams to put points on the board. Haldane has moved the ball efficiently all season, both in wins and in losses. The Blue Devils also have an experienced group of seniors, led by Matt Balducci, Tyler Giachinta and Ryan McCollum, who have been her before. I think Haldane will be ready to play. But I still favor Tuckahoe. Remember: The Tigers have plenty of guys back, too, and they just beat Class C champ Woodlands a few weeks ago. They’ve been through a lot to get to this point and seem to be peaking a the right time.
Class A championship: No. 1A Yorktown vs. No. 1B Rye, at Mahopac High School, 7 p.m. — PREDICTION: Rye 31, Yorktown 28. I don’t normally go against my pre-tournament pick, but I liked what I saw from Rye last week. The Garnets are healthy and they are determined to win it all. Their offense will be very dangerous as long as the offensive line can create a clean pocket more often than not. Yorktown pressure Sleepy Hollow last week, so that will be reason for concern. Still, I think Rye’s ability to stop the run on defense and make big plays on offense will be the difference. Yorktown will score, but so will Rye. And I like Rye’s experience if the game is tight in the fourth quarter.
Kingswood-Oxford 33, Rye Country Day 28
Stepinac 56, Cardinal Hayes 14
Iona Prep 40, Holy Trinity 20
Dwight-Englewood 14, Harvey 13