Football

No. 1 Stepinac set to tussle with No. 3 Iona Prep

Stepinac's DeVante Reid tries to avoid a tackle during his team's 48-6 victory over Iona Prep at Stepinac High School on Sept. 19, 2015.

Stepinac’s DeVante Reid tries to avoid a tackle during his team’s 48-6 victory over Iona Prep at Stepinac High School on Sept. 19, 2015.

2016 preseason rankings: Stepinac begins where it ended — No. 1 again

Week 2 rankings: After near-stumbles, Scarsdale, South remain in Top 10

Week 3 lohud football rankings

1. Stepinac (1-0) — Now that the Crusaders have opening-night jitters behind them, they’ll move on to a game fans have waited eight months to see. Although Iona Prep has dropped down to the ”AA” division and rendered this a non-league contest, the game means everything to players and coaches from both sides after the events of this offseason.

Week 2 rewind: Stepinac overcomes early mistakes to win opener

2. New Rochelle (2-0) — It’s early, but the Huguenots appear like they will be awfully hard to beat during the regular season. They travel to Scarsdale Friday night for the first time since the Raiders upset them on Dean Field in 2013.

Week 2 rewind: New Rochelle overcomes heat to pound old rival Mount Vernon

3. Iona Prep (0-1) — The Gaels were routed 48-6 at Stepinac last year, losing by a larger margin than at any point during the 53-year history of their rivalry. However, they looked more organized and dynamic during last week’s season-opening loss to Brunswick, an elite opponent. They might not be ready to win this game under former Stepinac coordinator Joe Spagnolo, but appear good enough to compete. If Iona cleans up its play on special teams and is efficient offensively, an upset isn’t out of the question.

Week 2 rewind: Iona Prep comes up short in shootout, 48-40

4. Rye (2-0) — Few opponents would’ve stayed with Rye last Saturday considering how well it played, but the rout of rival Harrison was startling in its efficiency. It proved that if the Garnets block and tackle, they’ll have the weapons to win a Class A title.

Week 2 rewind: Rye throttles Harrison to tie series for first time since ’74

5. John Jay-East Fishkill (2-0) —The Patriots withstood a very competitive Carmel team 14-9 last week to remain unbeaten, but it won’t get any easier. John Jay will venture to meet Dutchess rival Arlington (also 2-0) on Friday night.

6. Somers (2-0) — The Tuskers will travel to Yorktown this week and their newfound passing attack could be the rabbit in their hat. The combination of Kevin Olifers to Matt Pires has already hooked up for five touchdowns. The Huskers are a pretty complete team, but Rye in particular has taken advantage of their pass defense in the past. Somers will no doubt try to follow suit.

7. Yorktown (2-0) — Likewise, Somers will be tasked with proving it can hold up defensively against Yorktown’s running game, which starts with strong line play and boasts a diverse group of ball carriers. Quarterback Jose Boyer had success through the air last week. If he can repeat that, the Huskers will be tough to stop.

8. Clarkstown South (2-0) — South’s defense dominated in last week’s heat-interrupted win at North Rockland, and its Week 1 squeaker against rival Clarkstown North looks much more formidable after the Rams routed Ramapo 48-7.

9. Arlington (2-0) — Neither win — Carmel or Ketcham — proved easy, but new coach Michael Morano and his team have shown an ability to withstand fourth-quarter pressure. That could serve them well Friday against John Jay-East Fishkill in a game that’s bound to be tight.

10. Scarsdale (2-0) — The Raiders have won their two games, against Mount Vernon and Mamaroneck, by a total of three points, so they’ll have to be sharper Friday against New Rochelle. They players and coaching staff have plenty of experience against the Huguenots and will have that on their side. They shouldn’t be intimidated.

Week 2 rewind: Scarsdale holds off Mamaroneck in wet-and-wild win

On the bubble: Brewster (2-0), Ketcham (1-1), Spring Valley (2-0), Clarkstown North (1-1).

Class AA — 1. New Rochelle, 2. John Jay-East Fishkill, 3. Clarkstown South, 4. Arlington, 5. Scarsdale, 6. Ketcham, 7. Spring Valley, 8. Clarkstown North, 9. Carmel, 10. North Rockland.

Class A — 1. Rye, 2. Somers, 3. Yorktown, 4. Brewster, 5. Lourdes, 6. Hen Hud, 7. Tappan Zee, 8. Sleepy Hollow, 9. John Jay, 10. Pearl River.

Class B — 1. Westlake, 2. Nanuet, 3. Pleasantville, 4. Valhalla, 5. Ardsley.

Class C/D — 1. Woodlands, 2. Rye Neck, 3. Dobbs Ferry, 4. Bronxville, 5. Tuckahoe.

Catholic/Private — 1. Stepinac, 2. Iona Prep, 3. Rye Country Day, 4. Hackley, 5. Kennedy.

Twitter: @lohudinsider

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