Each week, Josh Thomson will give his predictions on every high school football game in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties. That will include highlighting the five games of the week. Leave your thoughts on this week’s games in the comments, e-mail Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach Josh on Twitter @lohudinsider.
Week 7 rewind: High school football scoreboard, Oct. 14-15
Week 7 Coach of the Week: Tom Lynch, North Rockland
Week 7 Player of the Week: Mike Apostolopoulos, Iona Prep
PODCAST: Our second edition of the Lohud Sports playoff football podcast dropped on Tuesday night! If you want to hear my analysis on who will win the Class AA, A and B championships, listen to my breakdown with Leif Skodnick.
Below are my predictions on each of this week’s individual games, including the quarterfinals:
Week 8 predictions —
Class AA quarterfinals
Friday, Oct. 21
No. 7 Carmel at No. 2 New Rochelle, 5 p.m. — Carmel is one of Section 1’s hottest teams. It enters having won five straight. The Rams would’ve been a tough out against any other team in the quarterfinals, but New Rochelle is not any other team. The pick: New Rochelle 34, Carmel 13.
No. 8 North Rockland at No. 1 Arlington, 6 p.m. —Arlington will be playing for QB Austin Heck, but it will be a challenge to overcome his absence. North Rockland has definitely played better, but I’m not sure the Red Raiders are strong enough defensively to stop Arlington’s run game. The pick: Arlington 17, North Rockland 14.
No. 5 Scarsdale at No. 4 John Jay-East Fishkill, 7 p.m. — This is speed and deception vs. size and power. This might not be the best matchup for Scarsdale. If the Raiders win, it will be because they reeled off a few big plays. The pick: John Jay-East Fishkill 28, Scarsdale 21.
No. 6 Spring Valley at No. 3 Clarkstown South, 7 p.m. — Spring Valley will need to lean on its defense to beat the Vikings, who are very sound defensively and will be tough to score against. I don’t know that either team will really explode offensively, but expect South to do enough at home to win. The pick: Clarkstown South 21, Spring Valley 7.
Class A quarterfinals
Friday, Oct. 21
No. 8 Sleepy Hollow at No. 1 Yorktown, 7 p.m. — The last time these teams played, Sleepy took an early lead and pushed the Huskers right to the finish. That game no doubt caught Yorktown’s attention. The pick: Yorktown 38, Sleepy Hollow 19.
No. 7 Hen Hud at No. 2 Brewster, 7 p.m. — This game was the ultimate track meet last time, a 56-49 Brewster win. Hen Hud’s a little banged up at its skill positions and it will need to stretch the field against a bruising Brewster team. Expect the Bears to burn a little more clock and better control the pace in this rematch. The pick: Brewster 41, Hen Hud 27.
No. 6 Lourdes at No. 3 Somers, 7 p.m. — Lourdes’ late-season surge almost came to a screeching halt last week, but the defending Class A champ survived Panas 7-0. This is a big step up in competition. Somers started the season with a number of inexperienced players, but the team has really improved throughout the season around stars Messiah Horne, Matt Pires and Kevin Olifiers. The pick: Somers 28, Lourdes 20.
No. 5 Rye at No. 4 John Jay, 7 p.m. — These teams have been quite fickle this season. Both are explosive through the air and on the ground and can put up points, but I think Rye’s defense is the more solid of the two. It will get enough stops to win. The pick: Rye 34, John Jay 21.
Class B quarterfinals
Saturday, Oct. 21
No. 7 Blind Brook at No. 2 Westlake, 1:30 p.m. — Of all the quarterfinal games, Blind Brook might be the biggest underdog. Westlake knows what it wants to do and has very few secrets. For a team as good as the Wildcats, that’s a positive. The pick: Westlake 35, Blind Brook 6.
No. 6 Valhalla at No. 3 Nanuet, 1:30 p.m. — This is a very difficult game to predict. Valhalla is the more explosive team, but it will have to withstand a very physical opponent. If the Vikings can stop the run enough, they have the skill players to pull off the upset. The pick: Valhalla 22, Nanuet 21 (OT).
No. 5 Albertus Magnus at No. 4 Ardsley, 1:30 p.m. — Ardsley came so close last week, losing 13-12 on a last-second field goal. Albertus was unfortunate to have to play the rematch on the road despite winning two more games and beating Ardsley head-to-head. It’s going to be very difficult for the Falcons to beat the same team on the road twice in a week. The pick: Ardsley 21, Albertus Magnus 15.
Friday, Oct. 21
Clarkstown North 24, Ketcham 12
Mamaroneck 19, Fox Lane 14
Panas 22, Harrison 21
Beacon 18, Lakeland 13
Kennedy 29, St. Dominic’s 14
Ramapo 26, Ossining 14
Tappan Zee 14, Eastchester 7
Suffern 27, Greeley 14
White Plains 26, Mahopac 21
Putnam Valley 22, Briarcliff/Hamilton 7
Nyack 29, Lincoln 6
Palisade Prep 13, Yonkers 12
Saturday, Oct. 22
Dobbs Ferry 34, Haldane 6
Stepinac 28, St. Peter’s 20
Iona Prep 54, Xavier 21
Croton-Harmon 13, Yonkers Montessori 6
Woodlands 26, Bronxville 21
Pearl River 27, Byram Hills 13
Rye Neck 22, Tuckahoe 15
Port Chester 19, Mount Vernon 6
Hackley 42, Riverdale 24
Horace Mann 22, Harvey 7
Hamden Hall 28, Rye Country Day 20
Irvington 27, Hastings 8
Hudson River Football League
Semifinals at Glover Field in Pelham:
Pelham 33, Riverside 18
Gorton 36, Saunders 12