Back when the teams met on the opening night of the 2015 season, Clarkstown South looked inferior to Clarkstown North from the opening kickoff. North won 26-8 after rolling out to a 19-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
In some regard, the outcome was to be expected considering who the Rams had back from last season and who the Vikings didn’t. Those players will be newcomers no more when the teams meet at 7 p.m. Friday night in the Class AA quarterfinals at Clarsktown North High School.
Both teams enter the contest 6-1. The third-seeded Rams won all six of their games by two touchdowns or more and were one of the section’s most dominant teams by any standard, allowing just 41 points all season. Sixth-seeded South doesn’t quite boast the same credentials but has won all six games since that Week 1 meeting, highlighted by recent double-digits wins over Mamaroneck and North Rockland.
The Vikings’ play helped them move into the Top 10 for the first time all season. But have they improved enough to win the rematch against their rival? We are about to find out.
Week 8 lohud football rankings
Top 10 overall
1. Stepinac (6-0) – By virtue of its 49-32 win over St. Anthony’s and No. 1 Canisius’ 42-14 loss to Aquinas, Stepinac became the state’s co-No. 1 in Class AA. It is believed to be the first time the Crusaders have been ranked No. 1 in the state’s largest classification.
2. New Rochelle (7-0) – It’s doubtful the Huguenots wanted to see Mamaroneck after beating the Tigers by just a touchdown earlier this season. Still, the way New Rochelle has played, it doesn’t look like anyone’s upset victim.
3. John Jay-East Fishkiil (6-1) – The Patriots have been thriving despite a relatively thin margin of error for a team on a six-game winning streak. They are a team to watch as the competition tightens.
4. Clarkstown North (6-1) – The last time Clarkstown North beat Clarkstown South (in 2010), it lost the rematch in the playoffs — the next week, in fact.
5. Rye (7-0) – That looked a lot more like the Rye team people expected to see in the first meeting against Harrison. The best part for the Garnets is that star Chase Pratt got what amounted to a week off on offense; he carried the ball just once.
6. Scarsdale (5-2) – The Raiders showed how much they had improved since early in the season in last week’s 45-point showing against White Plains, which tested them early this season. But it’s been their defense that has really improved in recent weeks.
7. Mahopac (4-3) – Who knows if quarterback Dan Foley — who missed the first six games because of a back injury — is ready to make a real difference this week, but he will play and certainly gives the Indians a better chance to win.
8. Arlington (4-3) – Arlington probably benefited the most from Mamaroneck’s qualifying round win. The Admirals must feel they have a better chance in this week’s Class AA title game rematch than they had against New Rochelle.
9. Eastchester (7-0) – What else can you say at this point? If you want to beat the Eagles, you best be ready to score and score quickly. No one is shutting this offense down.
10. Clarkstown South (6-1) – South has won six straight. It the Vikings have improved as much as their record indicates, they should be very competitive with Clarkstown North Friday night.
On the bubble: Lourdes (5-2), Yorktown (5-2).
Class AA – 1. New Rochelle, 2. John Jay-East Fishkill, 3. Clarkstown North, 4. Scarsdale, 5. Mahopac, 6. Arlington, 7. Clarkstown South, 8. Mamaroneck, 9. Carmel, 10. Ketcham.
Class A – 1. Rye, 2. Eastchester, 3. Lourdes, 4. Yorktown, 5. Brewster, 6. Somers, 7. John Jay, 8. Pearl River, 9. Hen Hud, 10. Tappan Zee.
Class B – 1. Nanuet, 2. Westlake, 3. Ardsley, 4. Putnam Valley, 5. Pleasantville.
Class C/D – 1. Dobbs Ferry, 2. Woodlands, 3. Rye Neck, 4. Tuckahoe, 5. Haldane.
Catholic/Private – 1. Stepinac, 2. Iona Prep, 3. Hackley, 4. Rye Country Day, 5. Harvey.