Each week, football writer Josh Thomson will give his opinion on the best high school football teams playing in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties. Last week’s slate was perhaps the best of the regular season, but the favorites dominated. Defending champs Stepinac (CHSFL AAA), John Jay-East Fishkill (Class AA) and Rye (Class A) all won again, each defeating last year’s runner-up.
Those teams are among those well inside this week’s rankings of the area’s Top 10 teams.
No. 2 New Rochelle will travel to No. 4 Arlington Friday and No. 3 John Jay will visit No. 7 Scarsdale in two of the most important games of the week. In Class B, top-ranked Nanuet hosts No. 3 Westlake.
Here are the rest of the Top 10 teams, followed by the best of the best in each class:
Week 4 lohud football rankings
Top 10 overall
1. Stepinac (2-0) – What Stepinac accomplished last week left little doubt that it was the area’s top team. In fact, right now the Crusaders are second in the state to defending Catholic state champ Canisius and deservedly so after routing two state-ranked opponents.
2. New Rochelle (3-0) – After grinding out two wins, New Rochelle showed signs of improvement, shutting out North Rockland 33-0. The Huguenots have an opportunity to avenge last year’s semifinal loss to Arlington, but will need to win on the road this week to do it.
3. John Jay-East Fishkiil (2-1) – John Jay proved it was still Dutchess County’s best with last week’s win over Arlington in a rematch of last year’s Class AA final.
4. Arlington (2-1) – Losing to John Jay, at John Jay, is no reason to fret if you’re Arlington. The Admirals have a chance to prove they are among the best this week against New Rochelle.
5. Clarkstown North (3-0) – The Rams should move to 4-0 this week, playing against a hobbled Mamaroneck team. If they can remain unbeaten, they will head to New Rochelle next Friday night on a roll.
6. Iona Prep (0-2) – It was certainly a tale of two halves for the Gaels. They were within a point of Stepinac at the half and had been pretty stout defensively despite missing four starters. The second half was a different story and it won’t get any easier with a homecoming date against dangerous Cardinal Hayes on Saturday.
7. Scarsdale (2-1) – The Raiders have moved the ball against everyone, especially during their second half comeback against White Plains last week. They’ll have to defend this week if they want to upset the defending champ, John Jay.
8. Rye (3-0) – Yorktown has a dynamic offense, but it sure didn’t look like it last week against Rye’s attacking defense. If the offense can provide steady production, the Garnets will be tough all season.
9. Carmel (3-0) – It’s been a few years since the Rams made this kind of a statement. They can thank the offense, which has already racked up 120 points through three games.
10. Yorktown (2-1) – The ‘Huskers will need to prove they can run the ball effectively if (when?) they have a rematch with Rye. This week should be an easier-than-expected test against rival Somers, which enters the game severely hampered by injuries.
On the bubble: Mahopac (1-2).
Class AA – 1. New Rochelle, 2. John Jay-East Fishkill, 3. Arlington, 4. Clarkstown North, 5. Scarsdale, 6. Carmel, 7. Mahopac, 8. North Rockland, 9. Ketcham, 10. Clarkstown South.
Class A – 1. Rye, 2. Yorktown, 3. Lourdes, 4. Eastchester, 5. Nyack, 6. Brewster, 9. Tappan Zee, 8. John Jay, 9. Somers, 10. Sleepy Hollow.
Class B – 1. Nanuet, 2. Ardsley, 3. Westlake, 4. Putnam Valley, 5. Irvington.
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. Kennedy.