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.
Lohud’s 2016 High School Football Preview —
Week 1 Games of the Week —
Friday, Sept. 2
Clarkstown South at Clarkstown North, 7 p.m. —Clarkstown North won its first Supervisor’s Cup since 2010 to open last season, then beat South again in the Class AA quarterfinals. North’s margin of victory in the two games was 47-8, but that was a very different team. The Rams graduated a deep and talented senior class. South has the bulk of its skill talent back on offense and defense, so it will have a decided edge in experience. Expect that to be a significant factor considering it is opening week. The pick: South 21, North 7.
Yorktown at John Jay, 7 p.m. — These teams have met the last four years. Yorktown has scored 55, 20, 27 and 51 points in those four games, winning three of them. John Jay has vowed to make some strides on defense this year and the Indians can score with anyone. I’m just not sure they’ll be able to slow down Jose Boyer and co. The pick: Yorktown 35, John Jay 20.
Lourdes at Brewster, 7 p.m. — This is an interesting game. The Dean Rotger era is over at Lourdes, the defending Section 1 Class A champ, but Brian Walsh appears to have built a program that has lasting power above and beyond any one player. And speaking of one player, Brewster has an excellent one in Jack Guida, who will move from running back to quarterback this year, but is expected to be a run-first threat. Guida has some very good linemen around him in Nick Leahy and Connor Dignan, but will the Bears have the overall depth to beat Lourdes? The Warriors might be less dynamic without Rotger, but they will still be very solid top to bottom. The pick: Lourdes 28, Brewster 20.
Saturday, Sept. 3
Harrison at Eastchester, 1:30 p.m. — This is an organic rivalry, one intensified over the years by some really good games played between the teams. Eastchester will bring a much different team into Week 1 this season with John Arcidiacono, Andrew Schultz and Antonio Rogliano all gone. Harrison appears poised to have its best season in Dom Zanot’s three years as the head coach. If so, showing it can handle an inexperienced Eastchester team on the road would be a good place to start. The pick: Harrison 28, Eastchester 7.
North Rockland at New Rochelle, 1:30 p.m. — Although these are two of Section 1’s best programs, regular-season games between North Rockland and New Rochelle are never beauty contests. That’s fine with them usually, but I think North Rockland will have a very difficult time scoring at all against the Huguenots. They have a chance to have an excellent defense because of great team speed and versatility. New Rochelle’s offense might have some hiccups so early in the year — it often does — but the defense should be game-ready. The pick: New Rochelle 21, North Rockland 0.
Other Week 1 games:
Friday, Sept. 2
Mamaroneck at White Plains, 6 p.m. — Mamaroneck 27, White Plains 14
Hastings at Valhalla, 7 p.m. — Valhalla 20, Hastings 6
Somers at Lakeland, 7 p.m. — Somers 35, Lakeland 14
Nyack at Tappan Zee, 7 p.m. — Tappan Zee 22, Nyack 13
Palisade Prep at Pelham, 7 p.m. — Pelham 13, Palisade Prep 6
John Jay-East Fishkill at Ossining, 7 p.m. — John Jay-East Fishkill 27, Ossining 13
Arlington at Carmel, 7 p.m. — Arlington 17, Carmel 14
Greeley at Spring Valley at Torne Valley Field, 7 p.m. — Spring Valley 34, Greeley 21
Ramapo at Suffern at Suffern Middle School, 7 p.m. — Suffern 18, Ramapo 13
Saturday, Sept. 3
Ardsley at Nanuet, 1:30 p.m. — Nanuet 14, Ardsley 7
Albertus Magnus at Pleasantville, 1:30 p.m. — Pleasantville 26, Albertus Magnus 13
Putnam Valley at Westlake, 1:30 p.m. — Westlake 22, Putnam Valley 7
Croton-Harmon at Irvington, 1:30 p.m. — Irvington 27, Croton-Harmon 7
Blind Brook at Yonkers Montessori, 1:30 p.m. — Blind Brook 34, YMA 6
Edgemont at Briarcliff/Hamilton, 1:30 p.m. — Briarcliff/Hamilton 21, Edgemont 13
Rye at Beacon, 1:30 p.m. — Rye 35, Beacon 14
Hen Hud at Byram Hills, 1:30 p.m. — Hen Hud 27, Byram Hills 7
Peekskill at Lincoln, 1:30 p.m. — Lincoln 33, Peekskill 19
Sleepy Hollow at Long Island Lutheran, 1:30 p.m. — Sleepy Hollow 26, Long Island Lutheran 21
Panas at Pearl River, 1:30 p.m. — Pearl River 28, Panas 20
Roosevelt vs. Riverside at Saunders HS, 1:30 p.m. — Riverside 18, Roosevelt 12
Saunders at Gorton, 1:30 p.m. — Gorton 33, Saunders 20
Mahopac at Ketcham, 1:30 p.m. — Ketcham 21, Mahopac 10
Fox Lane at Port Chester, 1:30 p.m. — Fox Lane 27, Port Chester 22
Scarsdale at Mount Vernon, 1:30 p.m. — Scarsdale 40, Mount Vernon 6
Pine Plains at Pawling, 1:30 p.m. — Pawling 12, Pine Plains 6