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 rankings: No. 1 Stepinac set to tussle with No. 3 Iona Prep
Week 4 rankings: Yorktown, Clarkstown South rise in rankings
Week 5 lohud football rankings
1. Stepinac (3-0) — The state’s No. 2-ranked team in Class AA may’ve already passed two of its most challenging tests of the regular season. A week after beating Iona Prep, the Crusaders beat Cardinal Hayes, last year’s CHSFL runner-up, by three touchdowns despite playing the entire second half without star Trill Williams (knee). Quarterback Michael Nicosia had his best game yet, which is a great sign for Stepinac.
2. New Rochelle (4-0) — The Huguenots will likely face their toughest game of the regular season Friday night when they go on the road to meet 4-0 Clarkstown South. They have yet to really be pushed this season, but there’s no guarantee if or when that will happen. New Rochelle might be that good relative to the Class AA competition.
3. Iona Prep (1-2) — Although the Gaels had been very solid through two weeks, they accomplished something else last Saturday — a win. Expect them to move to .500 this week, but a very challenging game awaits next weekend against Christ the King, which just upset St. Anthony’s 14-12 last week.
4. Rye (4-0) — Do not expect the Garnets to let one player beat them when they face Jack Guida and 4-0 Brewster Friday night. However, if quarterback T.J. Lavelle is still nursing the shoulder injury he suffered last week against Eastchester, Rye will need to win by running the ball and playing defense. Thing is, the Garnets are plenty good enough to do just that.
5. Yorktown (4-0) — Some Class A observers believe the Huskers are as good or better than Rye and there could be some reason. They have certainly faced the better competition so far and have played almost flawlessly against it.
6. Arlington (4-0) — With the old gauntlet of Class AA-North basically reformed, Arlington has not only survived, it has thrived. The Admirals will now have an opportunity to prove just how tough that league is when they visit 4-0 Spring Valley on Friday.
7. Clarkstown South (4-0) — Matt Jung’s ability to throw and run has definitely brought some diversity to the Vikings’ offense. They will need it against New Rochelle, which pretty much never loses to a one-dimensional team. South also has plenty of playmakers on defense and they’ll need to deliver and keep the score at a manageable number for any chance at an upset.
8. John Jay-East Fishkill (3-1) — John Jay will play Ossining this week in what could amount to a physical mismatch. The Patriots’ size and depth will likely be very difficult for one of Class AA’s smallest schools to contend with.
9. Somers (3-1) — The coaching staff decided to keep Messiah Horne off the field on defense to keep him more fresh for offense, and did it ever work. The senior back responded with over 200 yards and five touchdowns against John Jay.
10. Brewster (4-0) — The Bears will host one of their biggest regular-season games in years Friday night against 4-0 Rye. The Garnets are used to this having been to three straight Class A finals. The Brewster players will have to elevate their games, but expect a really good home crowd to help carry them.
On the bubble: Scarsdale (3-1), Spring Valley (4-0), Clarkstown North (3-1).
Class AA — 1. New Rochelle, 2. Arlington, 3. Clarkstown South, 4. John Jay-East Fishkill, 5. Scarsdale, 6. Spring Valley, 7. Clarkstown North, 8. Carmel, 9. North Rockland, 10. Port Chester.
Class A — 1. Rye, 2. Yorktown, 3. Somers, 4. Brewster, 5. Lourdes, 6. John Jay, 7. Hen Hud, 8. Tappan Zee, 9. Eastchester, 10. Pearl River.
Class B — 1. Westlake, 2. Pleasantville, 3. Valhalla, 4. Nanuet, 5. Ardsley.
Class C/D — 1. Woodlands, 2. Dobbs Ferry, 3. Bronxville, 4. Rye Neck, 5. Tuckahoe.
Catholic/Private — 1. Stepinac, 2. Iona Prep, 3. Rye Country Day, 4. Hackley, 5. Kennedy.