With Section 1’s qualifying round here, I’m going to do something a little different this week. Instead of highlight five games, I’m going to focus on one in each class. There are only a few where I even see potential for a lower seed to upset a higher seed.
Of course, any upset would throw a wrench into next week’s seeds for the Class AA, A and B quarterfinals. Remember: Teams will be reseeded after this week. The highest remaining seed will be No. 1, the next highest No. 2 and so on. So…If No. 16 Ossining upset No. 1 New Rochelle in Class AA, the No. 2 team, John Jay, would inherit the No. 1 seed with a win. Ossining would not advance to face the 8/9 winner.
Have any questions about that? Let me know.
OK, on to the predictions. Scroll below to see all of my picks for all of this week’s games. First, have a look at our coverage plans for the weekend. And don’t be afraid to marvel at the success of yours truly (!!!) with last week’s predictions.
Class AA qualifying round: No. 12 Mamaroneck at No. 5 Carmel, 7 p.m.: Josh Thomson (@lohudinsider)
Class AA qualifying round: No. 10 North Rockland at No. 7 Clarkstown South, 7 p.m.: Mike Zacchio (@zacchio_lohud)
Class A qualifying round: No. 11 Byram Hills at No. 6 Somers, 7 p.m.: Mike Dougherty (@hoopsmbd)
Class A qualifying round: No. 16 Harrison at No. 1 Rye, 11 a.m.: Josh Thomson (@lohudinisder)
Class AA qualifying round: No. 13 White Plains at No. 4 Scarsdale, 1 p.m.: Mike Dougherty (@hoopsmbd)
St. Anthony’s at Stepinac, 1:30 p.m.: Josh Thomson (@lohudinisder)
Class A qualifying round: No. 12 Panas at No. 5 Brewster, 6 p.m.: Mike Dougherty (@hoopsmbd)
Link: Section 1 qualifying round and Week 7 schedule
Josh Thomson’s 2015 predictions –
Picks of the Week: 25-5 (4-1 last week)
Overall: 173-46-1 (34-3 last week)
Link: Week 6 predictions
Class AA playoff predictions
Game of the Week
Qualifying round: No. 12 Mamaroneck at No. 5 Carmel, Friday, 7 p.m.
Why Carmel can win: Carmel has not only had a five-win season; it looked strong in last week’s win at Fox Lane as well. The Rams have a diverse offense with three running backs, a dual threat quarterback and a pair of strong receivers in Quinn Willman and Ryan Sullivan. They will be one of the more difficult teams Mamaroneck has had to defend all season.
Why Mamaroneck can win: The Tigers are 0-6, but they have faced pretty much all of Class AA’s best. Based on preseason rankings, they faced some of the top teams…but they happened to be the best (New Rochelle, John Jay). They faced a middle-of-the-pack Clarkstown North…which also happens to be one of Class AA’s best. They were also beset at the worst times by injuries, but QB Bill Flatow (shoulder) is back and Peter Matt (ankle) might join him.
Prediction: Carmel 20, Mamaroneck 14. This is a very difficult game to forecast. It’s impossible to know not just who will play, but what condition the stars will be in if they do play. Carmel running back Kwashon Correa suffered a high-ankle sprain last week. Matt, who is a beast when healthy, has missed the last three-plus games with the same injury. They are their teams’ primary difference-makers. I’ll take Carmel because I think the Rams have players to replace Correa. If Mamaroneck wants to advance, it probably need a healthy Matt on the field.
John Jay-East Fishkill 28, Suffern 6
Mahopac 27, Horace Greeley 6
Clarkstown South 24, North Rockland 7
Arlington 22, Ketcham 13
Clarkstown North 35, Fox Lane 7
New Rochelle 40, Ossining 6
Class A playoff predictions
Game of the Week
Qualifying round: No. 16 Harrison at No. 1 Rye, Saturday, 11 a.m.
Why Rye can win: Well, because Rye is 6-0 and is the best team in Class A. Frankly, Rye has also owned Harrison, winning 12 of their last 13 meetings. One more and Rye will enter next season with a chance to even a series it once held a record of 12 games below .500.
Why Harrison can win: Harrison’s defense was terrific in last week’s game against Rye. Sure, the Huskies lost 28-14, but that was partly because they gave the Garnets some short fields to work with. If Harrison can make a few plays downfield in the passing game, it will be right there with a chance to win. That was the one thing lacking from last week’s game, and this team can’t stand toe-to-toe and outwork the Rye defense.
Prediction: Rye 34, Harrison 14. I think last weekend’s game felt closer than it was. I thought Harrison had played Rye dead even for three quarters, but the stats did not agree. Rye controlled possession more than two-to-one and had more than twice as many yards from scrimmage (382-166). And, yes, Harrison committed three costly turnovers, but Rye had a pair of them as well, including a fumble that preventing the Garnets from taking a lead into halftime. All told, I expect the rematch to tilt even more in Rye’s favor and for the defending Class A champ to move on.
Somers 38, Byram Hills 20
Yorktown 38, Beacon 13
Nyack 27, Hen Hud 14
Lourdes 34, Pearl River 13
Eastchester 40, Tappan Zee 13
Brewster 29, Panas 13
John Jay 41, Sleepy Hollow 28
Class B playoff predictions
Game of the Week
Qualifying round: No. 11 Valhalla at No. 6 Bronxville, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Why Bronxville can win: These teams have met the last two years. In 2013, Bronxville won 34-0. Last year, Bronxville won 44-6. Obviously, a lot has changed for Valhalla, but have the Vikings completely narrowed a five-touchdown gap in a single year?
Why Valhalla can win: The Vikings are 6-0 and enter the game supremely confident. Despite Bronxville playing a tougher schedule, you could also argue that Valhalla’s best win (Putnam Valley) is better than that of the Broncos.
Prediction: Bronxville 20, Valhalla 18. I think this will be a terrific game. Bronxville has played Pleasantville and Ardsley tough the last two weeks, so I like where the Broncos are headed. They may be the most physical team Valhalla has faced all season. If the Vikings win, or even have a chance, they’ll need to stand up to that challenge.
(No. 1 Nanuet d. No. 16 Palisade Prep by forfeit)
Ardsley 38, Hastings 6
Albertus Magnus 28, Blind Brook 13
Irvington 22, Edgemont 14
Putnam Valley 18, Croton 6
Westlake 40, Briarcliff/Hamilton 7
Other Week 7 games:
Peekskill 27, Pelham 19
Lakeland 13, Mount Vernon 6
Haldane 20, Pawling 7
Ramapo 19, Spring Valley 15
Iona Prep 22, Holy Cross 14
St. Dominic 20, Kennedy 13
St. Anthony’s 28, Steipnac 21
Gorton 44, Riverside 6
Saunders 27, Yonkers 7
Lincoln 26, Roosevelt 0
Newark Academy 27, Harvey 14
Rye Country Day 34, Long Island Lutheran 14
Rye Neck 20, Tuckahoe 7
Montclair Kimberly 27, Hackley 20
Have an opinion on this week’s games? Let Josh Thomson know about it on Twitter.