Just like last week, I focused on one game in each class in this week’s predictions. The Section 1 playoffs — officially speaking — begin this weekend with quarterfinals in Classes AA, A and B and one semifinal in Class C.
If you missed it, in my weekly column I wrote about who I think can challenge the No. 1 seeds in each class. Find out which teams I think are best equipped to pull off the upset.
Now, here’s our coverage plan for the weekend, followed by my predictions for every game on Friday and Saturday.
Class AA quarterfinal: No. 6 Clarkstown South at No. 3 Clarkstown North, 7 p.m.: Josh Thomson (@lohudinsider)
Class A quarterfinal: No. 5 Yorktown at No. 4 Brewster, 7 p.m.: Mike Dougherty (@hoopsmbd)
Class AA quarterfinal: No. 5 Mahopac at No. 4 Scarsdale, 2 p.m..: Josh Thomson (@lohudinisder)
Class A quarterfinal: No. 7 John Jay at No. 2 Eastchester, 2:30 p.m.: Mike Dougherty (@hoopsmbd)
Link: Section 1 quarterfinals and Week 8 schedule
Josh Thomson’s 2015 predictions –
Picks of the Week: 27-6 (2-1 last week)
Overall: 205-51-1 (32-5 last week)
Link: Week 7 predictions
Class AA playoff predictions
Game of the Week
Quarterfinal: No. 6 Clarkstown South at No. 3 Clarkstown North, Friday, 7 p.m.
Why North can win: The Rams have an excellent defense and a strong, balanced running game. They are something of a throwback, but their quickness and execution are tough to contend with.
Why South can win: The Vikings have good balance. If they could somehow build an early lead and make Clarkstown North play from behind, they might hold an edge.
Prediction: Clarkstown North 21, Clarkstown South 7. Outside of New Rochelle, which has established itself as the best team in the section, the Rams have been Class AA’s most dominant team. Yes, South has won six straight, but none of those wins came against an opponent of this caliber.
New Rochelle 27, Mamaroneck 7
Scarsdale 21, Mahopac 14
John Jay-East Fishkill 29, Arlington 13
Class A playoff predictions
Game of the Week
Quarterfinal: No. 5 Yorktown at No. 4 Brewster, Friday, 7 p.m.
Why Brewster can win: We know the Bears can move the ball effectively, but their defense is probably a bit underrated. The unit played well in recent weeks against Panas and Somers. Also, don’t forget, this is a team that “held” Eastchester to just three touchdowns. Yorktown has developed complementary pieces, but the offense is still Nick Santavicca and Jose Boyer. Brewster may be good enough defensively to slow that duo down.
Why Yorktown can win: The Huskers are dynamic and can move the ball in a hurry. Establishing a passing game is key because it prevents the defense from keying exclusively on Santavicca. They want him to get the ball; they just can’t force it to him.
Prediction: Yorktown 21, Brewster 20. This should be one of the better games of the weekend. Brewster is involved, so I have a feeling it will come down to the final minutes. Don’t be surprised if one side either converts or fails to convert on a two-point conversion to decide the game. I expect it to be that close.
Rye 35, Hen Hud 7
Lourdes 28, Somers 10
Eastchester 44, John Jay 20
Class B playoff predictions
Game of the Week
Quarterfinal: No. 5 Putnam Valley at No. 4 Pleasantville, Friday, 7 p.m.
Why Pleasantville can win: Despite losing in these teams’ first meeting at Putnam Valley, Pleasantville moved the ball effectively through the air. The Panthers, who played the more difficult schedule, are fortunate to have homefield advantage in the rematch despite losing head-to-head during the regular season. That won’t hurt, but I’d also expect a better effort from the running game.
Why Putnam Valley can win: The defense held Pleasantville to just 14 yards rushing on 21 carries in their first meeting. That’s not easy to do. Frankly, the Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage against a team known to bully its opponents. If they can get a repeat performance up front, they can expect the same outcome as the 18-13 win on Oct. 10.
Prediction: Pleasantville 14, Putnam Valley 6. The first meeting was close enough that I think Pleasantville’s playoff experience will prove to be a factor. The Panthers are accustomed to winning playoff games and I expect them to find a way to win.
Nanuet 34, Irvington 0
Ardsley 20, Albertus Magnus 12
Westlake 26, Bronxville 7
Class C playoff predictions
Game of the Week
Quarterfinal: No. 3 Rye Neck at No. 2 Woodlands, 2:30 p.m.
Why Woodlands can win: In a bit of an odd circumstance, Woodlands and Rye Neck played just two weeks ago. The Falcons won 44-18 behind a big game passing and running from star Amari Bilal. With that and a strong history of winning big playoff games, the defending champ has plenty of reasons to believe.
Why Rye Neck can win: Despite the regular season defeat, Rye Neck moved the ball effectively, gaining 213 yards on the ground alone. The Panthers may need to win the turnover battle, plus a little luck, but they aren’t without hope.
Prediction: Woodlands 32, Rye Neck 14. After a week off, Woodlands should be rested and ready. If Rye Neck can’t stop Bilal — and most teams don’t — it will have trouble keeping pace.
Other Week 8 games:
Lakeland 34, Peekskill 13
Carmel 20, White Plains 13
Panas 13, Beacon 6
Valhalla 29, Roosevelt 12
Sleepy Hollow 40, Ossining 33
Tappan Zee 22, Harrison 14
Chester 27, Tuckahoe 12
Ramapo 13, Port Chester 6
Suffern 22, Nyack 13
Croton-Harmon 26, Briarcliff/Hamilton 14
Sullivan West 33, Haldane 14
Fox Lane 28, Horace Greeley 6
Yonkers Montessori 22, Pelham 14
Iona Prep 26, Chaminade 14
Nazareth 19, Kennedy 14
Stepinac 34, St. Peter’s 7
Palisade Prep 12, Yonkers 6
Spring Valley 33, Mount Vernon 13
Ketcham 14, North Rockland 10
Blind Brook 27, Hastings 6
Pearl River 22, Byram Hills 21
Horace Mann 31, Harvey 14
Hackley 34, Pennington 14
Hamden Hall 35, Rye Country Day 20
Hudson River Football League
Gorton 36, Lincoln 6
Saunders 29, Riverside 7
Have an opinion on this week’s games? Let Josh Thomson know about it on Twitter.