Leading off today:
Mike Libert and Elio Velez track the New York City high school football scene for the New York State Sportswriters Association. Here's Mike's weekly rundown of where the top teams stand at the moment:
#1) South Shore (9-0, Last Week: #1) Holding the top seed in the PSAL City Conference playoffs the Vikings had a bye this week, giving the likes of RB Zuberi Mobley '22 a chance to rest up a bit before they get back going Saturday in their quest for a first football title. Next: Saturday vs. #10 Susan Wagner (PSAL City Conference quarterfinals).
#2) Cardinal Hayes (4-4, Last Week: #4) Going out to Long Island to play at St. Anthony's in the CHSFL semifinals on Friday night, not many gave the Cardinals a chance to win. But a late TD from Sofian Massoud '20 to Micheal Escobar '19 allowed Hayes to overcome an 11-point deficit and rally for the 26-25 win to advance them to the CHSFL title game. Next: Saturday vs. Stepinac (CHSFL Class AAA Championship Game @ Mitchell Athletic Field).
#3) Erasmus Hall (8-1, Last Week: #2) Coming into the postseason playing as well as anyone, the Dutchmen had an opening-round bye after a throttling of Tottenville on the road in Staten Island to end the regular season. With weapons all over the field Erasmus is definitely one of the favorites as they get their playoff run started on Saturday. Next: Saturday vs. #9 Canarsie (PSAL City Conference quarterfinals).
#4) Midwood (8-1, Last Week: #3) With just one loss this season coming on the road by six points to Erasmus Hall just over a month ago, the Hornets have been one of the more balanced teams this season in the PSAL. A solid defense, and an offense led by star RB Tyrese Weeks '20 makes them a major playoff threat. Next: Saturday vs. #8 Curtis (PSAL City Conference quarterfinals).
#5) Tottenville (7-2, Last Week: #5) It wasn't the way that Tottenville wanted to enter the playoffs as they fell at home to Erasmus Hall just over a week ago 35-14. The loss could be just what the Pirates needed to get them motivated and back on the right track to make a big playoff run after having a first-round bye this past week. Next: Saturday vs. #7 Abraham Lincoln (PSAL City Conference quarterfinals)/
#6) Msgr. Farrell (5-4, Last Week: #6) You can't call this season a failure by any stretch as the Lions proved throughout the CHSFL season that they could hang with the very best. Vin Wagner '19 had a tremendous season in the backfield for Farrell, and even though they fell to Cardinal Hayes in the CHSFL quarterfinals it was still a season to remember. Next: Season over.
#7) Abraham Lincoln (6-4, Last Week: #8) Wanting to make a statement against JFK in the opening round of the PSAL playoffs on Saturday the Railsplitters did just that as Israel Abanikanda '20 ran for three TDs in a 48-0 victory over the Knights as Lincoln looks to be peaking at the perfect time of the year. Next: Saturday @ #5 Tottenville (PSAL City Conference quarterfinals).
#8) Curtis (5-5 Last Week: #9) The regular season may have had its ups and downs but there is no one who wants to be facing the two-time defending PSAL champions in the postseason as Campus Magnet learned on Saturday when Sam Martin '22 had a pair of TDs on the ground and Curtis rolled to an easy 35-0 PSAL opening-round victory. Next: Saturday @ #4 Midwood (PSAL City Conference quarterfinals).
#9) Canarsie (6-4, Last Week: #10) It seemed as if the Chiefs were in trouble late in the fourth quarter down by two points, but a TD run late by Lamy Constent '20 put Canarsie in front and they would make a big defensive stop in the closing seconds to hold and down Fort Hamilton 20-14 and advance to next weekend's quarterfinals. Next: Saturday @ #3 Erasmus Hall (PSAL City Conference quarterfinals)
#10) Susan Wagner (6-4, Last Week: NR) Another road winner in the opening round of the PSAL playoffs, the Falcons played with their backup QB but that didn't hinder them one bit as RB James Morse '19 ran for a pair of TDs. The defense made big plays when they needed them in a major 18-16 victory against Lehman to move on to play again. Next: Saturday @ #1 South Shore (PSAL City Conference quarterfinals).
1) Bayside (9-0, Last Week: #1) With one of the more potent offenses in all of New York City football this season the Commodores are the clear favorites in the PSAL right now as QB Douglas Flug has been doing a great job spreading the ball around through the air as he has five solid WR threats plus a ground game that continues to improve week after week. Next: Saturday vs. McKee/Staten Island Tech (PSAL Bowl Conference quarterfinals).
2) Xavier (7-3, Last Week: #4) With it being a defensive battle most of the way it was an Anthony Bruno '20 rushing TD late in the third quarter that made the difference for the Knights as Xavier went on the road on Sunday and knocked off Holy Trinity 7-0 to push them into next weekend's CHSFL title game. Next: Saturday vs. Kellenberg (CHSFL Class AA championship game @ Mitchel Athletic Complex).
3) James Madison (8-1, Last Week: #2) A team with major championship potential, the Golden Knights earned an opening-round PSAL playoff bye which allowed them to rest up some nagging injuries in their quest for a title. Maurace Morris '19 has had a great season under center for Madison and his right arm and his legs will determine just how far the Golden Knights go. Next: Saturday vs. #10 Lafayette (PSAL Bowl Conference quarterfinals).
4) Fordham Prep (6-4 Last Week: #3) It's never easy to go on the road in CHSFL play but to head out to Long Island to take on unbeaten Kellenberg in the semifinals was a very difficult task. Fordham Prep would go up 3-0 but after that