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 final rundown of the 2018 season:
#1) Erasmus Hall (11-1, Last Week: #2) It was a storybook ending for the Dutchmen, who came into Tuesday's PSAL City Conference title game against South Shore looking for revenge off a 20-12 loss during the regular season. Erasmus took control early and behind two TDs on the ground from Andre Hines '20, and a spectacular TD grab from Justin Bellido '19, won its first title since 2012 with a 34-7 victory.
#2) South Shore (11-1, Last Week: #1) The Vikings went into their first title game appearance on the highest PSAL level since 1978 with an undefeated record when they took on Erasmus Hall at Yankee Stadium. From the start it was all Dutchmen as South Shore struggled to get any offensive rhythm going. Darius Thompson '19 scored the Vikings' only TD in the second quarter in a 34-7 defeat.
#3) Cardinal Hayes (5-5, Last Week: #3) Playing just five days after they fell in the CHSFL Class AAA title game, the Cardinals were able to put the sting of that defeat behind them as Sofian Massoud '20 passed for three TDs in a 46-24 Turkey Bowl victory over Mount St. Michael for a positive way to end the season. Next: Season Over.
#4) Midwood (9-2, Last Week: #4) Looking like they were in firm control in the early going as David Stephens '20 caught a 72- yard TD pass to put the Hornets up, the offense couldn't do much after that as Erasmus Hall kept them at bay and took a lead in the fourth quarter to push past Midwood 13-6 and end their season in heartbreaking fashion. Next: Season Over.
#5 Abraham Lincoln (7-5, Last Week: #5) After Tylik Bethea '19 completed a TD pass early in the second quarter to tie the PSAL City Conference semifinal against South Shore up at 6-6 things were looking up for the Railsplitters. The offense though cooled off and late in the game it was the Vikings who pulled away to end Lincoln's season, 30-12. Next: Season Over.
#6) Msgr. Farrell (5-4, Last Week: #6) The season may be over for the Lions but they still had a phenomenal year as RB Vin Wagner '19 rushed for over 1,000 yards and continues to be one of the more underrecruited players in the area right now. Farrell looked primed for another strong season a year from now. Next: Season Over.
#7) Tottenville (7-3, Last Week: #7) Not the way that the Pirates wanted the season -- a 34-12 defeat at home in the PSAL City Conference quarterfinals to Abraham Lincoln. It was a tough defeat but the positive side is that they bring back tough and bruising RB Roland Dempster '20 next season as they should again be a team to reckon with. Next: Season Over.
#8) Curtis (5-6, Last Week: #8) Holding it close most of the way, Curtis eventually fell to defeat just over a week ago now in the PSAL City Conference quarterfinals when they lost to Midwood 28-18 in a game that saw Sam Martin '22 push himself over 1,000 yards rushing on the year, an impressive feat for one of the top freshman you will find anywhere. Next: Season Over.
#9) Susan Wagner (6-5, Last Week: #9) When the Falcons matched up with South Shore in the PSAL City Conference quarterfinals not many gave them a chance against the unbeaten Brooklyn power. But Wagner held close and only gave up a defensive TD in a 7-0 loss to end what has to be considered a successful season. Next: Season Over.
#10) Canarsie (6-5, Last Week: #10) Finishing the season with 25 sacks was an impressive feat for DE Adisa Isaac '19, one of the top recruits in the country. It wasn't enough though as Canarsie fell to Erasmus Hall over a week ago now 39-0 in the PSAL City Conference quarterfinals, ending their season and Isaac's tremendous high school career. Next: Season Over.
#1) James Madison (11-1, Last Week: #1) Getting two rushing TDs early from Alex McBurnie '21 allowed James Madison to take control and run away from Eagle Academy II and claim the PSAL Bowl Conference title on Sunday 26-8. It was a magical season for the Golden Knights, who came away with the title for the first time since 2011. There are a lot more good times surely to come for this young and very talented Madison team.
#2) Fordham Prep (7-4, Last Week: #4) Even though the Rams lost to Kellenberg in the CHSFL Class AA semifinals they got to finish the season with a win as they hosted Xavier for the 96th annual Turkey Bowl between the two schools. QB Derek Bufano '19 scored a pair of TDs as Fordham Prep took the 21-13 victory. Next: Season Over.
#3) Xavier (7-5, Last Week: #2) Coming back just five days after falling to Kellenberg in the CHSFL Class AA title game, the Knights met up on Thanksgiving morning against their archrivals from Fordham Prep in the Bronx. Matt Geruso '20 had two TDs but it wasn't enough as Xavier fell 21-13 in a hard-fought game to close out their year. Next: Season Over.
#4) Eagle Academy II (8-4, Last Week: #4) After surprising Bayside in the PSAL Bowl Conference semifinals last week 15-14 to make their way to the title game on Sunday it looked like the Eagles had something special going. But James Madison stifled anything they did offensively as Eagle Academy fell 26-8 in the championship, though it surely was a season to remember for the up-and-coming program with a big future ahead.
#5) Bayside (10-1, Last Week: #1) Everything looked set for the Commodores as they rolled through the PSAL Bowl Conference this season. But after beating Eagle Academy II during the regular season their playoff matchup in the semifinals proved to be too much as Douglas Flug '19 had a TD but Bayside fell on Saturday 15-14 to end their year. Next: Season Over.