Leading off today:
Mike Libert tracks 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) Erasmus Hall (4-1)
Recap: For the first time this season the Dutchmen gave up points to a PSAL foe as Erasmus led 34-0 at the half and cruised to a 48-6 victory. Vincent Cajano III again controlled the game with a phenomenal performance under center while the defense was nearly perfect for the fourth game in a row as E-Hall continue to make easy work of PSAL competition. Next: Friday @ #7 Abraham Lincoln.
2) Christ the King (5-0)
Recap: In what was a sure-fire statement-making game, Noah Bodden threw for a pair of TDs while the Christ the King defense dominated the line of scrimmage and never let the Cardinal Hayes running game get going in a 39-22 victory for the Royals, who stayed unbeaten and are clearly among New York State's best. They have all the tools to make a deep postseason run. Next: Sunday vs. Archbishop Stepinac.
3) Cardinal Hayes (3-2)
Recap: Full of confidence heading into their matchup Saturday against Christ the King it was a tough game for RB Jalen Smith, who had a TD early in the second half but the offense as a whole seemed to struggle against the quick and physical Royals defense. Cardinal Hayes fell to CHSFL competition for the first time this season in a 39-22 loss to CK. Next: Saturday vs. #10 Msgr. Farrell.
4) Curtis (4-1)
Recap: It was a battle of Staten Island on Sunday afternoon as the Warriors went on the road to take on Susan Wagner. It proved to be the Sam Martin show as the sophomore RB rushed for three TDs and had 122 yards rushing. After trailing 7-0 after the opening quarter it was Curtis rolling to a 20-7 victory as they continue to roll in PSAL play. Next: Saturday vs. South Shore.
5) Tottenville (4-1)
Recap: Roland Dempster continues to be the man on the ground as the bruising RB had four TDs in total for the Pirates on Sunday as Tottenville went to Brooklyn and easily defeated Boys & Girls 42-12. It's not just the ground game that is looking good for Tottenville as the A.J. Roberts-led defense is also clicking for one of NYC's best. Next: Friday @ Canarsie.
6) Midwood (3-2)
Recap: After beginning the season by moving a number of options into the QB position the Hornets now have put David Stephens under center and are benefitting for it. His ability to read defenses and get out of the pocket was on display as he ran for 146 yards and a couple TDs as Midwood went on the road and knocked off a strong Lehman team on Saturday 24-16. Next: Friday vs. Fort Hamilton.
7) Abraham Lincoln (2-3)
Recap: When you have a performance like Israel Abanikanda's this week you ought to take a bow. He scored four TDs, two of which were on the ground, one on a TD reception and another coming on a return as the Railsplitters rolled with Abanikanda from start to finish. His dominating effort propelled them to a 50-28 victory on Friday night over JFK. Next: Friday vs. #1 Erasmus Hall.
8) Lehman (3-1)
Recap: In the first really tough game of the season for the Lions they got a solid defensive effort and led by a touchdown at the half behind the strong play from Dante Nelson, who had a rushing and throwing TD. But they were unable to hold onto the lead as down the stretch it was Midwood making the plays necessary in a 24-16 defeat of Lehman, which suffered its first loss of the season. Next: Saturday vs. Brooklyn Tech.
9) JFK (4-1)
Recap: Even though the Knights got 100-yard rushing games from Karamogo Sylla and Emmanuel Nkwocha it wasn't enough as the JFK defense struggled against Abraham Lincoln on a Friday night in Coney Island. It really wasn't until the fourth quarter when the Knights offense came alive as it was JFK's first loss of the season when they fell 50-28 to the Railsplitters. Next: Friday vs. New Dorp.
10) Msgr. Farrell (2-3)
Recap: Heading up to New Rochelle to take on one of New York's best in Iona Prep wasn't an easy task and it wasn't a great result for the Lions, who fell to the Gaels 49-13. Aaron Espinet had a 16-yard TD run in the second quarter to bring Farrell within 14-7 but that's as close as they got. The Lions will look for a better result come next Saturday evening. Next: Saturday @ #3 Cardinal Hayes.
1) New Utrecht (5-0)
Recap: Tied at 6-6 in the closing seconds, it looked like New Utrecht and Tilden were headed to OT. But Tristan Peter's picked off a pass with 10 seconds left and ran it back 30 yards for a TD to give the Utes a 12-6 victory over the Blue Devils in a thrilling end to a contest between two of the PSAL's best. Next: Saturday @ #10 Eagle Academy II.
2) Moore Catholic (4-1)
Recap: It was a 6-6 tie at the half but the second half was all Mavericks. Justin Lacks had 267 yards on 21 carried and scored three TDs, all of which came as Moore Catholic ran away from Xaverian for a dominating 36-12 victory in Brooklyn on Friday night to cement themselves as NYC's best in the CHSFL. Next: Saturday vs. Holy Trinity.
3) James Madison (4-1)
Recap: Since a Week 2 loss to our new No. 1 team (New Utrecht), it's been complete domination from the Golden Knights. That continued Friday as Madison got five TDs on the ground led by the pair from Mark Shepherd, wth QB Rickoy Riley adding 2 more passes in the air as they easily cruised past DeWitt Clinton 58-6. Next: Saturday @ East Harlem Pride.