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) Tottenville (8-1)
Recap: Much in the same way they knock offed Erasmus Hall on the road, Tottenville was able to score on a 5-yard TD pass from Anthony Pucciarelli to Nick Baggs with 17 seconds left to sneak out with a 40-36 victory on Friday afternoon on the road in the St. George section of Staten Island against their archrivals from Curtis. It was a win that also sealed the No. 1 seed in the upcoming PSAL City Playoffs to begin in a couple weeks time. Next: Friday vs. South Shore.
2) Erasmus Hall (7-2)
Recap: When the offense is clicking the way it was on Friday to the tune of three TD runs from Boston College-bound Andre Hines, and when the defense is making life miserable for the opposition the way it was the Dutchmen can look unbeatable as they did in a 42-0 victory over a talented Midwood team. Combining for seven sacks on the defense, E-Hall was dominant in all phases as they come together down the stretch of the regular season. Next: Thursday vs. #4 Curtis
3) Christ the King (7-2)
Recap: After a very easy win over Kellenberg to close out the regular season, the playoffs started for the Royals Saturday night when they hosted Msgr. Farrell in a CHSFL AAA Quarterfinal matchup. It was a struggle at times for the offense to get going, but much as it did the first time these two teams met up it was Noah Bodden making the plays and passes when he needed them most to help Christ the King to a 28-20 win. Next: Saturday @ Archbishop Stepinac (CHSFL AAA Semifinals)
4) Curtis (7-2)
Recap: Even with a massive performance from RB Sam Martin who rushed for 3 TD's, caught another, and ran a kickoff return back for a 5th, the Warriors didn't do enough as Tottenville on Friday afternoon was able to spoil the Curtis homecoming game by knocking them off 40-36 in a game that saw the lead trade hands multiple times before a TD with 17 seconds left ultimately sealed the deal for the Pirates in an instant PSAL classic. Next: Thursday @ #2 Erasmus Hall.
5) Cardinal Hayes (5-4)
Recap: QB Henry Belin had all day to throw in the pocket and would ring up 5 TD passes to make easy work of St. Anthony's at home on Saturday in the CHSFL AAA Quarterfinals with a 61-14 victory. It wasn't just Belin though as WR Kuno Mendez caught a pair of those TD's while Tafari Blackstock was nearly unstoppable in the backfield as the Cardinals easily cruised in this one to the victory. Next: Saturday @ Iona Prep (CHSFL AAA Semifinals).
6) Abraham Lincoln (5-4)
Recap: Another team who looks to be coming together at exactly the right time, the Railspitters hosted a completely overmatched Fort Hamilton team on Friday and on just 7 carries it was RB Israel Abanikanda who ran for 167 yards and 3 TD's in a 56-0 blowout win. Jahzair Hubbard was able to throw for 151 yards and a pair of TD's as well for Lincoln who are one of the more balanced offensive attacks right now in New York City. Next: Friday vs. #7 Midwood.
7) Midwood (6-3)
Recap: Nothing went right as no one on the Hornets was able to get anything going on Friday in Midwood's road game at Erasmus Hall. For as good as the duo of David Stephens and Zade Edwards have been all season long, the Dutchmen were able to hold the Hornets to under 150 yards of total offense in what was a loss that means a big game is coming up this Friday to get Midwood hopefully back on the right track before playoff time begins. Next: Friday @ #6 Abraham Lincoln.
8) Lehman (6-2)
Recap: Held scoreless a week ago against one of New York City's best in Erasmus Hall, the Lions got a bit easier matchup this past Saturday night when they took on their rivals from Harry Truman. Dante Nelson had 2 TD passes with one more coming on the ground for Lehman as they were able to go up 28-0 at the half and cruise on home after that for a 35-6 victory that again cemented the Lions as a team to watch heading into the last week of the regular season. Next: Friday vs. #9 JFK.
9) JFK (7-2)
Recap: Hosting Campus Magnet on Friday evening was a great opportunity for the Knights to get back to playing JFK football. That's exactly what happened as well as Karamogo Sylla who has been so strong on the ground all season long was able to go for 138 yards and 3 TD's in what would be a 30-0 victory for the Knights over the Bulldogs. Chaze Milton had a TD in the air as well as John F. Kennedy will look to climb up the poll next week with a big All-Bronx matchup set for this Friday. Next: Friday @ #8 Lehman.
10) Susan Wagner (4-4)
Recap: For the first time this season we welcome the Falcons into the Top 10 as they were able to shutout New Dorp on Friday night 26-0 to get to .500 on the season and move their way into the #10 spot. QB Joe Thorpe used his legs to score 3 rushing TD's for Wagner as he had 147 yards on 11 carries to lead the way for the Falcons in the victory. It was the Susan Wagner's second shutout of the season as well as they look to be close to locking up a playoff berth with a win next week. Next: Saturday vs. Boys & Girls.
1) New Utrecht (9-0)
Recap: Jordan Moran had himself quite the day for the Utes as the signal caller was able to run one in on the ground and throw another TD in the air as he and RB Michael Alexis did most of their damage early getting out to a 26-0 lead at halftime over Bayside and cruising home the rest of the way for a 33-0 victory to earn New Utrecht a perfect regular season mark and give them the #1 seed for the upcoming PSAL Bowl Division playoffs. Next: BYE.
2) Moore Catholic (7-1)
Recap: Because they finished in one of the top two spots in the CHSFL AA-2 Division the Mavericks earned themselves a week off this past weekend with a bye to give them a bit of a break heading into the playoff run here. Justin Lacks has proven himself all season long to be among NYC's top running backs, while first year QB Nick Heineman has been a pleasant surprise under center giving Moore Catholic everything they could've asked for in what's been a very special season to date. Next: Saturday vs. St. John the Baptist (CHSFL AA-2 Semifinals).
3) James Madison (8-1)
Recap: Not anywhere near the prettiest game that the Golden Knights have played as of late but sometimes you have to win games where you aren't playing your best. That was certainly the situation on Sunday as Madison went on