1. New Rochelle (1-0, Last week: 1): Considering the Huguenots are known for shaky openers, I thought Week 1 was an outstanding one for them, with the major exception of the four fumbles. Still, New Ro outgained North Rockland by 200 yards and its defense was outstanding. This team should only improve. That Week 5 game with White Plains (Oct. 9) will be special.
2. White Plains (1-0, Last week: 2): Although I didn’t see it, the Tigers systematic offensive performance in Week 1 reminded me of vintage Rye. There were times when the Garnets knew they possessed a balanced offense — capable of running and throwing — but sometimes they simply didn’t need to take a risk and throw. White Plains appeared to play that way against Suffern, using Mike Trapp and Jeff Avery to hand the ball off to a stable of backs. Both QBs can throw it, so expect the Tigers to unveil that part of their offense at some point. The first game was just a sliver of what they can do.
3. Stepinac (1-0, Last week: 4): I said last week that the Crusaders could supplant Iona as the area’s top Catholic program for this season. They did with a very solid 23-6 road win. Stepinac will face a few difficult challenges but probably not until November (the playoffs, White Plains). From now until then it’s all about staying healthy. The athletes on this team could put up 30 or 40 points every game.
4. Arlington (1-0, Last week: 5): The Admirals dispatched of Mamaroneck easily, but they are still inexperienced. They play a critical game on the road at Mahopac that screams of upset potential. Mahopac returns far more starters, will play at home and has confidence after an easy Week 1 victory.
5. Iona Prep (0-1, Last week: 3): The second-half effort from the Gaels showed just how far the still must come. It can happen, and they could meet Stepinac again, but only if key players stay healthy against a brutal schedule. Iona can plummet in the rankings quickly with a Week 2 defeat.
6. Rye (1-0, Last week: 7): Like New Ro, Rye has played some uneven openers in the past. I remember watching the Garnets struggled to a 21-9 win in the season opener at Byram Hills back in 2007. Only an INT return for a TD allowed them to breathe easy. Lo and behold, they went on to win a state title. I’d expect Rye to arrive 2-0 and much more prepared for its game against Nyack next week.
7. Harrison (1-0, Last week: NR): Along with Tuckahoe, few teams shocked us more in Week 1. It’s not that Harrison couldn’t win, it’s that it won by four TDs and the game was never really in doubt after a few minutes had passed in the second quarter. The Huskies face two straight opponents they cannot take lightly in Sleepy Hollow and Eastchester.
8. North Rockland (0-1, Last week: 9): The Red Raiders achieved enough against New Rochelle to hold their position in the rankings, but their mettle will be tested against tomorrow night. Not only will Clarkstown North likely pose a challenge, North Rockland will have had just three days to prepare and will play without star nose guard Darius Favors, who is out with a head injury.
9. John Jay-East Fishkill (1-0, Last week: NR): All it took was an impressive show against Ossining and the Tom O’Hare regime is off on the right foot. The Patriots have a chance to gain more steam this week when they host a Carmel that committed too many mistakes in last week’s loss against Fox Lane.
10. Bronxville (1-0, Last week: 10): The Broncos scored all 44 of their points in the first half of their 44-0 victory over Valhalla. The schedule should get a little harder for Bronxville but not by much. The defending Class C champ doesn’t play Tuckahoe this season.
On the bubble: Mahopac, Nyack, Horace Greeley, Poughkeepsie, Roosevelt, Scarsdale, Ketcham.