There is but one team from the five boros remaining in the CHSFL ‘AAA’ playoffs, which makes Xaverian the easy choice to repeat as our No. 1 team. The Clippers defeated St. Joseph by the Sea and will meet undefeated top-seed Iona Prep in the semifinals this weekend.
Here are the CHSFL rankings this week.
1. Xaverian (7-3) (Last week: 1)
It is difficult to stop Sea’s double wing offense, but the Clippers found a way Saturday. Sure, muddy field conditions thanks to a steady rain played a part, but Xaverian also had to deal with the field and were still able to muster 15 points. Gerald Mistretta, who is one of the top wide receivers in the CHSFL, had three interceptions to lead a stingy defensive effort.
Next: @ Iona Prep
2. Xavier (8-1) (2)
Xavier had flourished in the ‘AA-A’ this season, but there were questions, mostly quiet inquires about the Knights’ ability to match-up with an ‘AAA’ squad. Xavier did that, and more, beating Monsignor Farrell, 30-27, at the Lions Den. Seamus Kelly once again proved he is one of the best backs in the league, rushing for 356 yards and four touchdowns in the ‘AA’ quarterfinals.
Next: @ Holy Trinity
3. Holy Cross (5-5) (3)
The Knights promising season came to a swift and shocking end. A possible game-winning two-point conversion negated by a controversial offside call and the subsequent blocked extra point means that Chaminade, not Holy Cross, will meet seven-time defending champion St. Anthony’s in the ‘AAA’ semifinals.
Next: St. Francis Prep
4. St. Joseph by the Sea (5-4) (4)
The Vikings’ season came to an end Saturday at muddy Kings Bay in a 15-6 loss to Xaverian in the ‘AAA’ quarterfinals. Sea, which gave the Friars a run for money on Staten Island earlier this season, return two of the top running backs in the league -- Lyle McCombs and Andrew Armato.
Next: @ Mount St. Michael
5. Fordham Prep (4-6) (7)
The Rams were disappointed not to play in the ‘AAA’ playoffs, but that feeling changed when Fordham Prep defeated St. John the Baptist, 14-12, at Coffey Field. A win against top-seeded Stepinac Saturday, coupled with a Xavier win at Holy Trinity, would mean the annual Thanksgiving Day clash between the two rivals would also be for the ‘AA’ title.
Next: @ Stepinac
6. Mount St. Michael (3-7) (5)
The eighth-seeded Mountaineers hung close with undefeated Iona Prep in the ‘AAA’ quarterfinals, before ultimately falling 21-12 Saturday. Mount’s playoff dreams might have been dashed, but following a meeting with St. Joseph by the Sea this weekend, it’s the much-anticipated Thanksgiving Day game against Cardinal Hayes.
Next: St. Joseph by the Sea
7. St. Francis Prep (4-5) (6)
The Terriers gave St. Anthony’s a run for its money in South Huntington Friday night, but the Friars made the most of a few costly turnovers and hung on to win 31-14. Tristan Akong scored two touchdowns for Prep, which meets Holy Cross in a Battle of the Boulevard in name only.
Next: @ Holy Cross
8. Cardinal Hayes (3-5) (9)
It’s been two weeks since Hayes last stepped on the field. How will that affect the Cardinals, the top seed in the ‘A’ playoffs? We’ll find out Saturday when Hayes hosts Moore Catholic in the semifinals.
Next: Moore Catholic
9. Cardinal Spellman (4-5) (10)
Spellman also rested last weekend and returns to the field against Christ the King in the other ‘A’ semifinal. The teams met in Week 6, with the Falcons holding in to a 20-18 victory at home.
Next: Christ the King
10. Christ the King (4-5) (NR)
The Royals used the bye last weekend to get some much-needed rest and are healthier heading into the ‘A’ semifinals. A playoff run is just what the young Royals ordered to gain some valuable experience heading into next season.
Next: @ Cardinal Spellman
Christ the King (4-5)
St. Peter’s (6-4)
On the bubble:
St. Peter’s (4-5), Monsignor Farrell (2-8)