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We couldn’t ignore Brooklyn’s lesser-known – and underrated – programs, Boys & Girls and Grady, any longer. While neither team knocked off an elite opponent this weekend, their 5-2 records in the second toughest borough speak more than loudly enough. Two established powers – JFK and Sheepshead Bay – won rivalry games to move up, too, impressing us with their toughness and fortitude. Our three undefeated teams – Curtis, Port Richmond and Fort Hamilton – remained perfect with predictably ho-hum victories.
Here's how our rankings break down:
1. Curtis (7-0) (Last Week: 1)
Here’s even more proof the Warriors are the city’s best: Even when Curtis isn’t on top of its game, when Naykwan Johnson manages just 33 yards rushing, its able to win by double figures, easily handling our No. 9 Wagner team. Of course, a defense this tough – Curtis has allowed 10 points or less five times – makes life exceedingly easy.
Next: @ Midwood
2. Port Richmond (7-0) (2)
There hasn’t been a PSAL team – the 2005-06 Fort Hamilton Tigers included – in recent memory that had this many dangerous threats. Not only do the Red Raiders possess arguably the PSAL’s top back in Torian Phillips, one of the best receivers in Zamel Johnson and an elite quarterback in Jeremy Ramos, but tight end Sean Johnson is perhaps the best at his position, too.
Next: No. 9 Wagner
3. Kennedy (6-1) (5)
We greatly underestimated the Knights. We overlooked their toughness and poise, their dominant offensive line and stingy defense. We also didn’t know JFK had this many dynamic offensive weapons to hand the ball to.
4. Fort Hamilton (7-0) (3)
It isn’t the Tigers’ fault this has been a down year for so many of their opponents, from South Shore to Grand Street Campus. Fort Hamilton doesn’t drop a spot because of anything it has done, but more what JFK did in its emotional win over Clinton.
Next: Erasmus Hall
5. Sheepshead Bay (5-2) (8)
There were plenty of reasons the Sharks were dubbed a city championship contender in September. We saw plenty of them Saturday, when Sheepshead finally got that statement victory it has been looking for, holding rival Canarsie to just six points. Running back Ayo Isijola and Rutgers-bound defensive end Andre Civil are two of the best players at their position, and they very much looked the part against the Chiefs. After three straight wins, Fred Snyder’s kids are headed in the right direction just in time.
Next: No. 7 Boys & Girls
6. New Dorp (4-3) (7)
That must’ve been a fun sideline for the Central Cougars. After consecutive tough losses to No. 1 Curtis and No. 2 Port Richmond, ND got to leave the Island, always a good thing this season, and put up 48 on James Madison. Chris App’s program, led by accurate senior quarterback Mirjan Popovic, sure can compile points in bunches.
7. Boys & Girls (5-2) (NR)
When JFK coach Alex Vega complements your program – as he did following the Knights’ tough 26-20 Week 5 overtime victory – you must be doing something right. Like Kennedy, Barry O’Connor’s Kangaroos are built on their smothering defense and punishing ground attack. There isn’t a better one-two punch in the city than seniors Kadeem Cousar and Khalif Osson, who have combined for 2,098 and eight touchdowns.
Next: @ No. 8 Sheepshead Bay
8. Clinton (5-2) (4)
There is no doubt the Governors came up short against bitter rival Kennedy, failing to get key third-down stops and making the big play on offense. But such a loss can also help a team learning how to play the big game. It’s not like they were blown out anyway. Clinton needs to build on success, not shoot itself in the foot. Luckily for the Govs, their chance for retribution will come once the postseason begins.
9. Tottenville (4-3) (9)
It doesn’t pay to hail from Staten Island. Just as Tottenville was starting to click, the Pirates faced No. 1 Curtis and No. 2 Port Richmond in as many weeks. Suddenly, Jim Munson’s club is reeling. No surprise there. And now, in dire strats, No. 6. New Dorp, almost as explosive as PR, is waiting in the wings. Oh, brother.
Next: No. 2 Port Richmond
10. Grady (5-2) (NR)
Does the name Ikeem Williams sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not alone if it eludes you. But it shouldn’t for too long. The shifty senior is among the league leaders in every rushing category, but among the city’s other top backs – No. 1 Curtis’s Naykwan Johnson and No. 2 PR’s Torian Philips – he is the most consistent. With 963 rushing yards and 12 TDs, Williams is nearing his third consecutive 1,000-yard season and is the leader of the 5-2 Falcons.
Next: @ Canarsie
New: Boys & Girls (5-2) and Grady (5-2)
Dropped out: Tottenville (4-3) and Canarsie (4-3)
On the bubble: Bayside (5-2), Campus Magnet (4-3), Flushing (6-1), Canarsie (4-3), Tottenville (4-3) and Beach Channel (6-1)
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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