Alex Brasky | @BataviasBestHS
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
Here is the first edition of my 2018 HS Football Regular Season Power Rankings:
1. Batavia (2-0) –
Batavia has looked strong through their first two wins, over Hornell and Livonia. With their two most-daunting matchups behind them the Blue Devils will finish the 2018 regular season with five more winnable games – and I expect them to go undefeated heading into the Section V Playoffs.
Alex Rood has been a huge contributor for the Batavia offense thus far, especially in Week 2 when starting RB Ray Leach missed the game due to suspension. Although Leach will likely return this week, it’s the emergence of Rood in an already potent backfield which has made the Blue Devils so great through two games.
Another big addition to the offense this year has been former WR Ethan Biscaro’s move to quarterback. Through two games Biscaro has passed for over 200 yards, completed two passing touchdowns, and rushed for two more. If he can remain a consistent contributor throughout the season it will make the Batavia offense incredibly difficult to stop.
Lastly, a big surprise for Batavia this year has been the remarkable performance of the team’s offensive line. Unsure what to expect from them during the preseason, even I had questions as to what this group would be able to do this year. However, they have silenced the doubters with their performance thus far and proved that any questions that one may have had about this unit were unwarranted.
Defensively Batavia has been steady, remaining one of the elite units in Class B largely behind the efforts of LB Josh Barber – who is also a leader on the offensive line. Although their offense has led the way thus far in 2018, it will be the strength of their defense which will allow them to push for a championship, and more this year.
Although I look for the Blue Devils to finish the year unbeaten, they may be tested vs Letchworth/Warsaw this week – a team who has hasn’t allowed a point through two weeks.
2. Alexander (2-0) –
The Trojans have rolled through their first two matchups of the season, performing well on both sides of the ball while using several different weapons which are sure to make this team difficult to stop all season long. I doubt that the Trojans will be tested during the regular season, but it remains to be seen what awaits them come Section V Playoff time.
Once again RB Chris McClinic has propelled Alexander this season, totaling 296 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns, and a kick return touchdown through his team’s first two games. McClinic will be the driving force behind what the Trojans hope is another Class D Title run.
Next to McClinic stands sophomore RB Terrez Smith, who was injured in Week 1 but returned to the field last week in a limited role. Keeping both Smith and McClinic healthy throughout the season will be a top-priority for the Trojans.
Quarterback Dylan Busch has remained a key contributor this season for Alexander as well, but has stepped up his production on the defensive side of the ball – which is much-needed due to the losses which the team suffered on ‘D’ last year. Elsewhere in that department, LB Jake Jasen has been vital to the team’s success through two weeks, and has already recorded a total of 25 tackles along with an interception.
Alexander’s depth has remained strong despite the aforementioned losses suffered due to graduation. A testament to the program’s health as a whole.
I’m expecting another easy win for the Trojans this week vs Geneseo.
3. Attica (2-0) +2
What a start for Attica this year, as they’ve now defeated perennial Class C power Bath-Haverling, and perennial Class B power Hornell – both in shutout fashion. That’s right, the Blue Devils have yet to allow a point this season heading into their Week 3 matchup with Le Roy – which I expect to be another measuring stick-type game for the Devils.
RB/DB Mason Compton has been the primary ball-carrier for the Devils this season after a 1,000-yard campaign in 2017, and has been Attica’s top-producer on defense as well. Through two weeks Compton has totaled 162 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, and has also contributed 17 total tackles – five of which have come for a loss.
Aside from Compton it’s been a long list of players contributing elsewhere for the Blue Devils, who have had seven different players score touchdowns through their first two games. Look for this team to continue to spread it around their ball-control offense while using their defense to win close games. That’s the formula for Attica.
I expect they’ll employ the same gameplan this week vs Le Roy.
4. Le Roy (1-1) –
Following an impressive victory over Avon in Week 1, I’m not quite sure what the heck happened to Le Roy in Week 2 when they fell 12-7 to a hapless Wellsville team. It will be back to the drawing board for the Knights in Week 3 as they head to Attica for what should be a difficult test.
Knights’ QB Jake Hill has been their most-important player offensively through two games, recording three total touchdowns to go with nearly 200 passing yards, and 100 rushing yards. Despite two interceptions in Week 2, his passing ability is what will decide the LR offense’s fate in each game this year.
In the running game the Knights have used a four back rotation of Kyler LaCarte, Cineque Robinson, Chase Bordonaro, and Alex Panepento. LaCarte and Robinson share the primary work and after a solid combined effort in Week 1, both struggled to find room to run in Week 2 vs the Wellsville defense.
All that being said about the LR offense, it’s been the Knights’ defense which has been the stronger unit through two games as they have allowed just 25 points.
If this team can get going again on offense, they’ll be able to return to form moving forward.
Beginning this week vs Attica.
5. York/Pavilion (1-1) +1
York/Pavilion pulled off a massive win over Bolivar-Richburg this past week after being dominated by Alexander in Week 1. The Golden Knights shutout B-R in Week 2 after giving up a 50-burger to the Trojans in their previous game, and have a number of winnable games remaining on their schedule.
York/Pavilion’s passing game has done very little through two weeks, but their running game has been potent while averaging over 200 total rushing yards per contest.
Nate Swede has been the most-effective runner for the Knights thus far, eclipsing the 100-yard mark and scoring two touchdowns in Week 2 after going for 66 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Sebastian Hackett has also done a nice job for them out of the backfield and has totaled 139 yards and a touchdown through two weeks.
However, it’s my belief that this team will have to get their passing game going if they hope to make noise down the stretch and into the postseason. Senior QB Matt McFarland is capable, and they have enough talent along the outside to up their production through the air.
Defensively for Y/P there have been a long list of contributors, especially in the team’s 10-sack performance vs B-R, but OL/DL Riley Elliott has been perhaps their most-productive player – totaling eight tackles, three sacks, and a fumble recovery through his team’s first two games.
I expect the Knights to have a good chance to win each of their next five games, including this coming week vs Perry/Mt. Morris.
6. Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen (0-2) -3
After a Sectional Championship season in 2017 there was little doubt that the Red Raiders would experience some growing pains in 2018 – and that has indeed been the case. After a tough battle with Wayland-Cohocton in Week 1, Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen was shutout by Letchworth/Warsaw in Week 2.
It may get easier for the Raiders in Week 3, however, as they face St. Mary’s (Section VI) who is 0-2 and has scored just 12 points through two weeks.
There hasn’t been much to report as far as the CMBB offense is concerned thus far this year, as they’ve managed just one offensive touchdown through two games. Leading-rusher Bryce Yockel managed over 100 yards in Week 1, but totaled only 64 yards this past weekend. If this team hopes to get things going moving forward they better get Yockel going.
St. Mary’s (VI) is a team which CMBB should beat this week.
7. Notre Dame (1-0) +1
The Irish had a bye week in Week 2, due to OA/E dropping to eight-man football, and it hurt their ability to move up in the Power Rankings this week. That being said, Notre Dame has another winnable game coming up against Cuba-Rushford this week, after earning a big win over Canisteo-Greenwood in Week 1.
Notre Dame’s Gabe MacDonald was all over the field for his team in Week 1 vs C-G and I expect the Irish to continue to look to the junior RB/LB to lead them on both sides of the ball. MacDonald totaled 210 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns in Week 1, and also added 7 tackles and an interception on defense.
Tim Klotzbach is another important player for the Irish heading into Week 3, and despite allowing C-G to intercept him three times, his ability to move the ball through the air is the difference between ND being a one-dimensional, or a two-dimensional team. I anticipate the Irish will continue to put the ball in his hands moving forward.
Look for ND to compete to win in each game the remainder of the season, perhaps with the exception of their matchup with Alexander in Week 6.
8. Pembroke (0-2) –
I was anticipating a difficult year for Pembroke in 2018 and thus far they’ve started 0-2, but it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. They’ve done a nice job competing in each of their first two games for the year.
Despite a 30-9 loss to Geneseo in Week 1 that game wasn’t as big of a blowout as the score indicated, and they made Cuba-Rushford earn a 12-point win in Week 2.
Pembroke quarterback David Colby performed admirably in defeat this past week, throwing for 142 yards while completing a touchdown pass. He did throw an interception, but if the Dragons can get further production through the air it will only help their chances.
Nick Clark has carried the mail for Pembroke thus far, but had a disappointing yards per carry average this past week – going for just 70 rushing yards on 25 carries. The Dragons’ offensive line will have to give him more room to run if they hope to win a few games this season.
a bye week in Week 3, due to Oakfield/Elba dropping to eight-man football (Pembroke plays Mynderse in Week 3). look for the Dragons to get back to work in Week 4 vs Perry/Mt. Morris.
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