Monday, November 21, 2011
Thanksgiving football mega-picks
BROCKTON (5-5) AT NO. 10 BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (7-2) Scott Barboza: I, for one, think the Boxers are back on track after last week's performance. They into the Div. 1 playoffs. Brockton, 28-20. Brendan Hall: If it takes you 10 weeks to get it together, the outlook for Week 11 ain't exactly Candy Land. Sorry, the Whalers will get in again. B-R, 21-6.
NO. 3 BC HIGH (7-3) AT NO. 5 CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (7-1) Barboza: Can't ask for anything more. The pageantry, the history, this one has it all. Talking to Knights head coach Alex Campea on Monday, he was practically giddy about this game. I still think the Eagles defense has enough to shut down A.J. Doyle and Co. Barely. BC High, 20-17. Hall: I just don't see the Knights losing this one. Not with the field being dedicated to the guy who gave Bill Hanson his job, and not with the spectre of Armani Reeves fielding punts. But it will be an instant classic. CM, 14-10.
NO. 14 LEOMINSTER (7-3) AT FITCHBURG (6-4) Barboza: This game only makes it official that the Blue Devils are back on the map in Massachusetts football. Leominster, 21-13. Hall: I'll go ahead and say it -- this is the best Thanksgiving rivalry in New England. Pure, clean, old-fashioned disdain for one another. Fitchburg has arguably the fastest player in Central Mass. in Quinton Perkins, but on this day the whole will be greater than the sum. In overtime, of course. Leominster, 30-28 (2OT).
NAUSET (7-3) AT DENNIS-YARMOUTH (10-0)
Barboza: In many ways, it would be a shame to see the Dolphins miss out on the playoffs after such a dominant regular season, but don't sleep on this Nauset team. Still think the P-Funk All Stars are playing on to the playoffs, however. D-Y, 34-27. Hall: This is going to go down to the wire, but Matt Montalto was born with fourth-quarter moxie running through his arteries. D-Y, 28-27.
NEEDHAM (7-3) AT WELLESLEY (2-8) Barboza: It's been a real season of high and lows for the Rockets, but they finish strong with a win in the nation's oldest rivalry game and roll into the D1 playoffs. Needham, 31-21. Hall: I honestly don't have a lot to say about this one. Two teams that have gone in opposite directions. The Rockets are wounded, but still roll. Needham, 30-10.
WEYMOUTH (8-2) AT WALPOLE (9-1)
Barboza: Defense reigns and this Rebels D is for real. Walpole, 14-7. Hall: Walpole left five in the box and rung up five sacks on spread-happy Natick. Wildcats got their work cut out, even with one of the most dangerous receivers in the state. Walpole, 24-20.
EAST BOSTON (6-3) AT SOUTH BOSTON (6-4) Barboza: Hey, the Jets retired Jermaine Wiggins' jersey this year, maybe the Super Bowl magic will rub off. Eastie, 28-20. Hall: James Toles is the best running back in the city league. And what the heck, I'm Irish, so... Southie, 23-16.
BOSTON LATIN (4-6) VS. BOSTON ENGLISH (1-9) Hall: In case you missed it, last week on FOX 25, Kristine Leahy asked Scott and I what we thought of the "Black and Purple" music video the Latin kids created on YouTube. I told her I'm a Dr. Dre fan, but I'll let it slide. Latin, 30-10. Barboza: It's a tough act to follow. I'm going Black and Purple. Latin, 28-7.
FRAMINGHAM (6-4) AT NATICK (8-2) Barboza: I'm still shocked Mike Reiss went against his Flyers. I guess that means it's OK for me to go with the Red & Blue. Natick, 31-17. Hall: I don't know what to make of Framingham's 50-0 loss to Weymouth two weeks ago, but I do know that the high-powered Red and Blue won't be any shorter a task. Natick, 28-14.
NO. 20 MANSFIELD (8-2) AT FOXBOROUGH (4-6) Hall: Great Woods versus Gillette Stadium. I'm pulling for a traffic jam at the top, because it wouldn't be a football season in Eastern Mass. without a crazy tiebreaker. I yearn for the days when this was the premier rivalry in the state, year in and out. Mansfield, 23-0. Barboza: Everybody at home pull out you commemorative Hockomock League tiebreaker rubric and wait for the ice cream headache to ensue. Mansfield, 24-10.
LYNN CLASSICAL (4-5) AT NO. 23 LYNN ENGLISH (8-2) Barboza: The Bulldogs continue their roll into postseason play. English, 27-7. Hall: Jermaine Kelly burst onto the scene with a 6-TD dismantling of Gloucester opening weekend, and I see him closing his career strong. English, 33-17.
NORTH ANDOVER (8-2) AT MASCONOMET (6-4) Hall: Two Walshes are better than one. North Andover, 21-10. Barboza: Sounds like a Springsteen ditty. North Andover, 28-26.
NO. 22 SWAMPSCOTT (9-1) AT MARBLEHEAD (8-2) Hall: So just to confirm, next preseason we're doing a photo of the Swampscott players in a boat on the harbor in the iconic "Washington Crossing The Delaware" pose, right? Swampscott, 35-27. Barboza: Yes, yes, that's right. Big ups to Zach Kalapinski, too. Swampscott, 27-21.
WACHUSETT (5-5) AT HOLY NAME (6-4) Barboza: Are we sure the Naps still have enough players to put together a team on Thursday. Something tells me Pucko would find a way to stay competitive with 10 players on the field. Holy Name, 14-13. Hall: Something tells me this game could go either way. Injuries have played a factor, but my money is on the Naps proving once again why they field the toughest kids in the state, one through 11. Holy Name, 17-16.
BEVERLY (6-4) AT SALEM (1-9) Barboza: #KennyPierce once killed a yak from 3 miles away with nothing by a spitball. Beverly, 14-6. Hall: I'll never forget the time #KennyPierce went to visit Pope Benedict XVI wearing a camouflage "Beverly Football" baseball cap, and ol' Benji goes, "Cool hat, wanna trade?" Beverly, 24-3.
XAVERIAN (5-5) AT ST. JOHN'S PREP (4-5) Hall: Next season, both these teams could start the year in the Top 5 of our poll. Xaverian, 13-6. Barboza: Truer words have never been spoken. Prep's Jonathan Thomas will be a household name next year the way Jonathan Taylor Thomas was for teenage girls in the 90s. Xaverian, 20-10.
MINNECHAUG (9-1) AT NO. 13 SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (8-2) Barboza: Simply put, this is Central's year ... Let's zoom to the rematch with 'Meadow. Central, 34-28. Hall: Spread teams haven't been kind to Central in the past, and what the heck, it's Thanksgiving and I like upsets. Minnechaug, 20-19.
ST. JOHN'S (SHREWSBURY) (6-4) VS. ST. PETER-MARIAN (7-3) Barboza: This is a game Jordan Knowles takes over, but the Pioneers still slip by. St. John's, 17-14. Hall: The Guardians have been up and down this year, but look good headed into the postseason. If there's any year to beat the Pioneers, it's this one. SPM, 20-7.
BEDFORD (6-4) AT NO. 6 CONCORD-CARLISLE (10-0) Hall: Jack Belcher is one of the better coaches in the Dual County League, and I think his work doesn't get enough credit. But this is thoroughly, and unabashedly, the year of the Patriot. C-C, 35-17. Barboza: Craan, Culbreath, Badgely, pick your poison. C-C, 42-28.
OLIVER AMES (5-4) AT SHARON (4-5) Barboza: Everybody who had this game having playoff implications at the beginning of the season, stand up. Yeah, I see you standing up ... No, you didn't. Sit down. OA, 28-20. Hall: Wondering if Andre Tippett will be in the house for this one. OA, 34-30.
ATTLEBORO (7-3) AT NO. 19 NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH (8-1) Hall: This all depends on which Attleboro team shows up on Thanksgiving, but I see the Red Rocketeers making some key defensive stops to dictate tempo early. NA, 20-10. Barboza: See my Mansfield prediction. North, 19-9.
NO. 12 KING PHILIP (8-1) AT FRANKLIN (4-6) Barboza: See my North/Attleboro pick (i.e. see my Mansfield pick). KP, 21-13. Hall: Brad Sidwell will draw up a good gameplan to try and slow this KP offense, but you can only contain the rushing attack for so long. KP, 23-12.
ANDOVER (7-3) AT CENTRAL CATHOLIC (5-5) Barboza: I heard from Raiders boss Chuck Adamopoulos at the D1 volleyball championship that he listens to our podcast during the day. Chuck, thanks for listening, but get back to work! Andover, 13-10. Hall: Andrew Coke has had his ups and downs this year, after coming into the season with considerable hype. But he'll end his high school career with the Golden Warriors on a positive one. Andover, 31-21.
No. 4 CHELMSFORD (9-1) AT BILLERICA (7-3) Hall: It's such a bittersweet way for Nick LaSpada to end his career at Billerica, which is why I think the Indians are going to come out fired up and ready to rock. Still, his absence is that much of a difference. Chelmsford, 17-14. Barboza: The Indians pull one out for their ailing chief. Billerica, 8-7.
MARLBOROUGH (6-4) AT HUDSON (8-2) Hall: My upset special of the day. Jacques Pierre will have a terrific day in the trenches, and Austin Garvey will come up with some late heroics. I can see Karl Sery putting up 200-plus yards in a loss. Marlborough, 28-26.
No. 25 GARDNER (10-0) AT OAKMONT (7-3) Hall: See my staff Thanksgiving pick. Oakmont, 24-14. Barboza: Just to spite you ... (Wink, wink) Gardner, 52-7.
WAKEFIELD (8-2) AT MELROSE (8-2) Barboza: The Redmen put an emphatic stamp on their league title. Wakefield, 31-24. Hall: I'm guessing Wakefield will play cautiously in this one, with the Middlesex Small wrapped up. But its defense (League-best 9.7 points allowed) will get it done. Wakefield, 14-10.
DIGHTON-REHOBOTH (8-2) AT SEEKONK (5-4) Hall: Another strong South Coast rivalry. Falcons missed on some postseason glory, but the outlook is strong for next season in my opinion. D-R, 22-16. Barboza: Ditto. D-R, 16-14.
WESTWOOD (8-2) AT HOLLISTON (8-1) Barboza: Thanks to our Matt Noonan for his nickel tour of his alma mater's campus during the field hockey section finals. Still going with the Panthers though. Holliston, 20-14. Hall: Westwood's thumping at the hands of Hopkinton exposed the worst of the Wolverines. Not that I didn't feel good about picking the Panthers in this one to begin with. Holliston, 28-14.
EAST LONGMEADOW (5-5) AT No. 17 LONGMEADOW (8-2) Barboza: The Lancers are vulnerable and ripe for an upset. Here's my upset special of the day. East Longmeadow, 20-17. Hall: Injuries may play a factor for the Lancers going forward, but there is some depth with this program. Longmeadow, 13-7.
HINGHAM (5-5) AT SCITUATE (6-4) Barboza: The Harbormen are still smarting from the Duxbury loss and use that as motivation headed into this one. Hingham, 21-14. Hall: Tough year for the Sailors, but I think Matt King and Co. go out on top. Scituate, 24-21.