Friday, September 21, 2012
ESPN Boston Week 3 football picks
NO. 3 XAVERIAN (1-1) AT NO. 15 BROCKTON (1-1)
The Skinny: Both teams are going to be seeing red after their respective performances last week with the Hawks taking an ole fashioned whooping at St. Joseph's Regional in New Jersey and the Boxers being shut out by the likes of Reading. This matchup will see some of the state's premiere lineman matching up with Michigan-bound Mo Hurst lining up across from preseason All-State Watch Lister Joe Previte of Brockton.
Barboza: The question might be is if the Boxers get back on the board again this week. I think they do, but it's still no enough. Xaverian, 27-14.
Hall: I want to know what St. Joseph's Regional alum Devin McCourty thinks of the New Jersey school's 62-0 beatdown of Xaverian last weekend. Xaverian, 24-17.
NO. 22 BC HIGH (0-2) AT DARTMOUTH (1-1)
The Skinny: The beleaguered Eagles might enjoy of bit of a reprieve if rumors are true that quarterback Brendan Craven will return for the tilt against the Indians. These will be two hungry squads as BC High looks for its first win on the season and Dartmouth hopes to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Attleboro last week. This could be a coming-out party for Dartmouth RB/LB Mitch Loranger, one of the more underrated talents in the state, while Tim Smith provides a nice change of pace running.
Barboza: Coach Rick White puts these games on the schedule when he feels like he has something in the bag, so you can't look past that. I think the Eagles escape the South Coast with their first win of the season, however. BC High, 16-14.
Hall: I'm in need of a bailout from North Attleborough Credit Union after picking the Eagles last week. Sorry, in this dire times of financial brevity, I can't take on too much more water. Dartmouth, 17-10.
WHITMAN-HANSON (2-0) AT FOXBOROUGH (2-0)
The Skinny: These are two traditional powers who have had some leaner years in recent memory, but seem again to be headed back in the right direction. The Panthers opened up their season with wins over ACL powers Plymouth North and Marshfield, with QB Tom Sapienza tallying over 400 yards on the air and ground in the victory over the Rams. The Warriors steamrolled their first two opponents (East Longmeadow and East Providnce, R.I.) by a combined 74-16 with running back Kiivone Howard putting his name into early Hockomock Player of the Year talk.
Barboza: The offensive weapons are there, but I wouldn't be surprised with a defensive struggle here. Foxborough makes the stops when it needs to behind linebacker Luc Valenza. Foxborough, 21-14.
Hall: Kiivone Howard has been one of the nicest surprises of the early season. Of course, folks in Foxborough will tell you that's no surprise. Foxborough, 30-25.
NO. 5 DUXBURY (2-0) AT NEW BEDFORD (2-0)
The Skinny: The Dragons put their state-best winning streak on the line against the Whalers after rolling through Plymouth North last week. Marshall McCarthy has been as good as he's ever been for Duxbury's defense, registering 26 tackles through two games. New Bedford will look for a big game from quarterback Mike Rapoza, who's a multi-dimensional threat having played running back and wide receiver as well.
Barboza: Jon Hurvitz and the Duxbury line could be primed for a big day. Duxbury, 28-10.
Hall: I fully expect the Dragons to head into October 5's showdown with Xaverian on a 30-game win streak. Duxbury, 21-0.
NO. 2 ST. JOHN'S PREP (2-0) AT NO. 1 EVERETT (2-0)
The Skinny: For the first time since 2010, we have the top two teams in ESPNBoston.com's statewide poll squaring off. Everett is 7-0 against the Catholic Conference since the 2009 MIAA Division 1 Super Bowl loss to Xaverian; that streak features three wins over the visiting Eagles, including the 2010 D1 Super Bowl. To snap the streak, Prep will have to play lockdown defense and get big production from its star running back Jonathan Thomas. For Everett, it's anyone's guess who will be lining up at quarterback this week, but Gilly De Souza has been very serviceable.
Barboza: I think both offenses are going to get theirs, but it's going to be decided by the defenses and who's able to force a fumble, come up with a pick, something to steal the game. Everett, 30-23.
Hall: No truth to the rumor Everett Superintendent of Schools Fred Foresteire was taking snaps under center this week. Everett, 23-21.
NO. 9 ST. JOHN'S OF SHREWSBURY (2-0) AT CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (1-1)
The Skinny: St. John's can lay claim to one of the state's most prolific offenses after an impressive showing the first two weeks, outlasting No. 24 Holy Name (47-40) and cruising past No. 16 Longmeadow (35-14). However, neither team has an individual as talented on the defensive side of the ball as CM's UMass-bound linebacker/defensive end Peter Ngobidi, one of the state's best off the edge. Conversely, the Knights struggled against Westford last weekend, and may have their hands full against a Pioneers squad with similar spread principles but at a breakneck tempo.
Barboza: I like the Knights' defense with Ngobidi and Kevin Bletzer, but too many options for them to stop. St. John's, 31-17.
Hall: Going forward, I'm suddenly very intrigued at how St. John's will be calling in its plays. St. John's, 30-14.
BB&N AT BELMONT HILL
The Skinny: Belmont Hill is entering its first season in decades without Kevin Fleming on the sidelines, and it comes out of the gate going right into the fire. BB&N took a 17-14 humbling at the Hillers' hands in the opening week of ISL play last year, and they have one of the best individual athletes this season in Wake Forest-bound tight end Brendan O'Neil.
Barboza: I'm still syphoning water from my boots after last year's "Car Wash" game. The memory will be fresh in the minds of the Knights as well. BB&N, 20-14.
Hall: Plain and simple, John Papas gets his revenge here. BB&N, 21-7.
THAYER ACADEMY AT GOVERNOR'S ACADEMY
The Skinny: ISL season opens up with plenty of hype behind Thayer and its numerous athletes, including Bryan Vieira, Aaron Gilmer and Ikenna Nwokeji. The Governors had runaway success last season under first-year head coach Jim O'Leary, and return arguably the most valuable player in the league in quarterback Tate Jozokos, a UNC lacrosse commit who was a dual-threat nightmare for many opponents.
Barboza: Simply stated, Gov's are running the table again this year. Governor's, 23-17.
Hall: Tate Jozokos can play on my Tuesday night Charlestown flag football team any day. Governor's, 28-13.