Friday, November 30, 2012
MIAA Super Saturday football mega-picks
St. John's Prep (10-1) vs. Brockton (9-3), Bentley University, 6 p.m.
Barboza: The key matchup will be Prep defensive tackles Corey Jean-Jacques and Chris Newton plugging the gaps against the Boxers’ option game. Prep, 10-7 (OT).
Hall: If the Boxers can establish the edges with their triple option, they can win the ground game. Defensively, they will have to be disciplined against Prep's read-option attack with Alex Moore and Jonathan Thomas. If the defensive end crashes down the line...Aw, forget it, you know what? I'm just gonna pick the Boxers and be done with it. Brockton, 14-10.
Barboza: I was encouraged by Hayden Murphy’s hard-nosed running the other night against L-S, but pulling off a win over John DiBiaso twice in one season is about as hard as doing so against Bill Belichick. The difference-maker comes off the leg of Gilly De Souza in a fitting end to his career. Everett, 27-24.
Hall: I almost want to deduct points from John Montelus for not dropping the mic as he walked away from our interview yesterday at Super Bowl Media Day. But the Tide's confidence and swagger is undeniable right now. Men on a mission. Everett, 21-14.
Barboza: There’s something special brewing with this Hornets team. I’ve believed the Rockets have been the favorite all season long, but after Mansfield knocked off Duxbury, I’m changing my tune. Mansfield, 24-21.
Hall: This is a much different Reading team from the one that two years ago surrendered the biggest second-half lead of the Gillette Super Bowl era to these same Hornets. This one is going to run off-tackles and quarterback powers until Mansfield proves it can stop it. That's been a tall task all season long. Reading, 20-10.
Barboza: The Panthers have plenty of weapons and have been downright dominant, but they haven’t seen anything like Brian Dunlap on defense. Mike Dunlap and Mike Abbruzze have big days on ‘D’ for the Redhawks as well. Natick, 30-28.
Hall: Expect a wide variety of coverage shells from the Beverly defense, which sometimes gets overlooked amidst all the talk of its three-headed monster of a running back stable. I'll tell you, this Brendan Flaherty fella, he ain't that bad at safety either. Beverly, 28-23.
Barboza: Glad to know we’ve somehow galvanized the Shamrocks in their resolve to prove us wrong. But I guess I’m going to let coach Curt Smith down here by picking with them. Feehan, 27-21 (OT).
Hall: It's all about gap control with these Feehan kids. Oh, and they might still be running on D-R had it not been for 10-minute quarters. Feehan, 28-17.
St. Mary's of Lynn (11-1) vs. Abington (12-0), Curry College, 10 a.m.
Barboza: Jordan Collier might be the single best talent in this matchup, but Green Wave have the depth in the backfield. Abington, 33-27.
Hall: Just because I want to hear Kevin Whalen running down Route 18 screaming "Touchdown, Manamooskegan!" Abington, 23-13.
Cathedral (10-2) vs. Madison Park (8-4), Gillette Stadium, 9 a.m.
Barboza: There will be no controversy to end this one. Cathedral, 28-14.
Hall: On a side note, has there ever been a team with more Media Day swag than Cathedral? Bowties, fedora hats, double-breasted suits, flashy tie-ups. I think even P. Diddy would applaud. Cathedral, 24-10.
Barboza: If Upper Cape wins, does it share the championship trophy with West Bridgewater as a nod of thanks? Upper Cape, 34-28.
Hall: Had it not been for Sharon's unprecedented run, we'd be talking about Mike Hernon's job at Upper Cape more. Upper Cape, 14-12.
Division 1 St. John's of Shrewsbury (8-4) vs. Leominster (8-4), Fitchburg State, 2:30 p.m.
Barboza: Perhaps the hardest game of the day to pick. Don’t think Blue Devils will pull away as they did at Gillette last year; I do believe this will more closely resemble the teams’ instant classic from earlier this season. Leominster, 34-31.
Hall: Dave Palazzi has a knack for playcalling, and knows exactly what to dial up against this St. John's defense. The Blue Devils will move to 4-0 against St. John's in the Palazzi era. Leominster, 30-20.
Division 2 Nashoba (12-0) vs. Shepherd Hill (10-2), Gillette Stadium, 11 a.m.
Barboza: Chieftains have been perhaps the state’s most consistent team box to wire. Nashoba, 14-0.
Hall: This will be the second time this week Nashoba faces a double wing team. The first contest was a wash. Nashoba, 21-0.