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Friday, November 30, 2012
MIAA Super Saturday football mega-picks

By ESPNBoston.com

EAST

Division 1
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.

Division 1A
Everett (10-1) vs. Barnstable (11-0), Gillette Stadium, 1:30 p.m.

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.

Division 2
Reading (12-0) vs. Mansfield (8-4), Bentley University, 2 p.m.


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.

Division 2A
Beverly (12-0) vs. Natick (11-1), Gillette Stadium, 3:30 p.m.


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.

Division 3
Wayland (9-3) vs. Sharon (9-3), Bentley University, 10 a.m.


Barboza: Destiny’s darlings do it again. Sharon, 13-7.

Hall: How can you not pick Sharon at this point? Sharon, 10-6.

Division 3A
Lynnfield (9-2) vs. Bishop Feehan (9-2), Gillette Stadium, 8 p.m.


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.

Division 4
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.

Division 4A
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.

Division 5
Dorchester (10-0) vs. Upper Cape Tech (9-1), Curry College, 1 p.m.


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.

CENTRAL

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.

Division 3
Auburn (12-0) vs. Tantasqua (6-6), Worcester State, 4 p.m.


Barboza: This one could get out of hand, but I’ll be nice. Auburn, 38-20.

Hall: Auburn rolled Tantasqua in the first meeting, 30-7, and I don't expect much to change in Act 2. Auburn, 30-10.

Division 4
Northbridge (10-2) vs. Grafton (9-3), Fitchburg State, 11:30 a.m.


Barboza: Is this the game Coach LaChapelle goes exclusively with the pass? Not likely, but Rams pull it out. Northbridge, 27-21.

Hall: Northbridge survived Grafton in the first meeting, 28-21, but I don't see Grafton making a rally here in the second one. Too much Matt Phelan. One if by land, two if by air. Northbridge, 35-21.

Division 5
West Boylston (11-1) vs. Leicester (10-2), Worcester State, 10 a.m.


Barboza: Tom Rodrick is a true definition of a two-way player. Leicester, 20-14.

Hall: West Boylston has proven capable of winning shootouts, so I like the Lions laying points here. West Boylston, 35-31.

Division 6
Blackstone Valley Tech (11-1) vs. Bay Path (11-1), Worcester State, 1 p.m.


Barboza: Anthony Baez (9 int.) is one of the great ball hawks in the state, but I like the Beavers’ ability to grind it out. Blackstone Valley, 14-12.

Hall: You guys think Dan Avery is a good quarterback? Wait 'til you see him on the baseball diamond. Blackstone Valley, 16-7.

WEST

Division 1
Springfield Central (11-1) vs. Longmeadow (10-2), Westfield State, 12:30 p.m.

Barboza: Going with tradition. Longmeadow, 29-26.

Hall: Screw tradition. There's a new sheriff in town. Central, 21-14.

Division 2
South Hadley (9-2) vs. Wahconah (8-3), Gillette Stadium, 6 p.m.


Barboza: What time does the caravan arrive and what can we expect for tailgate options? Wahconah, 23-21.

Hall: Wondering if Dan Duquette shows up for this one. South Hadley, 20-17.

Division 3
Belchertown (11-1) vs. Mt. Greylock (10-1), Westfield State, 3 p.m.

Barboza: Mounties don’t blow up the scoreboard as they did on Tuesday, but they roll. Mt. Greylock, 35-28.

Hall: I think even George Halas would tip his cap to the Mounties after that 62-0 score Tuesday night. Mt. Greylock, 27-16.

Division 4
Pathfinder (12-0) vs. Turners Falls (10-2), Westfield State, 10 a.m.


Barboza: Indians escape with the victory. Turners Falls, 21-20.

Hall: It'll be a milestone day for running backs, as both Pathfinder's Cody Hess and Turners' Ryan Wilder eclipse 2,000 yards rushing on the season. Pathfinder, 24-21.