Thursday, September 19, 2013
ESPN Boston Week 3 football picks
BOSTON LATIN ACADEMY (2-0) at DORCHESTER (1-0), Friday 6 p.m.
Scott Barboza: The other day when we visited Dragons QB Kyle Dance for our Player of the Week interview, he was wearing a Cam Newton t-shirt. He does his best on-field impression again. Latin, 22-14.
Brendan Hall: Everything we’re taught in this business cautions against cliché, pun-filled headlines. But when you have a quarterback as elusive and fleet-footed as Kyle Dance, you can’t help yourself. Latin Academy, 22-12.
ACTON-BOXBOROUGH (1-0) at No. 7 NATICK (1-0), Friday 7 p.m.
Barboza: Hate to upset loyal reader and former A-B gridder Mark Martin after picking against the Colonials last week in their win over Cambridge, but I just don’t think this is the week to change my tune. Natick, 34-24.
Hall: Just wait until Troy Flutie really gets untracked. Natick, 31-20.
BARNSTABLE (0-1) at BC HIGH (1-1), Friday 7 p.m.
Barboza: Red Raiders are going to enter hungry and desperate not to fall to 0-2, but Eagles defense wins out. BC High, 20-17.
Hall: Barnstable is going to need to show a lot more aggression, and discipline, on both sides of the ball if it is going to stay afloat in the competitive D2 South standings. Eagles could use the points for this win, considering the tough road ahead. BC High, 20-10.
No. 15 ST. JOHN’S OF SHREWSBURY (0-1) at CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (1-0), Friday 7 p.m.
Barboza: Kevin Bletzer is the type of player an offensive coordinator will have fits about, but ultimately too much to stop with the Pioneers. St. John’s, 32-28.
Hall: After some early struggles, the St. John’s passing game came alive in the second half, thanks to a flurry of screens and a couple of deep completions down the sidelines from returning All-Stater Andrew Smiley. There are some excellent individual talents at CM, but how good they are on the whole remains to be see. St. John’s, 28-14.
No. 6 SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (0-1) at EAST LONGMEADOW (2-0), Friday 7 p.m.
Barboza: This will be a one-possession game with Ju’an Williams being the difference for the Eagles. Central, 23-20.
Hall: Spartans proving they are an underrated bunch, after a solid win last weekend, but there is too much perimeter speed to harness here. Central, 25-14.
WEYMOUTH (0-1) at No. 11 BROCKTON (0-1), Friday 7 p.m.
Barboza: A game of turnovers, or at least whichever team is able to hold onto the football best. I’m sure it was a point of emphasis for both squads coming off their performances last week. Brockton, 30-21.
Hall: Wildcats licking their chops after Brockton gassed them for 432 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the Division 1 playoffs last year. Flat out, to be perfectly blunt, I just don’t see Brockton losing to a team from the Bay State Conference. I can’t recall the last time they did. Brockton, 27-13.
No. 12 WALPOLE (1-0) at NEEDHAM (0-1), Friday 7 p.m.
Barboza: As I wrote in our Roundtable earlier, I really think this classifies as a near must-win for Needham in the stacked Division 2 South sectional. Think the Rebels are too well-rounded though. Walpole, 36-28.
Hall: Wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset here, considering the Rebels’ relative inexperience. But they’ve had two weeks to prepare for this one. Walpole, 17-10.
No. 4 ST. JOHN’S PREP (1-1) at No. 13 CENTRAL CATHOLIC (2-0), Friday 7 p.m.
Barboza: A defensive struggle in its truest sense. Prep, 17-14.
Hall: That was some vintage defense by the defensively-sound Raiders in last weekend’s shutout of Haverhill. I don’t see Central doing the same to Prep, but I’m curious to see what kind of gameplan Chuck Adamopoulos devises for Johnathan Thomas. The last two defensive coordinators failed. Expect the Raiders to muck it up here. Prep, 17-14.
Barboza: Brian Dolan and the Red Raiders offense opposes their greatest competition – and, most likely – the best secondary they’ll see all season. They find a way to squeak by the Blue Devils. Lowell, 28-21.
Hall: I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that Leominster has the best safety tandem in the state, between Neil O’Connor and Jarell Addo. Lowell is about to find out on Friday night what kind of pass defense they’re up against. Going the other way, I’m intrigued to see how Jack Galvin squares up with Addo at tight end. Leominster, 35-31.
ST. SEBASTIAN’S at MILTON ACADEMY, Saturday 3 p.m.
Barboza: I like the Mustangs’ backfield depth with Luke McDonald and Drew Jacobs; they’re the difference. Milton Academy, 24-14.
Hall: Connor Strachan gets the job done. St. Seb’s, 19-15.
LAWRENCE ACADEMY at GOVERNOR’S ACADEMY, Saturday 1 p.m.
Barboza: Gov’s streak will end this year, just not this week. Governor’s, 17-14.
Hall: LA’s Chris Garrison might be the most impressive player on the field on either side of the ball, and the Spartans will surely get him involved in a variety of ways. Still, I think the sum of the Govs’ lacrosse-bred talent will win out here. Governor’s, 24-14.
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 1 BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (2-0) at No. 10 XAVERIAN (1-0), Saturday 1 p.m.
Barboza: The Trojans make it four in a row over the Hawks and break out of the early season curse of the ESPN Boston No. 1. B-R, 16-14.
Hall: First there was #CropTopOverTheTop, then came #FakeCropTopOverTheTop. Can we get some #CropTopOverThePylon action to complete the cycle here? B-R, 16-10.