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Wednesday, November 27, 2013
ESPN Boston Thanksgiving mega-picks

By ESPNBoston.com

ANDOVER  (6-4) AT CENTRAL CATHOLIC (9-1)

Scott Barboza: All appearances are that Chuck Adamopoulos and the Raiders are playing to win (to be commended for that), but Andover and Will Eikenberry go out on top. Andover, 21-20

Brendan Hall: If the Raiders are playing to win, which all indications point to as of Wednesday, than I expect Central to take the season sweep. Central, 28-14

ATTLEBORO (8-2) AT NORTH ATTLEBORO (6-4)

Barboza: This reminds me a little of the last time the rivalry was at North, and the Red Rocketeers were hoping for a playoff berth. Big Red was the better team then, but Attleboro gave them everything they could handle; same applies here. Attleboro, 21-17

Hall: It’s not often than Attleboro has the true upper hand here, but the Blue Bombardiers’ resume speaks for itself. Look for Tim Walsh to cap a brilliant high school career with a big day here against the Rocketeers. By the way everyone, tweet us your helmet pics. Attleboro 27-24

BC HIGH (5-5) AT CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (5-5)

Barboza: Can’t think of a tougher end to a playoff run than the Eagles’ epic overtime battle at Xaverian. With that in the back of their minds, they’ll bring the lumber. BC High, 24-14

Hall: Connor Walsh, one of the more underappreciated talents in Massachusetts, has a big day at the office – on both sides of the ball. BC High, 24-6

BOSTON LATIN SCHOOL (5-5) VS. BOSTON ENGLISH (6-4)

Barboza: Brian Vaughn has already done a remarkable job turning English around. They’re just a year away from winning this game, however. Latin School, 24-21

Hall: For the first time in what seems like eons, English has a chance in this one. Do your eyes deceive you? Did you just read those words? Trust me, they have a chance. Two words: Emmanuel Almonte. English, 21-20

BROCKTON (5-5) AT BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (6-3)

Barboza: After a tough bow out against Attleboro in the Div. 1 South playoffs, no way the Trojans let this one slip through their fingers. B-R, 21-13

Hall: B-R’s baseball team will receive its state championship rings at halftime, and then B-R’s football team will follow up by taking the Cape Cod Café Cup. B-R, 21-7

DUXBURY (5-4) AT MARSHFIELD (4-6)

Barboza: Feels like moons ago that we last talked about the Dragons – a team that could still go toe-to-toe with a lot of the remaining playoff teams across the state. I think Grant Kramer and Co. can win the point of attack. Duxbury, 14-7

Hall: This one will be more evenly played than in years past, but I like the Dragons’ swarming defense a little bit more, plus I think they will have the advantage at the line of scrimmage behind Grant Kramer. Duxbury, 17-13

EAST LONGMEADOW (7-3) AT LONGMEADOW (6-4)

Barboza: The Lancers hold a sizeable advantage in the teams’ all-time series, but I’m going with the “underdogs” here. East Longmeadow, 27-22

Hall: Promising sophomore Mike Maggipinto does his best Danny Woodhead impression in and upset of Longmeadow. East Longmeadow, 28-25

EASTIE (4-6) AT SOUTHIE (0-9)

Barboza: The alma mater of Jermaine Wiggins flys again. Eastie, 20-13

Hall: Again, for the hundredth time, I'm Irish. Southie, 18-6

KING PHILIP (7-3) AT FRANKLIN (5-5)

Barboza: Always love this matchup: Panthers spread vs. the Warriors’ D. In those matchups, side with the defense. KP, 20-18

Hall: There always seems to be some theatrics with this rivalry as of late, but the Warriors will put this one away with an impressive defensive effort. KP, 21-0

LEOMINSTER (9-1) AT FITCHBURG (3-7)

Barboza: A lot of us – including myself – projected the Blue Devils would have another game at hand at this time of the season, but so is life. A nice sendoff to a deep and talented pool of seniors. Leominster, 28-24

Hall: The half-horseshoe at Crocker Field will be rockin’, but the Blue Devils will roll behind Neil O’Connor. Leominster, 30-14

MALDEN (4-6) AT MEDFORD (3-7)

Barboza: The epic rivalry even got a shoutout from Keith Olbermann on his terrific Thanksgiving Day football special this week. Malden, 14-7

Hall: I’m feeling lucky. I’ll pick the winner based on who has the cooler helmets. Medford, 13-12

MANSFIELD (11-0) AT FOXBOROUGH (6-4)

Barboza: Mike Redding has said the Hornets are playing to win this one. Don’t see any result otherwise. Mansfield, 34-21

Hall: Whether or not Mansfield rests its starters for this one or not, there is too much firepower for Foxborough to overcome here. Mansfield, 24-10

NAUSET (6-4) AT DENNIS-YARMOUTH (9-2)

Barboza: Paul Funk had the most Belichick-ian response to the question of whether starters will play, worth a good chuckle. It will be interesting to see how they play it though. D-Y, 14-13

Hall: D-Y coach Paul Funk said “We’ll do what’s best for our team” when asked about the play-or-not-play dilemma with starters as they near the state championship. If it were up to me, “what’s best for our team” would be getting the starters of the field ASAP. D-Y, 23-20

NEEDHAM (7-3) AT WELLESLEY (6-4)

Barboza: Whether Mike Panepinto plays or not is next most intriguing question going into Thanksgiving than whether teams will play starters. Think the Rockets take it on depth, however. Needham, 28-21

Hall: Many are speculating about Mike Panepinto’s health headed into this one. I think either way, with Wellesley’s run-and-gun offense and Needham’s gifted receiver Mike Elcock, sparks are going to fly. Set the over-under of total points score at 75. Needham, 42-38

PLYMOUTH NORTH (7-3) AT PLYMOUTH SOUTH (9-1)

Barboza: Get your programs ready. Christian Carr is going to put up Madden-like numbers. North, 28-14

Hall: South coach Scott Fry indicated he will rest his starters here, so expect Christian Carr and co. have a field day running the ball for North. Besides, South won the first two meetings anyway. North, 20-7

ST. JOHN’S OF SHREWSBURY (9-2) AT ST. PETER-MARIAN (7-3)

Barboza: No chance of let down for the Pioneers here. Talking to Andrew Smiley earlier in the week, he was excited to face off against some old friends. St. John’s, 35-28

Hall: This one could get interesting. St. John’s plans on dressing its starters, but how long they stay in the game remains to be seen. Meanwhile I expect SPM to play to win, and they have enough perimeter speed behind Dan Henrickson, Tyis Boykin and Noah Burke to sneak up on these guys. St. John’s, 28-27

WESTWOOD (7-3) AT HOLLISTON (8-2)

Barboza: The question here is how many overtimes? I’m going with two. TVL MVP Bo Berluti goes out on top in the rubber game. Westwood, 46-44

Hall: Like the third installment of a movie trilogy, anything goes in meeting No. 3. Wouldn’t be surprised by anything in this rubber match, other than a low score. Holliston, 45-41

WEYMOUTH (5-5) AT WALPOLE (6-4)

Barboza: Rebels redeem a frustrating end to the season. Walpole, 20-18

Hall: Steve Cuqua has a big day against the Wildcats, and gives us a glimpse of what’s to come with the Rebels in 2014. Walpole, 23-16

WAKEFIELD (6-4) AT MELROSE (9-2)

Barboza: Malik Garrett, one of the breakout performers of the postseason, caps a wonderful senior season. Melrose, 20-14

Hall: Underrated, sneaky good rematch here. One of our writers earlier this year half-heartedly threw out a Tommie Frazier comparison with Melrose quarterback Malik Garrett. As a closet Huskers fan myself, I welcome any and all such comparisons. Guy was awesome to watch in college. Melrose, 29-23

XAVERIAN (9-1) AT ST. JOHN’S PREP (6-4)

Barboza: As Charlie Stevenson told me, if you’re a Hawk and you don’t want to beat Prep – something ain’t right. Xaverian, 17-10

Hall: If Xaverian is playing to win here, I don’t see how they lose. Xaverian, 9-0