Monday, November 29, 2010
Super Tuesday picks
We've sliced and diced all there is to offer in Tuesday's Eastern Massachusetts football action. Enjoy.
Everett (10-0) VS. Andover (8-3), 7:45 p.m. at Manning Field, Lynn
Everett players to watch: QB Jonathan DiBiaso; WR Matt Costello; ATH Manny Asprilla; RB/LB Vondell Langston; DL Shaquille Taylor, WR/DB Kenny Calaj, LB Buck McCarthy
Andover players to watch: QB/RB Andrew Coke; OL/DL Conor Clancy; TE/LB Ned Deane; OL/DL Lyle Baker, RB Freddie Scribner.
The skinny: This matchup is a tale of probables and improbables. The 10-0 Crimson Tide came into the season as one of the state’s heavy favorites once again, and as usual have done nothing to refute that. Arguably the state’s most prolific passing offense, DiBiaso comes into the game with 38 touchdown passes on the season, and will likely break the 39 mark set by Swampscott’s Kyle Beatrice in 2002. He can thank two of the state’s best receivers for that, as Matt Costello (18 receiving TD) and Boston College-bound Manny Asprilla (14, three rushing TDs) have excelled in the deep and short games, respectively. The 8-3 Golden Warriors, meanwhile, have emerged from a tough MVC Large that figured to have anybody but Andover in the mix at the beginning of the season. BC-bound tight end Brian Miller (broken tibia, detached MCL) is out after going down in the first half of the 88-82 eight-overtime win over Lowell back in Week 10, but the real offensive firepower lies in Coke. As the leading scorer in Division 1 with 29 touchdowns, the junior has run for an impressive 1,756 yards and completed 72 percent of his passes.
X-factor: All the aerial fireworks are nice, but the 190-pound Langston keys the offense with his ability to pick up the blitz and plow through the middle on short-yardage situations. One of the days’ key matchups ought to be how Deane matches up with Langston, and how Langston keys Coke from his middle linebacker spot.
Barboza: Simply put, too many weapons for the Crimson Tide. Everett, 27-17.
Hall: Costello, Asprilla and Lil Dibs are all household names by now, and Tuesday will be the night everyone remembers Vondell “Nite Nite” Langston. Everett, 30-14.
New Bedford (6-4) vs. St. John's Prep (7-4), 5 p.m. at Taunton High School
New Bedford players to watch: OL/DL Lance Burlingame; RB/DB Phito Gondre; WR/Returner Nate Lewis; OL/DL Janny Dosreis; QB Myles Medeiros.
St. John’s Prep players to watch: RB/CB Tyler Coppola; LG Nate Cyr; TE/DE Ryan Delisle; S/LB Lucas Bavaro; OL Dan Culkeen.
The skinny: It’s been an improbable road that these two teams would meet with the possibility of playing on Super Saturday at Gillette Stadium. No one saw the Whalers’ triumph and ascent to the Big Three championship coming, while the Eagles looked as though they were down and out in the Catholic Conference in an upset to BC High before they bounced back with a Thanksgiving Day win over defending EMass Division I champion Xaverian. This is truly a matchup that will be won in the trenches. The Prep’s physical offensive line led by left guard Nate Cyr has blocked in front of Tyler Coppola to the tune of 18 touchdowns and over 1,800 rushing yards. New Bedford counters with their own speedster in the backfield, Phito Gondre, who is one of the fastest sprinters in the state. Junior Myles Medeiros has been up to task at quarterback since taking over for Nate Lewis in Week 4 and has eight touchdown passes in six games.
X-factor: Whalers offensive and defensive tackle Lance Burlingame’s status for Tuesday’s game is questionable after he sustained a meniscus injury on Thanksgiving Day. Burlingame is a big, athletic body to block on the offensive line, but he could be missed more on the defensive side of the ball, helping to neutralize the Prep’s outside blocks from tight end Ryan Delisle.
Barboza: Think the Eagles have just a tad more up front and they block what they do to near perfection. St. John's Prep, 28-21.
Hall: Can’t go wrong either way. There’s an awesome backstory with both of these teams. New Bedford, 21-14.
Gloucester (11-0) at Lincoln-Sudbury (8-3), 7:45 p.m. Gloucester players to watch: TE/DE Chris Unis; RB/LB Gilbert Brown; FB/LB Jordan Shairs; OT/DE Andrew Mizzoni; C/NT Anthony Latassa.
Lincoln-Sudbury players to watch: OT/DT Zach Smerlas; RB/DB Brian Carroll; QB Matt Cahill; RB Christopher Giorgio; OG/DL Ryan Swoyer.
The skinny: The Fishermen are no strangers to this stage, but the young Warriors might have exceeded expectations this season. Lincoln-Sudbury starts only two seniors on either side of the ball, but thrives with a host of talented underclassmen led by running back Brian Carroll. Junior quarterback Matt Cahill has come along nicely and gets good protection up front from the offensive line, which is anchored by Zach Smerlas. However, Gloucester’s team is long in the tooth, having won Super Bowls in three of the last four seasons in Division IA and IIA and are riding a streak of 24 straight victories. A healthy Gilbert Brown has proved a big boost to the Fishermen backfield, which prospered this season thanks to fullback Jordan Shairs (29 touchdowns), who carried the load during Brown’s absence.
X-factor: An intriguing matchup to watch will be Smerlas trying to contain the outside rush of Gloucester defensive end Chris Unis. The Fishermen’s senior captain has been perhaps the most dominating defensive presence in the state on a defense that has allowed a scant 11.7 points per game.
Barboza: Trust the Gloucester Fishermen. [Set to the tune of the "Gorton's" fisherman jingle.] Yeah, I went there. Gloucester, 27-13.
Hall: E-mail I received from an irate Gloucester fan: “It’s a crime a team like Gloucester is treated so poorly! On a school nite [sic] no one should be expected to travel for an hour to a field with only 1,000 seats, no room in a press box for radio or press...Gloucester should boycott the game. What a way to treat 11-0 defending champs!” Dude, relax, I’ll phone Scott Brown first thing tomorrow morning. You’re going to win anyways. Gloucester, 21-7.
Weymouth (11-0) at Bridgewater-Raynham (9-2), 7:45 p.m.
Weymouth players to watch: RB/LB Dylan Colarusso, RB/LB Aussie Colarusso, QB Mitch Temple, WR Khary Bailey-Smith, LB Rob Barrus.
B-R players to watch: QB/QB Billy Zolga, RB/LB Nick Schlatz, OL/DL Mike Devin, RB/LB Mike Chicoine, RB/LB Steve Wentworth.
The skinny: The 11-0 Wildcats are entering the postseason for the fourth time in 10 seasons, but seeking their first postseason points since 2002 and first post-Thanksgiving win of the playoff era. They get a steady thunder-and-lightning dose from the Colarusso brothers, with the powerful senior Dylan a reliable short-yardage runner and the speedy sophomore Aussie more of an outside runner. The 5-foot-9 Temple isn’t the biggest of quarterbacks, but throws an accurate ball and has a sure target in Bailey Smith. B-R, after taking a pounding in the opening weekend from Duxbury, has hit its stride at the just the right time, and over the last half of the season has scored key wins over Xaverian (double-overtime), Barnstable (for the OCL title) and Brockton (on Thanksgiving). Devin and Chicoine blend great as run-blockers for Schlatz’s upright running style, setting up Zolga for well-executed waggle plays.
X-factor: Bailey-Smith, already known for his track and field exploits, is having a breakout junior season for the Wildcats. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder, who reportedly high-jumps 6-foot-8, has burned the secondary for a few long scores - five of his 12 touchdowns have been for 40 yards or longer, including a 72-yarder against Braintree on October 30.
Barboza: The Trojans keep riding the line anchored by Devin and Tyler Martin to Gillette. B-R, 20-16.
Hall: Two of the best coaching minds south of Boston collide here. But this is your classic Trojans squad - no superstars, just a solid, disciplined running game and physical line - and for that I just don’t know if the Wildcats have the horses up front to hang. B-R, 17-16.
DIVISION II Dracut (8-3) vs. Reading (11-0), 7:45 p.m., Reading High School
Dracut players to watch: QB Matt Silva, WR/FS Chris Malonis, RB Kevin Bishop, OL/DL Paul Dufour, RB Keith Hamel
Reading players to watch: OL/DL Jeff Covitz, QB Brian Bourque, RB Zack Bates, RB Nick Scali, RB Anthony DeSimone.
The skinny: In what is considered one of the state’s toughest leagues top the bottom, the 8-3 Middies have to feel as though they’ve been in the playoffs since Week Three. After starting off 0-2, they exploded for 35 points per game in their Merrimack Valley schedule, going 8-1 down the stretch and topping of then-No. 6 Methuen on Thanksgiving to earn a third consecutive trip to the playoffs. Their reward? A rematch with the 11-0 Rockets, who shut them out in their 2009 playoff meeting and don’t appear to have fallen off from the momentous run. In his senior season under center after converting from wideout, Bourque (27 total touchdowns)) has been solid in directing the explosive Reading offense, which is averaging nearly 36 points per game. Meanwhile, Silva (24 passing TD, 12 rushing TD) is having another explosive season directing first-year coach Jason Houston’s read-option.
X-factor: Covitz, at 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, provides more of what the Middies saw on Thanksgiving from the beefy Methuen line - that is, surgical run-blocking. The senior has proven his worth on both sides of the ball, and is one of the biggest reasons why the Rockets have scored a daunting 40 touchdowns on the ground.
Barboza: I was a big fan of Fred Cusick's Bruins telecasts as a kid and I really miss the phrase: "Bourque...Screen shot...SCORES!" Reading, 31-27.
Hall: If Jonathan DiBiaso is the machine, then Silva is the Energizer Bunny. I smell upset. Dracut, 21-20.
Walpole (10-1) vs. Mansfield (10-1), 7:45 p.m. at Weymouth High School
Walpole players to watch: RB/DB Kenny Woods; QB Troy Salvatore; WR/DB David Thibault; OL/DL Danny King; TE/LB David Conroy.
Mansfield players to watch: RB Jamel Marshall; QB George Busharis; OT/DE Anthony Todesco; OL/DL Kyle McGuire; DB Sean Otto.
The skinny: These teams are no strangers to each other having faced off in the 2008 Super Bowl, which Walpole won. During Ryan Izzo’s coming out party, Kenny Woods was just a sophomore, but the capable back who showed flashes in limited time last year broke out this year with 14 touchdowns. Quarterback Troy Salvatore has been a dual threat, equally capable of scoring with his arm or his feet. Nobody in the Hockomock was able to stop league MVP Jamel Marshall this season, but the Hornets have also exhibited the ability to throw the ball behind junior quarterback George Busharis, who enjoyed a 1,000-yard passing season. Kyle McGuire has proven to be a force on the interior defensive line for the Hornets and will be vital to stopping Woods and the running Rebels.
X-factor: Mansfield’s 6-foot-4 tight end Jeff Hill presents a big target for Busharis to hit in the red zone and it will be interesting to see how Barry Greener defends Hill. Will he move All-Conference selection David Thibault – his best player in the secondary — into the box to cover Hill, or will he choose to play bigger and emphasize containing Marshall? That matchup could decide the winner.
Barboza: Busharis has really stepped up to another level and only adds to the potency of the Hornets offense. Mansfield, 20-14.
Hall: Walpole has plenty of speed, but their size was exposed against a bigger Weymouth squad on Thanksgiving. I also think the Hornets are more battle-tested from their schedule - Aquinas Institute (N.Y.) just won a fifth straight state title, and the other four teams in the Kelly-Rex division are a combined 32-14. Mansfield, 24-10.
North Andover (10-1) vs. Concord-Carlisle (9-2), 7:45 p.m. at Cawley Stadium, Lowell
North Andover players to watch: QB Brandon Walsh; WR David Foote; RB Jack Murphy.
Concord-Carlisle players to watch: RB George Craan; QB Peter George; RB/LB Jabrail Coy.
The skinny: After dropping their opening day contest to nonleague rival Andover, the Scarlet Knights rattled off 10 straight wins to claim the Cape Ann Large. That accomplishment is due in no small part to quarterback Brandon Walsh, who led all of Division IIA with 23 touchdown passes this season will not throwing a single interception. The Patriots have returned to the postseason for the second time in the two-year tenure of head coach Mike Robichaud. C-C has thrived running the Wing-T with feature back George Craan and his 20 rushing touchdowns.
X-factor: C-C quarterback Peter George isn’t often asked to air it out in the Wing-T, but he’s an accurate passer and can make plays in the air as well. Craan is very tough to stop, but George can add another level to the Patriots’ advances.
Hall: Do I have that right? NO interceptions for Brandon Walsh in 10 games? Heh. Tough to ignore that. North Andover, 28-25.
Barboza: Yes, that's correct. North Andover, 16-14.
Dennis-Yarmouth (10-1) vs. Duxbury (11-0), 5 p.m., Weymouth High School
D-Y players to watch: QB/DB Matt Montalto, RB/S Dylan Hodsdon, OL/DL Nate Crary, OL/LB Victor Andrade, OL/LB Tommy Kennedy, FB/LB Joe Furness.
Duxbury players to watch: QB Matt O’Keefe, DB/QB Kane Haffey, OL/DL Brett Harasimowicz, TE/DE Don Webber, WR/DB James Burke, RB/LB Max Randall, RB/DB Reilly Naton.
The skinny: The 11-0 Green Dragons, led by a strong junior class, have breezed through the competition save a few close calls, and vaulted into ESPNBoston’s Top 10 after starting the season unranked. A two-quarterback system manned by the senior Haffey (925 yards, 10 TD) and junior O’Keefe (837, 11) has suited Duxbury well in 2010, and Webber (789 receiving yards, eight TD) has been the go-to guy, but the most impressive playmaking is on the other side of the ball. Led by Randall (103 tackles), Burke (99) and Naton (92), the Green Dragons are allowing 11 points per game and recently have come up with some gutsy stops. D-Y, meanwhile, is playing past Thanksgiving for the first time in school history, and likes to play at a fast tempo, with Montalto (31 total TD) the trigger-man. Hodsdon and Furness have provided an adequate running game, anchored at left tackle by the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Crary.
X-factor: Who else but Montalto? The 5-foot-11 junior isn’t the most fleet-footed and doesn’t have the strongest arm, but has proven accurate in the short game and is a smart runner in the option game. As Montalto goes, so do the Dolphins, and so far all but one team has yet to stop him.
Barboza: Dragons safety Reilly Naton is one of the best I've seen this year and he will be a difference-maker. Duxbury, 17-14.
Hall: One by one, the Cape Cod teams have slowly come back to Earth -- first Falmouth, then Barnstable. D-Y is far from a Cinderella story, but still you have to like the swagger this Dragons defense has been playing with lately. Duxbury, 22-21.
Somerset (11-0) vs. Dighton-Rehoboth (10-1), 7:45 p.m. at Taunton High School
Somerset players to watch: RB/LB Seth DeMello; RB/DB Jaron Spear; OT/DT Ian Levesque; RB/LB Alex Estrella; QB Adam Ledoux.
Dighton-Rehoboth players to watch: FB/CB Bryan Rocha; QB/SS John Kyle Silva, HB/FS Ryan Bettencourt; FB/LB Adam Benvie.
The skinny: The teams play in each other’s backyard. The Raiders run a Double Wing; the Falcons run a Wing-T. Heck, D-R head coach Dave Driscoll is a member of Somerset’s athletic hall of fame. There are more than a couple similarities between these non-league rivals. Somerset slipped by, 13-7, in the team’s first meeting in Week 1. It was the first and last time the Raiders were held under 20 points this season. Somerset spreads the ball around in its backfield between Seth DeMello and Jaron Spear. Likewise, D-R has contributions from Ryan Bettencourt and Adam Benvie, but Byran Rocha really makes things run for the Falcons. Although he stands just 5-foot-8, Rocha is terror for defenders to tackle and broke off 24 touchdowns.
X-factor: As strange as it might sound, the Raiders haven’t played in a close game since their first encounter with D-R, so what mettle will Somerset show if their engaged in a close, one-score game as they were last time?
Barboza: The Falcons will prove worthy opponents again, but fall just short again. Somerset, 21-17.
Hall: The Raiders have been rolling all season long, capped with a 40-0 drubbing of Martha’s Vineyard in Week Five amidst the rain, and a 49-28 demolishing of Bishop Feehan in Week 10 for their first EAC title. You don’t need to look too far back into history to find Super Bowl-winning double-wing teams - See: Everett, Holy Name, Austin Prep - and beside that the Raiders won the first meeting this year. Somerset, 30-17.
Scituate (9-2) vs. Beverly (5-6), 5, Manning Field, Lynn
Scituate players to watch: RB Wes Hawkins, QB Tyler Park, WR/DB Casey Burns, WR/DB Lucas Barisano, TE/DE Tom Carr, OL/DL Jake Kelley.
Beverly players to watch: RB/DB Brendan Flaherty, QB/DB Joe Wioncek, OL/DL George Kallas, RB/DB Nick Theriault, LB Mark Giles, OL/DL Andrew Cannata,
The skinny: Who’d have thought back in October that Beverly, off to a 0-5 start, would be playing after Thanksgiving? Hey, crazier things have happened (see: New Bedford). Truth be told, Dan Bauer installed the Wing-T this season, his eighth in Beverly, and after the rough start they have bought in and yielded serious results. Riding the sophomore Flaherty (16 touchdowns), the Panthers reeled off five straight and capped a perfect 5-0 run through the NEC Small with an upset of Swampscott to take the league’s title outright and its playoff berth. Their reward, after a 22-year hiatus from the postseason, is a date with the Sailors, who have a gunslinger in Park (19 touchdown passes) and two capable targets in Burns (seven touchdown receptions) and Barisano. Both Burns and Barisano are threats in the secondary, too.
X-factor: Giles, the NEC Small Defensive Player of the Year, has been a catalyst at middle linebacker for the Panthers, who seem to be playing bend-but-don’t-break in this improbable run. Beverly allowed at least two scores in each of its five wins, but playmakers like Giles have come up late when needed most.
Barboza: The Sailors have simply been the more consistent team wire to wire in the Patirot Fisher. Scituate, 20-17.
Hall: If stopping the Wing-T was as simple as just following the guards, Flaherty wouldn’t have exploded the way he has the last six weeks. These guys are clicking, and I’m going to ride the hot hand out. Beverly, 26-21.
Cardinal Spellman (11-0) vs. Hamilton-Wenham (8-2), 5 p.m. at Reading High School
Cardinal Spellman players to watch: RB/DB Blaise Branch; RB/OLB Kevin Stanton; OL/DL Chris Ballard; OL/DL Phil Vargus; QB Zac Cooney.
Hamilton-Wenham players to watch: QB Dylan Keith; DL Jake Prince; RB Elliott Burr; RB Trevor Lyons.
The skinny: The Generals enjoyed a true turnaround in 2010, after finishing 2-8 last year. Leading the H-W renaissance has been quarterback Dylan Keith (7 TD passes; 2 TD rushes), along with a talented duo of runners in Elliott Burr and Trevor Lyons. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have gone as far as Blaise Branch has carried them. The 5-foot-6 running back is elusive once he hits the open field and leads Eastern Mass with 34 touchdowns, thanks to the efforts of the offensive line led by Chris Ballard and Phil Vargus.
X-factor: Although he’s not required to do so often in Ron St. George’s offense, Spellman quarterback Zac Cooney is capable of airing it out and has thrown for seven touchdowns.
Barboza: If Eastern Massachusetts high school football this year were to be played as "NBA Jam: Tournament Edition" for Sega Genesis, Branch would be the equivalent of Detlef Schrempf on FIRE all season long. Spellman, 30-21.
Hall: H-W is only averaging 14 points on offense. That doesn’t bode well for a Spellman squad that has pitched five shutouts, outscored its last three opponents 114-21, and whose feature back has 34 rushing touchdowns on the season. Spellman, 35-14.
Rockland (10-1) vs. Holliston (10-1), 7, Holliston High School
Rockland players to watch: RB/DL Mike Driscoll, WR/DB Tim Fitzgerald, RB/LB Brian Harrington, QB D.J. Austin, OL/DL Shay Morton.
Holliston players to watch: QB Sean Mayo, RB/LB Kevin Curry, RB/DB Jake Frechette, TE/DE Ryan Barrett, OL/LB Ethan Rayner, WR/DB Dan Barone, WR/DB Christian Baker, OL/DL Kevin Lamarcque.
The skinny: Aside from a hiccup on Thanksgiving to East Bridgewater, Rockland has been one of the most flawless defenses in Division 3A. Led by Driscoll in the middle, as well as Harrington and Fitzgerald, the Bulldogs are allowing just over eight points per game, and has pitched three shutouts since Week Five. The Panthers, winners of the inaugural Tri-Valley League tournament, have been on a tear in their quest for a second straight Super Bowl appearance. Often playing for only a half or three quarters, the only offensive stats that jump off the page are their scoring margin – 444-122. Mayo (1,602 passing yards, 19 TD) directs a fast-paced, no-huddle offense and has a slew of targets led by Barone (573 yards, seven TD) and Baker (381, four). Meanwhile, Curry and Frechette are both averaging more than seven yards a carry.
X-factor: For all of the offensive mettle, it’s the defense (11.1 points per game) that has shone through, and at the forefront is Curry. The TVL’s Defensive Player of the Year also leads a prolific offense on the ground (827 yards, 12 TD, 9.1 yards per carry).
Hall: If Holliston gets into a rhythm early and starts putting points up, I would watch out. Not only do the Panthers like to play fast, I’m not sure the Bulldogs have the right style to keep pace. Holliston, 28-14.
Shawsheen vs. Madison Park, 5 p.m. at Lincoln-Sudbury High School
Shawsheen players to watch: QB Ryan Woolaver; RB Andrew Dascoli; WR Bob Greenwood.
Madison Park players to watch: QB Ely Plaza; RB Chris Philyew; RB Dequell Golson; Khayree Hudson.
The skinny: The Rams have only allowed 91 points all season and more than a third of their points came in one game, a 42-32 win over Chelsea. While the defense has been stout, Ryan Woolaver led all of Division IV with nine touchdown passes, thanks to favorite target Bob Greenwood. Madison Park’s rushing attack is led by Chris Philyew, but quarterback Ely Plaza is also apt to air it out to speedy receiver Khayree Hudson.
X-factor: Andrew Dascoli had 11 touchdowns on the season and should help the Rams grind it out in a ball-control game.
Barboza: You have to love Plaza’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar specs that he sports during games, but I still like the Rams more to win. Shawsheen, 13-8.
Hall: Shawsheen hasn’t allowed a point in 15 quarters, and hasn’t allowed more than two scores since Oct. 8. Yikes. Suddenly, basketball season can’t start soon enough. Shawsheen, 21-6.
Pope John (8-2) vs. Northeast (9-2), 5 p.m. at Cawley Stadium, Lowell
Pope John players to watch: QB/LB Malcolm Brown-Simpson; WR/DB Malcolm Brown; RB/LB Jevon Brown-Simpson; WR/DE Marvin Gabriel; RB/DE Robert Bartolo.
Northeast players to watch: RB/DB Bobby Novello; RB/DB Mike Cross; OL/DE Ryan Adams; FB/DE Ian Bagby; TE/LB A.J. Ortiz.
The skinny: The Tigers have the most dynamic offense in Division IV-A. Malcolm Brown-Simpson has thrown for 13 touchdown passes, in addition to 600 rushing yards and six touchdowns, while Malcolm Brown has 65 catches on the season and over 1,100 receiving yards. Sounds confusing, right? Well, add this into the family dynamic that Brown-Simpson’s brother, Jevon, has also chipped in 600 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Bobby Novello has led the Knights with his 14 rushing touchdowns this season.
X-factor: Pope John has an advantage at the skill positions, but Northeast has a size advantage both physically and in ranks. Which will prevail?
Barboza: There's just too much talent on the Tiger side. Pope John, 27-20.
Hall: Malcolm Brown is a hidden gem, and I think Northeast will get a good glimpse of that. Pope John, 24-20.
Brighton (8-2) vs. West Bridgewater (9-1), 5 p.m., Bridgewater-Raynham High Schools
Brighton players to watch: RB/LB Andrew Maestre, RB Dwight Kennedy, QB Jonathan Marrero, OL/DL Patrick Jean, WR Olumide Olukoga.
West Bridgewater players to watch: RB D.J. Jamieson, QB Andrew Drass, WR Josh Ruggles, WR Cole Paskell.
The skinny: The 8-2 Bengals, led by Maestre (15 touchdowns), are playing with swagger over the last few weeks, including a high-scoring win over Burke in Week Nine. They have won three straight since getting dominated by East Boston, 58-26, back in Week Eight. West Bridgewater has a solid ground game led by Jamieson (15 touchdowns), but is also just as capable through the air with senior Andrew Drass (11 touchdown passes). Drass’ leading receiver is Josh Ruggles, who has seven touchdowns. The Wildcats also boast Division 4A’s stingiest defense, allowing 8.6 points per game.
X-factor: Drass has exploded for nine touchdown passes in the last three games, including five on Thanksgiving in a 42-26 win over Holbrook.
Hall: Defense wins championships, which is why I’m going to go with the Wildcats. West Bridgewater, 21-10.