Friday, September 30, 2011
ESPN Boston's Week 4 Picks
Friday NO. 9 CHELMSFORD (2-1) AT LAWRENCE (2-1) The Skinny: Is Chelmsford reeling after last week’s 35-14 loss to BC High? Hardly. Eddie Sheridan was impressive out of the backfield, and if not for a few special teams breakdowns the game would have been closer. The Tim Joy-led defense finds itself in another challenge this week, as the Lancers were one of the MVC’s higher-scoring teams before a 21-0 shutout by Lowell last Friday. They boast a promising back in Kelvin Severino.
Scott Barboza: With the new-look Lions' offense, this could turn into a track meet. I'm going to go a little more conservative though. Chelmsford, 31-24. Brendan Hall: Neither of these teams is afraid to spread the ball around, which means we could have a high-scoring affair. Chelmsford, 38-35.
No. 13 CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (1-1) AT BISHOP GUERTIN (N.H.) (3-1) The Skinny: The last time the Knights made the drive up to Nashua to face this Granite State power was a forgettable trip – a dominating 52-13 Guertin win. This time? Once again, we’re not sure. The Gaels have outscored the opposition 91-20 in the three games since getting shut out opening weekend to juggernaut Pinkerton. Meanwhile, the Knights finally scored themselves some badly-needed momentum in Shrewsbury after holding off St. John’s for their first win of the year.
Barboza: I think this game has fourth-quarter field goal written all over it. Guertin 23-20. Hall: Since the Pats are traveling to Oakland on Sunday, I have some fitting advice for the Knights: Just Win, Baby. CM, 28-20.
BILLERICA (2-1) AT NO. 22 DRACUT (2-1) The Skinny: Nick LaSpada and the Indians have struggled to score points of late. On the other hand, Peter Salem has recovered from his early season injury and leads a physical offensive line that is able to control a game in the trenches. And, of course, the MIddie can spread 'em out, too.
Barboza: Same old story for the Indians, unfortuately. Dracut, 12-7. Hall: If we ever venture into doing an ESPNBoston Lunch Pail Award, I think Zach Bassett would have a stranglehold on the Watch List. Dracut, 13-7.
ST. SEBASTIAN’S (1-0) AT BB&N (0-1) The Skinny: The Arrows were off to an impressive start with a 34-0 blanking of Nobles & Greenough on Saturday to get their ISL season started with Sam Hodgson and Brendan Daly each scoring two touchdowns. On the other hand, BB&N found itself in unfamiliar territory with the Knights' first loss to Belmont HIll in four years after a second-half comeback by the Hillies.
Barboza: Chris Coady gets the Knights headed in the right direction by using what else? His feet.BB&N, 16-10. Hall: When was the last time the Knights lost two in a row under John Papas? BB&N, 20-12.
Saturday ST. PETER’S PREP (N.J.) (1-2) AT NO. 3 BC HIGH (2-1) The Skinny: The Eagles hope to play better than the last time they played a New Jersey foe - a loss to DePaul Catholic - and welcome St. Peter's Prep, the last time to defeat vaunted Don Bosco Prep in the Garden State. BC High bounced back with a huge win over Top 10 opponent Chelmsford last week.
Barboza: Homefield advantage plays dividends in this one. The Eagles will be rested and ready. BC High, 20-17. Hall: Another game the Eagles circled on their calendar long ago. You best believe they’re circling the wagons for this one. BC High, 31-28.
NO. 1 EVERETT (3-0) AT BARNSTABLE (2-1) The Skinny: The top-ranked Crimson Tide currently hold the state’s third-longest active winning streak (15 games) and have outscored the opposition 124-25 in the first three games of the season. But the Red Raiders might be their best test through the air yet. Quarterback D.J. Crook is inching closer to the state’s all-time passing touchdown record, and has been distributing the ball evenly to a number of athletic targets. Defensively, the Raiders have been living on the edge the last few weeks, beating Sandwich by two last week after losing by one to Dennis-Yarmouth, but are active in the secondary.
Barboza: Let's make sure we have an extra set of light bulbs for the scoreboard just in case. Everett, 30-21. Hall: …And they’ll still talk about being rusty. Everett, 40-20.
NO. 6 WEYMOUTH (3-0) AT NEEDHAM (2-1) The Skinny: This might be the game of the season on Saturday at Memorial Park. The Wildcats come into town having not lost a Bay State Conference contest since Thanksgiving 2009, and boast a very talented backfield led by Ozzy Colarusso, Khary Bailey-Smith, Cam McLevedge and sophomore Derrell Fernandez. But Needham is talented in its own right between quarterback Drew Burnett, tight end Mark Riley, and a well-stocked receiving corps. The Rockets are OK with flying under the radar, but it's hard to ignore their talents.
Barboza: The difference could come on defense for the Wildcats with inside linebacker Jon Hachey averaging over 16 tackles per game. Weymouth, 27-26. Hall: All week long, coach David Duffy has been hammering home to his kids to play mistake-free. I’ve got to keep rolling the dice here, but these are cerebral kids, and always well-coached on defense. Needham, 21-13.
No. 19 NASHOBA (3-0) at NO. 24 HOLY NAME (2-1) The Skinny: The No. 19 Chieftains have been rolling to start the season, but hit the injury bug last week with Trevor Wyand leaving during a 33-0 win over Algonquin. Still, between the rushing attack led by Carroll Bailey and Jon Ojukwu, and one of the state’s fastest-rising prospects in junior linebacker Zach Hume, this is a Nashoba squad not to be taken lightly. Meanwhile the Naps are no pushover themselves, with an led by Quron Wright and Anthony Hodges.
Barboza: Wright is one of the most explosive players I've seen this year. Holy Name, 22-20. Hall: Are we allowed to make references to “The Bodybag Game” on a high school page? Because I think Herschel Walker might be taking snaps by the third quarter. Holy Name, 22-21.
LYNN ENGLISH (2-1) AT SWAMPSCOTT (3-0) The Skinny: The Bulldogs endured a crushing comeback bid by Beverly last week and things don't get any easier with a trip over to Swampscott. Lynn English quarterback Jermaine Kelley has shown flashes of brilliance, but turnovers were a problem last week. But be rest assured that the former Big Blue gridder would like nothing better than to hold bragging rights over his old mates. Big Blue quarterback Mike Walsh also leads an opportunistic, ball-hawking secondary from the strong safety position.
Barboza: Walsh is the difference. It'll be his usual 100-yard passing, 100-yard rushing and one pick performance. Can we call it a Mike Walsh hat trick? Swampscott, 33-20. Hall: I wouldn’t be surprised if these two squads combined for over 1,000 yards of offense. Both these quarterbacks sling it out there. But after last weekend, I like Swampscott’s defense better in the crunch time. Swampscott, 41-38.
NEW BEDFORD (2-1) AT NO. 8 BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (2-1) The Skinny: B-R turned in what head coach Dan Buron called the most complete performance of the season thus far for the Trojans during last week's win over Marshfield, while the Whalers had a long day against No. 2 Duxbury. However, New Bedford can present some matchup problems for B-R, especially with scat back Marcel DePina operating in the open field; he's tough to catch. Look for this to be an intense battle between two young, but physical offensive lines.
Hall: Did I hear that right, Buron ran a trips formation on Saturday?!?!? Yeesh. Next you’ll be telling me the Red Sox went 7-20 in September. B-R, 23-10. Barboza: Yeah, Brendan. That wasn't a dream. (Gulp.) B-R, 27-20.