Boston High School: C.J. Scarpa

Andover wide receiver and defensive back Will Heikkinen has committed to Brown Univeristy. And while the Ivy League does not recognize National Letters of Intent, the Golden Warriors held a ceremony on Wednesday for Heikkinen and quarterback C.J. Scarpa, who has a preferred walk-on spot at Elon University.

Heikkinen, a 6-foot-1, 196-pound wideout, joins a long list of former Andover greats to suit up for the Bears, most recently including former teammate and current Brown freshman Andrew Coke.

“Obviously, there’s a great connection there, going all the way back with Coach [E.J.] Perry’s brother, the Farnhams, and Andy [Coke],” Heikkinen said Wednesday. “It’s a just a great fit.

Heikkinen teamed with Scarpa to tally 72 receptions for more than 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns while being named to the ESPN Boston All-State First Team. On defense, he also pocketed six interceptions.

He will play wide receiver at Brown and received interest from Harvard and Princeton in addition to several Northeast-10 schools.

Heikkinen emphasized the importance of his quarterback in his accomplishments and hinted at a possible future connection.

“He really made me the player I am and vice versa,” he said of Scarpa. “Our chemistry’s been great the last couple year and especially this year once he took over [at quarterback]. I hope everything works out for him, but I told him that I’m still going to try to convince him to transfer to Brown.”

Picked-up pieces from Super Tuesday

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
7:19
PM ET
Leftover thoughts from last night’s slate of “Super Tuesday” MIAA playoff action:

Hitting the jackpot: Jonathan Thomas gets the game ball for St. John’s Prep after last night’s 21-0 win over Andover, and deservedly so, running for 173 of his 208 yards in the second half, and accounting for all three of the Eagles’ touchdowns. But another crucial aspect to the win was how they defended the pass – specifically, the short passing game.

Cam Farnham is one of the more slippery receivers to cover and plays a Welker-ish role on the team, opening up the deep field with his precise underneath routes. For Prep, Gerald Kahari seemed like the natural fit to cover the slot, and Thomas saw a little bit of action. But for most of the night, it was Alex Moore providing the coverage.

Farnham came into the game with over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns, including a team-high 11 TD receptions. But against Prep, he had just two catches for 10 yards, showing once again why the versatile Moore is a Mr. Football finalist as one of the state’s premier two-way players. With the underneath game limited, quarterback C.J. Scarpa ended up with a pedestrian night, throwing for 165 yards and two picks.

Ground and Pound: Brockton’s 33-7 rout of Weymouth last night was statistically the Boxers’ most dominant showing of the season. They attempted just one pass for an incompletion, and ran 45 rushing plays for 432 yards and five touchdowns, yielding century-mark nights for quarterback Austin Roberts and running back Moise Edouard. With the win, Roberts is now over the 1,000-yard mark with 1,050 yards, to go along with 16 touchdowns.

The Boxers’ switch from their traditional multiple look to a full-out Navy-style triple option has clearly paid off. They’ve run for over 3,000 yards and 37 touchdowns as a team, but the real proof is in way they keep moving the ball steadily downfield.

A look at the rushing averages on this six-game Boxers win streak:

Durfee – 30 plays, 9.1 yards per carry, 7 TD
Leominster – 45 plays, 5.9 yards per carry, 2 TD
Catholic Memorial – 36 plays, 7.3 yards per carry, 5 TD
New Bedford – 36 plays, 10 yards per carry, 4 TD
Bridgewater-Raynham – 38 plays, 5.5 yards per carry, 3 TD
Weymouth – 45 plays, 9.6 yards per carry, 5 TD

In losses to Reading and St. John’s Prep, they averaged just under five yards per carry. Against Pinkerton (N.H.), they averaged 7.25 yards per carry and outgained the Astros from scrimmage, but also fumbled the ball away four times.

Prep handled the Boxers easily the first time around, 27-12, behind a monster night from Jonathan Thomas. But in the two months since that loss, the Boxers appear to have fully committed to this rushing attack, and the no-name defense led by Micah Morel appears to have shored up. Can’t wait to see this matchup on Saturday.

Mountain Men: When you’re picking 28 games in one night, there’s margin for error every now and then.

Really, there’s no other way to explain our rationale behind my prediction that Greenfield’s Zak Bartak would “muscle the Green Wave to victory” in their Western Mass. Division 3 playoff game with Mt. Greylock.

Boy was I way off. The Mounties didn’t just pound Greenfield, they delivered the worst shutout loss of the Super Bowl era, blanking the Green Wave by an unheard-of margin of 62-0 –- with 10-minute quarters, no less.

Ethan Ryan had five touchdowns and 224 rushing yards by the half, and finished with 284 and six scores, as the Mounties accounted for 537 yards of total offense. It was a white-washing from the get-go. To find the last time there was a shutout even close to the one Greylock delivered last night, you have to go all the way back to 1980, when the famed Morris brothers of Ayer ran roughshod over Monty Tech for a 50-0 victory in the Division 2 Central Super Bowl.

Hats off to Mt. Greylock. I’m sure some us saw a Mounties win coming, but nobody could have predicted it would be by this margin.

Recap: St. John's Prep 21, Andover 0

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
12:14
AM ET
LOWELL – His football team was held to 66 yards of total offense and failed to score in the first half of Tuesday night's Eastern Massachusetts Division I semifinal against Andover, so St. John's Prep coach Jim O'Leary exited the locker room at halftime with a simple plan: Give the ball to Jonathan Thomas.

Thomas, a junior running back, ran for three second-half touchdowns to propel St. John's Prep to a 21-0 victory at Cawley Stadium.

Thomas finished the game with 208 yards rushing on 28 carries.

“They take chances [on defense],” O'Leary said. “So at halftime the coaches made some adjustments in our blocking scheme. We came out and knew what we were going to do. We were going to pound it at them.

“He can play. There's a reason he's a Division I scholarship player, and it showed tonight. We're gonna put the ball in the hands of people who can make plays.”

Thomas scored on runs of 1, 19 and 47 yards. His 1-yard touchdown run opened the scoring with 3:31 left in the third quarter. His two other touchdowns came in the fourth.

Thomas gained 184 of his 208 yards after halftime.

“We're a second-half team, and we knew what we had to do,” Thomas said. “We came out and executed.”

The game's turning point seemed to come late in the third quarter, after a 22-yard completion from Andover quarterback C.J. Scarpa to Will Heikkinen brought the ball to the St. John's Prep 12-yard line. Before Heikkinen was brought to the turf, however, Alex Moore forced a fumble and scooped up the loose ball.

The Eagles then drove 90 yards in nine plays and took a 14-0 lead when Thomas scored from 19 yards away and Stephen Camaro added the second of his three point-after kicks. Thomas accounted for all 90 yards in the drive. He gained 71 yards on the ground, and caught a 19-yard pass.

It was victory No. 200 for O'Leary. It also earned St. John's Prep (10-1) a berth in Saturday's Division I Super Bowl. St. John's Prep will face Brockton (9-3) at Bentley University at either 2 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Brockton advanced by beating Weymouth, 33-7, in Tuesday's other semifinal. St. John's Prep defeated Brockton 27-12 during the regular season.

“Coach O [O'Leary] is a great coach,” Thomas said. “I'm happy for him.

“We still have a lot of work to do. We have one more game, and I'm ready for it.

POINTLESS EXERCISE
Andover moved the ball inside the St. John's Prep 15-yard line four times in the loss. Two of those drives ended with a missed field goal.

“I take responsibility,” Andover coach E.J. Perry said. “We should have been able to punch it in, and that's my fault.”

It was the third time St. John's Prep has shut out an opponent this season. Andover scored at least 40 points in six of its 11 regular-season games and entered the contest averaging 40.8 points per game

“Against this team here you can't let them have the home run,” O'Leary said. “You just can't give up the big play. When they get down close, our athletes are very, very good. From the 30 in, we started running man to man because we can run with them there. Then we can put extra people in the box and bring pressure.”

Thomas has played sparingly on defense this season, but was used there Tuesday night. He made a big hit on Scarpa on a fourth-and-five play in the fourth quarter. Scarpa was held to a 1-yard and Andover turned the ball over on downs. Two plays later Thomas powered his way through the line for his 47-yard TD run.

“We let up a lot of yards, but when other teams get into the red zone we don't let them score,” St. John's Prep defensive back Lucas Bavaro said. “We knew we had to step it up because they were knocking on the door a couple times in the first half.”

FOOTNOTES
Scarpa completed 16 of 28 passes for 162 yards. He was intercepted twice. Scarpa entered the contest with 32 touchdown passes and five interceptions this season. … Andover running back Jack Sylvester gained 146 yards on 15 carries. … St. John's Prep has won eight games in a row since dropping a 19-7 decision to Everett. … The Eagles will be making their first Super Bowl appearance since 2010.

ST. JOHN'S PREP 21, ANDOVER 0
St. John's Prep 0 0 7 14 – 21
Andover 0 0 0 0 –0

Third Quarter
SJP—Thomas 1 run (Stephen Camaro kick), 3:31.

Fourth Quarter
SJP—Thomas 19 run (Camaro kick), 7:12.
SJP—Thomas 47 run (Camaro kick), 4:48.

Five things to watch in Tuesday's football playoffs

November, 27, 2012
11/27/12
3:08
AM ET
We're hours away from kickoff to Tuesday's MIAA football semi-final playoff games across the state, so we're previewing the action with five things to keep an eye on during tonight's action.

High Schools editors Scott Barboza and Brendan Hall break it down here:

BRENDAN HALL:

THE HEAT IS ON
The race is on Tuesday night for the state’s lead in rushing touchdowns. Currently, Holy Name’s Quron Wright trails Plymouth South’s Dylan Oxsen, 34-33, though Wright has more overall touchdowns than the breakout junior tailback. Barring something crazy, nobody figures to catch Wright for the state’s lead in rushing yardage – he’s over 2,000 headed into the Naps’ Division 2 Central playoff game with Nashoba.

Watching the two, it’s a bit of a contrast in styles, and not just because of the offenses they run (Holy Name with the vaunted double-wing; South with a modified pistol). The generously-listed 5-foot-7 Wright is as Lilliputian as they come, but he accelerates into his cuts, builds up to top speed quickly, and evades direct hits with his low center of gravity (watch highlights HERE). Oxsen isn’t as fleet-footed as Wright, but his combination of above-average leg strength and low pad level – coupled with a very downhill-oriented running scheme – make him a bowling ball (watch highlights HERE).

Both teams figure to be underdogs in their matchups. Nashoba rolled to an easy victory over the Naps in their late-September meeting, while South’s EMass Div. 2A opponent, Natick, averages over 420 yards of offense and features one of the state’s most dynamic passing attacks.

AIR RAID
All season long, we’ve jokingly called the Merrimack Valley Conference “Death by 1,000 Shallow Crosses”. Based on some of the scores the league produced this year, we think it’s somewhat justified.

Looking at MVC Large champ Andover, you probably figure these guys could run underneath routes in their sleep. But that is to take away from the deceivingly-quality arm strength of quarterback C.J. Scarpa (watch highlights HERE). Seemingly everybody’s favorite sub-6-foot gunslinger at 5-foot-8, he has a quick release and can gun it downfield with the best of them.

As much attention as Andover’s receivers draw in the short passing game – particularly, speedy waterbug Cam Farnham – the Golden Warriors are known to ably execute “pick plays” aimed at releasing Will Heikkinen or Andrew Deloury into open space, or simply take the top off of the defense.

But that is all to say, the Warriors haven’t seen a defense quite like the one they’re facing Tuesday night in Catholic Conference champion St. John’s Prep. The Eagles have playmakers all over the field, and feature one of the state’s best back sevens in linebacker Sean Smerczysnki, cornerback Gerald Kahari, rover Lucas Bavaro and safety Alex Moore.

On the other side of the ball, Moore and junior Jonathan Thomas make up one of the state’s most feared backfield, if not the best. Last week, both Moore and Thomas were named two of the five finalists for our Mr. Football Award.

The Warriors are in for their biggest prize fight of the season here against a Prep defense. We’re all interested to see how this passing attack fares against a ball-hawking defense with a plus-10 turnover differential.

THROWING DARTS
No Division has been quite as unpredictable as Central Mass. Division 1. Shrewsbury upended cross-town rival St. John’s 51-46, then a month later delivered a last-second 33-32 upset of Leominster, en route to finishing 9-2 and with the top overall seed in the power rankings.

Wachusett, meanwhile, took a 46-14 beating in Week 4 at the hands of St. John’s, only to upset Leominster and Shrewsbury in the following weeks. On Oct. 26, however, they took a surprise 21-20 loss to a Westborough squad that finished 1-10.

We know St. John’s can score points with anyone – Andrew Smiley’s record-setting campaign in his first year starting at quarterback is testament. But how do you explain surrendering 51 points to Shrewsbury, 40 to Holy Name and 39 to Milford?

Leominster appears to be just as enigmatic. This is a team that gave Everett and Brockton everything they could handle, and delivered a thrilling last-second victory over St. John’s. But this is also a team that needed a second-half rally to overcome 2-9 Algonquin, and seemingly let many underdog teams hang around.

Quite frankly, I won’t be surprised by anything that transpires in this division.

* * * * *

SCOTT BARBOZA:

MANIFEST DESTINY?
The are a couple of interesting storylines to watch in the Division 1A semifinals where Everett meets Masconomet and Barnstable tries to pay back Lincoln-Sudbury.

First, while the Crimson Tide will be heavily favored over the Chieftains, one element worth watching will be Everett’s start. The Crimson Tide will be well-rested after not playing a Thanksgiving Day game this year. While the time off certainly will help heal injuries, Everett now hasn’t seen live action in more than two weeks. And, after closing out their regular season schedule with three straight Greater Boston League games, you can argue the Crimson Tide haven’t played a full game since their Oct. 20 win at BC High.

Of course, if the Crimson Tide advance, they could face the lone team to hand them a loss in more than two years – Barnstable. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders will be looking to exorcise a demon of their own in Lincoln-Sudbury, who dealt Barnstable a 14-13 upset loss in last year’s semifinal.

While you would expect neither the Crimson Tide nor Red Raiders to come out flat on Tuesday, but if either is eying a potential rematch on Saturday, the game we’ve been dying to see might not happen at all.

DUXBURY PUTS IT ON THE LINE AGAIN
After Mt. Greylock lost a few weeks back, Duxbury has laid claim to the longest active winning streak in MIAA football. They’ll put a 37-game unbeaten streak on the line when they face Hockomock League Kelley-Rex winner Mansfield at Bridgewater-Raynham. The Dragons would have a 39-game streak and a string of three-straight Super Bowl championships if they complete this year’s run. But while we’re exploring what could be, let’s go back to what almost was.

In last year’s Division 2 semifinal against King Philip, the Dragons potent spread attack was ground to a halt by the Warriors’ swarming defense. Duxbury escaped with a 7-0 win over KP in their run to a second-straight Super Bowl, but in the days following their win over the Warriors, Duxbury head coach Dave Maimaron remarked that it had been the toughest battle his teams had faced during the entirety of the streak.

While Mansfield might not have the pedigree of last year’s KP group the Hornets present their own problems – primarily on offense. The Dragons will not have seen a playmaking duo quite like Mansfield wide outs Brendan Hill and Mike Hershman, and running back Robbie Rapoza is hard to tackle when breaking into the second tier of the defense. The Hornets will certainly have their work cut out for them if they are to upset the Dragons’ third straight Super Bowl bid, but it’s not impossible.

Recap: Andover 22, Central Catholic 19

November, 22, 2012
11/22/12
8:06
PM ET
ANDOVER, Mass. -- C.J. Scarpa isn’t the biggest, fastest or even your most prototypical quarterback when you first take a look at him.

[+] EnlargeAndover football
Ryan Kilian for ESPNBoston.comAndover's CJ Scarpa threw his first pick in over a month and half, but led the Golden Warriors to victory.
But if you make a short list of the best quarterbacks in Eastern Mass., you would be hard-pressed not to find his name at the top or right near it.

Scarpa was brilliant in the second half of Andover’s 22-19 victory over Central Catholic (9-2) on Thanksgiving Day at Lovely Stadium. The 5-foot-9-inch, 162-pound senior quarterback finished the day 16-of-29 for 233 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

In the second half alone, Scarpa was 12-of-17 for 128 yards and he was near picture-perfect on the first drive of the second half that basically sealed the victory, and the Merrimack Valley Conference tiebreaker, for the Golden Warriors when he picked up his lone rushing touchdown of the day.

The quarterback-head coach relationship has grown over the past couple of years between E.J. Perry and Scarpa, and this game was a perfect example of that.

“Early in his career we used to have discussions,” Perry, whose team will take on St. John’s Prep in the first round of the Div. 1 playoffs, said of his quarteback, “and now I have trust.”

Scarpa showed the ability to connect on the long ball — like when he struck with Cam Farnham for a 77-yard touchdown in the first half — and the medium to short distance throws. The dink-and-dunk nature of taking what the defense gave him was on display on the Golden Warriors 15-play, 80-yard drive on their first possession of the second half.

Scarpa came out and divvied the ball to Will Heikkinen, Andrew Deloury, and Jack Sylvester out of the backfield. He connected with Heikkinen for an 8-yard connection on a crucial fourth-and-2, and five plays later he used his legs to get in the end zone for the 21-13 lead.

Perry went to a little bit of trickery on the extra point attempt as Scarpa pulled the hold back and fired it to a wide open Jake Flaherty for the two-point conversion pass and the 22-13 lead.

“Just getting the balls to the guys out quick,” Scarpa said of the second-half tempo. “Our tempo was obviously spectacular (on that drive). It was awesome to get the tempo up, because we knew if we did they would get a little bit tired.

“[The coaching staff] probably called 100 percent of the plays [on that drive]. I just improvised.”

When he needed to make connections late in the fourth quarter he did, connecting on two third-and-longs to keep the drive going and keep the Raiders from getting the ball back.

MISSED CHANCES FOR RAIDERS
This game came down to two chances for the Raiders’ offense inside of red zone that never surfaced into touchdowns.

Ryan Doherty blocked a Golden Warriors punt and set up the Raiders inside the 20-yard line. The offense couldn’t generate a first down and had to settle for a 39-yard field goal off the foot of Thomas Jenoski.

The Raiders took the opening kickoff inside of Golden Warriors territory, and again, the offense couldn’t get across the goal-line and had to settle for a 30-yard field goal from Jenoski.

Two opportunities inside the red zone and the Raiders settled for six points instead of potentially 14. In a 3-point game, those situations need to be capitalized on.

“It’s a weird game,” said Raiders coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “I thought we played well defensively and I thought offensively we did some good things at times. We just didn’t do enough to win a game like this.”

ANDOVER 22, CENTRAL CATHOLIC 19
Central Catholic (9-2) 3 – 7 – 3 – 6 - 19
Andover (10-1) 7 – 7 – 8 – 0 – 22

CC — Thomas Jenoski 39 FG
AN — Cole Organisciak 9 pass from C.J. Scarpa (Oliver Eberth kick)
CC — Ryan Doherty 14 pass from Michael Milano (Jenoski kick)
AN — Cam Farnham 77 pass from Scarpa (Eberth kick)
CC — Jenoski 30-yard FG
AN — Scarpa 9 run (Jake Flaherty pass from Scarpa)
CC — Michael Barry 25 pass from Milano (kick failed)

Small stature, big returns for Andover QB Scarpa

November, 6, 2012
11/06/12
11:55
AM ET
ANDOVER, Mass. -- Last Wednesday, a good hour before the start of practice, Andover quarterback C.J. Scarpa was huddled inside the team meeting room along with his coaches, discussing and strategizing various offensive schemes on a large white board.

While the rest of his teammates began filtering into the stadium locker room next door a short time later to dress, Scarpa, already suited up, was using this extra time to work on the intricacies of his trade.

This routine is nothing new for Scarpa. A noted student of the game, the senior is constantly looking for ways to make himself better than he already is.

[+] EnlargeScarpa
Tracy Layne/Andover Andover quarterback C.J. Scarpa is just 5-foot-8 but has thrown for 2,088 yards, 27 touchdowns and just four interceptions through nine games this season.
Now in his second season guiding the Golden Warrior offense, Scarpa is regarded by many as one of the best in the state at his position. His development over these past two years has been nothing short of remarkable.

“C.J.’s sophomore year was his development year,” said Andover head coach E.J. Perry, now in his third season. “He did a tremendous job at the junior varsity level but he broke his finger in the 10th game that year. If that had not happened, he might’ve gotten a few snaps at varsity in our Thanksgiving Day game and playoff game that season because he was coming on so rapidly."

Although the broken finger served as a mere setback for him, Scarpa spent the following off-season attending various quarterback camps as well as putting in his own individual work. As a result, it allowed his skills to flourish immensely.

Last season, Andover finished 7-4 with Scarpa tossing 21 touchdowns. This year, he has already thrown 27 with only four picks and 2,088 yards as the Golden Warriors stand at 8-1 and possess a shot of earning a berth in the Division 1 Eastern Mass. Super Bowl.

“No doubt his personal accomplishments have been truly amazing," Perry said. “But what I tell C J all the time is the only stat that matters are wins. I tell him that is how you are truly measured as a quarterback."

What makes these feats all the more amazing is Scarpa is 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds. While he has heard his fare share of naysayers who say he is to small to play the position, Scarpa refuses to listen to any of it.

“Yeah, I’ve heard it from a bunch of people,” Scarpa said. “But I’ve never doubted myself. My thinking is don’t let anyone say you cannot do it. The difference between 5-8 and 6-4 is obviously the height. But if you are 5-8, like me, then you need to get into the film room, study and get into the weight room and be as strong as you can. I’ve leaned to never let anyone doubt you.”

Scarpa says ongoing conversations he has had with former Brockton standout quarterback Tom Colombo has helped him a tremendously. Colombo, himself small in stature standing 5-foot-7, had heard the same criticisms while lining up behind center in the late 1980's for the Boxers. All Colombo did was become the state’s all-time leader in touchdown passes thrown (85), before the mark was eclipsed a year ago by Everett’s Jonathan DiBiaso. Upon leaving Brockton, Colombo went on to have a sensational career at Villanova University.

“Just talking with him and hearing about what he did at the high school and college level, and his height being simlar to mine, he just told me to ignore the criticisms and that I could do it too just like he did,” said Scarpa, who will play at Elon College next season. “That really meant a lot to me."

Because of Scarpa’s ability to read defenses so quickly and make adjustments on the fly, the Golden Warriors have effectively been able to run it’s up-tempo-style offense to almost near-perfection.

“The biggest thing C.J. has is the mental aspect to the quarterback position,” said Perry. “The offense we run here is quick and fast and you need to pick up blitzes and understand the routes our receivers are going. In this type of offense a lot of kids may have difficulty picking these things up. But C J understands the entire game and runs it well. What we tell C J in this offense is that it’s not about the last play but the next play. If we lose two yards or the coaches or him make a bad read who cares. We just move on to the next play.”

Perry’s devotion to Andover’s no-huddle, spread offense should come as no surprise to anyone. His brother John, head coach at Merrimack College, runs a similar style. So too does his other brother James, a former Brown University exceptional quarterback who still holds most of the Ivy League passing records, and is now the offensive coordinator at Princeton University.

“C.J. understands this offense and knows what everyone is doing on every play, including our offensive line,” said Perry. “As a coach, that is the biggest concern you have with a quarterback because in our offense sometimes we have five guys speard out running various routes and you want to be sure the quarterback knows where everyone is going. Fortunately for us, C J does.”

Adds Scarpa, “I know I can read defenses better than other kids. You understand a lot more with each game and each play. I think it is sometimes better that there really isn’t a lot of time to think in-between plays. You just go out there and whatever you see you throw the ball in that direction. Fortunately I have some great players around me and some great coaches who have helped me along the way.”

Andover has a plethora of receivers for Scarpa to choose from. Cam Farnham, Will Heikkinen, Andrew Deloury, Cam Davey and running back Jack Sylvester have all proven their worth catching the football many times over this season.

“I am definitely confident in my abilities,” Scarpa said. “I know this is such a great team. With everyone here putting in the needed time and getting to know everyone and what they can do has been truly special this year. I feel everyone here believes (a Super Bowl) can happen and for me, that’s the most important thing. Here, everyone believes we can do it and understands to never get complacent. As a senior you only get one shot at this so I believe you might as well do it the right way. As a team that’s what we have been doing.”

ESPN Boston Week 9 football picks

November, 2, 2012
11/02/12
2:58
AM ET
ACTON-BOXBOROUGH (6-2) AT LINCOLN-SUDBURY (7-1)
The Skinny: Although the Colonials enter this rivalry game after a letdown against Waltham last week, these teams always have a say in the determination of the Dual County League crown. The Warriors have worked toward reclaiming the division title with help from a talented cast of seniors who have two-way success with the football and the lacrosse teams, including Chris Giorgio, Henry Guild and John Sexton. A-B’s wing-T attack is led by a pair of promising juniors in William Tejada (14 TDs) and Tom Saponaro.

Scott Barboza: Bill Maver has the building blocks for a strong group next year, but this senior group from L-S has been primed to make their run during the last two years. The seal the deal for the division, but it’s a rivalry game, so throw the records out. L-S, 20-14.

Brendan Hall: The Warriors take the inside track to their third consecutive postseason berth, but because it’s A-B they do it in knock-down, drag-out fashion. L-S, 17-10.

DIGHTON-REHOBOTH (6-1) AT WAREHAM (7-1)
The Skinny: Both teams sport a perfect South Coast Conference record entering Friday’s tête-à-tête and their only loss came against a common non-league opponent in Somerset-Berkley. Since their opening day loss, the Falcons have run off six straight wins, including a 5-0 record in the SCC. D-R’s ground attack is keyed by 6-foot-7 tackle Chuddy Nwachukwu, but the Falcons have also seen dividends in the passing game behind sophomore quarterback Nathan Kowalski. The Vikings, also undefeated in the SCC, have big-play ability with the electrifying Darien Fernandez in the backfield. Yet, Wareham has also brought the lumber on defense, surrendering just 26 points through five league games.

Barboza: In big SCC games, it’s hard to pick against a Dave Driscoll-led team. D-R, 16-14.

Hall: As usual, our loyal correspondent Corey comes up with some innovative names, this one “The Fernandez Express”. As long as Darien’s legs keep churning, the Vikings will stay ahead. Wareham, 17-13.

STONEHAM (7-1) AT BURLINGTON (7-1)
The Skinny: The Red Devils can sew up the Middlesex League Freedom division title with a win over the upstart Spartans. Stoneham saw its undefeated record blemish last week in a 42-28 loss to Wakefield, but the Spartans are capable of throwing a monkey wrench into the race behind Aaron Louis and Darius McPherson. Meanwhile, Burlington’s backfield tandem of Anthony Cruz and Marcus O’Diah has few equals in Eastern Mass.

Barboza: Cinderella’s ball comes to a halt. Burlington, 33-24.

Hall: Stoneham appears to have a quality foundation for the long haul, but in the short term this Burlington rushing attack will be too much for the Spartans to handle. Burlington, 28-14.

GOVERNOR’S ACADEMY (6-0) AT MILTON ACADEMY (4-2)
The Skinny: The defending ISL champs put their undefeated record on the line in a road game. Gov’s 40-6 win over Brooks last week kept its point-per-game average above 41 points a game as Tate Jozokos and Eli Morrissey continue their assault on opposing defenses. Mustangs junior running back Drew Jacobs continued his breakout season with four touchdowns last week in a throttling of Belmont Hill.

Barboza: Opposing teams better hope they have Jacoby Jones or Ellis Hobbs returning kicks for them because it’s a 108 yards or bust with Justin Yoon kicking off. Still, Gov’s offense takes over. Governor’s, 31-24.

Hall: The Governators haven’t lost a game since Jim O’Leary took over in 2011. How crazy is that? Governor’s, 30-20.

WAYLAND (5-3) AT CONCORD-CARLISLE (4-4) (
The Skinny: Wayland looks for the inside track in the Dual County League’s Small division, entering the game with one of the league’s stingiest defenses (10.6 points allowed), and two versatile targets in senior wideout Mark Bonner and junior tailback Robert Williams. C-C, the defending league and Super Bowl champs, lost Tim Badgley in the preseason, but running backs Evan Boynton and Shayne McCloskey have picked up the slack.

Barboza: Yeah, I went with the Patriots winning a long time ago, in fact before we learned Badgley would be out for the year. It’s political season, so consider me a swing voter here. Wayland, 14-7.

Hall: I have the feeling this game is going to be possession-based. In that case, give me the better defense. Wayland, 10-6.

LOWELL (6-2) AT ANDOVER (8-0)
(The Skinny: Lowell has been on an offensive tear the last four games, going 3-1 and averaging 43 points per game over that span. Cam Latta has spearheaded the surge, but can he outduel Andover’s C.J. Scarpa? The 5-foot-8 senior hasn’t thrown an interception since Oct. 6, meanwhile the Golden Warriors are averaging over 370 yards of offense a game.

Barboza: Calculators ready? Andover, 46-38.

Hall: Remember the 88-80, eight-overtime game between these two in 2010? Let’s do the honorable thing here and move the venue to the Tsongas Center. Andover, 45-40.

NORTHBRIDGE (7-1) AT AUBURN (8-0) (
The Skinny: Auburn, one of the state’s stingiest defenses (5.1 points per game), holds first place in the SWCL A division, and can put a vice grip on it with a win over the Rams. Offensively, the Rockets have rode one of the state’s biggest lines to bull their way to over 2,000 yards rushing and over 2,700 yards of total offense, led by quarterback Drew Goodrich and Tyler Desjardins. But Northbridge quarterback Matt Phelan (1,344 passing yards, 11 TD; 673 rushing yards, 19 TD) will be one of the more slippery athletes the Rockets will have seen all season long. Can they contain him?

Barboza: Again, more than the score, I’m wondering what the line would be set at on these occurrences: how many times the Rockets venture to pass versus the Rams keeping it on the ground. Think it’s a push, but … Auburn, 31-27.

Hall: Classic clash of philosophies here: Jeff Cormier’s power running scheme versus Northbridge guru Ken LaChapelle and his pioneering run-and-shoot. Give me the team with the better line, in a physical battle. Auburn, 20-13.

BC HIGH (3-4) AT XAVERIAN (2-6) (
The Skinny: What would you have said if we told you back in August these two teams would be meeting in November with a combined 10 losses? But that’s what we have here, as the two Catholic Conference foes will fight to stay alive in a conference that St. John’s Prep is favored to take a hold of. If linebacker Luke Catarius is a go for BC High, that should provide an interesting matchup for Xaverian and its talented skill corps of Austin DeCarr, D.J. Pagliuca and Hunter Taute. The key matchup will be in the interior, where two close friends and Division 1 commits will square off – Xaverian defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (Michigan) versus BC High guard Jack McDonald (Virginia).

Barboza: Going with my preseason Catholic Conference pick in this one for whatever that’s worth – though it’s still probably worth more than Facebook stock. BC High, 21-17.

Hall: Give both teams credit here, they’re still fighting hard. But at this point, the Eagles have a little bit more momentum. BC High, 21-10.

BARNSTABLE (7-0) AT BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (5-3)
The Skinny: Once again, these teams engage in a winner-takes-all battle for the Old Colony League crown in this week’s Game of the Week. Some elements to watch entering this one will be to see how the Red Raiders secondary is able to shake off a lackluster performance last week against Billerica. Similarly, B-R had its troubles with La Salle Academy and its spread attack a couple weeks back, so we’ll see how the Trojans’ secondary is able to deal with Barnstable quick and nimble wideouts. Let’s not overlook the running backs in this one, however. Hayden Murphy figured prominently into last year’s win by Barnstable in this game and Trojans sophomore sensation Brandon Gallagher (12 TDs) will be one to watch for years to come.

Barboza: Because it’s what Dan Buron wants us to do anyway, and for the fact I think the Red Raiders repeat. Barnstable, 30-24.

Hall: Any time you have an NFL veteran coaching the secondary, you have to think things will shore up after a bad week. Barnstable, 35-28.

Recap: No. 13 Andover 42, Chelmsford 22

October, 27, 2012
10/27/12
1:03
AM ET
CHELMSFORD, Mass.- Conventional football wisdom will tell you that if a team loses its placekicker to an injury, many aspects of the team’s performance will change: field goals and extra points get exponentially tougher, and kickoffs are no sure thing, which could give a team quality field position to start drives.

That wasn’t the case Friday for Andover. It scored two quick touchdowns in the first, and successfully converted the ensuing two-point plays, which put Chelmsford back on its heels and forced it to play catch-up the rest of the game.

The Lions could not catch up, eventually falling 42-22 to its Merrimack Valley Conference foe.

Andover’s (8-0) Mark Zavril, the team’s usual kicker, watched from the sideline in street clothes while his team rolled in its first league game of the season.

“We might have gone for the two, even if our kicking game was there, because we’ve been working on that,” Andover head coach E.J. Perry said. “We’re about 65-70 percent with the two-point and when you do the numbers, it’s almost better to go for the two. We also like to flip the numbers so we get a two-score advantage. They came toe-to-toe in the first quarter, but then we opened it up and made the twos and did a nice job.”

Chelmsford (4-4) was caught off-guard on the kickoff after the first Andover touchdown when the Golden Warriors sent a squib up the middle and recovered the loose ball. It scored a minute and a half later to put the Lions behind by 16.

Chelmsford quarterback John Campsmith (11-of-22, 138 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) answered on the next drive when he hit Greg Johnson on a 34-yard bomb down the right sideline. Johnson, a speedy wide receiver, split bracket coverage and outran both defenders to get the ball and get in the endzone.

In the end, the Andover no-huddle, spread offense proved to be too much for the home team to handle. C.J. Scarpa finished the game 14-of-23 for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns, each to a different receiver. He also had a two-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter.

--- While the Andover offense, and many other offenses in the Merrimack Valley for that matter, are known for their propensity to put up points, its defense also made a mark on the game Friday.

After allowing Campsmith to run for a first down on a third and 12 in the first quarter, it seemed like momentum had swung into Chelmsford’s favor and the game could’ve been well on its way to a shootout. Then on the next play, Campsmith tossed a bubble screen out to his wide receiver, but the ball bounced in the dirt. The receiver thought it was an incomplete pass, but because it was a sideways pass, the ball was live. Seeing this, the Andover defense jumped on the ball, killing the drive and Chelmsford momentum.

Andover scored on its opening driving after halftime, creating a 20-point deficit. On the first play of the ensuing Chelmsford drive, Chas Haseltine picked off Campsmith. The offense scored on its next possession, which turned what was a two-possession game at halftime into a four-possession game in two and a half minutes of game time.

“The defense doesn’t really get talked about a lot because our offense is so good,” Scarpa said. “Our defense is one heck of a defense. They kept us in that Xaverian game (a 15-13 victory), and we just knew our defense was pretty good. We practice as hard as we can against them, and they give us great looks and we give them great looks.”

--- Friday marked the first game in a four-week stretch when Andover plays league opponents. While it came into the latter part of the season undefeated, the team and the coaching staff know now is put-up or shut-up time for them.

“We told them coming in, ‘We’re starting 0-0, congratulations on being 7-0, but it’s time to go to work,” Perry said. “If you were in the huddle, one of the kids jumped in and said, ’1-0,’ and I like to hear that from our players.”

The team does feel confident, with the season steadily moving towards Thanksgiving and the playoffs.

“Eight-and-oh is great, but as everyone knows now, we’re 1-0 in the MVC, so we’re basically 1-0,” said Cam Farnham (3 catches, 22 yards, 1 TD). “We know if we win out, we’re going to the playoffs. We’ve got Lowell, Billerica, Central, and honestly, I think our conference is very tough but I think if we keep coming together as a team and keep battling hard, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

--- Andover’s quarterback C.J. Scarpa is anything but conventional. At 5-foot-8, he looks more like a scat back than a quarterback. Stand next to him, and you can not help but wonder how he can read the field beyond his offensive linemen. However, after Friday, he has tossed over 20 touchdown passes and is a senior captain of a team considered very much capable of winning the Merrimack Valley Large.

“Being 5-8 makes me me, so I just take it as it is,” he said. “I’m not going to try and be anyone I’m not. I’m 5-8, so be it. My parents aren’t tall, so I just take it how it comes.”

NO. 13 ANDOVER 42, CHELMSFORD 22
AND --- 16 6 20 0 --- 42
CHE --- 8 0 7 7 --- 22

1st quarter
A - Andrew Deloury 37-yard pass from CJ Scarpa (Deloury 2-point pass from Scarpa good)
A - Will Heikkinen 21-yard pass from Scarpa (Heikkinen 2-point pass from Scarpa good)
C - Greg Johnson 34-yard pass from John Campsmith (Johnson 2-point pass from Campsmith good)

2nd quarter
A - Scarpa 2-yard run (Scarpa 2-point pass to Deloury no good)

3rd quarter
A - Jack Sylvester 12-yard run (Deloury 2-point pass from Scarpa good)
A - Cam Farnham 10-yard pass from Scarpa (Nolan Leblanc kick no good)
A - Brandon Marti 8-yard run (Leblanc kick no good)
C - Connor Brimley 4-yard run (Charles Calenda kick good)

4th quarter
C - Johnson 8-yard pass from Campsmith (Calenda kick good)

ESPN Boston Week 8 football picks

October, 26, 2012
10/26/12
1:04
AM ET
NO. 23 CENTRAL CATHOLIC (6-1) AT LOWELL (6-1)
The Skinny: Both teams enter with a 1-0 MVC record, coming off their first league games last week. Lowell rolled over Billerica 56-34 while Central Catholic slipped past Chelmsford 28-21. Cam Latta has picked up where R.J. Noel left off at quarterback this year for Lowell at quarterback, throwing for 12 touchdowns and running for seven more. Central Catholic running back Santino Brancato leads the Raiders with eight touchdowns on the season, none bigger than his final score last week with 41 seconds remaining which was the game-winner over Chelmsford.

Scott Barboza: This will be high-scoring, but relatively tame by MVC standards. Central, 34-28.

Brendan Hall: Because Lowell can score in bunches, and because it's the MVC, take the over. Central Catholic, 38-31.

NO. 13 ANDOVER (7-0) AT CHELMSFORD (4-3)
The Skinny: After a hot start, Chelmsford is trying to snap a three-game losing streak and risk falling behind in the competitive Merrimack Valley Conference's large division. They'll have their hands full against one of the state's most prolific offenses, averaging nearly 400 yards and 39 points per game, between quarterback C.J. Scarpa and receivers Andrew Deloury, Will Heikkinen and Cam Farnham.

Barboza: I think the Lions will try to play ball control for a while, but that can only last so long against the high-octane Andover offense. Andover, 42-31.

Hall: Do you see a recurring theme with our MVC picks? Offense, offense, offense. Andover, 40-35.

LINCOLN-SUDBURY (6-1) AT WESTFORD (6-1)
The Skinny: Like several other key league matchups this weekend, this matchup can potentially put one team in the driver's seat for the Dual County Large title. It's no secret what L-S brings to the table, but workhorse Chris Giorgio is among the league's toughest running backs. Westford counters with jack-of-all-trades athlete Justin Mount, who fills multiple roles on both sides of the ball.

Barboza: Picked the Warriors to win the DCL Large in the preseason and I'm not about to step back now. But the Warriors get it done by a chin. L-S, 14-13.

Hall: Flip a coin in this one. I landed on the Ghosts. Westford, 24-17.

NO. 9 BROCKTON (4-3) AT NO. 14 LEOMINSTER (5-2)
The Skinny: Each of these teams received a boost in different ways last week. The Boxers saw the return of their starting quarterback and emotional leader Auggie Roberts in a drubbing of Big Three rival Durfee. Meanwhile, a Blue Devils offense that has had its troubles in recent weeks, shook off the rust to muster a gut-check, two-minute drive to pull out a last-second victory at Central Mass. rival St. John’s of Shrewsbury, led by quarterback Garrett DelleChiaie. Now, both teams meet in a non-league, late-season measuring stick game to see just how far these offenses have come. Not to mention, both teams can really lay the lumber on defense.

Barboza: Blue Devils ride the wave of momentum. Leominster, 28-20.

Hall: It won't be a shutout, but it won't be as shocking an upset when the Blue Devils take two straight for the first time in...help, anyone? Leominster, 21-14.

HINGHAM (6-1) AT NO. 6 DUXBURY (7-0)
The Skinny: An eagerly awaited battle for the inside edge at the Patriot League Keenan division title, the competition should be as fierce at the tailgate as it will be on the field when the Dragons put their Eastern Mass. best 33-game winning streak on the line. A stout Duxbury defense, led by Mr. Football Award challenger Marshall McCarthy will have its hands full with the Harbormen’s wing-T and backfield led by Ricky Sullivan.

Barboza: The Dragons run their streak to 34 games, but it won’t be without difficulty. Duxbury, 13-7.

Hall: As usual, the Dragons will pull something together in the second half and do just enough to win. Duxbury, 20-17.

NEEDHAM (5-2) AT NO. 10 NATICK (7-0)
The Skinny: After a solid start to the season, Needham is now looking to avoid a two-game losing skid and dropping three of its last five. What better an opponent to try to snap the skid than against one of the state's prolific offenses, led by quarterback Troy Flutie (1,477 passing yards, 19 TD, 4 INT; 555 rushing yards, 7 TD) and receiver Brian Dunlap (41 catches, 784 yards, 11 TD). Needham is also coming off a 31-0 shutout loss to a Walpole squad that was missing its top running back to injury.

Barboza: No chance the Red Hawks aren't undefeated setting up a winner-take-all against Walpole. Can't wait. Natick, 31-17.

Hall: Every time we predict a high-scoring affair involving a Bay State team, it never goes as planned. So I'm going with something fairly pedestrian. Natick, 21-12.

NO. 19 MANSFIELD (5-2) AT NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH (4-3)
The Skinny: The Red Rocketeers will need a win to keep pace with Mansfield (2-0) in the Kelley-Rex division race. The X-factor will be the availability of senior running back and defensive back Alex Jette. While it’s expected Jette will play, the extent to which he’ll be able to contribute is very much up in the air. Still, North is readily able to move the ball on the ground thanks to a physical offensive line anchored by left tackle Eric Beckwith. Mansfield got off to a great start in last week’s blowout of King Philip and the Red Rocketeers’ secondary will have its hands full with playmakers Brendan Hill and Mike Hershman. The Hornets have seen junior linebacker Alexander Ruddy (team-leading 55 tackles, 8 TFL) embrace a larger role this year.

Barboza: In each of the team’s last four meetings, the AWAY team has collected the victory. Not about to buck the recent trend. Mansfield, 26-21.

Hall: Per tradition, the away team wins this one with an epic possession in the final five minutes. Mansfield, 20-13.

NO. 22 KING PHILIP (6-1) AT ATTLEBORO (4-3)
The Skinny: King Philip was soundly delivered a rude awakening a week ago at Mansfield, in a 46-33 loss, and now looks to avoid falling behind in the Hockomock's Kelly-Rex division by extending Attleboro's losing streak. The skid currently stands at three games for the Bombardiers after a 4-0 start, and can't seem to get over the hump -- take, for instance, Malique Clark's nearly 300-yard rushing performance in a 44-41 loss to Franklin last week. An Attleboro win would surely create even more confusion at the top of the division.

Barboza: Warriors defense gets back on track, but it won't be easy against Clark. KP, 21-14.

Hall: I'm all for chaos when it comes to Hockomock bracketology. Get out your TI-83's, folks. Attleboro, 30-20.

WAKEFIELD (6-1) AT STONEHAM (7-0)
The Skinny: It's been a long time since Stoneham has had this good of a start, but the Spartans still face questions about a perceived weak schedule. This is their chance to prove doubters wrong, with defensively-sound Wakefield coming off a 33-0 shutout loss to Burlington.

Barboza: In a word, "SPARRRTAAAHHHHHH!" Stoneham, 20-16.

Hall: Because what the heck, I love rolling the dice, and I want to keep my boss and resident Stoneham-ite Dave Lefort happy. Stoneham, 17-13.

MILTON ACADEMY (3-2) AT BELMONT HILL (3-2)
The Skinny: The Mustangs and Hillies are looking to break free from a logjam of 3-2 teams in the middle of the ISL standings. Milton Academy is led by junior Drew Jacobs, who already has four multi-touchdown games this season. The Mustangs also have one of the biggest offensive weapons in the ISL on the foot of place kicker Justin Yoon.

Barboza: Yoon’s foot provides the difference. Milton Academy, 13-10.

Hall: Let me preface this by saying Justin Yoon can kick for anyone any day of the week. Belmont Hill, 14-10.

ROXBURY LATIN (4-1) AT BB&N (3-2)
The Skinny: Its hopes of an undefeated season no more, Roxbury Latin looks to get back on the saddle and stay in contention for the ISL championship and a NEPSAC Bowl berth. A win here over the Knights, with its solid line and elite target in Wake Forest-bound tight end Brendan O'Neil, would bolster those odds. And the Foxes have the horses to do it, led by Boston College-bound quarterback MacKay Lowrie.

Barboza: Knights can take advantage of the matchup along the line of scrimmage. They'll win the point of attack battle. BB&N, 28-27.

Hall: I'll never count out a John Papas-coached team as long as the guy is in the business, but Latin can win track meets. Roxbury Latin, 35-30.

Mr. Football Watch: Week 7

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
1:35
PM ET
Here is the ESPN Boston Mr. Football Watch list for Week 7 of the high school season. As always, stats can be sent to editors Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com) and/or Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com)

THE CONTENDERS

Drew Belcher, Jr. QB, Reading
Threw for a pair of touchdown passes in the Rockets' 40-7 win over Lexington.

Vincent Burton, Sr. RB, Blue Hills
After surpassing 4,000 career yards a week ago, Burton joined the 500 career point club on Friday with 251 yards and four touchdowns in the Warriors' win over Southeastern.

Brian Dunlap, Soph. WR, Natick
Got going in a different way in the Red Hawks' 42-23 win over Weymouth on Friday. He had just one catch for 16 yards, but carried the ball five times for 107 yards and a score, and added a 38-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter.

Cam Farnham, Sr. WR/KR, Andover
Returned his second kickoff to the house in the Golden Warriors' 42-14 win over Lawrence, this one for 90 yards, giving him seven total touchdowns and nearly 750 all-purpose yards on the season.

Brendan Flaherty, Sr. RB, Beverly
Ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers' 30-14 win over Masconomet.

Troy Flutie, Jr. QB, Natick
Turned in a menacing night for the Red Hawks in their 42-23 defeat of Weymouth. He was 10-of-14 passing for 171 yards and two scores; on the ground, he carried 22 times for 215 yards and two more scores.

Marshall McCarthy, Sr. LB, Duxbury
Totaled 14 tackles and three sacks in the Dragons' 14-6 win over Pembroke.

Alex Moore, Sr. RB/S, St. John's Prep
Carried eight times for 83 yards and two touchdowns, and added a third touchdown on a 54-yard reception, in a 49-8 win over St. John's of Shrewsbury.

Nick Peabody, Sr. QB, Barnstable
In the Red Raiders' 35-6 win over Dartmouth, was 14 of 29 passing for 241 yards and two touchdowns, and ran in a third score.

C.J. Scarpa, Sr. QB, Andover
Threw for 112 yards and two scores on 4-of-5 passing in limited action in a 42-14 win over Lawrence.

Jonathan Thomas, Jr. RB, St. John's Prep
Ran for 238 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, including a 68-yard scamper, in the Eagles' 49-8 rout of St. John's (Shrewsbury).

Jakarrie Washington, Sr. ATH, Everett
Carried 12 times for 87 yards and three scores, and added an interception, in the Crimson Tide's 24-7 win over Xaverian.

Quron Wright, Sr. RB, Holy Name
In the Naps' 40-20 win over Milford, carried 19 times for 147 yards and four scores.

ON THE RISE

Max Athy, Sr. RB/LB, Hollison
Ran for 202 yards and two scores on 14 carries in the Panthers' 49-7 thrashing of Ashland.

Zach Bartak, Sr. QB, Greenfield
He's a quarterback by trade, with nice passing stats (778 yards, 10 TD) but the powerful runner actually leads Western Mass. in rushing (878 yards, 11 TD). Against Mohawk Trail last weekend, he completed 8-of-17 passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns, and added 15 carries for 243 yards and a third score.

Kayjuan Bynum, Sr. QB/LB, Springfield Putnam
Completed 15 of 26 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns in a 50-8 win over Springfield Cathedral. He currently leads Western Mass. in passing yards (1,209) and leads his team in tackles.

Terrel Correia, Sr. TE, Nantucket
The Whalers tossed a 50-yard Hail Mary pass with time expired, and the 6-foot-7 UMass commit came down with it, for a thrilling 20-14 win over West Bridgewater.

Babila Fonkem, Sr. ATH, Abington
Served a number of roles for the Green Wave in their 40-21 win over Carver, rushing for a touchdown, returning a kick 78 yards for a second score, and making two interceptions on defense.

Tedaro France, Sr. WR, Barnstable
Caught four passes for 128 yards and a score in the Red Raiders' 35-6 defeat of Dartmouth.

Matt Phelan, Sr. QB, Northbridge
In the Rams' 44-6 thrashing of Nipmuc, was 13-of-18 passing for 204 yards and two touchdowns, hauled in a 34-yard touchdown reception, and added 39 yards and a fourth score on the ground on 13 carries.

Spencer Tyler, Jr. QB, Dennis-Yarmouth
Threw for 152 yards and a touchdown, and added 143 yards and two scores on the ground, in the Dolphins' 36-12 thumping of Marshfield.

Mr. Football Watch: Week 6

October, 8, 2012
10/08/12
6:15
PM ET
THE CONTENDERS

Drew Belcher, Jr. QB, Reading
Called his own number for the winning touchdown with less than a minute left, as the Rockets rallied past Burlington, 22-15.

Brian Dunlap, Soph. WR, Natick
Caught six passes for 121 yards and two scores in the Red Hawks’ 42-7 rout of Dedham.

Troy Flutie, Jr. QB, Natick
In the Red Hawks’ 42-7 romp of Dedham, completed 12 of 16 passes for four touchdowns, and added 41 yards rushing with a score.

Jon Hurvitz, Sr. RB, Duxbury
Reached the end zone twice, the second time putting the Dragons ahead for good, in a 20-16 thriller over Xaverian.

Marshall McCarthy, Sr. LB, Duxbury
Recorded 13 tackles and two sacks, both for forced fumbles, in the Dragons’ 20-16 win over Xaverian.

Alex Moore, Sr. RB, St. John’s Prep
Racked up over 200 yards from scrimmage and all three of the Eagles’ scores in a 20-7 win over Bridgewater-Raynham, rushing for 159 yards and two TDs, and three catches for 73 yards and a third score.

Nick Peabody, Sr. QB, Barnstable
Threw for three touchdowns in the Red Raiders’ 19-14 win over New Bedford, bringing his season total to 18 touchdown passes.

C.J. Scarpa, Sr. QB, Andover
In the Golden Warriors’ wild 51-42 win over Tewksbury, completed 17 of 24 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns.

Jakarrie Washington, Sr. WR, Everett
Scored five times for the Crimson Tide (three rushing, two receiving) as they avoided a scare against Cambridge, 51-30.

Quron Wright, Sr. RB, Holy Name
Had his lowest total of the season in a 38-20 loss to Doherty, but still went over 100 yards (18 carries, 105 yards, 2 TD) and crossed the 1,000-yard barrier. He needs 370 yards to break the school’s all-time rushing yardage record.

ON THE RISE

Andrew Benson, Sr. QB, East Bridgewater
In the Vikings’ 39-26 win over Hull, carried 17 times for 296 yards and four touchdowns, and added a 20-yard touchdown through the air.

Chance Brady, Jr. RB, Haverhill
Ran for 204 yards and two scores in the Hillies’ 30-23 thriller over Chelmsford.

Jaleel Brown, Jr. RB, Springfield Putnam
With feature back Wayne Lowery leaving the game with an ankle injury, Brown came through with 165 yards rushing and three scores to help the Beavers in a 40-19 win over Chicopee Comp.

Kayjuan Bynum, Sr. QB/LB, Springfield Putnam
Racked up 299 passing yards and three touchdowns, to go along with nine tackles, in the Beavers’ 40-19 win over Chicopee Comp. Through five games, Bynum leads the team in tackles (46) and forced fumbles (four).

Andrew Deloury, Sr. WR, Andover
Caught seven passes for a ridiculous 226 yards and three scores in the Golden Warriors’ 51-42 win over Tewksbury.

Brendan Flaherty, Sr. RB, Beverly
Became the school's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with his 47th score in a 49-0 blanking of Peabody

David Maaghul, Jr. QB, Cambridge
Had an impressive showing in the Falcons’ 51-30 loss to Everett, throwing for 274 yards and four touchdowns. On the season, he already has over 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns passes.

Justin Mount, Sr. ATH, Westford
In the Grey Ghosts’ 42-7 win over Newton South, carried three times for 60 yards and two scores, and added 24 receiving yards.

Matt Phelan, Sr. QB, Northbridge
In the Rams’ 28-21 win over Grafton, completed 9-of-17 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns, and added 79 yards rushing on 16 carries.

Jimmy Sullivan, Jr. QB, Nauset
In the Warriors’ 28-20 win over Scituate, completed all five of his pass attempts for 121 yards and two scores, and added 88 yards rushing.

Juwan Williams, Sr. ATH, Springfield Central
Filled in marvelously for his cousin at quarterback, in the Golden Eagles’ 40-7 rout of East Longmeadow. Through the air, he was 4-of-5 passing with 114 yards and two touchdowns; on the ground, he carried 10 times for 94 yards and two more scores.

ESPN Boston Mr. Football Watch: Week 5

October, 1, 2012
10/01/12
2:20
PM ET
THE CONTENDERS
Drew Belcher, Jr. QB, Reading
Threw for two touchdowns, and ran in a third, in a 26-0 shutout of Melrose.

Brian Dunlap, Soph. WR, Natick
Caught eight passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns in the Red Hawks' 29-0 shutout of Newton North.

Troy Flutie, Jr. QB, Natick
Completed 16 of 24 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns in the Red Hawks' 29-0 shutout of Newton North, and added 34 rushing yards on seven carries.

Jon Hurvitz, Sr. RB, Duxbury
Ran for a touchdown in the Dragons' 28-0 shutout of Middleborough.

Dylan Morris, Sr. WR, Barnstable
In a performance that will go down deep into Hyannis folklore, Morris caught two second-half touchdown passes -- the second clinching it in the second overtime -- in the Red Raiders' historic 13-7 upset of Everett.

Nick Peabody, Sr. QB, Barnstable
After going 0 for 10 with an interception in the first half against Everett, recovered to throw two touchdown passes and 96 yards, to deliver the upset.

Andrew Smiley, Jr. QB, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
In the Pioneers' 46-14 thumping of Wachusett, completed 13 of 24 passes for two touchdowns and added 93 rushing yards on seven carries. It's the first time in four starts he didn't eclipse at least 330 yards from scrimmage.

Jonathan Thomas, Jr. RB, St. John's Prep
Carried 23 times for 224 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles' 27-12 win over Brockton.

Cody Williams, Jr. QB, Springfield Central
Completed 8 of 12 passes for 172 yards and three scores in the Golden Eagles' 41-21 win over Chicopee.

Quron Wright, Sr. RB, Holy Name
In a 33-8 loss to Nashoba, the scatback ran for 251 yards and a score on 32 carries, bringing him within 420 yards of the school's all-time rushing mark.

ON THE RISE
Shadrach Abrokwah, Sr. RB, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Ran for 146 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries in the Pioneers' 46-14 win over Wachusett.

Garrett Carlos, Sr. RB, Somerset-Berkley
Kept up his torrid pace with 180 yards and two scores on 15 carries, in the Blue Raiders' 35-14 win over Wareham.

Jeff D'Auria, Sr. RB, Chelmsford
Ran for 290 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-27 win over Dracut.

David Harrison, Sr. ATH, Weymouth
In his first start at quarterback, moving over from his usual wideout position, he was 15 of 25 passing for 259 yards and four scores, including the game-winner with 23 seconds left, to beat Needham 32-27.

Kiivone Howard, Jr. RB, Foxborough
Carried 29 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns in the Warriors' 21-0 upset of North Attleborough.

Alex Medeiros, Jr. QB, Bishop Connolly
The running back, who's been filling in at quarterback for the Cougars, ran for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in a 36-0 win over Marian.

Jon Ojukwu, Sr. RB, Nashoba
Exploded for a ridiculous 270 yards and five touchdowns on just 11 carries as the Chieftains rolled over Holy Name, 33-8.

Mikey Panepinto, Jr. RB, Needham
Ran for 224 yards and three scores in the Rockets' 32-27 loss to Weymouth.

Matt Phelan, Sr. QB, Northbridge
Completed 6 of 9 passes for 93 yards and a score, and added 154 rushing yards and three scores on just five carries, as the Rams rolled Southbridge 42-12 to earn coach Ken LaChapelle his 300th career victory.

C.J. Scarpa, Sr. QB, Andover
Completed 12 of 25 passes for 203 yards and two scores, in the Golden Warriors' 15-13 upset of Xaverian.

Jimmy Sullivan, Jr. QB, Nauset
In the Warriors' 20-14 win over Cardinal Spellman, carried 16 times for 147 yards and a score.

Brandon Watkins, Sr. RB, Martha's Vineyard
Did it all for the Vineyarders in a 41-8 rout of Randolph: 7 carries for 171 yards and 3 TD; 1 reception for 41 yards; and an interception.

Mr. Football Watch: Week 4

September, 24, 2012
9/24/12
12:18
PM ET
THE CONTENDERS
Drew Belcher, Jr. QB, Reading
Tossed four touchdown passes in the Rockets' 32-0 shutout of Arlington.

Brian Dunlap, Soph. WR, Natick
Caught six passes for 147 yards and two scores in the Red Hawks' 33-7 win over Milton.

Jalen Felix, Sr. ATH, Everett
Taking primarily handoffs in the Crimson Tide's 19-7 win over St. John's Prep, carried 12 times for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Troy Flutie, Jr. QB, Natick
Completed 14 of 21 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, and added 35 yards on the ground, to eclipse 300 yards from scrimmage in the Red Hawks' 33-7 win over Milton.

Jon Hurvitz, Sr. RB, Duxbury
Racked up 185 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in the Dragons' 42-14 win over New Bedford, with 140 yards and four scores coming on the ground.

Marcus Odiah, Sr. RB, Burlington
Ran for 243 yards and four touchdowns in the Red Devils' 48-28 shootout win over Belmont.

Nick Peabody, Sr. QB, Barnstable
Completed 27 of 39 passes for 402 yards and five touchdowns in a 35-14 win over Sandwich. Peabody currently leads the state with 13 touchdown passes through the first three weeks of the season.

Andrew Smiley, Jr. QB, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Went over 330 yards from scrimmage for the third straight week, this time completing 14 of 26 passes for 207 yards, and adding 126 yards with two scores on the ground, in a 21-6 win over Catholic Memorial.

Jonathan Thomas, Jr. RB, St. John's Prep
Carried 19 times for 101 yards in the Eagles' 19-7 loss to No. 1 Everett.

Quron Wright, Sr. RB, Holy Name
In the Naps' 43-6 win over Arlington Catholic, Wright carried the ball just six times for 216 yards and touchdown runs of 56, 64 and 81 yards. In the last two weeks, he has just 11 carries but for 365 yards and six touchdowns. For the season, that's currently an absurd 16.9 yards per carry.

ON THE RISE
Garrett Carlos, Sr. RB, Somerset-Berkley
Carried four times for 187 yards and four touchdowns in the Blue Raiders' 49-6 win over Tri-County.

Justin Mount, Sr. ATH, Westford
In the Grey Ghosts' 27-12 win over Malden Catholic, ran 105 yards, caught another 90, and added an interception. In three games, he has 496 yards rushing and three picks.

Aaron Owens, Sr. RB, Springfield Central
Carried 17 times for 127 yards and three touchdowns in the Golden Eagles' 32-12 win over Chicopee Comp.

Jon Ojuwkwu, Sr. RB, Nashoba
Ran for three first-half scores, including the opening play from scrimmage, in the Chieftains' 42-3 win over Algonquin.

Mike Panepinto, Sr. RB, Needham
Ran for 103 yards and four touchdowns in the Rockets' 42-7 rout of Braintree.

Mike Rando, Sr. RB, Walpole
Went off for big gains in the Rebels' 46-13 win over Brookline, totaling 120 rushing yards and a score on just three carries, and hauling in four passes for 80 yards.

Rob Rapoza, Sr. RB, Mansfield
In the Hornets' 31-16 win over Dracut, he had 20 carries for 248 yards and three scores, and added fourth touchdown on a reception.

C.J. Scarpa, Sr. QB, Andover
Completed 18 of 31 passes for 255 yards and three scores, and added a fourth touchdown on the ground, in the Golden Warriors' 34-0 win over Methuen.

Jimmy Sullivan, Sr. QB, Nauset
Ran for 190 yards and three touchdowns in the Warriors' 34-14 win over Mashpee.

Cody Williams, Jr. QB, Springfield Central
Another solid outing for the junior, completing 11 of 15 passes for 220 yards and two scores in the Golden Eagles' 32-12 win over Chicopee Comp.

Recap: Andover 50, North Andover 35

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
12:13
AM ET
ANDOVER, Mass. -- It all slipped away so quickly for North Andover.

For a half, it felt like the Scarlet Knights were going to have a pleasant introduction to the Merrimack Valley Conference. Then Andover outscored them 36-7 in the second half, on its way to a 50-35 come-from-behind victory.

North Andover opened up the scoring with a 17-play, 7:09 drive that set the tone for the quarter.

On the first play of Andover’s next possession, C.J. Scarpa was intercepted at his own 32-yard line, swinging the momentum back to the other team.

The Scarlet Knights (0-1) took control on the first play of their drive when quarterback Casey Walsh threw a bubble screen to the right to Robert Shkliew, who then threw it down the sideline to Tyler Whitley for the touchdown.

It had the makings of a long night for Andover (1-0), until Cam Farnham used his 4.5 40-yard dash speed to take the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown. In the blink of an eye, the entire complexion of the game shifted.

“On the opening kickoff, the hole was wide open, I just kind of hesitated a little bit,” Farnham said. “On the second kickoff, my blockers were phenomenal. I just saw a hole, and I wasn’t going to get caught there.”

That marked the third touchdown scored by both teams in just 26 game seconds. The action was fast and furious, and that was just the first quarter.

North Andover came back with a 5:23 touchdown drive, but again, Andover answered back, this time in less than a minute when Scarpa (14-of-23, 248 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions) hit Andrew Deloury for a 47-yard touchdown.

Down by two touchdowns and kicking off after half, the game could have gotten away from the Golden Warriors. However, it was able to stall Walsh and the Scarlet Knight offense, forcing a punt.

That marked the beginning of the Andover onslaught, showing a much more put-together team than the one that was shown in the first half.

“I think the whole team was almost too confident in what we had done,” Scarpa said. “We, the five captains, did a great job of getting everyone together.”

The coaches staff knew the two touchdown differential was not insurmountable, and told its’ team as much at halftime.

“Going in at half, none of us really sulked, none of us really got down,” said Farnham (4 catches, 82 yards, 2 TD receptions, 3 overall). “Coach [E.J.] Perry brought us all in together, shut off the lights, said, ‘Hold each other’s hands, visualize winning this game.’ And we came out flying. Our defense was phenomenal and our offense made some big plays. We’re very happy with the outcome of this game.”

SUMMER LINGERS ON
Many associate the start of September with the start of a new school year, as well as the unofficial start of fall. With that, it is assumed the temperature will drop, but that was not the case Friday.

The humid air lead to fatigue and cramping for players on both teams. It was evident in the second half when things began to unravel for North Andover.

In the first half, Walsh had time in the pocket to survey the defense and make a throw he needed to. In the second half, he was constantly under pressure from the Andover defense and forced into making throws he didn’t want to make.

Defensively, it seemed like the Andover receivers could get behind the defense at will by outrunning the defensive backs and make catches for long gains. Four of Scarpa’s five touchdown passes came in the second half. He also completed eight passes of 10 yards or more in the second half.

“I didn’t anticipate fatigue being a factor until around 5:00 p.m.,” Perry said. “It was still hot and muggy, so I knew that was bad.”

Farnham caught a bomb from Scarpa after giving a defensive back a stop-and-go double move down the right sideline that he was never able to recover from.

“All I had to do was run straight,” he said. “C.J. [Scarpa] made an unbelievable throw, literally right in my hands, and that’s all she wrote.”

HOWDY NEIGHBOR
Friday marked North Andover’s first game back as a member of the Merrimack Valley Conference. It was previously a member of the CAL/NEC conference. Even though it was their first league game against each other in quite some time, the two teams are more than familiar with each other.

It was the first game of the season for both teams, so there was already anxiety on both sides. Still, this game carried a little something extra.

“It carried a little more for us,” Scarpa said. “But that was a great team, they gave a great effort.”

“Absolutely it meant a little more,” Farnham added. “I mean, it’s North Andover, they’re five minutes down the street. It’s one of our biggest games besides the Turkey Bowl against Central Catholic. Just playing your rival the first game, it really means a lot more to you.

“Our practices were a little longer, and we really just had to get down to business. It’s just such a big game for us, and we’re all emotionally and physically drained, but coming out with a 'W' opening week, is awesome.”

LITTLE BROTHER TAKES BIG STAGE
One of the biggest questions, if not the biggest, entering this season for North Andover, was how would Casey Walsh be replacing his brother Brandon as full-time quarterback. He had experienced game action last season, but was never the starter for a full season.

He was 21-of-31 for 206 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also added eight carries for 44 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

He threw 13 completed passes to start the game; his first incompletion did not come until the third quarter.

Perry came away impressed with the junior.

“Casey did a tremendous job in the first half,” he said. “I told him at the end of the game that I thought he was better than his brother, and I love Brandon, and I love Casey. But he was poised, and he did a nice job.”

The Andover defense had to make schematic adjustments from the first half to the second, which helped the team make its second half comeback.

“They were getting to the edge, and we just had to make sure the linebackers were getting in the right positions,” he said. “So we had them go to the outside more, and we just had to contain Casey.”

ANDOVER 50, NORTH ANDOVER 35

AND - 7 7 14 22 -- 50
NA - 14 14 7 0 -- 35

1st quarter
NA - Casey Walsh 1 yard run (Ryan Quinn kick good)
NA - Tyler Whitley 32 yard pass from Robert Shkliew (Quinn kick good)
AND - Cam Farnham 80 yard kick return (Mark Zavrl kick good)

2nd quarter
NA - Walsh 1 yard run (Quinn kick good)
AND - Andrew Deloury 41 yard pass from CJ Scarpa (Zavrl kick good)
NA - Glen Hartford 2 yard run (Quinn kick good)

3rd Quarter
AND - Cam Farnham 65 yard pass from Scarpa (Zavrl kick good)
NA - Matt Iannone 30 yard pass fromm Walsh (Quinn kick good)
AND - Farnham 10 yard pass from Scarpa (Zavrl kick good)

4th Quarter
AND - Deloury 4 yard pass from Scarpa (Zavrl kick good)
AND - Casey Walsh Safety
AND - Jack Sylvester 30 yard pass from Scarpa (Zavrl kick good)
AND - Zavrl 72 yard run (Extra point no good)

ESPN Boston Week 1 football picks

September, 6, 2012
9/06/12
11:06
PM ET
FRIDAY
NO. 1 EVERETT AT NO. 7 LEOMINSTER
The Skinny: Leominster has never beaten the Crimson Tide since this series began in 2002, but the Blue Devils have usually been a tough out. In 2009, the teams played to a 14-6 Tide win. The last two meetings, the Blue Devils got under the Tide’s skin early before Everett’s talent took over. But Leominster is brimming with excitement, its proud football culture awakened again following their first Super Bowl championship in a decade last fall. Everett, meanwhile, seems to be settled at every position but quarterback – and with a line averaging over 315 pounds, that will suffice. If Leominster is to pull off the upset, they’ll have to a find a way to contain electric wideouts Jakarrie Washington and Jalen Felix.

Scott Barboza: Leominster turns it into a game, but still too many horses in the stable for Everett despite the questions. Everett, 27-20.

Brendan Hall: It’s going to be a majestic crowd at Doyle, and some readers will undoubtedly conclude I’m biased towards Leominster because their defensive coordinator coached me 10 years ago at Oakmont. But I’m not. Even I’m not foolish enough to pick against the Tide in this one. Everett, 24-13.

NO. 2 BC HIGH AT NO. 22 BROCKTON
The Skinny: Injuries were an overarching theme of the preseason and both of these teams were affected. Bad news for BC High is Luke Catarius is out with a hairline ankle fracture, but Brockton should have Micah Morel in the lineup for their Week 1 challenge. We’ll get a look at the reigning Div. 1 Super Bowl champions new-look offense with Brendan Craven under center and Brandon Owens in the backfield while the Boxers will be sporting a Georgia Tech-inspired scheme with Auggie Roberts back at quarterback.

Barboza: A Jackson Bockhurst field goal will be the difference. BC High, 17-14.

Hall: Things unraveled for Brockton pretty quickly in last year’s meeting in Dorchester. The Boxers are fighting an uphill battle again this year, but at least it will be respectable. BC High, 28-14.

NO. 23 SPRINGFIELD PUTNAM AT NO. 14 SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL
The Skinny: With the schools sitting less than a mile from each other along Roosevelt Ave., the season-opening battle between these rival schools has become must-see as of late. Putnam won this contest last season, kick-starting an historic 2011 season that ended with their fifth Super Bowl title in eight seasons. Central will be looking for revenge, but it’s not easy replacing 2,000-yard rusher in Sacoy Malone. Putnam, meanwhile, turns to a plethora of new faces to replace record-setting running back Melquawn Pinkney, including quarterback Kayjuan Bynum and running back Wayne Lowery.

Barboza: I came away very impressed from talking to Central QB Cody Williams last year at Gillette. He blossoms into the real deal this year. Central, 21-16.

Hall: I like the direction Central is headed in over the long run, but Putnam is still Roosevelt Ave (See what I did there?). Putnam, 7-6.

LA SALLE ACADEMY (R.I.) AT NO. 16 NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH
The Skinny: Big Red will have its hands full opening night with their challenger from just across the state line. The Rams feature a high-octane attack led by reigning Gatorade Player of the Year running back Josh Morris and senior quarterback Anthony Francis. The key to this one will be in the trenches where North’s offensive line led by Eric Beckwith and Sean Peters could have the advantage.

Barboza: This Rams team is very talented, but North holds on – just barely. North, 28-26.

Hall: Josh Morris and Co. have been dying for that elusive win over a Massachusetts squad, and I think they finally get it here. La Salle, 17-13.

NO. 12 KING PHILIP AT DOVER (N.H.)
The Skinny: Self-admittedly, we don’t know as much about Dover as we do KP, but we can be some what certain what the Warriors will be showing them on defense. And, of course, that’s a variety of different looks and blitz and coverage schemes. Dover, which sits just outside of ESPN Boston correspondent Marc Thaler’s Granite State Top 10 poll, will also have to contend with KP quarterback John Dillon, who will enjoy a greater role directing the offense in his second year as starter.

Barboza: KP’s “Psycho” package gives Hockomock League teams fits, nevermind an offense that hasn’t seen it. KP, 28-8.

Hall: Knowing little about Dover outside of what our loyal New Hampshire correspondents tell us, I’m going to trust their convictions on this one and say it will be close. But I’m still going with the team closer to Boston. KP, 20-10.

NO. 4 ST. JOHN’S PREP AT DRACUT
The Skinny: The Middies have been a bit of a bugaboo for St. John's Prep in recent years and some around Danvers feel Dracut has simply posed a matchup problem for the Eagles with its spread attack. Good news for Prep is that their secondary, with Lucas Bavaro, Gerry Kahari, Alex Moore and Johnny Thomas, has matured into a strength of the team. Dracut senior linebacker Zach Bassett could be the key to the game, trying to slow down Prep's running attack.

Barboza: Looking for a defensive struggle here. Prep, 14-7.

Hall: Classic trap game for The Prep, against a classic trap opponent that’s had their number in recent years. Dracut, 10-6.

NORTH ANDOVER AT ANDOVER
The Skinny: North Andover's season starts with a Walsh at quarterback, but of another name. Brendan Walsh's younger brother Casey takes the helm of the Scarlet Knights' offense. It also marks North Andover's first Merrimack Valley Conference game. The Golden Warriors will counter with a high-flying attack that impressed during this summer's Northeast 7v7 passing tournament. Quarterback C.J. Scarpa has plenty of targets including Cam Farnham and Will Heikkinen.

Hall: I know it’s a familiar rival that’s been on the schedule for years, but North Andover is still in for a whole new ball game. And since it’s now officially an MVC game, there will be no less than 172 points scored and 1,000 yards of offense. Andover, 35-30.

Barboza: Ditto. Andover, 31-20.

MARSHFIELD AT CATHOLIC MEMORIAL
The Skinny: Last year at this time, Catholic Memorial entered Marshfield’s stadium with plenty of hype, behind three Division 1 FBS commits and a No. 4 preseason ranking in ESPNBoston.com’s poll. They promptly got shut out by the Rams, 24-0, fueling their ensuing seven-game win streak. The Knights will no doubt be looking to exact revenge, and they’ll look to Preseason All-State defensive end Peter Ngobidi to stifle the Rams’ vaunted run game.

Barboza: Ngobidi is a dominant force and asserts his will here. CM, 7-0.

Hall: The Knights got embarrassed last year in Marsh Vegas, and I expect them to exact revenge here. CM, 16-13.

SATURDAY
NO. 24 HOLY NAME AT NO. 17 ST. JOHN’S (SHREWSBURY)
The Skinny: For all of Holy Name’s success under Mike Pucko, the Naps have never beaten St. John’s during his tenure. Could that change on Saturday? Holy Name turns to one of the state’s most elusive scatbacks in Quron Wright, and will hope for a big day. St. John’s has already hit the injury bug, with incumbent QB Connor Kurtz (knee) out for the season, but RB Shadrach Abrokwah is a nice fit for their hurry-up scheme, and is poised for a breakout senior season.

Hall: If the Naps are ever to beat St. John’s, this has to be the year. Holy Name, 9-8.

Barboza: Hate to do this to the Naps, sorry. St. John's, 22-21.

NO. 9 DUXBURY AT NO. 8 BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM
The Skinny: B-R is itching to get over the hump after dropping its season-opener to the Dragons the past two seasons. The Trojans have some terrific talent between the tackles, led by Joey MacInnis, to pave for a big afternoon for junior tailback Arcel Armstead. Duxbury graduated one of its most talented classes ever from the 2011 Super Bowl champion squad, but still has plenty of talent left over to keep the state’s longest active win streak (26) going. Look for guard Rob Kosharek, linebacker Marshall McCarthy and running back Jon Hurvitz to have big days.

Barboza: Now that Dan Buron's nephew Andrew (former Duxbury standout) has graduated, expect the Trojans to get back to their winning ways. B-R, 14-10.

Hall: After graduating one of the program’s most talented classes ever, Marshall the Missile gets the full spotlight. And he usually gives the fans their money’s worth. Duxbury, 14-10.

CONCORD-CARLISLE AT BEVERLY
The Skinny: C-C heads into its non-league tilt with the heavy NEC/CAL Tier 2 favorite already limping, losing its star running back Tim Badgley (ACL tear) for the season. If the Patriots are to repeat last year’s Super Bowl championship success, sophomore quarterback Will Blumenberg will have to grow up quickly. Meanwhile, Beverly features one of the North Shore’s most feared rushing attacks with the three-pronged approach of Kenny Pierce, Brendan Flaherty and Dom Abate.

Barboza: ETA on when the Kenny Pierce hashtag gets rolling again? We're looking at you James Coffey. Beverly, 27-14.

Hall: I’m excited to see what Will Blumenberg can do for the Patriots, but the Panthers just have too much in the tank to be stopped in this one. Beverly, 28-7.

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