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ESPN Boston's Week 2 Picks

9/16/2011

NO. 6 ST. JOHN'S (SHREWSBURY) (1-0) AT NO. 8 LONGMEADOW (1-0)

The Skinny: After getting outscored 79-20 in its previous two meetings with the Pioneers, Longmeadow will be looking to exact some revenge. And with the graduation of two of St. John's all-time greats in quarterback Dan Light (Fordham) and wide receiver Richard Rodgers (Cal), this might be the Lancers' best chance yet. That said, 'Meadow will be missing injured starting quarterback Jake Lazarus, though they got a solid week 1 performance out of one of Western Mass' best in T.J. Norris. St. John's is coming off a thrilling 22-21 victory over Holy Name, but the feeling is that many of the Pioneers' new parts will be more prepared this week.

Scott Barboza: Here's betting the Pioneers were scared stiff after last week's nail-biter against Holy Name. St. John's, 24-20.

Brendan Hall: Think it's safe to say the Lancers are relieved Richard Rodgers has moved on to Cal. Longmeadow, 20-17.

NO. 7 ANDOVER (1-0) AT GLOUCESTER (0-1)

The Skinny: The Golden Warriors put up 30 points in last week's win over North Andover, while the Fishermen had 41 points put up against them as they saw their 26-game winning streak turn to dust. On the surface, it looks like this one could get out of hand, but we're intrigued to see what kind of fight the Fishermen have in them.

Barboza: Coach Zerilli's going to have to wait another week for win No. 1. Andover, 31-14.

Hall: When was the last time you had this many MVC teams looking at 2-0 headed into league play? Andover, 27-7.

SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (0-1) AT NO. 1 EVERETT (1-0)

The Skinny: One can only imagine what kind of gameplan the No. 1 Crimson Tide have in store to slow down talented running back Sacoy Malone. Everett was solid up the middle last week, in spite of miscues elsewhere in its 47-12 win over Leominster, while the Golden Eagles dropped out of our statewide Top 25 after falling to city rival Putnam. Also look for a change under center at Central, where Cody Williams has taken over the starting job at quarterback. A week ago, Everett's new crop of receivers had a half-dozen drops; we don't expect to see that again.

Barboza: Malone gets his feet under him and is a factor, still the Crimson Tide have too many weapons. Everett, 34-21.

Hall: Two weeks ago, this was looking like it could be our game of the week. Then Central fell to a talented Putnam squad, and Everett put up 47 points in a clunker. Everett, 28-0.

NO. 10 AUBURN (1-0) AT NO. 25 HOLLISTON (1-0)

The Skinny: Fred Taylor provides the fuel behind the Rockets' offense, but Auburn is truly propelled by its offensive line, which averages over 250 pounds across. Meanwhile, the Panthers have a slightly different look on offense with Dan Barone taking over from Sean Mayo. Yet, Holliston's spread attack remains equally as potent with a sprinkle of Jake Frechette and the ground game.

Barboza: This is the week. Holliston, 21-20.

Hall: If Auburn can hold onto the ball and put together some long drives, I like their chances at pushing this win streak to 39. Auburn, 7-6.

BARNSTABLE (1-0) AT NO. 12 DENNIS-YARMOUTH (1-0)

The Skinny: In what has evolved into one of the Cape's strongest football rivalries, D-Y is looking to take two straight in this series. The Dolphins won last year's contest, 41-38, while Barnstable won a 21-20 thriller in 2009. Two of the state's most prolific passers go head-to-head in this one; Barnstable's D.J. Crook had two touchdown passes in a 65-0 win over Durfee (bringing him within 18 of the state all-time record), while D-Y's Matt Montalto threw for 280 in the season-opening 41-7 win over Taunton.

Barboza: I feel like I'm being overly conservative here saying the teams will combine for 41 points here. That could easily come in one quarter with these teams. D-Y, 27-14.

Hall: Last year's game wasn't as close as the final score might indicate -- the Dolphins got in Barnstable's head. And with all due respect to Crook, who's on a good pace to break the state's all-time passing touchdown mark, Matt Montalto will win this duel once again. D-Y, 41-28.

TRUMBULL (CONN.) (0-0) AT NO. 19 CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (0-1)

The Skinny: After a mound of preseason hype, Catholic Memorial fell victim to the biggest upset of Week 1, getting shutout 24-0 at Marshfield. The road doesn't get any easier for Armani Reeves, Cam Williams, A.J. Doyle and Co. this week. Trumbull is coming off a spectacular 2010 season in which they advanced to the Class LL State Championship at Rentschler Field, losing to powerhouse Xavier 24-13.

Barboza: Yeah, it's an out-of-stater, but we'll learn a lot about the Knights this week. CM, 17-14.

Hall: The Knights can't afford an 0-2 start here. I'm calling a big night for Armani Reeves. CM, 30-20.

LEOMINSTER (0-1) AT HUDSON (0-1)

The Skinny: The Dave Palazzi era got off to a rocky start as Leominster took a 47-12 loss in Everett, but the Blue Devils showed plenty of promise in the earlygoing, including junior quarterback Garrett DelleChiaie and senior wide receiver Kyle Sanders. After having trouble solving the Crimson Tide's hard-charging duo of Vondell Langston and Kenny Calaj, they face another challenge in Hudson's Bryant-bound running back Karl Sery. Hudson is coming off a hiccup itself, getting upset by Gardner last week to fall out of our statewide Top 25.

Barboza: A Gatorade shower for Palazzi. Leominster, 20-14.

Hall: These Leominster boys can hit. Credit to Coach Murph for that....Leominster, 21-14.

READING (0-1) AT NO. 24 NORTH ANDOVER (0-1)

The Skinny: Let's put it this way, if Reading were to start the season on a two-game losing streak, the two losses will have equalled the number of games the Rockets have lost in the last three seasons combined. Meanwhile, the Knights had Andy Coke and the Andover offense run amok over the defense last week.

Barboza: Brandon Walsh gets things going in a big way. North Andover, 37-30.

Hall: After the Lawrence upset, a solid win over a Top 25 program would put the green but talented Rockets in a firm position when they start Middlesex play. Reading, 18-13.

NO. 4 MANSFIELD (1-0) AT NEEDHAM (1-0)

The Skinny:
Both teams put a little something extra into their Week 1 wins with Mansfield traveling all the way to Syracuse to beat Christian Brothers Academy of New York, while the Rockets needed overtime to escape with a 19-12 win over Norwood.

Barboza: George Busharis engineers a late fourth-quarter drive for the win. Mansfield, 21-13.

Hall: This Needham squad is flying under the radar, and I think they're going to give the Hornets a game. Mansfield, 16-14.

NO. 3 BC HIGH (1-0) AT DEPAUL CATHOLIC (N.J.) (0-1)

The Skinny: If CM suffered the biggest upset of Week 1, then their cross-city archrivals on Morrissey Blvd. scored the most eye-opening margin of victory, wiping out previous No. 5 Brockton 42-0. It's hardly just the Preston Cooper show, as Bartley Regan, Gordon McLeod and Jameson McShea all showed promise for big seasons in the opening week. Wayne, N.J.-based DePaul is coming off a 43-3 pounding at the hands of St. Joseph Regional, which memorably beat our current No. 5 Xaverian 6-3 back in 2007 in Westwood. In spite of the loss, the Spartans still managed to put up close to 260 yards of offense.

Barboza: The Eagles keep rolling with the momentum off of last week's win. BC High, 27-20.

Hall: This from my old friend and former Massachusetts Daily Collegian colleague S.P. Sullivan, currently an associate producer at MassLive.com: "Long before anyone knew what a blowout was, we in North Jersey called it 'Wayne Hair'...Wayne is known for blowouts and the rich folks mall we hung out at in high school." BC High, 24-7.

NO. 20 ST. JOHN'S PREP (0-1) AT CENTRAL CATHOLIC (0-1)

The Skinny: This rite of fall between preeminent programs of the Catholic and Merrimack Valley finds the squads in a bit of different position this year as both graduated substantial parts of their 2010 teams. Both teams are young on the lines, but also return starting quarterbacks with Prep's Tommy Gaudet and Central's Matt McDermott.

Barboza: The kicking game pays dividends. Prep, 13-10.

Hall: Another week figuring out these Georgia Tech-style "flex" packages they've been trying out, and the ol' ball coach Jim O'Leary might be up to something good. Prep, 13-10.

DIGHTON-REHOBOTH (1-0) AT APPONEQUET (1-0)

The Skinny:
It may be premature, given that it's Week 2, but this very well could be the South Coast Conference championship game. Both teams feature deep backfields with the Falcons Bryan Rocha and Adam Benvie going head-to-head with the Lakers' Nate Michael and Zach Nanfelt.

Barboza: Experience pays a dividend for the Falcons, who had a taste of the postseason last year. D-R, 23-16.

Hall: I like the way these Falcons move bodies off the ball. And I do mean move. D-R, 27-19.

SILVER LAKE (0-1) AT NEW BEDFORD (1-0)

The Skinny: The Lakers were running stride for stride with Minnechaug last week before falling. Not a bad start for a team that returns just two starters from last year. On the other hand, the Whalers made easy work of Wareham, 40-6, behing Myles Medeiros' five touchdown passes.

Barboza: Can we zoom forward to the Whalers' meeting with Brockton, please? New Bedford, 30-23.

Hall: Too many athletes on the Whalers' side of the ball not to think they're going to run away with this one. New Bedford, 28-10.