It was a busy weekend for high school football, so let's start with the games I covered for the Boston Herald: Central Catholic's win over Andover; and Brockton's defeat of Bridgewater-Raynham.
One thing that stood out about the Central game was how many impact sophomores there were. For Central, running back/defensive back Matthias Latham and defensive end/tight end/wide receiver Preston Zinter caught our eye. For Andover, running back/linebacker Lincoln Beal and quarterback Scotty Brown stood out.
Obviously, there are more than that for both teams, but we wanted for now to concentrate on those four.
Latham is a quick, powerful runner who really takes off once he plants his foot. Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos also praised his defense after the game. Latham is someone to watch going forward, as he is a versatile talent with good tools to work with.
Zinter is listed at 6-foot-3 and has the look of big, dominating receiver or tight end, depending on where you want him. He is already someone who has grabbed the attention of colleges. The question to be asked going forward is if he is better suited for offense or defense at the next level. You can make the argument for both, although his good hands and ability to play well in space make him a fit for offense. But there is a long way to go before college, and right now he is enjoying a nice career in high school.
Brown looks like he will have an excellent career for Andover at quarterback. He is poised in the pocket, and has a nice arm. What sets Brown apart is his athleticism. You don't often see quarterbacks line up back for kickoff returns, but that's exactly what Brown does for Andover. It will be fun to see how this player's career develops.
Beal had the best game out of all these sophomores Friday night. As a running back, Beal runs hard and is hard to take down once he gets a full head of steam going. On defense, he is instinctive and one of the biggest hitters on the field. It will be very interesting to see where Beal fits best later on. Right now, though, this is one of the best young players in the state.
In Brockton, the Boxers felt they could run the ball on Bridgewater-Raynham, and that's exactly what they did, piling up 270 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 33 carries. The Boxers were able to use their size advantage in the trenches and create running lanes all game.
It was another chance for us to see Brockton quarterback Devonte Medley, and he did not disappoint. Medley rushed for 123 yards and three scores, and completed 6 of 8 passes for 93 yards.
We don't know if that was the last performance of Medley's career, as Brockton does not have any more games scheduled yet, although that may change. If it is, Medley will have gone out on a real high note.
It was the last game at Bridgewater-Raynham for coach Dan Buron. Buron was an excellent coach, and his teams always fought hard. Buron always scheduled up, and he challenged his team to play the best.
We will miss those patented, Buron-led drives, where the offense would slowly, methodically move down the field and take tons of time off the clock.
Buron is truly one of a kind, and we wish him well in his next endeavor.
Catholic Conference showdown
And then there were two.
There are two undefeated teams left in the Catholic Conference in Catholic Memorial and Xaverian.
This is the closest thing we have to a Div. 1 state title game. CM has been dominant in its wins so far, and Xaverian has been the next best thing.
Obviously, CM comes in as the favorite, but don't look past Xaverian. The Hawks have maybe the best offensive line in the state, and a hard-hitting defense.
This will be a fun one, and this game should live up to its billing.
One of the biggest frustrations with this Fall 2 season has been the inability for some teams to find games.
Take Springfield Central for instance. The Golden Eagles have only played one game so far, a blowout win over Minnechaug. Since then, it's been difficult for Central to find opponents.
Central is one of the best teams in the state, and it's a shame that more teams won't step up to play. Hopefully that changes as we go forward, but this is just tough for that group of kids that has worked so hard to get on the field.
Natick has been dominant in Fall 2.
That hasn't exactly been a surprise. Everyone expected the Redhawks to be good. That said, it is impressive what they've done.
A couple weeks ago, Natick beat Milton, 48-26. Then, this past weekend, in one of the better performances around, Natick crushed a good Wellesley team, 42-14.
It really is too bad that we could not get a Mansfield-Natick showdown in a Div. 2 playoff somewhere.
Four up, four down. That's four straight wins over four of the best teams in Central Mass. for Wachusett.
An impressive run over Fall 2 for Wachusett, which just beat Leominster, 49-14. The Mountaineers would be one of the favorites to make statewide noise if this were a normal season, as they already own wins over Doherty, Shepherd Hill, and Shrewsbury.
No matter the format, what Wachusett has done so far is noteworthy.
Milford moving up
We feel like we write about Milford a lot, but the Scarlet Hawks are worthy based on what they've accomplished in Fall 2.
The latest result to go Milford's way is a 28-21 win over a very good Stoughton team who we've seen twice in person.
Milford is now 4-1 with wins over Attleboro, King Philip, Franklin and Stoughton with the one loss coming to Mansfield. And it should be noted that the Mansfield defeat was the Hornets' closest game all season.
Coach Dale Olson has done an excellent job here in his first year.
St. John's of Shrewsbury has not played many games in Fall 2, but was able to score a big win this past weekend with a 44-7 win over Fitchburg.
Along with that win, the Pioneers have losses to Catholic Memorial and St. John's Prep on the resume.
This result shows that the Pioneers would still be one of the best teams in Central Mass. if they played that schedule.
It has been an excellent season for Lincoln-Sudbury, which has only built in the 2019 season that saw the Warriors make it to the Div. 2 state title game.
L-S clinched the Dual County League Large title in Fall 2 with this past weekend's 28-21 win over Acton-Boxboro. It was an impressive win over a good A-B team.
Add L-S to the number of teams we would have loved to have seen in a playoff scenario. For now, the DCL title will do.
Catch the Wave
Abington earned a big win with a 25-24 victory over Mashpee. The win clinches the South Shore Tobin crown for the Green Wave.
It has been a good Fall 2 season for Abington, whose only loss was to an undefeated Rockland team that is one of the best small school programs around.
The Green Wave would no doubt be in position to defend their Div. 7 state crown if there was a postseason.