We start this week with what we see out in Western Mass., and that's a program in Springfield Central that is really taking over the region.
Over the weekend, Central dominated Minnechaug, 55-14. The game was never really in doubt, and it was a complete vi ctory for Central.
Right now, we don't see that type of dominance for Central changing out in Western Mass. One reason why is Central is still so young. It is noteworthy how many sophomores are in the lineup for Central. Most of Central's best players are coming back next season.
Of course, there are still some seniors for Central. Running back Marcus Crawford is one of them. But overall, if you look at the roster, this is a mostly junior and sophomore group.
That just bodes well for Central and its future. The Golden Eagles will continue to win for a while.
One junior who looks like one of the best players around still is wide receiver Joe Griffin. He has ideal size with explosive speed. Boston College did well to target Griffin early, as he is a verbal commit of the Eagles.
And, of course, you cannot mention this Central team without talking about quarterback William Watson. Watson is a dominant player as a signal-caller. He has a strong, accurate arm, and can take off and scramble effectively, too.
Both Central lines are top notch, and the Golden Eagles are strong on defense, too. We don't see Central losing in Fall 2.
We would love to see Central play one of the Eastern Mass. powers this season, but obviously that won't happen. We'll have to wait for the real fall for that.
We were waiting for this weekend to see how some of the Central Mass. games played out between some of the top teams there.
There were some terrific games, as Shepherd Hill beat Leominster, 15-14, Wachusett defeated Shrewsbury, 19-14, and Doherty knocked off Algonquin, 33-20.
All of those teams would be in contention for best team in Central Mass. for Fall 2. Right now, we'd probably put Wachusett as the top team in that group, but it is all very close. We expect those types of games between all of those participants going forward.
Mash-ing the competition
We are only two games into the season, but we see Mashpee as one of the top small school teams around right now.
The Falcons won their opener, 43-0, over Nantucket, then beat Norwell, 34-0, this week.
Mashpee is strong up front with good skill players. We'd love to see what the Falcons could do in a statewide playoff, but that's obviously not in the cards.
Boxers and Hawks battle
There are not many nonleague games during Fall 2, but one that will happen will be very significant.
When Xaverian visits Brockton, it could be one of the games of the year. Xaverian and Brockton are both 2-0, with the Hawks sporting one of the best wins of the season over BC High.
Brockton has victories over Durfee and Dartmouth. Both of those teams are improved, but beating Xaverian would carry a lot more meaning for the Boxers.
We are very much looking forward to that game.
One of the teams we expected to have a good season was Lincoln-Sudbury, and it is playing out in L-S' favor.
Through two games, L-S has a 33-0 win over Concord-Carlisle and a 55-0 win over Newton South.
Obviously, things are going well for the Warriors, who brought a lot back from their 2019 team that went to the Div. 2 Super Bowl. In that game, L-S was overwhelmed by Mansfield, 41-0, but we feel the Warriors would compete much better in a game like that this time around.
With its 20-7 win over Milford Saturday, Mansfield appears to have separated itself in the Hockomock League's Kelley-Rex division.
The Hornets have the most speed in the league, and are terrific up front. The big game there will be against King Philip, but Mansfield should be favored there.
On the other side in the Davenport, Stoughton and North Attleboro look like they are on a collision course to decide which team is the best on that side.
We've seen both teams live this season, and right now we see those two squads as even.
One of the more interesting results of the weekend came in the Merrimack Valley Conference, as Billerica defeated North Andover, 29-27.
We figured North Andover would be one of the tougher teams in the MVC, and the Scarlet Knights might still be that.
But Billerica fought hard to earn the close victory there, and it may be one of the teams we underestimated in the preseason.
Although West Boylston is always pretty good, the Lions may have a little something extra for opponents this year.
In what may be termed as a mild upset, West Boylston defeated Plymouth South 23-6 this weekend.
Plymouth South is coming off a Div. 4 state title appearance, and while the Panthers were not supposed to be quite as good this season, they are still formidable.
But West Boylston looks to have separated itself as one of the top small school teams this season with that win.
Boston College has begun spring practice, and it will be interesting to see how the Eagles develop.
There is experience all over the field for the Eagles. The offensive line is experienced and may be the best positional unit on the team.
The wide receivers will give the o-line a run for its money in that respect, though. Speedy deep threat Zay Flowers leads the receiver group, and the Eagles should be able to pass on most teams.
We would like to see the Eagles be able to have a more consistent rushing attack. That was a bit of a weakness in 2020. But we feel that BC has the building blocks of a strong run game.
There is a lot of optimism around the program and coach Jeff Hafley. It will be tough to break through to the Atlantic Coast Conference's upper echelon, but there is a lot of talent and experience in Chestnut Hill. A breakthrough season could be on the way.