Another so-so week. Still waiting for that big knockout blow of a showing, but we only went 19-8 on the 27 picks. That leaves us at just 70 percent, and we'd like to get at least boost up about five percent from there.
We'll get there (we think). On to the picks.
Needham at Milton
We get the feeling that this could be the game of the week, so this is where we are heading on Friday night. Both teams can sling it all over the field, and we expect both passing games to have success. But we are rolling with the Rockets, but both teams should put up points here,
Prediction: Needham 35, Milton 34
BC High at St. John's Prep
St. John's Prep is playing about as well as anyone not named Everett right now, and that's saying a lot. BC High is fighting for its playoff life and is a young team that has improved over the course of the season. However, the Prep is rolling, and we'll ride the hot hand.
Prediction: St. John's Prep 27, BC High 14
Westfield at Springfield Central
The visiting Bombers are on a roll, and have gained a lot of confidence over the course of the season, especially after going to Central Mass. and beating Leominster. These two teams went after each other hard in the summer in 7-on-7s, but we like Central right now, as the Golden Eagles are playing at a very high level.
Prediction: Springfield Central 42, Westfield 21
Tech Boston at East Boston
The Boston City League seems to be one of the most parity-driven conferences in the state right now, and both of these teams seem capable of knocking just about anyone off in it. We like how Tech Boston is playing right now, coming off two straight wins.
Prediction: Tech Boston 18, East Boston16
Attleboro at Mansfield
The Blue Bombardiers are playing well enough right now to make this a better game than maybe most expect. Quarterback Jason Weir can hurt you with both his arm and legs, and the defense is playing at a high level. But Mansfield can beat you in so many different ways that it is hard to pick against the Hornets right now.
Prediction: Mansfield 21, Attleboro 14
Southeastern at Diman
This game has gained some momentum as one of the bigger ones in Division 7 over the course of the season. At the beginning of the season, Diman would probably be considered the favorite here, but Southeastern back Kevin Opoku has gained steam as one of the top threats in the division.
Prediction: Southeastern 20, Diman 17
Central Catholic at Methuen
Both of these teams have terrific young players, and it is hard not to envision each of these programs being a year away from something special. That said, we feel like Central might be a little further along, and has played a sightly tougher schedule so far.
Prediction: Central Catholic 31, Methuen 21
North Andover at Dracut
Dracut came back to earth a little bit with a loss to a scorching-hot Acton-Boxboro team. We still like what the Middies have to offer, but North Andover is another top-level team that can play with anyone. We like the Jake McElroy-to-Gabe DeSouza connection to have another big day.
Prediction: North Andover 27, Dracut 13
Fitchburg at Westboro
These two teams are not exactly ones with outstanding records, but the reason we picked this game is because Fitchburg pulled a major upset over Marlboro last week. We feel this team bears watching, and we like Andrew Brooks and the Red Raiders to continue their upward ascension.
Prediction: Fitchburg 26, Westboro 20
Pope John XXIII at St. John Paul II
This is the biggest game of the week in Division 8, and we don't expect anything other than a close game and one of the tightest finishes of the weekend. We could be wrong, of course, but we think Pope John is the team to beat here, by a hair.
Prediction: Pope John XXIII 17, St. John Paul II 16
Bridgewater-Raynham at Barnstable
After losing to Duxbury and Xaverian, maybe we were a little too down on a Bridgewater-Raynham team that had good, young pieces. The Trojans have played well since then, and we feel that, even against an improving Barnstable program, they will have the edge here.
Prediction: Bridgewater-Raynham 28, Barnstable 21
Plymouth North at Hingham
We dropped Hingham out of our top 25 this week, but we still feel the Harbormen are one of the top teams in the state. Plymouth North played Duxbury tougher, but we feel that was more of a reflection of how well the Dragons played than Hingham not playing its best. We're going to go with the Harbormen bouncing back.
Prediction: Hingham 14, Plymouth North 13
Catholic Memorial at Billerica
We feel like CM will still be smarting off the two losses in a row to Xaverian and St. John's Prep, which makes the Knights dangerous. Billerica also needs to rebound, so we look for a physical game between two teams to get back on the winning track. We are going to go with the Knights to return to form.
Prediction: Catholic Memorial 24, Billerica 22
Hanover at Falmouth
Hanover is having a terrific season, and Falmouth entered the top 25 this week as one of the main contenders in Division 5. We were told Falmouth was not only strong up front against Dennis-Yarmouth last week, but in the back against one of the top passing attacks in the state. That bodes well going forward.
Prediction: Falmouth 35, Hanover 17
Marblehead at Gloucester
Before the season, we probably would have not thought twice about taking the Magicians here. But Gloucester is playing very well, and has one of the best home-field advantages in the state. Still, this could go either way, and we wouldn't be surprised to see any result.
Prediction: Gloucester 20, Marblehead 19
Walpole at Braintree
Walpole has had a solid season, and the Rebels can turn to their win over Wellesley earlier in the season to see what they are capable of when they put it all together. Still, Braintree, coming off two straight losses, has a few too many weapons right now, and should out-slug Walpole here.
Prediction: Braintree 35, Walpole 28
Coyle-Cassidy at Bishop Feehan
It is a little difficult to get a handle on how good Bishop Feehan this year. Are the Shamrocks the team that beat North Attleboro, or the one that lost to an under-the-radar New Bedford team last week? We think Feehan is closer to the team that beat North, so we will side with the Shamrocks here.
Prediction: Bishop Feehan 28, Coyle-Cassidy 16
Milton Academy at Belmont Hill
These are two teams that have losses to what looks like the two best teams in the ISL in St. Sebastian's and BB&N. In the end, we are going to go with the team with the more explosive offense, and we still feel that is Milton, even though the Mustangs did not show it last week.
Prediction: Milton Academy 36, Belmont Hill 30
St. Sebastian's at Governor's Academy
The Arrows put their foot down last week as the best team in the ISL with a season-defining win over BB&N. Governor's has some tremendous athletes on both sides of the ball, but we've been told the Arrows have the type of defensive line that can dominate a game. That's enough for us.
Prediction: St. Sebastians 21, Governor's Academy 10
Louisville at Boston College
The status of star running back AJ Dillon is still up in the air following his ankle injury against Temple almost two weeks ago. That matters, but we feel that the Eagles still have a superior roster to the Cardinals, who simply are not very good this year.
Prediction: Boston College 38, Louisville 27
Holy Cross at Harvard
This has been a trying season for Holy Cross in first-year coach Bob Chesney's opening season with the Crusaders. Both teams have not found themselves in the winning column in a while, but we feel like Harvard has a few more weapons, including speedy running back Aaron Shampklin, who is putting together a tremendous season.
Prediction: Harvard 34, Holy Cross 24
Southern Connecticut at Assumption
This is not the biggest game of the month for Assumption, as the Greyhounds still have showdowns with New Haven and LIU Post that will likely decide the Northeast-10 title. This seems like a tune-up, and we feel like Assumption should roll here.
Prediction: Assumption 42, Southern Connecticuy 14
Tufts at Trinity
The Jumbos are playing terrific football right now, while Trinity only has a loss to a Williams team that might be the best in the NESCAC right now. Melrose native Mike Pedrini has scored three touchdowns in the last two games, and we see him playing well again this weekend in another Tufts victory.
Prediction: Tufts 20, Trinity 17
Last week: 19-8 Season: 110-47