Oct. 5 Friday pick 'em

We are only cooking at lukewarm still, as we went 17-8 last week. For the season, we are hitting at 70 percent on the button, which is decent, but not anything to brag or write home about.

This week, we will be attending the Xaverian at Brockton and South Florida at UMass games. Hopefully, we get those ones right.

On to the picks.

High School

Xaverian at Brockton

This Xaverian team feels like it is playing its best football of the season. That's not a surprise, because the Hawks always seem to play their best as the season progresses. The Boxers should offer a stiff challenge, but we feel Xaverian's confidence over the past few weeks will carry over.

Prediction: Xaverian 28, Brockton 13

Hingham at Duxbury

This is one of those games for Hingham that can put the entire state and Division 3 on notice if it comes out with a victory. Even though we feel the Harbormen have the strength up front to hang for four quarters, it's tough to go against a team with Duxbury's pedigree.

Prediction: Duxbury 18, Hingham 17

Acton-Boxboro at Dracut

These are two teams that, at the beginning of the season, had big-time sleeper potential. Well, after A-B beat Lincoln-Sudbury and Dracut beat Billerica last week, no one is snoozing on these teams yet. We feel like this might be the best game of the weekend, and we're going to side with the Middies to keep up their strong run.

Prediction: Dracut 35, Acton-Boxboro 34

Dennis-Yarmouth at Falmouth

The Dolphins have rebounded nicely since their opening loss to Barnstable, and we feel that D-Y, with its youth across the board, might still be a year away. Falmouth is a little bit more experienced in some key spots, and we feel like that might be the difference here.

Prediction: Falmouth 34, Dennis-Yarmouth 30

St. John's Prep at Catholic Memorial

This is one of the tougher games of the weekend to call. One has to wonder how well CM will respond to last week's tough loss to Xaverian. The Prep showed well against Everett and has looked dominant in every other game. We're going to side with CM bouncing back.

Prediction: Catholic Memorial 21, St. John's Prep 20

Shrewsbury at St. John's of Shrewsbury

One of the more impressive feats of last week was how Shrewsbury withstood the injury to starting quarterback Drew Campanale and saw backup Clint Mills pick up the slack. We are not sure of Campanale's status this week, but we still feel confident in Shrewsbury's chances regardless in one of the best crosstown rivalries in the state.

Prediction: Shrewsbury 45, St. John's of Shrewsbury 42

Braintree at Needham

Needham has been even better than most expected the Rockets to be so far. Their passing attack remains one of the most dangerous in the state. Braintree suffered a tough setback to Natick last week, but the latter is a lot better than its 2-2 record suggests. This should be a close game, but we still like Needham here.

Prediction: Needham 24, Braintree 22

East Boston at West Roxbury

These are two of the hottest teams in the Boston City League, as each has won two straight games. The BCL has been one of the tougher leagues to predict, as it feels like, for the most part, a lot of these teams are on the same level right now. Currently, we like how Westie is playing, but this could go either way.

Prediction: West Roxbury 12, East Boston 8

Pope John XXIII at Austin Prep

This is another game that may be tougher to call than it seems on the surface. Even though Austin Prep is 2-2 and Pope John is still unbeaten, the Cougars' losses are to solid opponents. Still, we feel that Pope John has one of the better small school teams in the state, and should win a close one.

Prediction: Pope John XXIII 23, Austin Prep 21

Melrose at Stoneham

This will be one of the better games of the weekend. Melrose only has one setback to a stacked Lincoln-Sudbury team, while Stoneham has piled one dominant win on another. Right now, we feel like Stoneham has the advantage, but this should be its toughest test to date.

Prediction: Stoneham 35, Melrose 33

Reading at Woburn

Reading's one loss to Acton-Boxboro has a bit of a different look to it now since the Colonials went and beat Lincoln-Sudbury last week. Woburn is still one of the top teams in Division 2, and you could see these teams meet again in the postseason.

Prediction: Reading 21, Woburn 20

West Boylston at Lunenburg

Both of these teams are off to solid starts, but West Boylston has been one of the most intriguing teams in the state. Ever since its opening win over Littleton, West Boylston has earned all the attention it has received. We see another big win here.

Prediction: West Boylston 30, Lunenburg 23

Scituate at Hanover

Scituate has been a consistent force so far this season, as the Sailors' lone loss was to one of the best teams in the state in Duxbury. Hanover is still unbeaten, but we feel like Scituate's offense presents a few too many challenges.

Prediction: Scituate 33, Hanover 23

Cohasset at Mashpee

At long last, a home game for Mashpee, which has piled up four impressive wins. Last week's win at Abington might have taken a lot out of the Falcons, but we still feel that, even though Cohasset is a formidable opponent, Mashpee is a cut above.

Prediction: Mashpee 24, Cohasset 14

Wahconah at East Longmeadow

East Longmeadow has proven to be one of the better teams in Westen Mass. this season. However, we feel like this is a pretty special Wahconah team that is on the level of just about anyone in that part of the state outside of Springfield Central.

Prediction: Wahconah 28, East Longmeadow 16

Hopkinton at Holliston

We were surprised that Hopkinton fell to Ashland last week, but the Clockers have proven to be able to win the close ones this year. Holliston right now feels like it might be back to being the class of the Tri-Valley League Large, so we will go with the Panthers here.

Prediction: Holliston 19, Hopkinton 17

Danvers at Lynn Classical

Danvers is always one of the most consistent programs in the Northeast Conference, and that has remained true this season. Classical has taken two losses, but still has the type of offense to give anyone problems. We simply feel Danvers is playing better right now.

Prediction: Danvers 27, Lynn Classical 21

Everett at BC High

BC High is coming off a win that may have saved its postseason hopes. Still, the Eagles face a daunting end to the regular season with the Crimson Tide, Xaverian, and St. John's Prep left on the slate. Everett's speed should be the difference here.

Prediction: Everett 30, BC High 14

Hamilton-Wenham at Norwell

This is one of the more interesting North-South intersectional games of the weekend. Hamilton-Wenham's only loss is to a good Bishop Fenwick team. Norwell is much better than its 1-2 record suggests. This should be a nailbiter, but we're going with the Generals here.

Prediction: Hamilton-Wenham 21, Norwell 14

Billerica at Tewksbury

Billerica ran into the Dracut buzzsaw last week, while Tewksbury did the same with North Andover. We feel both of these teams are better than what they showed last week. Tewksbury is still one of the tougher teams to prepare for in the state, so we will go with the Redmen here.

Prediction: Tewksbury 28, Billerica 26

Swampscott at Lynn English

Swampscott has been one of the more compelling stories of the season in the Northeastern Conference, as we did not quite expect this strong a start for the Big Blue. Still, we feel like Lynn English has not played its best football yet, and may be ready to break out this weekend.

Prediction: Lynn English 32, Swampscott 27

BB&N at St. Sebastian's

St. Sebastian's has been the most pleasant surprise of the young ISL season. The Arrows shut out a Milton Academy team that scored 52 points last weekend against Governor's Academy. Still, we don't think anyone in that league can adequately deal with the size up front the Knights bring to the table.

Prediction: BB&N 20, St. Sebastian's 17


Boston College at NC State

The Eagles are banged up and will be on the road against an undefeated team, but right now, we still don't know exactly how good NC State is. Maybe you can say the same thing about the Eagles, but we feel, with or without AJ Dillon, they're ready to put together a complete performance against a good team.

Prediction: Boston College 35, NC State 20

South Florida at UMass

It has been a crazy week at UMass, and with head coach Mark Whipple suspended, defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham needs to provide a steady hand during a turbulent time. South Florida is one of the best teams on the UMass schedule, and the Minutemen need to play one of their best games of the season to win.

Prediction: South Florida 48, UMass 34

Harvard at Cornell

This Harvard team showed a lot of grit in nearly rallying from a big early deficit against a terrific Rhode Island team. We still feel that, against anyone in the Ivy League, this Crimson team has a good chance to beat anyone. They get back on the winning track this week.

Prediction: Harvard 31, Cornell 17

Holy Cross at New Hampshire

New Hampshire's slow start has been one of the more puzzling stories in the FCS this season. Holy Cross has been competitive in most of its games, but is still not where it wants to be in Bob Chesney's first year with the Crusaders.

Prediction: New Hampshire 28, Holy Cross 20

Nichols at Endicott

Endicott is coming off an impressive win over Curry, where the Gulls pulled away with 28 fourth-quarter points to roll, 52-22. Nichols has won two in a row, but we feel that Endicott's offense is on a roll right now, and that will continue this weekend.

Prediction: Endicott 45, Nichols 27

Last week: 17-8 Season: 91-39