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Sept. 21 Friday pick 'em

Another decent, not dominant effort last week. Including the Boston College pick over Wake Forest on Twitter because that game was on a Thursday night, we went 26-11.


We are picking fewer games this weekend, but there is no shortage of quality. Hopefully, we do a little better this time around.

Onto the predictions.

High Schools


Whitman-Hanson at Hingham


Whitman-Hanson showed some mettle last week in taking down an under-the-radar New Bedford team despite Panthers quarterback Ethan Phelps being out with an illness. However, with or without Phelps, we feel Hingham is just a hair better right now.


Prediction: Hingham 24, Whitman-Hanson 23


St. John's Prep at Everett


St. John's Prep is off to a terrific start with two comfortable wins over quality Merrimack Valley Conference opponents. However, right now, Everett is simply a different animal. The Prep might be able to make this a game, but we have a hard time picking against the Crimson Tide at the moment.


Prediction: Everett 35, St. John's Prep 21


Central Catholic at North Andover


Like just about everyone, we were pretty high on North Andover before the season. But after two games, we feel like the Scarlet Knights are even better than we expected. Central Catholic is solid, but still young, and we feel North Andover's skill is too much here.


Prediction: North Andover 28, Central Catholic 14


Needham at Newton North


Needham is another one of those teams that we felt was going to be solid before the season, but after wins over Natick and Hopkinton, it's hard not to really love what the Rockets bring to the table. Newton North will be tough, but Needham's offense is going to be tough to stop.


Prediction: Needham 31, Newton North 16

Barnstable at Acton-Boxboro


Barnstable came back down to earth last week in a loss to Braintree, but we are not giving up on the Red Raiders just yet. Still, Acton-Boxboro just scored a huge win over Reading, and may have the offense to carry that over to some big things this year.


Prediction: Acton-Boxboro 32, Barnstable 26

Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) at Xaverian


One of our moles in New York said that Stepinac does not quite have the same level of speed it had a year ago. Still, even after a loss in its opener, Stepinac is a tough matchup for the Hawks, who will no doubt benefit from playing this level of competition down the road.


Prediction: Archbishop Stepinac 40, Xaverian 28


Oxford at Murdock


This is the game we will be attending on Friday night, and it is not just because these two teams are 2-0. We simply want to make sure we get live eyes on Oxford running back Niko Murray. We think he goes off again, as the Pirates stay perfect.


Prediction: Oxford 36, Murdock 12

Burlington at Stoneham


Burlington is another team that is just starting to sneak up on people a little bit right now. A few coaches that we spoke to during the offseason mentioned the Red Devils in that capacity. Still, Stoneham has given us no reasons to doubt its legitimacy this season.


Prediction: Stoneham 27, Burlington 21


Walpole at Natick


Natick is 0-2, but like we've mentioned, might be the best 0-2 team in the state, with close losses coming to Brockton and Needham. Walpole is off to a nice start, but the Redhawks feel primed to rip off a winning streak, starting with one over a traditional rival.


Prediction: Natick 42, Walpole 21

Tech Boston at Latin Academy


This is a bit of a tossup game that we feel could really go either way. Tech Boston is 0-2, but, like Natick, we feel the record is not indicative of just how good this team is. We are going to predict that goose egg comes off the board this week.


Prediction: Tech Boston 18, Latin Academy 16

King Philip at Attleboro


This is one of those games that will reveal a lot about both teams. We feel pretty confident in King Philip's defense again, and Attleboro has looked strong in the first two weeks. Have the Blue Bombardiers made up any ground in the Hockomock League Kelley-Rex? We think yes, but not to the point where they can take down KP.


Prediction: King Philip 14, Attleboro 13

Franklin at Mansfield


This game is a lot like the previous one. Franklin, like Attleboro, is 2-0, and has looked terrific in both wins. Mansfield is 1-1, but the level of competition played so far between the two teams is so disparate that it is not even comparable. The Hornets should prevail here.


Prediction: Mansfield 28, Franklin 13

Leominster at St. John's (Shrewsbury)


After two weeks, these two titans of Central Mass. are both 0-2, something we definitely did not expect. The fact that one of these teams will be 0-3 after this week is strange to us, but both should rebound eventually. Our bet is that the Pioneers do first.


Prediction: St. John's 35, Leominster 31

Duxbury at Plymouth North


Everyone in the Patriot League is chasing Duxbury, and there are some worthy contenders out there this season. Still, even though we like how Plymouth North has played so far, the Dragons present matchup problems all over the field for just about anyone in the state.


Prediction: Duxbury 42, Plymouth North 20

Bishop Feehan at Billerica


Bishop Feehan is one of the most intriguing teams in the state right now. The Shamrocks sent shockwaves through the Commonwealth with their win over North Attleboro after losing their opener to Falmouth. Still, Billerica is explosive and tough to beat at home, so we'll go with the hosts here.


Prediction: Billerica 38, Bishop Feehan 28

Tewksbury at BC High


We are not quite sure what to make of this matchup, even though we feel these are both good teams. Tewksbury has shown over the years the ability to play with just about anyone, while BC High can always overwhelm teams at the line of scrimmage. We like what we saw out of Tewksbury in its win over Methuen last week, though, and will go with the visitors here.


Prediction: Tewksbury 20, BC High 18


Shepherd Hill at Grafton


Each team comes in at 1-1, and Grafton nearly pulled off a huge win over Shrewsbury last weekend. Even though Shepherd Hill did not come as close against the Colonials in the season opener, we feel like the Rams can still come away with their second win here.


Prediction: Shepherd Hill 24, Grafton 20

Hoosac Valley at Chicopee Comp


This is an interesting matchup between a small-school power in Hoosac Valley against a team in Chicopee Comp that has lost two tough ones to open the season. This could go either way, but we like Hoosac Valley in what should be one of the better games out west this weekend.


Prediction: Hoosac Valley 18, Chicopee Comp 17

Norwell at Abington


We felt Abington had to replace a lot of good players from last year, but the Green Wave have not shown any letup in their 2-0 start. Norwell is a team that has a loss to a very good Scituate team as its only result so far. This feels like a tossup, but we think Abington is going to be tough to beat at home.


Prediction: Abington 19, Norwell 16

North Quincy at Archbishop Williams


North Quincy is off to a 2-0 start with wins over Silver Lake and Westwood, two programs that have seen their fair share of success in recent years. Archies lost to Stoneham in the opener, but that was not a huge surprise, and the win over Middleboro last week was solid.


Prediction: Archbishop Williams 20, North Quincy 16

Suffield Academy at Deerfield


These are two of the best teams in NEPSAC Class A, as we saw plenty of Suffield during the 7-on-7 circuit this summer. Deerfield should be tough this season, but we believe Suffield is just too talented at the skill positions and will have the advantage here.


Prediction: Suffield Academy 32, Deerfield 22

Lawrence Academy at BB&N


This is the best game of the weekend in the ISL, as league play kicks off after an eventful offseason. The Spartans lost a lot from transfers to graduation, and we like not just BB&N's top-end talent, but overall depth.


Prediction: BB&N 31, Lawrence Academy 27

St. Sebastian's at Milton Academy


If the Lawrence-BB&N game is the No. 1 ISL game of the day, this is 1a. The return of linebacker/running back Bryce Gallagher for St. Sebastian's is huge, but the Kalel Mullings Show for Milton will be what grabs a ton of attention this fall, too.


Prediction: Milton Academy 24, St. Sebastian's 21

College


Boston College at Purdue


Special teams miscues and a defense that at times looked gassed nearly undid another terrific performance by the offense for BC last week, but the Eagles earned the win over Wake Forest. Purdue, in some ways, despite being 0-3, presents more challenges than Wake, but we feel the Eagles can put together a more complete effort this week.


Prediction: BC 45, Purdue 27


Charlotte at UMass


There is no getting around the fact that UMass needs to find its confidence again after three straight losses that did not sit well with the fanbase. One has to think that the Minutemen are better than what they've shown recently, and a return to McGuirk might bring that out.

Prediction: UMass 40, Charlotte 30

Harvard at Brown


Whether or not Harvard is that good or San Diego just did not have it last Saturday is up for debate, but the Crimson looked like a different team than a year ago. This could be a special season, and we don't feel that Brown is going to pull the upset here.


Prediction: Harvard 37, Brown 13

Dartmouth at Holy Cross


Holy Cross is pretty beat up after its first three games, but the physical toll has to be overshadowed by the emotional high of beating a very good Yale team in overtime last weekend. The positive vibes continue in another close game.


Prediction: Holy Cross 26, Dartmouth 24

Stonehill at Southern Conn.


These are two 1-2 teams that have already played some stiff competition. Stonehill is coming off a loss to one of the best teams in the Northeast-10 in LIU Post. We like what we have seen so far from quarterback and Quincy native James Lam, and will go with the Skyhawks here.


Prediction: Stonehill 37, Southern Conn. 35

Springfield at WPI


Springfield did not have a long stay in the top 25 after a loss to Union last weekend, but we still have the Pride rated as the top team in Mass. WPI though presents a difficult challenge, and its only loss was a close one to a good RPI team. We'll stick with Springfield, though, in what should be one of the best takes of the weekend.


Prediction: Springfield 23, WPI 21

Last week: 26-11 Season: 54-22

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