Still looking for that week where we get the type accuracy we are looking for, as last time we had a respectable, but not pinpoint, 20-9 performance.
Again, some big matchups this week at each level. No shortage of games to choose from.
On to the picks.
Xaverian at Catholic Memorial
We've been very high on Catholic Memorial since we saw the Knights throttle St. John's of Shrewsbury in Week 1. Still, it has been hard to shake the feeling that Xaverian figured something out in its win over Archbishop Stepinac. We are going with the Hawks here.
Prediction: Xaverian 23, Catholic Memorial 20
Marlboro at Nashoba
If we were going to a high school game Friday night, this is probably the one we would attend (we will be at University of Rhode Island at Harvard). These teams could very well meet again in the postseason, but we like Nashoba a little better in this one.
Prediction: Nashoba 17, Marlboro 16
Natick at Braintree
It has been a strong year so far for the Bay State Conference, and these two teams are some of the reasons why. Even though the Redhawks started with an 0-2 record, we believe sophomore quarterback Will Lederman is one of the best at his position in the state. We think he and his team overcome an explosive Billy Silvia and Wamps team.
Prediction: Natick 31, Braintree 27
King Philip at Mansfield
Even though King Philip lost its opener to North Attleboro, the Warriors still appear to have one of the best defenses in the state. Mansfield has suffered some difficult injuries at the quarterback position, but is still capable of winning.
Prediction: Mansfield 15, King Philip 13
Dracut at Billerica
Since the preseason, we have been as high on the Middies as possible, and we feel like this is a team that can do real damage in the Merrimack Valley Small and Division 4. Billerica is a dangerous team, but we are going to keep riding the Middies.
Prediction: Dracut 34, Billerica 28
Tewksbury at North Andover
It is always hard to pick against Tewksbury, because it is simply such a tough team to play every week. Ultimately, though, we feel that North Andover has such tremendous talent at the skill positions that it could put the Scarlet Knights over the top.
Prediction: North Andover 28, Tewksbury 27
Mashpee at Abington
When we talked to Mashpee coach Matt Triveri, he spoke very highly of the Abington program, and for good reason. The Green Wave always seem to be tough and well coached. Still, we think Mashpee just has a bit more top-end talent.
Prediction: Mashpee 20, Abington 18
Holyoke at Longmeadow
Holyoke is off to a 3-0 start and been one of the stronger teams in Western Mass. so far. Still, we like what Longmeadow has been able to do, despite the opening loss to Minnechaug. This is a game that should be relatively close, but we like the Lancers here.
Prediction: Longmeadow 26, Holyoke 22
Acton-Boxboro at Lincoln-Sudbury
The Colonials deserve merit for notching some of the more impressive wins of the young season, as evidenced in victories over Reading and Barnstable. Still, L-S is one of those teams that has been hitting on all cylinders this year.
Prediction: Lincoln-Sudbury 35, Acton-Boxboro 14
BC High at Brockton
This game has lost a bit of luster with BC High dropping games to Tewksbury and Mansfield and struggling to find offensive rhythm. Brockton is coming off a bye week and has one of the best running back rotations in the state.
Prediction: Brockton 28, BC High 13
Canton at Foxboro
This has been a Canton team that many around the Hockomock League have been saying will be tough to handle both this year and next. Foxboro is one of those programs that finds consistent success year-in, year-out. But this could be the Bulldogs' statement win.
Prediction: Canton 16, Foxboro 14
North Quincy at Scituate
At the beginning of the season, we did not really have North Quincy on our radar, but it is now 3-0 and coming off a nice win over Archbishop Williams. North Quincy's defense has played well of late, but we feel like Scituate's offense is on another level.
Prediction: Scituate 36, North Quincy 21
Duxbury at Whitman-Hanson
We feel that Duxbury, along with being big, talented, and experienced, has shown the ability to make second-half adjustments and turn it on when it counts. Whitman-Hanson has a strong team this year, but beating Duxbury this fall is a tall task for anybody.
Prediction: Duxbury 27, Whitman-Hanson 20
Gloucester at Lynn Classical
Right now, Gloucester has emerged as one of the main contenders to win the Northeast Conference Central. We are not exactly sure how much stock to put into Classical's surprising loss to an underrated Revere team, but we think the Rams bounce back.
Prediction: Lynn Classical 30, Gloucester 24
Wachusett at St. John's of Shrewsbury
This is another intriguing Central Mass. game, as there usually is no love lost between these two programs and fanbases. The host Pioneers may have found their groove last week against Leominster, and should be able to overcome an always physical Wachusett team.
Prediction: St. John's of Shrewsbury 38, Wachusett 24
Ashland at Hopkinton
It has been a nice start for Ashland so far, as the Clockers are unbeaten with three wins in one-score games. That's impressive, but we felt at the beginning of the year that Hopkinton would win the Tri-Valley Large. The loss to Needham notwithstanding, we still see that as a strong possibility.
Prediction: Hopkinton 23, Ashland 21
Medway at Dedham
Medway's only loss is a one-point setback to Ashland, while Dedham remains unbeaten and one of the top teams in Division 6. We feel like these are the two best teams in the TVL Small, but Dedham right now is a cut above.
Prediction: Dedham 30, Medway 20
Northeast at Lynn Tech
Since its opener, Lynn Tech has found its offense and just been dominating teams left and right. We feel like Northeast should be able to give the Tigers a better test than recent weeks, but that Lynn Tech should again come out on the winning end.
Prediction: Lynn Tech 27, Northeast 23
Belmont Hill at BB&N
We feel like there are a lot of quality teams in the ISL this year, but what separates BB&N from everyone else is its line play on offense and front seven on defense. The Knights should be able to run the ball and stop the run against just about everyone on their schedule. That should be the difference here.
Prediction: BB&N 31, Belmont Hill 21
Temple at Boston College
Temple has had a bit of a strange year, with losses to Villanova and Buffalo and wins over Maryland and Tulsa. But BC, coming off a disappointing effort against Purdue, really feels like it has something to atone for this week. Expect the Eagles to do that.
Prediction: Boston College 45, Temple 17
UMass at Ohio
It is a bit hard to get a read on this Ohio team, with a win over Howard and losses to Cincinnati and Virginia. We like how UMass responded last week against Charlotte, and the Minutemen may have turned a corner with that performance.
Prediction: UMass 35, Ohio 32
Rhode Island at Harvard
We will be in attendance for this one, and feel this is a game that has a ton of significance in the local football scene. This is a terrific URI squad that is ranked in the FCS top 25. Harvard has a resurgent squad this year, but URI may be just a bit much for the Crimson.
Prediction: Rhode Island 38, Harvard 31
Bucknell at Holy Cross
Holy Cross dropped a tough decision to Dartmouth last week, and injuries have plagued the Crusaders this season. Still, Bucknell has not shown that well this season, and Holy Cross has shown the ability to fight through difficult circumstances this season.
Prediction: Holy Cross 28, Bucknell 20
Stonehill at Pace
Neither team right now is in the upper echelon of teams battling for the Northeast-10 title, but this should be a competitive game. It is tough to find a clear separator between these squads, so we are going to go with the home team in this instance.
Prediction: Pace 24, Stonehill 22
Trinity at Williams
This is probably the game of the week in the NESCAC. These are two of the perennial powers in the league that have both started off 2-0. We are going to go with Williams quarterback and Duxbury native Bobby Maimaron here in a close one.
Prediction: Williams 27, Trinity 24
Last week: 20-9 Season: 74-31