Updated: Nov 27, 2019
That's fine. Of course, we think every game means something.
So if you are like us and want to check out some high school football regardless of how the playoff is structured, we picked out some games this holiday (or the day before) that are worth taking in.
KIPP Academy vs. Lynn Tech at the Manning Bowl
St. Mary's vs. Austin Prep at the Manning Bowl
Lynn English vs. Lynn Classical at the Manning Bowl
The city of Lynn produced some quality football again this season, and all six of these teams have winning records. KIPP came the closest to Gillette with a 19-8 loss to West Bridgewater in the Div. 8 state semifinals, but Lynn Tech is very capable of pulling off the upset.
St. Mary's was not able to defend its Div. 7 North crown, but is still formidable and will grapple with an Austin Prep program that is sure to make some noise in the near future under coach Billy Tucker.
English and Classical pair for one of the best rivalries in the state, and each team was eliminated early in the Div. 3 North bracket. English has owned this rivalry of late and should probably be the favorite here again.
Xaverian at St. John's Prep
Although it is a rare losing season for Xaverian, the young Hawks were able to gain some valuable confidence in winning its three non-playoff contests over Taunton, Framingham, and New Bedford.
St. John's Prep has not beaten Xaverian since 2012. Even though the Eagles will be in the Div. 1 title game against Catholic Memorial, ending that streak of holiday disappointment against their rival is still at the top of the wish list for Brian St. Pierre and Co.
Wachusett at Shrewsbury
Although Shrewsbury did not make the Div. 3 Central playoffs, the Colonials would have been a dangerous entry in any bracket. It just so happens that Wachusett, Shepherd Hill, Doherty, and St. John's of Shrewsbury put together outstanding seasons in their own right to make the postseason.
Wachusett has played well against a difficult schedule, and should be favored here in what might be the best game of the day.
Swampscott at Marblehead
Swampscott has the opportunity to win a Div. 5 state title when it takes on Amherst next week, but first has to take care of business against a Marblehead team that is one of the best in Div. 4.
We have not heard yet whether or not Swampscott will rest players to avoid injury, but if these teams go full bore, you are looking at two of the best teams in the state slamming pads and hoping to gain bragging rights for next year.
Boston English/New Mission vs. Boston Latin at Harvard Stadium
Boston Latin has dominated this matchup of late, as the Wolfpack have won 51 of the last 54 contests.
Still, Boston City League teams have competed well against Latin School this year. O'Bryant beat the Wolfpack by two touchdowns, and Latin Academy only lost to them by a point.
An upset here is possible for English/New Mission, and would be the first victory in the series since 2013.
Stoughton at Canton
Sure, this is a rematch, but this is one of the best games of the day between two of the top teams in the Hockomock League and, really, the state.
Canton's only loss is to Holliston in the Div. 5 state playoffs, while Stoughton has been inconsistent on offense but a tremendous defensive squad throughout.
The first time these teams played, a 10-0 Canton win, turnovers played a part. You'll likely see another defensive battle here.
Leominster at Fitchburg
Leominster stumbled a bit with a tough schedule, but still has the line play and speed to retain bragging rights in one of the state's best rivalries.
A year ago, Leominster rolled to a lopsided shutout win. There is no doubt Fitchburg will be using payback as a motivation.
Andover at North Andover
Well, if Andover did not catch your attention earlier in the season, it certainly did when it beat Everett in a recent non-playoff game.
The Golden Warriors have strong young talent at a number of different positions. North Andover has one of the best run games around and will be looking to grind it out here.