Thursday, September 21, 2017

Your Massachusetts HS Football Weekend Primer: Week 3

Many of the faces have changed, but Falmouth still has the talent to get back to Gillette Stadium this December. The Clippers face a huge road trip to Marshfield this weekend.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Attentive readers (and I know there are at least a few of you out there) will notice that this week's primer has a slightly different name.

What was once know as "Your MIAA Football Weekend Primer" has been renamed, because the Independent School League (ISL) begins its football season this weekend. SuiteSports is thrilled to be covering its first ISL football game this Saturday (more on that later) as we expand our coverage, but for now, let's just break down the biggest games of a packed HS football weekend.


No. 15 Reading at No. 7 Lexington, 7 pm

The Rockets once again have the look and feel of a physical juggernaut, but they haven't seen anybody like do-it-all Lexington quarterback Sal Frelick.

Catholic Memorial at No. 25 Brockton, 7 pm

The Knights are desperate for their first win of the season, but it won't come easy inside Marciano Stadium, against a motivated Brockton squad that is still salty about last season's 34-0 loss to CM.

No. 13 Falmouth at No. 9 Marshfield, 7 pm

Despite replacing a number of big names, the Falmouth offense hasn't missed a beat since last year's title run. The Clippers will face their biggest test yet, as a trip to Marshfield to face Jack McNeil and the Rams looms.

Dartmouth at La Salle (RI), 7 pm

A brutal schedule has Dartmouth sitting at 1-1, but the Indians will have a chance to pick up a marquee victory Friday night against one of Rhode Island's perennial powers.

Carver at Mashpee, 7 pm

The defending state champion Falcons boast elite talent in both trenches, and one of the biggest play makers in the state in Devaun Ford, but Carver may be the first team this season that can give them some trouble.The undefeated Crusaders have breezed through a light early schedule, but have the weapons to score some points.

Dennis Yarmouth at Nauset, 7 pm

Nauset is another team that has put up big stats early, but knows the level of competition is about to amp up. It certainly will Friday night against Dennis-Yarmouth and quarterback in Jacob McCarthy, who can beat you with his arm and legs.

Whitman-Hanson at No. 12 Duxbury, 7 pm

The re-tooled Dragons got back on track last week with a 35-0 win over Barnstable. Now, Duxbury will take its first step toward defending its Patriot League Keenan title against undefeated Whitman-Hanson.

St. Peter-Marian at Concord-Carlisle, 7 pm

Concord-Carlisle has played both Wellesley and Lexington close this year, but the Patriots enter Friday night's home game winless, and in dire need of a victory. St. Peter-Marian will make the trip from Worcester, and the Guardians have already shown a knack for winning close games under first-year coach Justin McKay.

Algonquin at Wachusett, 7 pm

Speaking of Justin McKay; When he coached Algonquin last year, the Tomahawks were Wachusett's Kryptonite, handing the Mountaineers their only two losses of the season, including a run-away victory in the D2 Central semifinals. Let's just say Wachusett hasn't forgotten.

Oakmont at Littleton, 7 pm

Oakmont is scoring points in the bunches, but the Spartans face a massive challenge in the form of one of the state's best small-school programs.

West Springfield at Springfield Central, 7 pm

The two most talented teams in Western Mass go toe-to-toe, as Springfield Central hopes it's offensive weapons can break through against a very stingy West Springfield defense.


Milton Academy at St. Sebastian's 1 pm

There will be plenty of talent on the field, when class of 2020 uber-recruit Kalel Mullings leads Milton Academy against 2019 Northwestern commit Bryce Gallagher and St. Sebastian's.

North Andover at No. 11 Tewksbury, 1 pm

Tewksbury has lived a charmed life early on this season, barely edging Malden Catholic and Methuen, thanks in large part to some timely plays from its secondary. The Redmen will need to make big plays down the stretch again this week, against a North Andover team riding high after thrashing Haverhill.

Northbridge at Nipmuc, 1 pm

Northbridge might be ready to contend for another state title, and the Rams have already shown they can score points in a shootout win against high-powered Quabbin, and blowout of Tyngsboro. Nipmuc, meanwhile, has been turning heads with its physical play since the preseason, and has already made short work of Burncoat and Dover-Sherborn. Maybe a bit off the radar, this game should be one of the top smaller-division games in the state.

Buckingham Browne & Nichols at Lawrence Academy, 1:30 pm

Our John McGuirk will be there to cover what many are calling the biggest ISL game of the week. Lawrence Academy is loaded with talented players (many of whom are already committed to Boston College), but perhaps no player stands out more than lineman Finn Dirstine. The bruiser will hope to lead his team to a win against defending champion BB&N, powered physical tight end/defensive end Jay Symonds Jr, who will continue his academic and football careers at Pitt next season.

Methuen at No. 3 Central Catholic, 2 pm

Central Catholic's defense looks like it will again be one of the state's best, but Methuen did give Tewksbury everything it could handle last week. This one could be low-scoring, and if the Rangers can force a turnover or two, watch out.

No. 1 Everett at No. 8 St. John's Prep, 4 pm

Easily the top MIAA game on the docket this weekend, Everett seems untouchable, while St. John's Prep is coming off a humbling shutout loss to Central Catholic. Throw all that out the window, as the Eagles always seem to create some magic on Saturday afternoons at the Prep.

Milton at Natick, 7 pm

These two Bay State- Herget foes bring underrated defenses into a rivalry that has featured offensive fireworks in recent years. A win would give the Redhawks a 3-0 start in the league with only Wellesley to play, while Milton is looking to start Bay State play with a bang.

Grafton at Shepherd Hill, 7 pm

Shepherd Hill lost both running back Kevin Mensah to UConn and offensive lineman Alec Lindstrom to Boston College, but you wouldn't know it by the way the Rams are running the ball. Ben Carpenter is averaging an absurd 12.4 yards per carry, but he'll find some rough sledding against Grafton's physical defense and ball control offense.

No comments :