Wednesday, September 5, 2018

MIAA Football: Our Week One Picks!

No. 1 Everett Pays a Trip to No. 2 Xaverian Friday in a rematch from the last two Div. 1 Super Bowls
By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612), featuring Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

It’s officially time for us to introduce our first slate of picks with the MIAA High School Football season just about set to get underway.

While most of the action is slated to take place on Friday or Saturday, No. 20 Duxbury will take a trip to Bridgewater-Raynham tomorrow night, and SuiteSports will be there to provide updates, as well as a recap following the conclusion of the action.

For now, however, please enjoy the opportunity to gripe about mine and Editor-in-Chief Joe Parello’s picks as we choose our winners for the top games on the docket this upcoming weekend. Feel free to reach out to us on our Twitter handles above to let us know why we're foolish to sleep on your favorite team.

No. 1 Everett at No. 2 Xaverian

Parello’s Pick: As the great Ric Flair used to say- "To be the man (WOO!), you gotta beat the man!" Everett is the two-time defending champ, so the Tide get the nod in what should be a fantastic and hard-fought game.

21-16, Everett 

Feld’s Pick: I expect a low-scoring game due to the Hawks’ terrific front seven, but Everett still has too many weapons highlighted by Mike Sainristil and Isaac Seide.

17-10, Everett

No. 10 Springfield Central at No. 3 Lincoln-Sudbury

Parello’s Pick: Well, I live in Sudbury, so I can't very well pick against the Warriors and expect to be welcome at (checks internet for local Sudbury bar)... Whole Foods? Anyways, this is my pick for Game of the Week, and I'll pick thunder over lightning, as I think the physical L-S offensive and defensive lines wear down Springfield Central's athletic skill players and secondary.

28-21, Lincoln-Sudbury

Feld’s Pick: In a terrific opening week matchup between two super bowl favorites, Lincoln-Sudbury protects home turf behind its stout line play.

16-13, Lincoln-Sudbury

No. 4 Mansfield at No. 23 BC High

Parello’s Pick: I know BC High lost a ton of talent to graduation, but this defense is still going to be a tough nut to crack. With big Keith Henderson back anchoring the defensive line, and linebacker John Destefanis working sideline to sideline, I think the Eagles shut down Mansfield and pull off the minor upset on opening night.

13-7, BC High

Feld’s Pick: Eagles are out to prove our (relatively) low ranking of them was unjustified, but I will take the more experienced team come week one between two usual heavyweights.

21-17, Mansfield

No. 5 Catholic Memorial at No.  9 St. John’s (Shrewsbury)

Parello’s Pick: CM has stars in the trenches and outside on both sides, but don't sleep on what is still a very potent St. John's offense. A rebuilt offensive line anchored by Mitch Gorgas, and do-it-all weapon Eamonn Dennis will help the Pioneers put up points but the feeling is that, only one year into John DiBiaso's reign, the Knights may already be ready for Gillette. Luke Folan, Khari Johnson and Co. make just enough plays to avenge last year's ugly loss.

31-28, Catholic Memorial

Feld’s Pick: John DiBiaso’s first game as Knights head coach is a successful one as Catholic Memorial makes just enough plays on defense to hold off the defending Div. 3 Super Bowl champs

20-16, Catholic Memorial

No. 12 North Attleboro at No. 6  King Philip

Parello’s Pick: What I said about Everett earlier... Yeah, repeat that for KP, which has a legitimate chance for a historic three-peat.

27-21, King Philip

Feld’s Pick: On Monday, I said King Philip would once again be king of the Hockomock Kelly-Rex. Well, this may be a cross-over matchup, but I will still pick the Warriors to grab win number 26 in a row behind a suffocating defense.

13-10, King Philip

No. 17 Natick at No. 18 Needham

Parello’s Pick: If Needham wins this one, I'm fully throwing my hat behind Matt Smith and this potentially explosive offense, but I think Natick can make the Rockets one dimensional, with big defensive tackle Josh Atwood shutting things down on the ground. If the Redhawks can do that, they have enough weapons to win an early-season squeaker. 

20-14, Natick

Feld’s Pick: This is one of the more underrated games on the slate for week one. Consider me on the Needham bandwagon to start the year.

17-16, Needham

No. 7 North Andover at Woburn

Parello’s Pick: I still haven't gotten the chance to watch North Andover quarterback Jake McElroy live, but his tape is scintillating, and shows a true dual-threat who can take games over at any time. That's enough for me in this one.

34-21, North Andover

Feld’s Pick: There is plenty of anticipation and excitement surrounding the Scarlet Knights, and they will live up to it on opening night.

24-13, North Andover

No. 13 Doherty at Wachusett

Parello's Pick: If there's any "under the radar" team in Central Mass built to take down this potentially great Doherty team, it's Wachusett. The Mountaineers just churn out linemen and tough backs year after year, and have one of the best home field advantages in the region. But, I think Tajon Vassar and the Highlanders pass this very difficult road test, and begin building for what could be a special season.

28-23, Doherty

Feld’s Pick: Doherty comes out of the gate strong with a tough road win.

23-16, Doherty

Bridgewater-Raynham at No. 20 Duxbury

Parello’s Pick: Duxbury's offense seems like it's ready to explode again, but man it's hard to count out B-R's physical ground game. Two different styles, and I basically like whoever has the ball last and can score quickest. Just given the way they play, that will probably be the Dragons.

35-31, Duxbury

Feld’s Pick: The Trojans are probably much better than we have given them credit for in the preseason, but I will take the Dragons to protect home field.

20-14, Duxbury

Marshfield at Whitman-Hanson

Parello’s Pick: It's the dawn of a new era at Marshfield, as new coach Chris Arouca takes the helm in place of legendary coach Lou Silva. Arouca did a brilliant job at Hingham the past three seasons, and helped build the diverse and explosive offense that powered Marshfield's last Super Bowl run in 2014 when he was offensive coordinator at his alma mater.

The Rams might need a little more seasoning, but I'll go with the new coach to get a win in his first game.

30-26, Marshfield

Feld’s Pick: My ‘coin-flip’ of the week, this is as hard a game to pick as they come. When in doubt, I go with the home quarterback and Ethan Phelps has proven he can win games all by himself.

24-23, Whitman-Hanson

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