Wednesday, September 12, 2018

MIAA Football: Week Two Picks

In one of the most anticipated games West of 495 this season, Myles Bradley (26) and Springfield Central will take on St. John's (Shrewsbury) in a rematch of last season's D3 state semifinal won by the Pioneers. Will the Golden Eagles get revenge?

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612), featuring Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Week two of the MIAA Football season is just about upon us, and with it SuiteSports' editors Joe Parello and Matt Feld are here to make their picks for the top games of the week.

Just to review, here are how the standings look after week one:

Joe Parello: 7-3

Matt Feld: 9-1

Now, onto Week 2!

No. 1 Everett at No. 3 Mansfield

Parello’s Pick: Any questions about Everett's ability to reload were seemingly put to rest last week in a win over Xaverian, but Mansfield is a legitimate state title contender. Still, the Tide have knocked legit contenders by the wayside the last few years, and I don't see that stopping this week.

35-21, Everett

Feld’s Pick: Mansfield has the athletes, experience, and veteran leadership to make this a thrilling affair, but Everett's overall firepower is simply too much as Robbie Riobe makes a key defensive play late to help the Crimson Tide hold on.

26-21, Everett 

Melrose at No. 2 Lincoln-Sudbury

Parello's Pick: For all the talk about James Dillon, who was simply brilliant running the ball in a Week 1 demolition of Springfield Central, I've been really impressed with this Lincoln-Sudbury defense going back to last year (Note: Dillon also stars for the L-S defense, so let's not sell him short). The L-S ground game continues to roll, but so does the defense in this one.

30-7, Lincoln-Sudbury 

Feld’s Pick: This is a potential 'trap' game for Lincoln-Sudbury with Melrose holding the tools to turn this into a dog fight until the games final stages. James Dillon, however, wears down the Melrose defensive line before the Warriors break away late.

27-14, Lincoln-Sudbury

No. 16 Central Catholic at No. 7 St. John's Prep

Parello’s Pick: I'm gonna call for a minor upset here, as Jared Silverio leads the CC offense as both a slippery runner, and an accurate passer, while the opportunistic Raider defense makes just enough plays to lock down the win.

23-21, Central Catholic

Feld’s Pick: These two power programs are always guaranteed to put on an early season show. I give the edge to the Prep this time around, with the feeling the Eagles may just be a legit contender in Div. 1.

28-17, St. John's Prep

Scituate at No. 11 Duxbury

Parello’s Pick: Is Duxbury back to being the state's most exciting offense? It's only been one week, but John "The Judge" Roberts looks like as good a dual-threat quarterback as there is in the Bay State, and we know the Dragons can really roll people when they have experience under center.

45-24, Duxbury

Feld’s Pick: There is plenty to like about Scituate, but Duxbury was awfully impressive in week one. Too many weapons, too much speed, and too much size.

34-17, Duxbury

No. 14 St. John's (Shrewsbury) at No. 18 Springfield Central 

Parello’s Pick: It isn't a stretch to say that these two teams might see each other again in the D3 state semifinal (just as they did last year), and there should be plenty of points scored in this one. While both fell to Eastern Mass powers last week, I like St. John's to get back on track, behind its powerful offensive line and do-it-all athlete Eamonn Dennis.

41-35, St. John's

Feld’s Pick: Following week one losses, both of these teams find themselves badly in need of a victory. While both did not play great to begin the season, I found more promising signs in St. John's performance as they demonstrated they have the weapons to put up serious points.

30-20, St. John's

No. 17 Brockton at No. 21 Natick

Parello’s Pick: This should be a tougher battle in the trenches than many think, but it looks like Brockton just might be back, so I'll roll with the Boxers in a close one.

16-10, Brockton 

Feld’s Pick: I expect a rock-fight, a dog-fight of sorts as both teams hope to gain whatever sort of offensive advantage they can in a big early non-league test for both teams. Natick hangs tough at home, but Brockton does enough to squeak past.

20-18, Brockton 

No. 20 Barnstable at Braintree 

Parello’s Pick: Billy Sylvia looked like an All-State running back in Week One for Braintree, but can the senior keep it going against a tough Barnstable defense? My gut tells me yes, as the Wamps find creative ways to get him into space and pull off the (minor) upset.

28-21, Braintree

Feld’s Pick: There is no game I am more interested by than this one, with two teams looking to emerge as favorites early amidst a tough Div. 2 south field. Just as he did in week one, I think Matthew Petrcuskie gets it done in the clutch.

23-17, Barnstable 

Marlboro at Algonquin

Parello’s Pick: We've got an underrated Battle of the Boros out in Central Mass, and I really like the potential of both these teams. Marlboro's toughness was on full display in a tight win over Leominster last week, while Algonquin's Will Johnston looked unstoppable on the ground in a blowout of Worcester North.

But, Marlboro's ground game, led by Will Vigeant, is pretty darn special too, and the Panthers are already battle-tested. Gimme Marlboro in an OT instant classic.

25-19 (OT), Marlboro

Feld’s Pick: Marlboro's defense was stalwart in week one, and I expect that to continue this time as the Panthers grind out a second straight win.

14-10, Marlboro 

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