Sunday, October 26, 2008

AA Varsity Week Nine

Week 8 Round-Up

Separation Saturday was all that and a box of crackers! Seaquam clinched its number 1 seed out of the West in a hard fought contest versus the Dukes and South Delta defeated Lord Tweedsmuir in a game that forces us all to go back and look at the importance of special teams and their ability to turn games around dramatically. Friday's game between Mission and Rick Hansen was a terrrific contest by all acounts with Mission clinching the inside track for a #3 East Division seed and a trip to the Island on November 7th. Lets not forget about Hugh Boyd who have quietly and forcefully found their stride again posting a 48-0 victory over the Handsworth Royals. Keep an eye on the Trojans during the playoffs. I say even money they run the table and defeat S. Delta en route to a Championship appearance.

Up in the Interior, OKM served notice that there has been a changing of the guard and they will now be perched where once Clarence Fulton stood alone. The Vernon Panthers had a big win as well and are headed to the post-season tournament while playing their best ball. On the Island the stage is set for a Halloween day Border Balltle that will ultimately determine the seeding off The Rock as Ballenas and Barsby will be playing for first place. Never have the stakes been higher at the Border Battle.

Week Eight Scores

Thursday, 23 October

John Barsby 22 Earl Marriot 6

Friday, 24 October

Timberline 42 Belmont 14
Mission 29 Rick Hansen 21
Frank Hurt 20 Langley 12
Hugh Boyd 48 Handsworth 0
Norkam 41 Valleyview 14

Saturday, 25 October

Okanagen Mission 34 Clarence Fulton 7
Vernon 43 Seaton 0
Ballenas 61 Nanaimo District 0
South Delta 20 Lord Tweedsmuir 14
Seaquam 14 Windsor 7

Gridiron's Week 9 Top Ten

  1. Seaquam (7-1)
  2. South Delta (7-1)
  3. Ballenas (5-1-1)
  4. John Barsby (8-0)
  5. Hugh Boyd (5-2)
  6. Lord Tweedsmuir (5-3)
  7. Windsor (3-3)
  8. Mission (5-3)
  9. Rick Hansen (4-4)
  10. Okanagen Mission (5-1)

Week Nine Preview

Well folks, the fat lady is about to give the 08 regular season a big shout-out. Most of this weekend's games are about winning contests against opponents that should at least on paper, be beaten. There is certainly some pride on the line and programs playing their last varsity tilt of the year. There is also the sad occasion of grade 12 footballers playing the last high school football game of their young lives. Cherish every moment fellas, it comes and goes so quick! If I could give you guys any advice it would be to hook-up with your coach, or the local football coach in the coming years and give him a hand! You guys are our future and every hour you devote to helping out the young folks in your community is an hour that helps them enjoy the game you poured your heart and soul into for the years you got to play. If you cannot fit all the practice hours in to your lives, become a referee and earn some bucks while helping the game along. Some referees bank a couple grand over a season and that isn't chump change when your bachelor menu choices are limited to which shape of pasta is going to be on the table on any given day.

Back to the weekend. One game stands alone on Halloween Day. The 2008 Border Battle! Played since 2000 this will be the 9th edition of the Island's biggest rivalry. Barsby currently leads the count 5-3 but for this year's group of players the count is 1-0 Ballenas after last year's 19-0 shut-out of the Dawgs by the Whalers in The Cage.

This year the two Island Programs collide up in Parksville at 1:45 PM. The Ballenas principal has decided to let the school out for the last block of the day to support their Whalers and that means an instant 1000 spectators on top of the other seven or eight hundred who usually show up for this tilt. The atmosphere is going to be absolutely electric! The Whalers are the pride of Parksville and provincially seem to carry a reputation for being the best off of the Island. The Dawgs are a South Nanaimo institution and enter the game undefeated in 2008. The number 1 seed off of the Island is at stake. This game is BIG! There are going to be a lot of spectators wearing Mission, LT, Handsworth and Seaquam jackets with armloads of cameras and clipboards at this one as well.

Gridiron's Week 9 Picks

Friday, 31 October

Ballenas vs John Barsby

Ballenas has played a tougher schedule; Ballenas is at home; Ballenas is letting their school out early for the game; Ballenas has the brain-trust for a coaching staff; Ballenas played Mt. Douglas close; Ballenas has more rushing yards; Ballenas has a top three quarterback; Ballenas has a huge offensive and defensive line; Ballenas has speedy receivers and terrific cover schemes; The Ballenas fullback is a house; The Ballenas Tailback has jets and huge running stats; Ballenas rocked the Big Kahuna 7 on 7 passing tournament and don't forget, they have immaculate coaching uniforms and the only cheer leading squad in BC.

During their 61-0 shelling of an obviously injured Nanaimo District Football team on Saturday, the Ballenas coaches were cunning enough to end the first half while already up by 30 or so points to zero with a long-pass just before time ran out. Then, in the second-half, after running back the opening kick return for a big score, they again out-thought and out-footballed the Islanders by running a short kick-off, recovering it and going for a deep six via the air. It wasn't quite complete however, until a terrific looking reverse on the ensuing offensive series was run just to make sure Nanaimo couldn't get back in the game from being down by 54. Coach Conn is an offensive football genius who knows how to wrap-up a game and Hines is a competitor, gotta give-em that.

Whatever shall Barsby do against this football juggernaut?

Gridiron’s Pick: Barsby will show-up.

Belmont vs Nanaimo

A Belmont victory means a three-way tie on the Island. Nanaimo District locks up the 3rd place seed with a W. These teams are battered and bruised and this game will come down to team- unity, turn-overs and defense.

Gridiron’s Pick: Belmont

Earl Marriot vs South Delta

South Delta has the first place seed locked-up in the East and this game could come off as a mean-nothing contest but I just don't think that it will be one. Marriot is a proud, hard-hustling team and South Delta doesn't want too much rust to accrue before their opening round playoff game. The Sundevils will be too much for the Mariners in this one.

Gridiron’s Pick: South Delta by 21 on the ground and in the air.

Rick Hansen vs Windsor

An interesting exhibition match-up that see's two play-off bound squads lock horns in a pride game. Neither team will lay off early in the game, but this might be an opportune time to get some players some playing time before things get playoff-serious.

Gridiron’s Pick: Hansen by 7. Yep, you heard it here, the Hurricanes are all about momentum and Coach Gill and co. want some of that heading into round-1.

Burnaby Central vs Seaquam

Number one versus well, number 28. The scoreboard won't reflect a lot of kindness and Seaquam doesn't have a huge bench to sub-in. Bad math.

Gridiron’s Pick: Seaquam by 48 plus.

Hugh Boyd vs Pinetree (AAA)

A long season comes to a grinding halt for the Timberwolves versus the surging Hugh Boyd Trojans. The Trojans are my not so Dark-Horse to run the table in the playoff tournament and the Haddow bros. want to keep their players razor sharp.

Gridiron’s Pick: 38-6 for Hugh Boyd.

Okanagen Mission vs Norkam

Norkam played a super game last weekend and now face red-hot OKM. The Huskies have not lost a game since week 1 and are coming off of a big win vs Fulton themselves. The balanced run-pass game of the Huskies will be too much for the Saints.

Gridiron’s Pick: 28-8 OKM

Valleyview vs Penticton High

Valleyview is stinging from their drubbing last week at the hands of Norkam. On top of that, they want to end their season with a win. Congratutlations to Penticton for getting through year 1! You will probably lose this game but better things are ahead for you.

Gridiron’s Pick: Valleyview by 14

Langley vs Lord Tweedsmuir

Not a great way for Langley to end their season. Tweedsmuir will not lose this game or even let it be close. They are going to be firing on all cylinders as they get ready for the playoffs and will be using this game to tweak systems and lay down some camoflauge for their opening opponent to look at.

Gridiron’s Pick: LT by 24.

Saturday, 1 November

Clarence Fulton vs W.L. Seaton

Fulton needs to improve its game and this will be a high speed practice session for them vs the Sonics in preparation for Hugh Boyd in round-1. The Sonics, get your licks in where you can because its a long off-season.

Gridiron’s Pick: Fulton by 28.

Mission vs Frank Hurt

Time for Mission to regain its feet and get their awesome offense back in synch. This game is perfectly timed for the Roadrunners and will be a testament to the Hornets desire to compete regardless of the stakes or lack thereof. Mission really gets hot in this one.

Gridiron’s Pick: Mission 40 Hurt 6

Sunday, October 19, 2008

AA Varsity Week Eight

Week Seven Round-Up

Friday opened up with Lord Tweedsmuir, Hugh Boyd, Seaquam and John Barsby taking care of business by big scores. No surprises there. Two games of note were the Nanaimo District/Timberline shoot-out and the Hansen/Marriot Hansen game where Hansen made its move on a playoff berth. On the Island Friday, a rare event occurred for any level of ball in BC as 111 points were scored in a single game! The Islanders rallied from a tough rivalry loss last week versus Barsby by putting on an offensive and physical show en-route to scoring 62 points while rushing for get-this, 630 yards on a shocked Timberline crew! The Wolves posted big passing and rushing numbers themselves but the double-wing buzz saw was more consistent than Timberline’s fun and gun passing attack when it came to putting up the points. Word has it that kid flipping the scoreboard numbers at the game has been hospitalized with some form of carpal-tunnel syndrome. The Hansen-Marriot tilt was a 20-0 shut-out for the improving and hungry Hurricanes. Next week’s contest vs Mission now looms ever larger.

Saturday saw Clarence Fulton continue its Interior dominating ways with a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback vs a pumped Vernon squad while South Delta posted a lop-sided and very complete victory over the shorthanded Mission Roadrunners. South Delta looks to be the dominant team in 08 in the eyes of many an observer and will go on to face its most serious AA challenge yet when they play the Lord Tweeedsmuir Panthers this coming weekend..

Week Seven Scores

Friday Scores

Lord Tweedsmuir 44 Frank Hurt 0
John Barsby 42 Belmont 0
Earl Marriot 0 Rick Hansen 20
Nanaimo District 62 Timberline 49
Handsworth 0 Seaquam 27
Valleyview 18 WL Seaton 0
Burnaby Central 0 Hugh Boyd 48

Saturday Scores

Vernon 17 Fulton 20
Mission 0 South Delta 49

Week 8 "Separation Weekend"!

Week Seven has given us all a hint of how things are going to settle for 08 but ultimately it is Separation Weekend (Week 8) that is going to clear the picture greatly.

For flavor, on Thursday afternoon John Barsby hosts the tough and dangerous Earl Marriot Mariners in "The Cage". There is also some Island-LM smack to be dealt with on Thursday as well.

Friday brings a few more important contests of its own. Timberline and Belmont are going to largely know its playoff fate when the Wolves travel down to Belmont for a key Island contest. Rick Hansen and Mission are going to be playing lights- out Friday afternoon as they struggle for not only Valley bragging rights, but 3rd and fourth seed in the big dance! Hugh Boyd seeks to clinch a third place berth out of the West when they tangle with the Royals at home.

On Saturday, the number one and two seed out fo the Interior are likely to be decided when OKM comes a calling on Fulton's Maroons. Ballenas can clinch at least a number 2 seed off of the Island should they get by the always physical Nanaimo District Islanders. The two Marquee match-ups on Separation Saturday are going to be Seaquam hosting Windsor for the number one and two seeds out of the West and the much anticipated East Conference Gotterhamrung between South Delta and the visiting Panthers of Lord Tweedsmuir.

When all the muddy uniforms hit the Laundry basket on Saturday night, the stars will be mostly lined-up for the post-season dance. It's getting exciting folks, its really getting exciting!!

Gridiron's Week Eight Top Ten

1. Seaquam (6-1)
2. South Delta (6-1)
3. Ballenas (4-1-1)
4. John Barsby (7-0)
5. Lord Tweedsmuir (5-2)
6. Windsor (3-2)
7. Hugh Boyd (4-2)
8. Mission (4-3)
9. Rick Hansen (4-3)
10. Okanagen Mission (4-1)

Gridiron's Week 8 Picks

Thursday, 23 October

John Barsby vs Earl Marriot

A short practice week for both squads means there will be a lot of coaching and playing on the fly come Thursday in "The Cage". Marriot brings a very talented squad across the waters and by all accounts plays a tough, blitz orientated style of defense. The Dawgs of Barsby have been running and passing with good balance so it may take a quarter or so for each squad to figure out the other. Folks, don't let Marriot's record fool you. They play in a very tough conference through and through where losing means that you like as not lost to a high quality opponent. This is a huge statement game for Marriot as they seek to gain back program momentum heading into the off-season. Barsby has won the games they should have won this year playing a much easier schedule than Marriot and is looking to improve its overall record to 8-0. This game will be no cake-walk.

Gridiron's Pick: Barsby by one score.

Friday, 24 October

Belmont vs Timberline

Two battered and bruised, wounded animals will grapple down in Victoria as the Blue-Bulldogs of Belmont host the Wolves of Timberline. Timberline posted it's only win this season versus Belmont up in Campbell River several weeks back, but the season has taken its toll on them in physical consecutive games vs Barsby, Ballenas and Nanaimo District. On top of this, the Wolves have to travel 3 hours to play their hosts. Still, Belmont has to learn how to cover the pass and Timberline rains deep balls on opponents. If Belmont can get a lot of heat on the Timberline QB we may have a game on our hands. If not, this will be a blow-out. Beyond pressuring the QB Belmont also has to look in the mirror and find its physical-self. Timberline has proven week-in and week-out that it is not a second-half team in 2008. If Belmont can keep it physical and pour on the pressure in the second half as well as the first, we could see an upset.

Gridiron’s Pick: In terms of talent, this is a draw. Timberline however, knows how to play football better than Belmont does and will drop buckets all-day. Timberline by 24.

Rick Hansen vs Mission

Back in the day, Coach Watrin (Mission) used to be the closest thing we had in BC to a JV coaching legend when he was the JV HC at Rick Hansen. Now he brings the sharp-end of the mature Mission football program back to his old haunts. Mission was short handed during the blow-out they endured vs S. Deltal last week. This week they aren't and we all know that HS football players are incredibly resilient emotionally and physically. Hansen, is gelling as a team at precisely the right-time in the season. Coach Gill and co. have done a bang-up job and will bring a solid running game to the contest versus the Roadrunners. So here is my take: Hansen has to slow down the Mission offense. The best way to do this is to keep it off of the field. Look for a big effort on the ground with some PAP from the Hurricanes. Mission is going to have to look in the mirror and make a commitment to stopping the run this week. Defensively for the Hurricanes, slowing down the Mission attack and forcing them to punt at least 3 times during the game will keep the score close. You can be sure that both coaching staffs have been eying each other up for weeks now and the preparations will be complete heading into the game.

Gridiron’s Pick: Hansen by 8 points scored with some tough running.

Frank Hurt vs Langley

Two teams with nothing left to play for except pride, love of the game and momentum heading into the off-season. Those reasons, particularly love of the game, are more than enough to make this a fun game of football for all involved. Langley is in year two and Frank Hurt is in the midst of a rebuild. Both squads have had their positive moments this year. The Hornets seem to catch fire when they feel like they are in a game they can win. They've got that loving feeling, wo-oh that loving feeling!

Gridiron’s Pick: Hornets by 14

Norkam vs Valleyview

Norkam is playing better football all around than Valleyview has been. It will be tight but the Saints march past the Vikes in this Kamloops rivalry game.

Gridiron’s Pick: Norkam by 10

Hugh Boyd vs Handsworth

Looking at the Handsworth score vs Seaquam last weekend I could see and feel the Royals improving. A 27-0 loss to Seaquam may seem like a thrashing but when you look at the quality of Seaquam vs the Handsworth season as a whole this is improvement. I see more improvent this week from Handsworth as well but they will run into a fresh Hugh Boyd squad that is looking to dial-up their game versus some competition for the first time in three weeks. The Trojans have too many horses for the Royals in this one.

Gridiron’s Pick: Boyd by 34

Saturday, 25 October

Clarence Fulton vs Okanagen Mission

This is easily the biggest game in the Interior for 2008. At stake is the number 1 playoff seed out of the conference and possibly a change of the guard in terms of who is top rail in the Interior. Fulton has owned that position for years but OKM has been narrowing the gap for several years now. The Huskies have some serious balance in their offense this year and have picked-up their physical game as well. They have not lost a game since the opening contest in September as well. Fulton comes off of an emotional come from behind win this past weekend and will pick-up in terms of intensity from where they left off. This is a tough-one to call, especially since Fulton is the home team.

Gridiron’s Pick: Huskies surprise in a 2 pt. win.

Nanaimo vs Ballenas

What do the Islanders do for an encore? The Ballenas coaching staff surely took note of last weekend's offensive performance by the Islanders, hec how could anyone overlook that show!! Ballenas however plays great, physical defense and has been facing the double-wing on its schedule since Barsby brought it along in 2002. I really don't think we will see 62 pts. on the scoreboard this Saturday. Offensivley, the Whalers are very balanced under OC Wunderkind Jeremy Conn's leadership. The Islanders are in a position this weekend that they may not have expected to be in, as a victory would put them in the driver's seat for a number 2 playoff seed. A Ballenas victory would add more intensity and meaning to the Halloween Day Border Battle vs John Barsby.

Gridiron’s Pick: Ballenas by 40 after a quick- start.

South Delta vs Lord Tweedsmuir

Recent posts on the BC High School forum are giving this game the flavor of being the football equivilent of WW 2's greatest battle; the battle of Stalingrad! Much like Von Paulus's never beaten, unstoppable and victorious 6th Army, the South Delta Sundevils have marched to the gates of the divisional title that Lord Tweedsmuir thinks of as its own. Here, in week 8 the fate of the East Conference and quite possibley the 2008 AA Varsity Football Season will be decided. The BC high school football world holds its breath as the two great football collossusses come to grips in the mud, blood and sweat of the South Delta field.

This game will be close throughout if Tweesmuir can defend the pass. A shoving contest is what the Panthers want. South Delta on the other hand, wants to get the ball out in space in the hands of its terrific "skill position" athletes. Offensively, Tweedsmuir can ill afford to nickel and dime the Sundevils. They have to hit-em with a fist and pour on the power football start-to-finish. Turnovers in this scenario will be killer for either squad.

South Delta has had great game plans all year which they methodically execute. If this is the case again and the Sundevils get an early couple TD's vs LT, then there is a good chance that the ultra-jacked Panthers will implode emotionally. If they stay on an even-keel emotionally, they have a chance.

Gridiron’s Pick: South Delta by 14 as they find some cracks in LT's perimeter and drive-em into "The Volga".

Seaquam vs Windsor

The Best in The West will emerge after this contest. Both teams are magnificently coached, both teams will have great scouts on one another, both teams are fundamentally and technically sound. What's going to give? Seaquam has better athletes, thats what. I think that the the Windsor offense will never quite get rolling in this one and Seaquam will have just enough big plays to get them by. Special teams are a draw.

Gridiron’s Pick: Seaquam by 14

W.L. Seaton vs Vernon

Hey Vernon, props to you guys for your performance vs Fulton last weekend. We were all pleasantly surprised by your efforts! Take that 4th quarter and treat it like a friend. Learn from it and be ready the next time you are in a similar situation. This weekends tilt vs Seaton is going to be about regaining momentum for Vernon and it is going to be a blowout versus the lack-luster Sonics.

Gridiron’s Pick: Vernon by 30

2008 AA Varsity Playoff Draw

Separation weekend is going to plug-in a lot of the first-round playoff games for November 7/8 Weekend. Get your pencils and paper out and start doing the math. Now, as an aside, there is going to be a lot of pee'ing and moaning on the forum about who deserves how many berths to the playoffs based on strength of conference etc. Gang, this is a PROVINCIAL LEAGUE with conferences set-up by the executive REGIONALLY. Everybody pays the same dues to play in the same league. Nobody is savaunt enough to pick-who will win what each year prior to the first game being played. Ultimately, the best teams will be playing the best teams by the semi-finals. Uneven conferences?? Well, at the start of the year they were relatively even in numbers. Known Collapsers like Sentinel were allowed back in the league and a new team got in under the radar (Parklands). The remedy is a simple one: New teams and teams coming back from folding should never be allowed to participate in AA until they have spent a year in Tier 2 proving they know how to run a football program. Further, it should be the discretion of the BCSSFA executive to allow them on to the AA schedule proper. Secondly, uneven conference quality...Blend the Island in with the Lower Mainland conferences. That got nixed a couple years ago because the LM did not want non-regional conferences. The Island is fine either way.

Editorializing aside, here is the playoff-draw:

2008 AA Varsity Playoff Bracket

East #1
Island #4
Interior #2
West #3
Winner A
Interior #1
East #4
Island #3
West #2

BC Championship

West #4
East #2
Interior #3
Winner B
West #1
Interior #4

East #3 __________
Island #2

Have a great week everybody! The Weekend cannot come soon enough!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

AA Varsity Week 7

Week Six Round-Up

Week 6 will go down as the weekend when the playoff-bound began to emerge and the top-tier within the league began to declare itself. Rick Hansen, Lord Tweedsmuir and Barsby showed on Friday that they are hitting stride in mid-October while South Delta, Ballenas and Seaquam did so convincingly on Saturday. In the Interior, Okanagen Mission won by a big score versus a Vernon squad that had been surging and Clarence Fulton added a W to it's resume as the march to playoff seeding took a serious turn. Reading the tea-leaves that the weekend has left behind, I see a couple pictures emerge:

Seaquam is headed for a number one seed out of the West if it can get by the Dukes. If they stay healthy the playoffs will be a neat package of games at Lower Mainland locations with short travel and a favorable draw. Start scouting South Delta now, it will pay off the last Saturday of November.

Lord Tweedsmuir will be playing for the number 1 seed vs South Delta on October 25th which we may as well announce now as "Separation Saturday" across BC where the divisional alignments/playoff seeding will come clear. Folks, that game will be HUGE!! The results will ripple on in to November.

Folks, go back and study the Seaquam-Mission Game. Mission is built for November artificial turf fields offensively. Seaquam blanked-em which is the only such occasion this year. Look and learn everyone. The Roadrunners at least know now what style of defense they will be up against for the rest of the year.

Barsby is starting to gain traction and a bit-of confidence to go along with it. They shut-down an offense on Friday that averaged 35 points a game over the first six weeks of play. A victory over Belmont on Friday will solidify at least a second place seed and home host in the playoffs. Over the horizon is a tilt vs visiting Earl Marriot and then the most meaningful Border Battle up in Bandit-Country since 2004 on Halloween Day. The Whalers will be emptying the hallways and looking for Dawgmeat on that fateful day. Neither team however, can afford to look past next week's respective tilt.

Ballenas scored more points against a tough but battered Timberline squad on Saturday than anyone has all year. The Wolves kept it close til half and then the Whaler speed and depth pulled away. The Whalers have played a super-tough schedule in 08 and are oozing well-earned confidence. Up in Parksville there is surely a collective and reflexive jump to Halloween afternoon after this win. The Dawgs are coming. The coaches will tell the players to focus on this week's opponent and everyone will try. They will try.....

South Delta is quietly, methodically and very convincingly marching towards their date with the Panthers on Separation Saturday and a number 1 seed in the playoffs. This is a very, very high quality team that is getting under the radar in terms of hype directed at it. Well that ends now!! People, I am convinced that this is going to be one of the squads in the Dome at the end of November. The Panthers are going to get skinned and their pelts sold at the SD Hudson's Bay trading-post on the 25th. The Sun Devils are going to roast-em. First-off the Sundevils will have to deliver the bad news this weekend to Mission that they are going to be a number 3 seed playing on the road in week 1 of the playoffs; which they will do.

Rick-Hansen...oooh boy, this is a good football team that is getting better that HAS TO WIN one game in the next two weeks to make the playoffs. I think the October 17th game vs Earl Marriot will be the clincher one way or another. How big is that game??!! The Hurricanes will be playing football with a touch of desparation in their hearts onthe 17th and if they lose, every play vs Mission on Separation Saturday will be played with great intensity on the field and baited breath on the sidelines! Wow folks, are they up against it in October.

Mission: Time to re-focus and take care of business over the next two weeks which will easily be the most crucial of the entire year. Next week's tilt versus South Delta will define the Roadrunners as a good second tier squad or a contender. I don't like their chances but they do have the offensive scheme to stay in it. The following week on Separation Saturday it is the Hurricanes on the Roadrunner plate. That game ought to be labelled the Darwin Bowl as one team's season will be a dead-end on the evolutionary chart and the other's will go on to compete for survival for a few more weeks.

The Interior: I am starting to see OKM and Fulton as 1 and 2 respectively while Valleyview, Norkam and Vernon should start collecting their travelling bags for week 1 of the playoffs.

Week Six Scores

Friday Scores

Lord Tweedsmuir 27 Earl Marriot 9
Okanagen Mission 41 Vernon 6
Handsworth 31 Burnaby Central 0
John Barsby 56 Nanaimo District 8
Rick Hansen 42 Langley 6

Saturday Scores

Seaquam 24 Mission 0
South Delta 40 Frank Hurt 0
Ballenas 47 Timberline 14
Clarence Fulton 34 Penticton 0

Gridiron's Week Seven Top Ten
  1. Seaquam Seahawks (5-1)
  2. South Delta Sundevils (5-1)
  3. Ballenas Whalers (4-1-1)
  4. John Barsby Bulldogs (6-0)
  5. Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (5-1)
  6. Windsor Dukes (3-2)
  7. Hugh Boyd Trojans (3-2)
  8. Mission Roadrunners (4-2)
  9. Earl Marriot Mariners (2-4)
  10. Rick Hansen Hurricanes (3-3)
Gridiron's Picks

Friday, 17 October

Lord Tweedsmuir vs Frank Hurt

Lord Tweedsmuir is a juggernaut and they are gaining momentum. Huot has yet to be stopped and if the Panthers stay true to the power running game, a lot of bugs are going to get squashed in the process. Frank Hurt has lots of heart and some talented players. LT is going to be too much for the Hornets right out of the gates.

Gridiron’s Pick: Lord Tweedsmuir by 34. It could be even more lopsided but the LT coaches will probably sub the roster generously to keep their powder dry for Separation Saturday's tilt vs South Delta.

John Barsby vs Belmont

Belmont is a big AAA school in terms of numbers. The Blue Dawgs have size, speed and a bye week for preparation versus the Bulldogs of Harewood. In spring-ball Belmont ran the ball very well against JB and their finesse game was much improved over 07. A stud tailback behind a big strong offensive line is their recipe for offense. Belmont has been in some big games vs Mt. Douglas and Ballenas this Fall and will be chomping at the bit to get after another one of the traditional Island powers. Barsby's defense has allowed 8 points in the previous ten-quarters of play while their special teams have been rock-solid. Home field goes to JB as the Dawgs love playing at home in "The Cage"! On top of it all, the Belmont varsity were also laying the verbal smack down on the Barsby JV's last week.

Gridiron’s Pick: Barsby by 24.

Nanaimo District vs Timberline

Intriguing match-up. Timberline has been playing tough all year and is very hungry for a conference win. Nanaimo District hit it's first offensive speed bump last week vs Barsby. Other than that, they have been scoring a lot of points in every contest. This game will come down to two factors: 1) Does Timberline have gas in the tanks for the 3rd and 4th quarters and 2) Can the Islanders keep the score close in the first half. If the answer is yes on both counts it is going to be a tight game. If Nanaimo gets down early, it will be a gut-check to see if they keep fighting. If it is close at half and Timberline buckles at the knees then look out.

Gridiron’s Pick: Timberline throws its way to a big score and a victory that could be close or by a wide margin depending on Nanaimo's mental state.

Handsworth vs Seaquam

OK, this is the last call for a Prepchuck turn-around. If it is going to start happening, it is now. Even if they lose, but play good people better be taking note around the league. I just don't see Seaquam laying an egg on this one, just can't see that happening. Seaquam will dominate this game in every phase of the game, particularly the physical phase.

Gridiron’s Pick: The Royals go quietly into that dark-night and Seaquam gains even more momentum in a 24-plus point blowout.

Valleyview vs W.L. Seaton

The Vikings are going to run their way to a victory this week vs a Seaton team that couldn't get it done vs Penticton last week. I like the Valleyview earning a #3 seed out of the Interior this Fall.

Gridiron’s Pick: Valleyview by 24.

Burnaby Central vs Hugh Boyd

Lets see here, Boyd coming off of a tough loss, Boyd with a bye week, Boyd beginning their second-season now. The Wildcats will show-up but beyond that the score will be determined by the Trojan coaching staff's better angels and the running clock after the first-quarter.

Gridiron’s Pick: Fourty-eight zero or bigger for the Trojans.

Saturday, 18 October

Penticton High vs Norkam

I like Norkam in this game. Penticton is getting better each week but so are the Saints and their balanced offensive attack will too much finesse for the new guys. Norkam is going to be a playoff team this year and is going to be aiming to get their level of play up a notch for the post-season.

Gridiron’s Pick: Norkam by four scores or more.

Vernon vs Clarence Fulton

The Maroons are the top dogs of the city of Vernon and every year the other schools mark their game vs Fulton with extra thick ink and circle it. There is no doubt in my mind that this game will be the talk of the town all week and Vernon will be jacked! Coach Scheller doesn't lose many games in Interior play and this will be no different.

Gridiron’s Pick: Maroons by 18

Mission vs South Delta

Folks, this is part one of the two big statement games of October for the Sundevils. Mission, if ever you guys needed to pull off a big upset, this is it. I have come to admire both coaching staffs over the past couple of years and they are fast burning the midnight oil for this one. South Delta will be borrowing some of Seaquam's cliff notes but will be going to the dance with South Delta athletes, not Seaquam athletes. Mission, well, when have they had a week-off this season? The roadrunners know how to play in big tilts as well. The weather will affect the day to some degree but ultimately it will be the Mission defense and special teams that clinch it one way or another. South Delta is a gooood football team gang and that trident that the Sundevil mascot has in his hand looks good for roasting chickens and yep, Roadrunners too.

Gridiron’s Pick: South Delta by 16

Sunday, October 5, 2008

AA Varsity Week 6

Week Six Round-Up

Boyd Falters, Dukes Roll, Mission Carpet Bombs and Penn High Chalks One-Up! This weekend has a smorgesboard of headlines for sure and well gang, we are looking at some serious parity beginning to emerge in the Lower Mainland! Windsor wasn't interested in rolling over for the much heralded Trojans of Hugh Boyd, instead they prepared all week and took one away from a more talented Boyd squad. The Trojans aren't going to get a free pass from anyone on their schedule except maybe BC and are now looking to be travelling in week 1 of the playoffs. South Delta is rock-steady and is continuing to win football games. Mission, wow! They shelled Earl Marriot and the Mariners got a taste of what the Japanese fleet got drilled with in the Battle of Midway back in 42. Whoever lines up against Mission in November out-of-doors better be doing a serious rain-dance while praying for the same winds that ripped up Stanley Park a couple years back! Hey Penn High! Props to you guys for your first program win! Way to go!! All in all, there is going to be movement in the top ten for week 6.

Week 5 Scores

Lord Tweedsmuir 37 Rick Hansen 27
Ballenas 34 Belmont 7
Penticton 18 W.L. Seaton 14
Okanagen Mission Valleyview
Seaquam 47 Clarence Fulton 6
Mission 42 Earl Marriot 13
South Delta 27 Langley 6
Windsor 25 Hugh Boyd 21
Vernon 10 Norkam 9
Frank Hurt 63 Burnaby Central 12

Gridiron's Week 6 AA Top Ten

1. Seaquam Seahawks (4-1)
2. South Delta Sun Devils (4-1)
3. Mission Roadrunners(4-1)
4. Ballenas Whalers(3-1-1)
5. John Barsby Bulldogs(5-0)
6. Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers(4-1)
7. Windsor Dukes(3-2)
8. Hugh Boyd Trojans(3-2)
9. Earl Marriot Mariners(2-3)
10.Timberline Wolves(1-4)

Gridiron's Week 6 Picks

Friday, 10 October

John Barsby vs Nanaimo

Barsby is still feeling the angst over last year's defeat at the hands of the Islanders. This year's game is in "The Cage" and the Islander's are seriously short-staffed at the coaching level. If the Dawgs can slow down the Islanders Double Wing and get their offense rolling it will go Barsby's way. Barsby has the team speed to win and is playing at home. This game will be PHYSICAL as there is no love lost between the two programs.

Gridiron’s Pick: Barsby is too much to handle for the plucky Islanders. Dawgs by 14

Burnaby Central vs Handsworth

Handsworth wins in every category except numbers on the bench. This would be the case if the Handsworth JV's were lined up against the BC Varsity. Should have played Tier 2.

Gridiron’s Pick: Handsworth by 38.

Rick Hansen vs Langley

I find this game intriguing. Hansen has shown flashes of brilliance this year followed by less than inspired performances. Langley is getting better each week against tough opponents. They have not gotten good enough yet to beat Hansen. Coach Gill and co. know where to apply the finnesse.

Gridiron’s Pick: Hansen by 12

Lord Tweedsmuir vs Earl Marriot

I heard somewhere that Coach Mckay-Dunn said something to the effect of "We have the team this year to beat Tweedsmuir". He is an honest guy and Marriot by all accounts has the muscle to dance with the Panthers. I think however that Tweedsmuir has something to prove after the Hansen game and sure as hec ought to be reading what was written about their defense on the forum by "Massive Attack". Hec, a lot of folks should read his remarks, great poster-board material. Back to this game: Tweedsmuir is good. Marriot on an up-day is good. They will be up for this one.

Gridiron’s Pick: Tweedsmuir by 8

Saturday, 11 October

W.L. Seaton vs Norkam

Norkam has lost its last two games by a combined two points. W.L. Seaton just served up Pen High's first program victory. Norkam is going to break through on Saturday and be all over Seaton.

Gridiron’s Pick: Norkam by 21

Okanagen Mission vs Vernon

Good game....the best one in the Interior this weekend!! I think we are looking at two of the top three seeds coming out of the hill country for the playoffs. OKM has the QB. Vernon can chew up the yards on the ground. Passing is sexy but I've always liked to run the ball. The greatest College Football team in history, the 95 Nebraska Cornhuskers ran the ball.

Gridiron’s Pick: Vernon by 6

Timberline vs Ballenas

This game boils down to a couple factors. 1) Is Timberline Healthy? Yes, they play great. No, it's over by half-time. 2) Can Timberline protect its QB? Yes, this is gonna be fun to watch. No, it's over by half-time. 3) Will Timberline put the breaks on the Ballenas running game? Yes, stick around for the 3rd and 4th quarters. No, it's over by half-time. Here is the problem for the Wolves....Ballenas is a two headed monster. Stop their run, they can pass. Stop their pass, they can run. Sort-of stop either...not good enough. Stop both....I don't think so. Oh yeah, Ballenas hits better than they have for a couple years on Defense.

Gridiron’s Pick: Whalers by 34

South Delta vs Frank Hurt

Frank Hurt is on its way up! I have mad respect for the job their coaches and players have done getting their house in order and getting better each week. First quarter will be close. The rest, not so good. South Delta folks is easily a contender for all the marbles this year if they stay healthy.

Gridiron’s Pick: South Delta by 21

Seaquam vs Mission

Game of the week, hands-down! Weather, weather, weather! Good weather and Mission will be all over the Seahawks. Bad weather and things get interesting. Mission has more bodies and likes a fast pace. Seaquam is fast getting a reputation for being tough-as-nails. This game could be the championship preview!!

Gridiron’s Pick: Mission by 6 but they better pre-order an ice truck.

Clarence Fulton vs Penticton High

Pen High is on a winning streak. Fulton is looking to find some self-respect. The streak ends here.

Gridiron’s Pick: Fulton by 24

Monday, September 29, 2008

AA Varsity Week 5

Week 4 Round-Up

What a September! Week four wrapped-up an opening month for the ages and it has become rapidly apparent that the 2008 title is going to be up for grabs with with at least 8 squads having a realistic shot should their stars line-up! The men of Troy came up big again with their defeat of the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers and several other squads served notice that they are going to be tough in October and beyond! It is a lock that Seaquam, Boyd, Tweesmuir, S. Delta, Marriot and Mission will be playoff bound with the Dukes of Windsor starting to make some noise. Off across Georgia Straight beneath the mountains and clouds there are two or three Island squads starting to gather momentum as well! Another great week ahead folks!

Week Four Scores

Friday, September 26th

Hugh Boyd 16 Lord Tweedsmuir 9

Windsor 35 Handsworth 0

Earl Marriot 15 Frank Hurt 13

Clarence Fulton 12 Norkam 11

Saturday, September 27th

John Barsby 32 Mt. Boucherie 12

South Delta 47 Rick Hansen 13

Mission 41 Langley 20

Mt. Douglas (AAA) 22 Ballenas 14

Timberline 38 Belmont 6

Vernon 26 Valleyview 6

South Kamloops (AAA) 56 Nanaimo District 35

WL Seaton 6 Penticton 0

Gridiron's Week 5 Top Ten

  1. Seaquam SeaHawks (3-1)

  2. Hugh Boyd Trojans (3-1)

  3. Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (3-1)

  4. South Delta Sundevils (3-1)

  5. Ballenas Whalers (2-1-1)

  6. Earl Marriot Mariners (2-2)

  7. John Barsby Bulldogs (4-0)

  8. Mission Roadrunners (3-1)

  9. Windsor Dukes (2-2)

  10. Timberline Wolves (1-3)

Gridiron's Week 5 Picks

Week 5

Friday, 3 October

Earl Marriot vs Mission

A week ago I would have picked the Mariners in this one but after a tight contest versus the Frank Hurt Hornets and Mission’s week-to-week improvement, I have to recalibrate. Marriot has the more physical of the two rosters but the Roadrunner’s speedy, no-huddle, passing ways are tough to tangle with. Turnovers are the wild-card in this contest. If the weather is decent Mission will prevail. If there is rain and’s anyone’s game.

Gridiron’s Pick: Mission by 8

Norkam vs Vernon

Who would have thought this would be a big game with playoff implications for both squads. Norkam has been playing a tough schedule this year and it will be in their corner when they play the Panthers.

Gridiron’s Pick: Norkam 28 Vernon 26

Burnaby Central vs Frank Hurt

The Hornets have been playing some seriously tough ball and they are due for a payday. Burnaby Central is going to be shelling out some serious payment. If those Hornets can get a surprise W or two (I think they just might too) down the line in their schedule, they could sneak into the playoffs.

Gridiron’s Pick: Frank Hurt by 34

Langley vs South Delta

South Delta had better put the ball in the air all day long because if they run the ball and get into a slugging contest with Langley, they may win but will be tenderized for big contests in October. The Sun-Devils will be too much to handle in this one for their plucky opponents.

Gridiron’s Pick: South Delta 38 Langley 12

Hugh Boyd vs Windsor

Does Hugh Boyd still have gas in the tank after the greatest September in recent memory? Wow have they been through the crucible!! The Dukes are getting into fine mid-season form headed into this contest. Here is my take on the game. The coaching is a draw, both teams are pretty healthy and they know each other inside-out. Unless Windsor has some hidden mojo outside their power-I and option game they are in tough. Hugh Boyd has more and better athletes/team speed. That will be the difference.
Gridiron’s Pick: Hugh Boyd34 Windsor 7

Saturday, 4 October

Ballenas vs Belmont

I was surprised a bit by the lopsided loss by Belmont to Timberline last weekend. They obviously struggle with the deep ball and paid dearly for it. I was equally, but pleasantly surprised by how close Ballenas played AAA Mt. Douglas. The Whalers are a two headed monster on offense. They can pass and run. Worse for the improving but vanilla Belmont squad, the Whalers can run and pass out of just about any formation you can think of. Defensively, the Whalers will match-up well against the Belmont running attack. If you missed the Canada Day fireworks in July, head up to Parksville this Saturday and enjoy the show.

Gridiron’s Pick: Ballenas 48 Belmont 6

Okanagen Mission vs Valleyview

OKM is getting healthy and returning to last season’s form. Valleyview is no slouch in the Interior division either. I like the Huskies passing attack to give them the edge in an otherwise tough game.

Gridiron’s Pick: OKM 27 Valleyview 24

Penticton High vs W.L. Seaton

Seaton wins this one because of experience, experience, experience. New team blues for Penticton in 2008 but they keep showing up and learning. It’s worth it guys, you are laying down the foundation for those who come after you and subsequent squads should be eternally grateful!

Gridiron’s Pick: Seaton by 28.

Timberline vs John Barsby

Barsby took round 1 of this game down in the cage a week ago. Round two is in Timberline’s back yard and every coach knows that it is extremely hard to play the same team twice and follow up a victory with another victory. Sometimes, no matter what you say to the players, they seem to think that the scoreboard from the last game still counts. Timberline can run and throw out of their spread with great effectiveness and the big play from the Wolves can come at any given moment and leaves opposing teams holding their breath on every possession. Barsby loves to grapple and scrap for four quarters. A new addition to the Timberline coaching staff will likely be heard and quite possibly felt in this dust-up. Welcome back Coach Koehler!
Gridiron’s Pick: Barsby by 7 when the dust and Barb-B-Q smoke clears.

Rick Hansen vs Lord Tweedsmuir

This is a huge test for Rick Hansen. Simply put, are they contenders or pesky also-rans. Tweedsmuir has to be smarting after this past weekend’s game. The green and white steam-roller is gnashing its teeth and if I am a betting man, it is boot camp and blocking/tackling drills all week. B-Gap on Saturday is going to be a dangerous place to reside come game day.

Gridiron’s Pick: Lord Tweedsmuir 46 Rick Hansen 13

Sunday, September 21, 2008

AA Varsity Week 4

AA Varsity Week-3 Round-Up

Week 3 featured a big upset as the ranks of the undefeated grew smaller and a couple squads served notice that they are playing for keeps in 08. In particular, I am talking about Seaquam and Lord Tweedsmuir. The Seahawks raised plenty of eyebrows by defeating the red hot Hugh Boyd Trojans on Saturday while LT rolled over the Mission Roadrunners on Friday.

We have completed 1/3 of the regular season at this point and will begin the second third with the much anticipated match-up between Hugh Boyd and Lord Tweedsmuir. When the dust settles it will be fair to say that the top of the pack in AA will have declared itself in September.

Week 3 Scores


Ballenas 55 Mark Isfeld (Tier 2) 20

Okanagan Mission 39 WL Seaton 13

Vernon 46 Penticton High 0

Seaquam 15 Hugh Boyd 14


John Barsby 28 Timberline 14

Mt. Douglas (AAA) 45 Belmont 6

New Westminster (AAA) 45 South Delta 21

Earl Marriot 37 Langley 6

Windsor 56 Burnaby 8

Horizon (CA) 46 Handsworth 0

Nanaimo 41 Alberni (Tier 2) 0

Lord Tweedsmuir 47 Mission 28

Clarence Fulton 22 Valleyview 6


Rick Hansen 27 Frank Hurt 7

Gridiron's Week 4 Top 10

  1. Lord Tweedsmuir (3-0)
  2. Seaquam Seahawks (2-1)
  3. Hugh Boyd Trojans (2-1)
  4. South Delta Sundevils (2-1)
  5. Ballenas Whalers (2-0-1)
  6. Earl Marriot Mariners (1-2)
  7. John Barsby Bulldogs (3-0)
  8. Mission Roadrunners (2-1)
  9. Rick Hansen Hurricanes (2-1)
  10. Windsor Dukes (1-2)
Gridiron's Week 4 Picks

Friday, 26 September

Frank Hurt vs Earl Marriot

Earl Marriot served-up a lopsided win against Langley last week that was a snapshot of how a lot of its AA schedule is going to look like from a scoring standpoint. Frank Hurt is much better matched up against Langley than it is Marriot.

Gridiron’s Pick: The Mariners walk away with this one with a big score. 42-7 sounds about right.

Mission vs Langley

If anyone remembers, I picked Langley as my AA surprise team in 08. I'm standing by that call for now. The big physical teams can be handled by the Roadrunners but they struggle with the big physical teams who can play the finesse game as well. Langley is .5 of the equation and doesn't have the finesse-game down yet. If the Roadrunners can defend the deep ball and own C Gap on Friday, they take it going away. If they struggle, it could be a bit of a shootout. Either way, Langley will have no answer for Mission's machine-gun offense.

Gridiron’s Pick: Roadrunners by 21

Handsworth vs Windsor

This game is a huge measuring stick for the Royals and it has playoff ramifications right out of the gates. The winner will likely have poll position on the number 3 seed in their division. Windsor is quickly arriving at mid-season, highly competitive form. Handsworth has gone eight quarters without scoring a point. Coach Prepchuk cannot keep his powder dry now and we are going to see what type of development has been taking place around his program the past five weeks. Folks, do not be surprised to see the tenth grade make their appearance and contribute for the Royals in a closer than expected tilt vs the Dukes. Windsor has won a remarkable amount of AA titles and there is Windsor DNA mixed all through this one one both staffs.

Gridiron’s Pick: The Dukes take this one by 12 points.

Norkam vs Clarence Fulton

This is an "up-year" for the Saints but "up-years" are mere foothills in the Interior Division when you line-em up next to Mt. Fulton. The Maroons are doing what they do, which is getting better each week and preparing themselves to be the number 1 seed out of the Interior.

Gridiron’s Pick: Fulton by 18

Tweedsmuir vs Hugh Boyd

Hugh Boyd's narrow loss to Seaquam does very little to tarnish the most anticipated game in BC at any level of play this September. The Hugh Boyd coaching staff know's how to beat the Tweedsmuir juggernaut which is more than most coaching staffs have been able to say the past couple of years. The secret to cracking this nut for-em is going to be forcing the Panthers to get away from their run-game. Tweedsmuir runs the dang ball and they run it good. The Tweedsmuir QB has not had to carry his team on his shoulders and the Trojans know it. The biggest challenge for Boyd is going to be the line-of-scrimmage on both sides of the ball. If they cannot get it done without loading up the box on defense, then they are going to give Tweedsmuir's QB some shots downfield. If they cannot get it done up-front on offense, their magnificent "skill-players" are going to be relegated to the status of frustrated spectators. Look for Boyd to be trapping their butts off and working the option off of quick hitting down blocks. Tweedsmuir is going to try to empty the box with two and three receiver sets so they can lean on the remaining Boyd defenders up-front with the run. Special teams, how big are they going to be??!!

Gridiron’s Pick: This will come down to turnovers and ultimately, which group of well- coached, motivated athletes, finds a crack in the other squad's plan-of attack/defense early on. I think that Tweedsmuir could flatten if they get behind early. They sure are tough though. Boyd is the most emotionally resillient of the two. Boyd goes deep and wins by 8.

Saturday, 27 September

Nanaimo vs South Kamloops (AAA)

Part 1 of the Island-Interior double header kicks off at 9 AM at Nanaimo District Field. This game will be quite close up front in the trenches to be sure. The Nanaimo squad will be rested, playing on their home field and looking to upset the interior AAA powerhouse. The Titans can throw the ball well and this will challenge the Islanders right out of the gates. If the Islanders can keep things close til the 4th quarter, they have a shot. The opening period of play on both sides of the ball will say it all.

Gridiron’s Pick: Titans by 21

Vernon vs Valleyview

This ought to be a fun game to match as both teams are very evenly matched! I'd go as far as to call it the Interior Game of The Week. Look for Valleyview to pull away in the 4th quarter in this one.

Gridiron’s Pick: Valleyview by 10

John Barsby vs Mt. Boucherie (AAA)

Part 2 of the Island-Interior double header is played between the John Barsby Bulldogs and the Mt. Boucherie Bears at 11 AM @ Nanaimo District Field. This is a first ever match-up between the two programs and it ought to be an early mid-season litmus test for both outfits. The Bears will wield their big, physical roster like a sledgehammer and pound away from the opening whistle. This will be accompanied by big shots downfield and underneath stuff off of the run. Barsby will need to defend the Bears long enough for it's offense to find some openings in the Bear D. The numbers game is pretty even in terms of roster size but Barsby has a significant height and weight disadvantage. Barsby has good team speed, is playing at home (Nanaimo District Field counts as home) and its 2nd string is closing the gap with its first. If both teams shut down the pass it could be very close. The kicking-game will be BIG.

Gridiron’s Pick: Barsby by 2

Ballenas vs Mt. Douglass (AAA)

Mt. Douglas likes to think of itself as top-rail on the Island fence. They take every Island game as a statement-builder to this effect. Make no mistake, this isn't an exhibition game for anybody. The Rams are coming up to the Whaler's house looking to make the Whalers a shining example of what "the second tier" of Island Football is all about. Ballenas knows this and the Whalers are not going to serve this one up to Mt. Douglas at home, in front of the City of Parksville just because it is their pre-determined lot in life. The Whalers are a tough and proud program/team but tough and proud don't help much when you are smaller and slower. The coaching here is a draw.

Gridiron’s Pick: Mt. Douglas by 28 as BC's best QB receiver tandem shell the boys in blue.

South Delta vs Rick Hansen

If the Trojans and Panthers weren't dancing this weekend I'd call this the Game of The Week. It's going to be a good one for awhile before South Delta pulls away. South Delta is just too complete across the roster for the Hurricanes. This is not to say that Hansen isn't a good squad and perhaps the most rapidly improving team in AA. I wish I was there to watch this game!!

Gridiron’s Pick: South Delta by 17

Timberline vs Belmont

If this game were run for it's entirety between the tackles I'd have to give it to Belmont. Their roster is loaded with size and strength and there are simply more of em than there is on the Timberline squad. Timberline however, a) is playing at home b)is a more veteren squad c) is regaining its health d) can throw the football very well! This game will be very close IF Belmont can cover the deep ball /get heat on the Timberline QB. If they cannot, there will be the most shelling taking place since any time after the battle of Verdun in 1916. In any case, Belmont is learning to play football as a program pretty quickly and there will be no freebies from them anymore.

Gridiron’s Pick: Timberline by 16 in a game that is close for awhile behind a surprisingly good Belmont running game.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week 3 Rankings and Match-Ups

The plot thickens...

The conclusion of week 2 of the 08 schedule finds several squads fulfilling expectations and others looking for answers early on. The week 3 top ten looks to be different than what we headed into week 2 with as well. There are some great must-see match-ups this coming weekend that will have AA varsity fans buzzing around the lunch table and practice fields as the tilts grow closer. First off a bit of a review:


Frank Hurt 22 Clarence Fulton 6
Okanagan-Mission 33 Penticton 0
Vancouver College 20 STM 0
W.J. Mouat 42 Rutland 7
Mission 42 Handsworth 0
Ballenas 21 Windsor 7
Calgary Titans 15 Seaquam 12


John Barsby 32 Pinetree 12
Mt. Douglas 35 Earl Marriott 13
Lord Tweedsmuir 27 Timberline 0
Notre Dame 30 Holy Cross 6
Terry Fox 39 Carson Graham 0
Vernon 32 W.L. Seaton 6
Rick Hansen 36 Mt. Boucherie 20
Hugh Boyd 47 Salmon Arm 0
O’Dea (Wash.) 41 Centennial 14
New Westminster 14 Toledo (Ore.) 0
South Delta 26 South Kamloops 14
Kelowna 46 Valleyview 0
Langley 44 Nanaimo Dist. 36
Vernon 32 W.L. Seaton 6
Belmont 45 Gulf Islands 0

Summaries can be found at Howard Tsmurra's The Province website:

Our new AA top ten as of Sunday, 14 September

  1. Hugh Boyd (2-0)
  2. Lord Tweedsmuir (2-0)
  3. Mission (2-0)
  4. South Delta (2-0)
  5. Ballenas (1-0-1)
  6. Earl Marriot (2-0)
  7. John Barsby (2-0)
  8. Seaquam (1-1)
  9. Windsor (0-2)
  10. Rick Hansen (1-1)

Week 3 Match-ups

Friday, 19 September

Frank Hurt vs Rick Hansen

Both teams are coming off of victorious outings this past weekend and are looking for more of the same. Frank Hurt has had to overcome the most radical changes from a program perspective in the off-season while Hansen is led by a coaching staff that a few short years ago took it to a AAA championship.

Gridiron’s Pick: The nod goes to the Hurricanes in this one by three scores as they continue to solidify into an outside shot as a championship contender in 08.

John Barsby vs Timberline

Timberline opened their season with a schedule that can be argued as one of the toughest in the AA ranks. Only Marriot is playing a tougher exhibition. Week three has the Wolves renewing a great old rivalry with the Bulldogs of John Barsby. While both squads are in the same division, this is an exhibition game. Two weeks later it will be for real up in Campbell River. Barsby is 2-0 but has not played nearly the competition that Timberline has faced. This game will be a good guage of where both squads are at. There is pride on the line.

Gridiron’s Pick: Barsby by seven (7) hard earned points in what could be a rain filled muddy affair on the ground.

Tweedsmuir vs Mission

OK, who is not excited about this one??!!! Wow, is it going to be a good one and man oh man I'd sure like to be holding the down box and getting a feel for this game!! These two programs are quickly developing a heated rivalry and do not think for a second that there is a soul in the entire town of Mission that does not remember last year's lopsided and some continue to claim, ran-up score by the Panthers. This game is going to have it all from an intensity perspective!

Gridiron’s Pick: Physical football still rules and all other factors being considered even, Tweedsmuir brings a bigger, stronger roster into this contest. Tweedsmuir by 12 pts.

Windsor vs Burnaby Central

Windsor doesn't have the dominating athletes compared to the past several but they do have the terrific coaching and a positive attitude in the huddle and on the field. They execute very well and proved they can hit with a very physical Ballenas squad this past Saturday. Burnably Central is one AA's celler dwellers in just about every facet of the game.

Gridiron’s Pick: Windsor gets its first W in a game that is on mercy rule timing well before half-time.

Valleyview vs Clarence Fulton

Valleyview has improved over the off-season and this game will be a big test for Interior Conference supremacy. The Maroons are smarting after a loss to Frank Hurt and the coaching staff has to get a good week out of their squad in preparation for this game.

Gridiron's Pick:

Clarence Fulton by 7 hard-earned points.

Mt. Douglas (AAA) vs Belmont

This is an interesting match-up for a couple reasons. I don't expect the game to be remotely close but it is a historic first with big implications for High School Football in the city of Victoria. This is the first cross-town game between Mt. Douglas and Belmont. Belmont is a huge school that is taking big program strides in the right direction. Mt. Douglas used to own the city of Victoria and it still does but this is beginning to be contested. This is a true East-Side vs West-Side cross town rivalry. If it were a game where both teams could only run between the tackles I'd say the physical match-ups would be an even match. Mt. Douglas may very well be the best throwing team at any level of play this year. Belmont does not know that kind of finesse and it will show. Mt. Douglas is also looking to make a local statement about where the show is in Victoria and the score could get ugly fast as a result. They won't take their foot off of the throttle either.

Gridiron’s Pick:

It will look even until the first kick-off. Mt. Douglas in a blowout on mercy rule running time.

Alberni District vs Nanaimo District

This game could develop into a good little rivalry between these two Island schools over time. Nanaimo is the more mature of the two programs and definitely the most physical. Alberni is in the early stages of putting itself on a solid program building foundation. They overreached by scheduling this game.

Gridiron’s Pick: Nanaimo District gets its first win in 08 in convincing fashion.

Langley vs Earl Marriot

The Mariners will be all over Langley early in this game. The difference will be passing as the new Langley squad though big and physical, will have a tough time defending a sophisticated passing attack. Both squads are headed in the right direction this year but Marriot is a legitimate contender and Langley is not (yet).

Gridiron’s Pick:

Earl Mariot by 17 points on a big passing day.

Horizon (CA) vs Handsworth

Handsworth took it on the chin again last week and finds itself out of the top ten, playing another tough opponent and doing so on the road. I believe that they are far from being in crisis and are forming the frame for a surge in regular season play. A smallish varsity roster will be joined by the tenth grade once things get rolling and Handsworth will compete for a playoff seed in a very tough division.

Gridiron’s Pick: Prepchuk continues to teach and preach to the Royals in a game lost on the scoreboard but won in the big scheme of things.

New West (AAA) vs South Delta

Hey folks, this one is going to be fantastic! South Delta has answered any critics over the past 14 months by simply stepping on to the field and winning most of its games. New Westminster has a AAA championship in its crosshairs and will be looking to do so with great defense and a buzz saw Wing-T offense. I can't see S. Delta matching up well against the New West defensive line and that will hurt them a lot. On the flip-side, if New Westminster overlooks this game they could very realistically be sitting in a post-game changeroom wondering what the hec just happened. The "Old Sun Devil" who now runs the Hyack defense won't let his squad do much overlooking.

Gridiron’s Pick: New Westminster by 16 as the SunDevils wear out in the 3rd.

Saturday, 20 September

W.L. Seaton vs Okanagen Mission

Okanagen Mission is back on the tracks after a convincing win over Penn High. Seaton will be much more of a challenge but will be handled by the Huskies.

Gridiron’s Pick:

The Huskies will win by 12 behind a very good toss play and super quarterbacking.

Rutland (AAA) vs Ballenas

The Whalers are fresh off of a physical 21-7 victory over the Windsor Dukes and are now primed for a visit up-country agains AAA Rutland. Rutland comes off of a drubbing at the hands of powerhouse WJ Mouat and is looking to respond with a home victory over the Whalers. They are going to have to wait however as the Whalers are a dynamic bunch on offense who can run and throw in equal measure. Rutland's tendency to lean on the run plays right into the Whaler defense's style as well.

Gridiron's Pick: Whalers by 18 plus.

Seaquam vs Hugh Boyd

Another fun game to go see here!! Number 1 Hugh Boyd has been steam rolling over and past its first two opponents but will find the terrain much more difficult vs the Seaquam Seahawks. The Hawks are very solid physically and present some challenges via their passing game. Look for a close score headed into half-time with Boyd pulling away in the late 3rd. The Trojans have played together since they were little fellas and they have the chemistry that comes around a program maybe once in a decade or longer. It will be too much for their worthy opponents.

Gridiron’s Pick:

Hugh Boyd by 17 in a contest much closer than the score would indicate.

Vernon vs Penticton High

It looks like Vernon is on an "up-year" that will see it challenging the Maroons and competing for a playoff position from the Interior. Penn High has the new team blues and success for them will be getting better each week and completing their first season.

Gridiron’s Pick: Vernon by 24

Monday, September 8, 2008

Week 2 AA Varsity Schedule

Hi Gang,

Week 1 held a few surprises and a couple programs really stepped to the plate and made a statement! The rankings have changed a bit!! Week one summaries can be found at the following location:

Gridiron's Week 2 AA Top 10

1. Hugh Boyd (1-0)
2. Lord Tweedsmuir (1-0)
3. Mission Roadrunners (1-0)
4. Seaquam Seahawks (1-0)
5. Ballenas Whalers (0-0-1)
6. Windsor Dukes (0-1)
7. South Delta Sundevils (1-0)
8. Earl Marriot Mariners (0-1)
9. John Barsby Bulldogs (1-0)
10. Clarence Fulton Maroons (0-1)

Here is the skinny on Week 2:

All locations and up-to-date start times can be found on

Friday, 12 September

John Barsby vs Pinetree (AAA)

Barsby is coming off of a redemtion win and Pinetree is coming off of a very tough game vs red-hot New Westminster. The Timberwolves are hungry for a W and have AA Barsby in their sites. This game will be closer than some might expect. Pinetree will definitely be better than in their opener and Barsby has not seen the spread offense since playing Mt. Douglas in May.
Gridiron’s Pick: Barsby by one score.

Earl Marriott vs Mt. Douglas (AAA)
The Mariners played an outstanding game and matched up physically with AAA powerhouse Vancouver College this past weekend. Mt. Douglas comes off of a sound victory down in Oregon and will be taking that momentum into Friday's tilt. The Rams can pass as good as anyone in BC and have a solid run game to compliment it. Marriot is tough but won't be able to run with the Ram's pass attack.
Gridiron’s Pick: Mt. Douglas by two scores.

Lord Tweedsmuir vs Timberline

OK gang, the Panthers are for real and the steamroller is gathering momentem with each practice and game. Timberline is coming off of a rough start vs South Delta but will be much healthier than they were in last Friday's lopsided loss. Look for LT to make a statement on the ground in this game while Timberline puts the ball up in surprising fashion. It won't be enough as the Wolves will be over-matched at almost every position.
Gridiron’s Pick: Tweedsmuir by 30 points.

Vernon vs W.L. Seaton

Vernon will keep it close for three quarters before Seaton pulls away with their ground game.

Gridiron’s Pick: Seaton by 7

Mt. Boucherie (AAA) vs Rick Hansen

Mt. Boucherie comes off of a convincing route of the new Langley program who I must admit, is struggling a bit more that expected. Hansen bravely stood in front of the AAA WJ Mouat juggernaut and bravely got squashed. The Hurricanes will be better this week but will need a quick start to stay in this one and compete for the W.
Gridiron’s Pick: Mt. Boucherie by 10.

South Kamloops (AAA) vs South Delta

South Delta is red hot and loaded for bear when it comes to athletes. South Kamloops is smarting from last week's opening loss and is going to be looking for answers after this tilt.

Gridiron’s Pick: South Delta by three major scores in a route.

Kelowna vs Valleyview

Valleyview played super tough in it's season opener last week. The Owls bring more horses into this contest than the Vikings. The score will be pretty close for awhile but Kelowna will pull away in the end.

Gridiron’s Pick: KSS by ten.

Gulf Islands (Tier 2) vs Belmont

Gulf Islands leads this series 1-0. Gulf Islands will execute better than Belmont but the size and athletic difference between the two rosters will be manifest. Belmont will grind on the valiant but over-matched Scorpions. Ever watch the move 300?

Gridiron’s Pick: Belmont by 14

Hugh Boyd vs Salmon Arm

Boyd continues to make believers and confirm everybodie's hunch that they, along with LT may be the class of AA in 08. A convincing victory in San Diego last Friday night ushers in the Trojan season. Salmon Arm is going to be fighting for their football lives from the opening whistle. The outlook is grim for the Golds.

Gridiron’s Pick: The Trojans go 2-0 on the season and will not allow a point to be scored while hanging up at least 30.

Saturday, 13 September

Nanaimo vs Norkam

The Islanders are itching to get on the field and have their season under-way. This team is talented, big and strong. There is no blazing speed on the roster but enough of it to get the job done. NorKam took it on the chin from the Islanders last Fall as hosts and this year they have to travel. That chain saw sound you all hear...The Double Wing is revving up.

Gridiron’s Pick: Islanders by 28

Frank Hurt vs Clarence Fulton

The Maroons have a good squad this year and Frank Hurt is in the midst of a rebuild while trying to find it's identity under new leadership. Scheller's Maroons travel well and always play at a consistently high level. They will be too much for the Hornets.

Gridiron’s Pick: Maroons 28 Hornets 7.

Pentiction High vs Okanagen Mission

OKM plays some physical ball and will be on the rebound after the Barsby game this past Saturday. The OKM staff will have the Huskies ready for this tilt and the brand new Penticton program will find itself looking to build a better moustrap for week 3.

Gridiron’s Pick: OKM by five major scores.

Handsworth vs Mission

Coach Watrin is doing his thing with the Roadrunners which usually translates into winning games. Handsworth comes off of a tough loss to AAA Carson Graham in the always emotional Buchannan Bowl. The Roadrunners are hot and the Royals are not. November is magic time for coach Prepchuk and September is all about getting better week to week.

Gridiron’s Pick: Mission by 14 and possibly a lot more if a short benched Handsworth cannot run with the no-huddle spread in the second-half.

Ballenas vs Windsor

Love this Rivalry!! The Whalers are home and home field could be a difference maker for them vs a Windsor squad hungry to post it's first W. Special teams will go to the Dukes and they will have a slight defensive edge. The Whalers have a more dynamic offense than the Dukes. All in all this game is almost too close to call. As a program the Dukes have played in more competitive game than Ballenas on a far more frequent basis.

Gridiron’s Pick: I am picking the Dukes by 2 pts. while holding my breath and knowing it could easily go the other way. This is Gridron's game of the week and a must see for fans of HS Football.

Seaquam vs Bowness (Calgary)

Seaquam plays it's best ball in October. Bowness will learn quickly that it's offensive line won't be ready for the US line of scrimmage. This tilt will be close for a while but Sequam will pull away in the 4th on a couple big plays via the air.

Gridiron’s Pick: Seaquam by 10

Friday, August 15, 2008

Week 1 Matchups

2008 Baby, Here We Go!

Friday Games - check for times and locations.

Nanaimo District vs G.P. Vanier

Gridiron's Pick: The Islanders by 3 scores. The Islanders return a good crew and they had spring ball. This will be a hard hitting game as both teams like the physical side.

Earl Marriot @ Vancouver College

Gridiron's Pick: VC by 4 scores. The game will be played much closer than the score but VC has the advantage in size, talent and experience. Good on Marriot for scheduling VC!

West Van vs Ballenas

Gridiron's Pick: Ballenas by 10. This will be a bruising game defensively but the Whalers have the edge in the passing game.

Langley vs Mt. Boucherie

Gridiron's Pick: Langley by 6! Yep, you read it here, Langley will be the surprise team of AA this year and the first squad to get bloodied will be Mt. Boucherie.

Valleyview vs Salmon Arm

Gridiron's Pick: The Golds will run away with this one. In the real world Golieth usually picks David out of his sandle treads. Good on Valleyview for building some challenge into their exhibition schedule.

San Diego vs Hugh Boyd

Gridiron's Pick: San Diego by 18. Lets be perfectly clear here, the Haddow Bros. are not going to CA to pad their resume. They have a great Boyd team this year and they are bringing the Trojans south to cut their teeth on top flight competition. The Trojans will return different than when they left.

Rutland vs Lord Tweedsmuir

Gridiron's Pick: LT by 24. The Panthers are loaded and are on a mission. Rutland can play physical ball but the Panthers can go around, over the top and straight through. Good thing this isn't homecoming.

Omak (WA) vs Clarence Fulton

Gridiron's Pick: Omak by 21. This is a yearly pilgrimage for the Maroons and a game that makes the Fulton Squad better. This year is no different.

WJ Mouat vs Rick Hansen

Gridiron's Pick: Mouat by 18. A super rivalry continues in week 1. Mouat will be just too much to handle for the Hurricanes who will come out with tons of emotion but will leave the park looking to build a better mouse-trap.

Saturday Games

John Barsby vs Okanagen Mission

Gridiron's Pick: Barsby by 10. Last year's game up in Kelowna was a nail biter. Many players on both teams return to dust it up in round two. Barsby lacked mental focus and killer instinct throughout 07. This year's squad is a questionmark. OKM gets to travel this time and that could be the difference.

Mission vs Windsor

Gridiron's Pick: Windsor by 2 pts. This is easily the AA Game of the Week. Mission's no-huddle spread antics are accompanied by superb skill position players and a veteren cast up front. Coach Schuman however doesn't get surprised a whole lot and the shock and awe experience of standing in front of the Mission offense in high gear will be mitigated to some degree. I'd love to be a spectator at this one and thanks to the new on-line video sharing software I will be!! Life just keeps getting better!!

Timberline vs South Delta

Gridiron's Pick: Timberline by 1 pt. I say this very grudgingly. South Delta will have more experienced on-field talent but.....they have a big travel day and Timberline plays extra-nasty at home. If the home field situation was reversed I'd say South Delta by a couple scores. The Wolves will take this one.

Seaquam vs Kelowna

Gridiron's Pick: Seaquam by 10. Seaquam is a legit AA title contenter playing at home. If their fun and gun offense gets rolling it will be a tough day for Kelowna. If Kelowna want's to play a finesse game on offense it will be over before it starts as that is Seaquam's game. If they come out banging with their big, physical roster Seaquam's knees may buckle. On the bright side for the Owels, Seaquam has been a bit of a slow-starter in past years and is better late in the season than early in the season. Welcome home Coach Anderson and I hope you count your visit as a good one.

Carson Graham vs Handsworth

Gridiron's Pick: Carson by 2 pts. in another great Buchannon Bowl. Both teams seem to have started recent seasons kind of sleepy. This one will wake-em up and Carson has a few more athletes in the stable than Handsworth.

NorKam vs Burnaby Central

Gridiron's Pick: NorKam by 10. Home field counts for something as does being 1st year varsity and having to travel a good stretch to play. Norkam returns some good athletes in 08.