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