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
- Lord Tweedsmuir (3-0)
- Seaquam Seahawks (2-1)
- Hugh Boyd Trojans (2-1)
- South Delta Sundevils (2-1)
- Ballenas Whalers (2-0-1)
- Earl Marriot Mariners (1-2)
- John Barsby Bulldogs (3-0)
- Mission Roadrunners (2-1)
- Rick Hansen Hurricanes (2-1)
- Windsor Dukes (1-2)
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.