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: http://communities.canada.com/theprovince/blogs/high_school_hamper/archive/2008/09/14/final-edition-the-province-high-school-football-report-9-13-08.aspx
Our new AA top ten as of Sunday, 14 September
- Hugh Boyd (2-0)
- Lord Tweedsmuir (2-0)
- Mission (2-0)
- South Delta (2-0)
- Ballenas (1-0-1)
- Earl Marriot (2-0)
- John Barsby (2-0)
- Seaquam (1-1)
- Windsor (0-2)
- 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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