GI's Provincial Rankings
5. John Barsby
1. Robert Bateman
2. Nanaimo District
4. Howe Sound
Week 1 saw a couple upsets in Tier 2 and a foretaste of things to come at AA varsity. A couple AAA teams went down in flames courtesay of Mission and Hugh Boyd as well! Week two will be the last week of exhibition play for many AA squads and is the last opportunity to get the engines tuned up for league competition.
GI's Week Two Picks
Friday, 17 September
Windsor @ Lord Tweedsmuir: The Dukes and Panthers dust it up Friday at LT's house in a replay of the 2005 BC Championship game. The coaches remain the same but the casts are different. This one will go to the wire with LT having the advantage in size and break-away speed. The Dukes are methodical, largely mistake free and will have thoroughly prepared for their opponent. The difference here will be turnovers. If LT hangs on to the ball they will squeak this one out.
GI's Pick: LT by 3
Invermere @ Mt. Baker: Tough call on this one. GI thinks that Invermere has some organizational mojo and program enthusiasm that is detectable across four mountain ranges to the coast. Gotta go with The Horns on this one in the battle for the Rockey Mountain Trench.
GI's Pick: Invermere by 10
Langley @ OKM: Big win for the Saints last weekend, tough loss for the Huskies. Langley has tons of momentum and a deeper bench. OKM is tenderized and short benched. The Huskies are talented however and quite large up front with a tough and competitive QB under center.
GI's Pick: Langley by 17 in a game that with an agonizing second half for the outmanned Huskies.
Abbottsford Collegiate @ South Delta: Both of these squads faced the same competition last weekend vs two visiting Alberta squads in a jamboree setting. South Delta won its games and Abby did not. There will be no secrets heading into this game for either squad. The Sundevils are big up front and their defensive line brings pressure all day. This will be a physical mismatch from the opening whistle.
GI's Pick: South Delta by 24 plus.
South Kamloops (AAA) @ Mission: The Roadrunner have played tougher competition than anyone but Windsor in week 1 and 2. This squad is GI's number two team in BC at present at the AA level. South Kamloops played to a low scoring tie vs Valleyview (Whats up with that?) last weekend. Now they travel to Mission. The Roadrunners will be all over em, all afternoon!
GI's Pick: Mission by 18
West Vancouver @ Pitt Meadows: West Vancouver is in decline, Pitt is a small but highly competitive and plucky group. I love the Marauder energy and mojo! Pitt will bring a pace and energy the Highlanders will not be able to deal with.
GI's Pick: Pitt by 10
Frank Hurt @ Nanaimo District: OK Frank Hurt, an apology is due. I thought this would be the year that you changed your name from the Hornets to theTrailer Park Boys version..."The Dump Bees". Well, you sure as hec dispelled that thought when you went out and laid a stingin on G.P. Vanier last week! Good job and great to hear that your rebuild is in stride! Nanaimo District however is at home and spoiling for a good dust-up after a tough road game vs Tier 2's number 1 ranked Robert Bateman. Look for lots of scoring in this game!
GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 10
John Barsby @ Belmont: Belmont played noticeably better vs Ballenas last Friday than they did in the Island Jamboree a few short months ago. The offensive line is HUGE and the defensive line really brings it off the edge. The Belmont offense has big play potential as well! Barsby has been a juggernaut in weeks zero and one. This game has become a bit of a rivalry over the past couple years and Friday will add to the narrative. Belmont is going to be on home turf and will come out of the gates very physical. Barsby will have to play within themselves and not get caught in the atmosphere.
GI's Pick: Barsby by 21
Rick Hansen @ Mt. Boucherie (AAA): I like this match-up! The talent on the field will be very similar and Hansen is well rested headed into a big road game. Mt. Boucherie is at home and plays tough in town. Hansen will have to come ready to defend a solid Bear running game. The Bears had better be able to adjust to shifts and multi-formations. The edge on special teams goes to Rick Hansen.
GI's Pick: Hansen by 3
Saturday, 18 September
Westsyde @ College Heights: College Heights has to have gotten tougher after Zero Week's road campaign. Westsyde is making a wise decision by looking North for exhibition competition. Westsyde is a veteren program, the Cougars are still trying to figure this thing out.
GI's Pick: Westsyde by 14
Dutchess Park @ Howe Sound: Dutchess Park is on a learning curve that will take them places over time provided they don't lose their religion along the way! The Condors are gamers and have road trip experience. Howe Sound is tier 2 upper-crust and playing at home with a big bench. The Sounders will be too much for the visitors to handle.
GI's Pick: Howe Sound by 18
Centennial (AAA) @ Sands: The Scorpions are taking no short-cuts in their quest to improve. Scheduling the returning AAA champs is proof of this! Sands is coming off of a solid win on Saturday @ Pitt Meadows as well. Centennial has probably been sitting on cushioned seats after the spanking they suffered down in Idaho. The Centaurs are not used to this and will be looking to get back some of their winning mojo vs Sands. A talented and deep Centennial squad will likely hand it to a tough, talented but very short benched Scorpion group in the second half.
GI's Pick: Centennial by 21
Handsworth @ Valleyview: This is surely an "up year" for both teams. Athletically, there are a lot of even match-ups as well! The difference is continuity of system, league quality and Coach Jay Prepchuck. Handsworth comes up top-rail on the fence in all three instances.
GI's Pick: Handsworth by 28
G.P. Vanier @ Ballenas: Hey Vanier, Ballenas is a huge step-up from Frank Hurt, you better have a lights out week of practice if you want to compete this Saturday. Vanier has the raw athletes in this game and as individuals, probably the meaner ones as well. Ballenas has the collective Whaler Brain Trust as a coaching staff and their players will have the "Football IQ" as a result. Look for the Whalers to blitz the Vanier Offense into submission and tie the Towhee defense in knots with offensive finesse.
GI's Pick: Ballenas by 34
Westsyde @ Kalmalka: Error on the BCSSFA schedule or real game!!!??? If it is real, I am going to take Kalmalka in a close one.
GI's Pick: Kal by 3
Kelley Road @ Hugh Boyd: Good on the northern Roadrunners for scheduling this game. You play up to your competition fellas and Boyd is a great way to do this. The Trojans knocked off a much larger group from AAA Rutland last weekend and their ever shifting and quick hitting offense will likely be too much for the Roadrunners to come to grip with. Hugh Boyd also looked good on special teams and defense. Kelley Road is still on a steep learning curve. Sometimes, learning is a tough thing.
GI's Pick: Hugh Boyd by 34
Kelowna @ Seaquam: There is much common coaching DNA and mutual respect in this one. Last year, Seaquam won this tilt. This year is different; The Kelowna Lofflers have been on a roll since the summer 7 on 7 and bring too much athleticism for the very tough SeaHawks to bottle-up for four quarters. If I were a AAA competitor of the KSS team, I would surely look to see what Seaquam tries to do to slow down their superstar. On the flip-side Kelowna, all eggs in one basket is not only dangerous, but other important aspects of team training and cohesiveness can fall by the wayside and haunt you in November. The current formula is working for you now though.
GI's Pick: Kelowna by 28
Robert Bateman @ Timberline: Bateman goes on the road for the first time. Campbell River is a good trip with lots of great scenery along the way. When the ball gets kicked-off however, things will change rom a bucolic scenic trip, to something out of Dante's Inferno. Lots of noise, controversy and unfriendly home fans await you. Timberline is also ascendent. If the Wolves can slow down the Bateman Tailback phenom, they have a legitimate shot at an upset. Timberline needs to find some offensive spark as well. Bateman is methodically and soundly building on a huge innaugural season. They will trip and stumble a bit on Saturday but they will prevail.
GI's Pick: Bateman by 16