GI's AA Top 5
5. John Barsby
GI's Tier 2 Top 5
1. Howe Sound
3. Frank Hurt
Week Four In Review
Four of AA's top five continued to win while Sands gathered itself, licked its wounds and prepared for week 5. Of the top five, it looks like Mission is really hitting its stride offensively and defensively. Barsby started its league schedule in physical style and Windsor and Handsworth chewed up opponents in methodical fashion. Up North, Nechako Valley of Vanderhoof defeated Kelley Road by a large score and now has the inside track along with the PGSS Polars for top seed coming out of that division. A "road warrior" Ballenas squad convincingly defeated divisional foe Hugh Boyd on Friday to gain much needed momentum and team confidence headed into Friday's Border Battle vs arch rival John Barsby.
JB vs South Delta
Tier 2 saw a great game between Howe Sound and Moscrop that looked to be going the Panther's way until a late fourth quarter implosion sealed the deal for the number one ranked Sounders. Frank Hurt gained momentum and Belmont played a statement game vs G.P. Vanier on the road. Timberline made it two in a row for the Wolves vs a visiting Nanaimo District squad and stands poised to continue their streak this coming weekend.
Looking Ahead To Week 5
Week five should be labelled AA rivalry week for sure. There are many meaningful games between programs who really step-it up when looking across the field a color/team that drives em mad! The AA hilite games will be the Windsor-Handsworth tilt and the Border Battle between Ballenas and Barsby. A Whaler victory on Friday will make scrambled eggs of the conference playoff picture and a Barsby victory will set the stage for late season dramatics to come. The Dukes and Royals have to look at this game with a huge degree of anticipation and Mission will certainly be casting a curious eye in their direction as well! Tier 2 is beginning to take form and the Northern Conference is set to declare playoff front runners as well. Looks like a great week of ball ahead!!
GI's Week 5 Picks
Wednesday, October 6th
Robert Bateman at Langley: This is going to be one of the big provincial rivalries as the series gets going. Both teams are smarting after weekend losses and are looking for a measure of redemption. Langley has the more veteren squad headed into this tilt and will benefit as a result.
GI's Pick: Langley by 8
Wednesday, October 7th
Windsor at Handsworth: OK gang, the winner of this game will go on to compete with Mission to win the divisional first place seed, the loser will be fighting for number two or three vs the Roadrunners in the weeks to come. This is a three horse race and the game played Wednesday represents one of the most enduring and hard fought rivalries in BC! Handsworth has been racking up impressive numbers offensively this year. Windsor has been very balanced offensively and able to play good defense throughout. Both squads have been superb on special teams. So what is going to give? I think Handsworth is going to be a victim of its own consistency. The Royals run a seamless offensive package from g. 8-12 and it serves them well as each year; they pick-up where they left off the previous Fall. Windsor's Coach Schuman could probably sit down with a dry erase marker and sketch-up the Royal offense in detail given 5-10 minutes. Surprises for the Duke defense will be few and far between. The breaks in this game will be the result of athletic mismatches if they occur or mental lapses on the Windsor defensive side.
GI's Pick: Windsor by 8
Correlieu at Nechako Valley: I am starting to get the feeling that Nechako Valley is the team to beat up North. Correlieu is struggling this year and their woes will continue.
GI's Pick: Nechako Valley by 40
Friday, October 8th
John Barsby at Ballenas: HUGE Rivalry game here! If there are two programs who love to dust it up with each other, the Dawgs and Whalers fit the bill. The players in this game have been at it since their Pee-Wee days and know each other well having not only played on opposing rosters across the years, but attended camps, clinics etc. as peers. Ballenas found its offense last weekend vs the Trojans of Hugh Boyd and Coach Hines is the master of putting together a Double Wing eating defense. Coach Conn's offense will have more wrinkles than a week old laundry pile. Barsby will roll into Parksville firing on all cylinders. The Dawgs have also been quietly putting together a very good defensive season to accompany their special teams and offensive units. I think that this game will boil down to who can defend the deep pass and take care of the football. Both teams may find that running yards are hard to come by.
GI's Pick: Barsby by 7
Mission at Rick Hansen: Another rivalry game! Mission looks to have an edge in just about every offensive and defensive catagory that exists. Hansen is not going to show-up and cry uncle however. The math in this one is too one sided for the game to be close in the end.
GI's Pick: Mission by 24
Langley at Pitt Meadows: A natural rivalry by geography and program culture. These programs are virtual neighbors with almost identical program birthdays. This game will be a good measure of how far each has come as their journey has progressed these past four years. Pitt seems to have an edge in athleticism and has been playing tougher competition to date. I like the Panthers to create some big plays via the blitz and to get behind coverage more than once. The internet provides a sketch of a short benched group of Saints as well.
GI's Pick: Pitt by 18
Dutchess Park at Prince George: These schools have been athletic rivals since the late 1960's and the rivalry now moves on to the gridiron. Prince George is undefeated this year and Dutchess has been playing a tough schedule that has expedited their learning curve. PGSS is a far larger school and has athletes that reflect the pool they draw from.
GI's Pick: Polars by 16
Okanagen Mission at NorKam: The Huskies roll in with a big physical roster. Norkam matches up well. The Saints will pound away on the ground and if they can cover a decent OKM passing game, they ought to pull away in the late quarters. I think they can.
GI's Pick: Norkam by 8
College Heights at Kelley Road: The Roadrunners will bounce back from their dismantling at the hands of the crew from Vanderhoof. College Heights is having a struggle this year and they will find no respite at the hands of their bigger, stronger cross-town rival.
GI's Pick: Kelley Road by 24
Howe Sound at Belmont: Tier 2 Game of the week here. Howe Sound is going to be playing a very tough and athletic group on the artificial surface of Bear Mountain Stadium. The Belmont Bulldogs are a program that is transforming into a realization of its potential. The athletes are there and the experience is beginning to accrue. Howe Sound is riding high thus far but now faces an opponent that matches up athlete for athlete on a fast track at the end of a long road-trip. U P S E T.
GI's Pick: Belmont by 14
Gulf Islands at Nanaimo: Nanaimo always plays Gulf Islands tough. The Scorpions do have a speed advantage and a throwback mentality in terms of motor and toughness. This game will be close.
GI's Pick: Gulf Islands by 12 on two long runs.
Vanier at Edward Milne: Vanier is looking to put together four quarters of play. A long bus ride and a scrappy Milne football team stand in their way. Vanier wins most of the athletic match-ups in this one. Milne is a more cohesive team on both sides of the ball.
GI's Pick: Milne by 10
Moscrop at Frank Hurt: A budding Tier 2 rivalry here with number 2 and 3 clawing at one another for a leg up in the playoffs. Both teams run the ball very good and the Hornets are beginning to believe they can run the table. The Panthers are on the verge of an offensive explosion. This game is close in every unit by unit, player by player match-up.
GI's Pick: Moscrop by 6
Timberline at Mark Isfeld: Timberline has been quietly assembling some quality wins. Isfeld needs to be very dialed in to the Timberline offense to have much of a chance. Seems a bit of a stretch to me.
GI's Pick: Timberline makes it three in a row with a 20 pt. spread on the score.
Saturday, October 9th
Hugh Boyd at Sands: Sands has yet to find an AA opponent who can match up with their physicality. Having survived a brutal first three weeks of play, the Scorpions are coming off of a much needed bye week to confront the visiting Trojans. Hugh Boyd has always played Sands well and this is one of those dark hearted affairs in terms of program rivalry. Both teams will be coming at each other hard. Sands has bigger muscles swinging a bigger stick.
GI's Pick: Sands by 28
Seaquam at South Delta: Nice geographic rivalry here. South Delta is behind the eight ball for playoffs if they lose this game, a fact not lost upon anyone in the program. Seaquam is improving week-to-week and Coach Pechet feels he has the Seahawks on the right track at this time of the season. This game will come down to defense. Can Seaquam defend a superb SunDevil passing game and can South Delta shut down the SeaHawk ground assault. Mother nature may have a bit of a say in this game. South Delta is much better than their record would indicate and assumptions to the contrary could hurt the chances of the visiting team.
GI's Pick: South Delta gets it done by air and plays some tough run D en-route to a 12 point win.
Valleyview at Vernon: Valleyview is better than average this year. Vernon will play them close for two and a half quarters but the wheels will fall off thereafter.
GI's Pick: Valleyview by 10
Mt. Baker at Eureka (Montana): Good on Mt. Baker for scheduling this game. They should fill their exhibition schedule with US competition and will get better, faster as a result. Montanna loggers versus BC Loggers in this game. Eureka has been at it a lot longer on the football field.
GI's Pick: Eureka by 36
Westsyde at Clarence Fulton: Clarence Fulton has long been one of the top two Interior programs at the AA level. Westsyde is playing Tier 2 for a reason.
GI's Pick: Maroons maraude the boys in blue. Fulton by 26