WEEK Six: The Thinning Of The Herd
GI's AA Top 5
5. John Barsby
GI's Tier 2 Top 5
4. Howe Sound
5. Frank Hurt
Week Five In Review
Rivalry Week played out as advertised with a slew of hard-fought, close games. In particular the Windsor-Handsworth Tilt, Hugh Boyd-Sands and Barsby-Ballenas Border Battle. Up North the PGSS win over Dutchess Park and the Nechako Valley victory over Quesnel has set the stage for a first place showdown up in PG. South Delta edged neighborhood rival Seaquam and Mission continued to roll through its AA schedule with a dominant performance vs cross-river rival Rick Hansen. Interior action saw Clarence Fulton and OKM declare they are top rail in that neck of the woods.
Rivalry T's (click image to enlarge)
Tier 2 saw statement games from Belmont, Moscrop and Timberline. Nanaimo District showed signs of new life with a shutout performance while Howe Sound and Frank Hurt are looking to recover from weekend setbacks.
Looking Ahead To Week Six
Autumn is here. The leaves are starting to depart from their branches and fall to the forest floor. Right now there are still more leaves on the trees than on the ground. Next week that ratio will decline significantly. So goes the October leaves, so goes the playoff hopes of several programs after this week's games. The they hyper-competitive Coastal Division will see some clarity emerge but no-one eliminated from the playoffs. The Mainland division will see a couple "leaves" fall off the divisional tree. Tier two is going to be an absolute dogfight this weekend with field maintenance crews removing plenty of battlefield detrius come Sunday. There will be a fierce sense of urgency on many practice fields this week.
GI's Picks Week Six
Thursday, October 14th
Nechako Valley @ College Heights: A big win on the weekend for the Cougars sets the stage for their Thursday Night tilt vs the gang from Vanderhoof. This game will be close early on account of latent momentum from the big weekend win for College Heights but the Vikings will out-play their hosts as the game unfolds.
GI's Pick: Nechako Valley by 14
Friday, October 15th
Westsyde @ NorKam: Westsyde is playing some scrappy ball this year. This is a good cross-town rivalry up in Kamloops. Norkam is trying to get its legs under itself and live up to the roster's potential. Friday will be a step in the right direction for the Saints.
GI's Pick: Norkam by 16
Handsworth @ Coranado HS (SanDiego,CA): Tough game to predict. Coranado are no world beaters and Handsworth is very, very good.
GI's Pick: Handsworth by 13
Pitt Meadows @ Windsor: Mild upset alert here. If Windsor is going to get caught napping this year, this is the game. Pitt is getting into dangerous form and has tons of momentum coming off of last weekend's blowout win over Langley. The Dukes have to be a bit tenderized from their physical affair with Handsworth and hec, these programs have brought a bit of rivalry up from previous years within the JV ranks. Windsor's cover 3 is iron-clad and the Dukes play great run defense beneath their shell. Will Pitt be patient and "chip away" underneath or will they try to blow the roof off with four vertical? Pass protection will be everything! Defensively the Marauders are an opportunistic blitz happy crew. This could leave them vulnerable to Windsor's accomplished trapping and quick hitting run game not to mention their arsenal of screens. I think the Dukes will spread em out a bit on Friday.
GI's Pick: Windsor by 11
Langley @ Rick Hansen: This is pretty much Langley's last shot at a playoff berth for 2010. They better be playing some Bee-Gees "Stayin Alive" in the ol locker room right now. The Same goes for the game but increasingly alarmed crew at Rick Hansen. A loss puts em waaaay behind a huge Pitt Meadows eight ball. Both teams will play hard, desparate ball and I think special teams and defense will have a large say here.
GI's Pick: Next Week's 80's locker-room tune in the Hansen building will be Journey's "Don't Stop Believing". Hurricanes by 16
Hansen Fight Song 2010
Dutchess Park @ Correlieu: The Condors are stabilizing and playing good ball right now. Correlieu is looking for something, anything to salvage their season. Keep looking Clan, Condors will fly high.
GI's Pick: Dutchess Park by 16
Valleyview @ Okanagen Mission: The Huskies have found their bite and the Vikings had best stay off-shore and secure in their long boats. When the Viking raid occurs on Friday, they will find the OKM townsfolk well armed and ready to unleash some gridiron smashmouth of their own. OKM has the athletes in this contest and is dominant in pretty much every phase of the game.
GI's Pick: OKM by 17
Prince George @ Kelley Road: Well, the two true AAA sized schools up in PG are gonna dance on Friday Night. Remember that Spike TV series "toughest animal" back in the day?? Here we have Polar Bear vs Roadrunner. Look for bloody, feather mottled bear tracks in the parking lot outside Massey Stadium late Friday Night.
GI's Pick: Polars reaching collision speed for next week's 1st place tilt vs NVSS. Polars by 10
Mission @ Abbottsford Collegiate: Mission is miles and miles ahead in every program/team/scheme category but one, motivation and toughness. Nobody in the game of football has the market cornered in terms of heart and desire. Further, the Roadrunners could be caught looking ahead to their upcoming Book of Revelations battle vs Handsworth, a mis-step than teenage athletes are prone to take. Though Mission should easily take this contest I smell D A N G E R. How so, well Abbey is physical for one and they are definitely in a frame of mind to shed their AA "Kid Brother" status by deed. What better way than to go put a smack on BC's number 2 ranked squad. For another thing, there are good, explosive athletes on the underdog squad and if weather or freak turnovers have a say, anything could happen.
GI's Pick: Mission is too experienced and too well led to fall into a trap. Roadrunners by 24
Edward Milne @ Gulf Islands: The EM Wolverines and GI Scorpions are both looking for a win to get their season pointed in the right direction. This will be a very close contest. The Scorpions are throwbacks in terms of style and tenacity. The Wolverines have some very good individual athletes. A word to the EM O. Coordinator, Wolverines attack forwards, they don't run laterally very well or jump real high.
GI's Pick: Gulf Islands by 7
Timberline @ Belmont: Game of the Week on the Island! Both of these teams are enjoying some serious momentum headed into their tilt on the artificial turf of Bear Mountain. The so called "tale of the tape" has Timberline out athleted at almost every position. The Wolves however are benefactors of the most complete offensive scheme/arsenal in Tier 2 and some very visceral coaching on the line and defense. Timberline can really chuck the ball when they have time and weather to do so. If this game turns into a thumping match that is run-driven, I like Belmont. If Belmont can find a way to pressure the passer while taking away screens and quick hitters, I like Belmont. If Belmont trys to play finesse ball, I like Timberline. Special Teams, could be HUGE!
GI's Pick: Belmont keeps it close for a half and then has an epiphany...."Hey, we are big nasty and fast...our football childhood is over, clobbering people is FUN AND WE CAN DO IT!," Belmont by 24
Nanaimo District @ G.P. Vanier: Vanier and Nanaimo both had much needed wins over the past weekend. Vanier has the best athletes in this tilt, the size and the team speed. Nanaimo, well, they are very gritty and feel like they have underachieved thus far. The winner of this game has playoff momentum, the loser, some hard and urgent work in the weeks ahead. Turnovers will be MASSIVE in determining this weekend's outcome.
GI's Pick: Nanaimo finds a way to win by 6
Saturday, October 16th
Ballenas @ South Delta: This is essentially a mid-October playoff game. At stake, a shot at the #4 playoff seed or higher coming out of the Coastal Conference. The weather will have a lot to do with the outcome of this game as both offenses could be limited somewhat by what they can do if it is a rain-soacked affair. Lets look at match-ups: Size up-front goes to S. Delta; LB speed to South Delta; Defensive Backs-Even; Passing Game-Different but Even; Running Backs-Ballenas by a hair; Receivers-Draw; Offensive Scheme-Ballenas is more versatile; Quarterbacks-two of the best on the Coast, each with a different style and game-breaking bag of tricks;Defenses, both like to and can hit; Depth-Both teams are in big trouble if they don't have a healthy QB.
GI's Pick: I think that Ballenas can keep it close on Defense and has more ways to get the ball across the goal-line than their hosts. Whalers by 3
Sands @ Seaquam: Em and Em or whatever his name is has just now released a Slim Shady re-mix..."Will the Real Sands please stand-up, please stand-up?" Whats going on with "the bugs"? Was the refereeing at the Boyd game that bad? Were you guys hurt? Flu Season? Did beavers gnaw off your cleat studs before the game? Were the Trojans that good? Well, questions will surely be answered as you guys travel to Seaquam to smack-down with the always physical SeaHawks. Of all the teams on your schedule this far Sands, Seaquam matches up with you pretty darn good physically up front and at LB. Coach Pechet is a smart, smart bench boss and he is going to hit you where you aint of offense and bring it on D. If this thing stays close for four quarters, I think a special teams play or a turnover will tip-the balance. IF THE SCORE STAYS CLOSE. Something tells me Sands will unload in better than early season form.
GI's Pick: Sands by 18
Vernon @ Mt. Baker: Vernon rolls into Cranbrook, rolls Mt. Baker, rolls back out-of town..."Big Wheels Keep on Turnin...."
GI's Pick: Vernon by 21
Frank Hurt @ Howe Sound: Lets call this one half of the Lower Mainland Tier 2 semi-final for playoff berthing. This will be a very physical smashmouth type of shoving match that will sort-out each team's post-season destiny to a large degree. The Hornets will have some bus legs early and that could cause them some difficulties. The Sounders under achieved after their epic ferry jouney to play Belmont last week.
GI's Pick: Got to go with the Sounders playing at home. Howe Sound by 6
Moscrop @ Robert Bateman: In the other semi....Bateman's TB will face an entire defensive unit hell bent on making his afternoon a dirt tasting affair. This is Bateman's biggest test to date as an offense as the supporting cast had better be able to ralley to take the pressure off of their offensive meal-ticket. Moscrop is much further along as a team that has been together over the past few years. This will be a difference maker is the one on one match-ups as well as the offensive, defensive and special teams unit play. Bateman's sole advantage is playing in front of the home crowd. Always worth some extra motivation and a point or two.
GI's Pick: Moscrop by 4