Sunday, November 21, 2010

AA Semis and Tier 2 Ackles Cup

Well folks, here we are at the BCSSFA AA Semi-Finals and the Tier 2 Ackles Cup.  There are surely a couple story lines headed into these tilts and it is going to be a swell Saturday of ball this upcoming Saturday at UBC.

Tier 2 Ackles Cup

Belmont Bulldogs vs Frank Hurt Hornets: This game will be played between the two teams who really surged in the second half of the season.  Number 1 vs Number 2 and earned all the way.  Both teams blanked their respective opponents in the semis and something is going to have to give.  Size up-front and across the board for that matter goes to Belmont as does the speed factor.  Offensively, Frank Hurt has a more dynamic offense and will therefore be able to aim itself at the perceived defensive weaknesses of their opponent.  Belmont however does what it does on offense and nobody to date has been able to slow them down, let alone stop them cold on the field.  Defensively, Belmont is the team that has really improved the most over the season and there is a definit air of confidence amongst this unit.  Gotta give the edge to the Bulldogs in this category.  This leaves us with the third element to weigh in on Saturday, special teams.  This is a draw to date and the team that gains an edge in field position/creates some big plays will likely find itself in a position of advantage offensively.  With both defenses playing so well, having an offense playing with a short field will make all the difference.  Lastly, travel legs.  Belmont will have them and Frank Hurt will not.  Advantage Hurt.

GI's Pick: Belmont by 12.   The Bulldogs are on a roll and bring too much to the dance for the Hornets to handle.  Congrats both squads on your breakthrough seasons!

AA Varsity Semi-Finals

Windsor vs Handsworth:  Windsor won the first tilt between these two North Shore Rivals, but there has been a ton of football played since mid-October.  The Dukes may have had a phyrric victory on Friday vs the physical Sands Scorpions losing their starting running back and superb receiver respectively for the duration.  This changes the Duke recipe for success in a dramatic way, but there is still a winning recipe out there if the coaching staff can find it and the players can embrace it.  As predicted last week, Handsworth defeated South Delta in a close one, managing to handle tactical setbacks and staying focused long enough to hit enough offensive paydirt to win.  So folks, what gives?
Windsor is hurting, but its greatest strength remains intact.  The Duke offensive line is a machine and their Quarterback a leader.  The Windsor QB just needs to be patient and deliver the mail to capeable back-ups and the Dukes will get on the scoreboard.  The Duke Defense knows the Handsworth offense in detail so you know the score is going to be very, very close.  At the coaching level, both squads are equally well led by two men who are quite frankly reaching (if not having reached) legend status in BC.  The difference Saturday, Windsor is tougher.

GI's Pick: Windsor by 2

John Barsby vs Mission: Mission is coming off of one of the all time playoff classics vs a refuse to lose Seaquam Seahawk squad on Saturday.  Barsby is headed into the week firing on all cylinders in physical fashion.  This game will definitely be a game where eliminating the big play will manifest itself as all important for both defenses.  On special teams, both squads can unleash the big play and offensively, we have two opposites in terms of styles of attack.  Look for this game to swing back and forth momentum wise and for both teams.  Neither team has played the other since 2008, so the preparation battle in each coaching hut is going to play a role.  In terms of picking a winner, you have to look at a quality, common opponent.  This is Seaquam.  Barsby struggled mightily to win that game by 2 points and Mission did the same winning by 3

GI's Pick: Mission by 1

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Playoffs Round 2

Complete Scores Round 1


Seaquam 62 Prince George 0
Handsworth 44 Nechako Valley 0
Sands 34 Clarence Fulton 16
Pitt Meadows 41 OKM 13

Tier 2

Belmont 31 Vanier 7
Nanaimo District 25 Timberline 0
Frank Hurt 39 Vernon 0
Howe Sound 58 Westsyde 8

Well gang, in most regards, Round 1 was pretty much an all out smoke show and Round 2 is certainly going to be a slate of better games.  Not only did round 1 determine who advances to the quarter-finals, it also most surely illustrated some geographic disparity!

AA Carnage:

In two games North Division one and two was outscored 106-0.  This is actually very low as Handsworth shut things down in the second half vs Vanderhoof.  This dusting was courtesay of the #3 seeds from the Coast and Lower Mainland Divisions.

In two games the Interior one and two was outscored 75-29.  This was dished out by the Lower Mainland and Coast #4 seeds.

Tier 2 Carnage: Interior 1 and 2 were outscored 97-8 by Lower Mainland 1 and 2.

You can bet your best set of cleates and favorite coaching hat that there is going to be some discussion at this year's AGM about realignment!  Before jumping on that bandwagon, one of today's NCAA scores in the Big 10 had Wisconsin beating Indiana 86-14 or something like that.  Is Indiana going to drop out of the league to Div. 2, plead for NCAA realignment or are they going to try to build a better program?  Just being a devil's advocate for now, but this conversation is way to premature.  Just remember all you out there who do not like the status quo, build a consensus and advance it to the membership in January.

Next Week

AA Quarter-Finals

Pitt Meadows at John Barsby:  Pitt has been playing red-hot football since the beginning of October and they roll onto the new artificial turf field on Friday looking for an upset.  The Marauders are quite simply explosive on offense and very opportunistic on defense and special teams.  Barsby is coming off of a bye week which quite frankly is a double edged sword.  Healthy perhaps but a two week rest could mean rust for the undefeated Nanaimo crew.  Look for the team who can minimize their opponent's big plays the most effectively to emerge as the winner in this game.

GI's Pick: Barsby by 7

Seaquam at Mission: I really like the match-up in this game.  Seaquam is very, very tough vs the run and plays pretty tight pass defense to boot.  Mission is a scoring machine and has had two weeks to put their game together for the SeaHawks.  The key in this game is the ability of Mission to stop the run and for Seaquam to force some Roadrunner turnovers to stall drives and get a short field.  This game would be closer if the SeaHawks hat their starting tailback.  Their #2 is darn good too, just is not getting the rest he will need as he has to pick-up slack on both sides of the ball.

GI's Pick: Mission by 12

Handsworth at South Delta:  This will be a very close game.  Coach Prepchuck has owned the SunDevils in years past and I see no reason for this trend to not continue.  South Delta plays very tough defense and can throw as good as anyone in the league.  Handsworth will pressure the Sundevil pivot all day long however and the Royal defense will tighten its grip as the game unfolds.  It will take a while, but Handsworth will break the game open offensively in the mid-to late second quarter en-route to eventual victory.

GI's Pick: Handsworth by 6

Sands at Windsor: Dukes beware, you are going to be standing in front of a freight train offense that is beginning to gain confidence in itself.  The Scorpions however are going to have to defend a very explosive and multi-headed Duke offensive assault.  Sands will surge early, but will find themselves flustered by big play after big play via the air from their Windsor tormentors.  An outside chance of success exists for the Scorpions, but this only occurs if they can defend the deep ball and get some fortunate turnover bounces throughout the game.

GI's Pick: Windsor by 24

Tier 2 Semi-Finals

Nanaimo District at Belmont: Nanaimo will make this game closer than their tilt vs Belmont a short week ago but they aren't going to get bigger and faster over this period of time.  Bigger and faster usually beats smaller and slower.  Then again, we are talking high school kids here and the sky is the limit on any given day with this crew.  If Belmont can pound the rock, they will be awful tough to beat.  If Nanaimo can step it up on special teams, keep their foes on their heels and be unpredictable, they may find themselves victorious.  A lot of "Ifs" here.  What we do know is that Belmont has all the tools to win vs Nanaimo and has done so very recently.  Gotta go with the knowns here!

GI's Pick: Belmont by 14

Howe Sound at Frank Hurt:  Well, these two teams have battled twice already this year and there are very few secrets between them.  I am going to give this game to Frank Hurt.  The Hornets are a more complete team offensively and Howe Sound is riding their big running back to glory.  Those rides can be short versus well played team defense and when there is little else to fall back on, long afternoons await.

GI's Pick: Frank Hurt by 8

Friday, November 12, 2010

2010 Playoffs Round 1

An apology...Gridiron ran low on gas and had to take care of his program first and foremost this past week.  Ought to have some time for a better posting this coming weekend.

Gridiron's AA Top Five

1. Windsor
2. Mission
3. John Barsby
4. Handsworth
5. South Delta

Gridiron's Tier 2 Top Five

1. Belmont
2. Frank Hurt
3. Timberline
4. Howe Sound
5. Nanaimo District

Week Nine in Review

Double A saw Ballenas and Rick Hansen go down fighting to end their respective seasons while Windsor rallied to top Mission in a thriller.  John Barsby surged versus a now healthy Sands squad while up North, Fulton and Prince George secured number 1 status in the Interior and North divisions respectively.  The table is now set for the playoffs and the most exciting part of the 2010 season now begins.

Tier 2 finalized its standings on the last week which is a solid testament to the league parity.  Tough finish for a good Moscrop squad!  Bateman will be back stronger next year as should be the Panthers.

GI's Picks

AA Playoffs

Pitt Meadows at Okanagen Mission:  Gotta give the edge in this one to Pitt Meadows.  More bodies and more speed combined with a far tougher regular season schedule gives the Marauders the edge in this game.  OKM can throw well but so can Pitt and defensively, Pitt has matched-up very well with divisional powerhouses Handsworth, Windsor and Mission keeping the score close in all three contests.  Look for this game to get out of hand by the second quarter.

GI's Pick: Pitt Meadows by 28

Prince George at Seaquam: Great season up North for the Polars.  Now you guys have to play a battle tested crew in Seaquam that will dominate up-front on both sides of the ball.  The SeaHawks played a solid Ballenas crew on Saturday minus their starting RB for three quarters and did not miss a beat.  Seaquam will get it done on the ground and snuff the PG offense start to finish with AA's stingiest scoring defense.

GI's Pick: Seaquam by 36

Nechako Valley at Handsworth:  Handsworth will toss and counter its way to scores on almost every possession in this game.  The thing about the Royals however, is defense.  Handsworth always plays outstanding defense come playoff time and this will likely be a shutout.

GI's Pick: Handsworth by 38

Sands at Clarence Fulton: OK, this is the one game where an Interior/Northern team has a shot.  IF, and a big IF, the Maroons can stop serious power football and the Fade, they will be in this game.  Sands is pretty tough physically but has not proven that they can close big games in terms of endurance.  Interesting contest here.

GI's Pick: Sands by 8

Tier 2 Playoffs

Nanaimo District at Timberline:  Timberline has won most of its games this year where the athletic match-ups are similar.  I think that they have Nanaimo's number in 2010 and the Islanders are in tough as they travel up to Campbell River.  If Nanaimo can throw the ball well enough to keep the Wolves from crowding the box we may have a game on our hands.  A tall order thus far.

GI's Pick: Timberline by 12

G.P. Vanier at Belmont:  I have to admit I do not know the score (game already played)at this late posting.  However, my pick is below.

GI's Pick: Belmont by 23

Howe Sound at Westsyde: Howe Sound has been winning games in what has turned out to be Tier 2's pressure cooker of a division.  Westsyde is a bit of an unknown to them but the Sounders have had a full season with lots of travel experience.  If the Whundas cannot stop Howe Sound's big back it will be a long day for them.

GI's Pick: Howe Sound by 18

Vernon at Frank Hurt:  Vernon has been playing good ball of late.  So has Frank Hurt.  I think the Hornets may be the most  competitive team in Tier 2 the last couple weeks. Bye, Bye Vernon.

GI's Pick: Frank Hurt by 16