Complete Scores Round 1
Seaquam 62 Prince George 0
Handsworth 44 Nechako Valley 0
Sands 34 Clarence Fulton 16
Pitt Meadows 41 OKM 13
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!
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.
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