Week Three Wrap-Up
This past week saw Mission again assert itself as one of the dominant forces in AA Ball; Handsworth played superb in a narrow loss to San Fransico's Bishop O'Grady; Bateman served notice that it has arrived in force on the AA scene; Barsby served up a TKO by half-time; Ballenas opened up the throttle of one of AA's most prolific offenses; Nechako Valley, Dutchess Park, Kalmalka and Vernon turned up the heat beyond the Coast Mountains and Nanaimo District, Edward Milne and Timberline served up some head turning beat-downs. Week four by and large is the end of pre-season. The final adjustments prior to league play are going to be made and then it is all business.
GI's AA Varsity Week Four Top Five
1. Mission Roadrunners
2. John Barsby Bulldogs
3. Seaquam SeaHawks
4. Handsworth Royals
5. Ballenas Whalers
GI's Tier 2 Varsity Week Four Top Five
1. Nanaimo District Islanders
2. Timberline Wolves
3. E.J. Milne Wolverines
4. Howe Sound Sounders
5. G.P. Vanier Towhees
GI's Week Four Picks
Thursday, 29 September
Correlieu @ Kelley Road: The Roadrunners have improved each week of the young season and are now beginning to find some execution to go with their physical brand of play. Correlieu just isn''t deep enough across the board to compete with El Norte's big boys in 2011.
GI's Pick: Kelley Road by 24
Friday, 30 September
Nechako Valley @ Dutchess Park: This is easily going to be one of the best games up North in 2011. Both squads are playing red-hot football and the winner will have the inside track to represent the division come playoff time. This said, the product up in Vanderhoof is smoother and more consistent than what the Condors of Dutchess Park are going to roll on the field with. Systems beat individual stud athletes almost every time.
GI's Pick: Vikings by 16
Okanagen Mission @ Valleyview: Valleyview really took it on the chin this weekend and are in a bit of a tailspin right now. OKM is finding its feet. This one will be really close and in Valleyview's case, the season may hinge on a big performance at home this week.
GI's Pick: OKM by 3
College Heights @ Prince George: The Polars step on the field with a decisive edge in talent. All things considered, the Cougar defense may keep the score close for a couple quarters, but then the Polars roll.
GI's Pick: Polars by 18
Langley @ Robert Bateman: Bateman is on the cusp of crashing the AA Top five. A huge statement game was played by the Wolves vs Hugh Boyd and the Bateman crew surely has equal parts adrenelin and momentum headed into their home tilt vs Langley. The Saints have got to be feeling a lot of urgency as they prepare for Bateman. Another tough loss has em looking in the mirror for some answers. Bateman's speed and thunder/lightning backfield present a big challenge for defenders this year. If the Saints can lock down on the Wolf receivers and crowd the box with everyone else, this could be a close game. If......
GI's Pick: Bateman by 24
Edward Milne (Tier 2) @ John Barsby: These two Island squads meet for the first time ever at the Varsity level. Milne has been playing red hot ball the past two weeks outscoring opponents 93-15. The Wolverines have a great power running game and play-action off of it. Defensively, the blue and maize are a reflection of their hard nosed running attack. This week's game up in Nanaimo will be a true litmus test as to how far the Milne program has come along. Barsby will certainly contest every snap.
GI's Pick: Barsby by 21
Abbottsford Collegiate (Tier 2) @ Holy Cross: This is going to be an awesome match-up across the board. The Panthers are tough as nails on defense and will be licking their chops with delight at the thought of testing themselves against the HC running game. The Crusaders are getting better each week and they hung some good points on #1 ranked AAA St. Thomas Moore this past weekend. If the Crusaders can find their running game and get some heat on the Abbottsford quarterback, this game can go their way. I like Abbottsford in a close one.
GI's Pick: Abbottsford by 2
Earl Marriot (AAA) @ Mission: Something big happened for Marriot this past weekend as they exploded for 60 plus points against a decent Rutland football team. There has got to be some belief and a sense of "the end of the beginnning" as a program with that signature win. Now comes the biggest test of the season for the Mariners as they play AA's #1 ranked Mission Roadrunners. Mission has the complete package offensively and defensively this year. It is tough to find cracks within the Roadrunners. Marriot is going to have to at least score half of last week's total offensively to be in this one. They also have to play defense at another level to avoid getting steam-rolled. Tall order.
GI's Pick: Mission by 26
Moscrop (Tier 2) @ Pitt Meadows: Sometimes it seems that a team picks-up where they left off the week before. Pitt roared back from a big deficit to tie the Windsor Dukes this past week. Moscrop ran into the gathering Abbottsford buzz saw. This one ought to be fairly close for awhile, but Pitt has shown itself to be tougher this year than originally thought. Moscrop will find some success when it gets into its league schedule.
GI's Pick: Pitt Meadows by 12
Mark Isfeld (Tier 2) @ Nanaimo District (Tier 2): Nanaimo District played a very big statement game vs a shell-shocked G.P. Vanier squad this past Friday entering run-time before half. The Islanders are the real deal in 2011 and will be chomping at the bit to tangle with the Ice. Defense and a punishing offensive attack will characterize The Mean Green on Friday. Strap on your headgear folks.
GI's Pick: Islanders by 28
Saturday, 1 October
West Vancouver @ Ballenas: The Whalers played lights out on the road vs AAA's #5 ranked Centennial losing by 1 point. Having scored a touchdown in the dying moments the Whalers were faced with a choice. Go for the win or tie the game. They went for the win and came up just short. This says a lot about the team and its outlook in 2011. The Whalers are playing for keeps and they truly believe that this is going to be a big year for the team/program. West Vancouver is going to be a divisional contender at the AAA level. The Highlanders have played physical smash-mouth games this year and have also played the finesse type of game. The Whalers can dance with either version and enter this game at home with a lot of swagger. Look for a real chess game by the respective coaching staffs. Short-Kicks and the rest of the special teams game will be big players on Saturday.
GI's Pick: West Vancouver by 12
Rick Hansen @ Seaquam: OK gang, now we see if Hansen is the real deal in 2011 or a relative AA middle-weight. Conversely, Seaquam can get this one done in decisive fashion and set the stage for a run at their division and beyond. I have a real hunch that the Hurricanes are going to be a dark horse this year when the season plays itself out. They are improving and showing tons of consistency on both sides of the ball. Seaquam however, is bigger and stronger than their valley foes and their coaching staff knows how to employ the tools at hand.
GI's Pick: Seaquam by 18
Hugh Boyd @ South Delta: Both teams went through humbling games this past week. I believe the health of the respective rosters will have a say in the outcome of this game along with turnovers. All things equal, South Delta has a more dynamic offensive attack and this will carry them to victory vs the Trojans.
GI's Pick: South Delta by 14
Kalamalka @ Mt. Baker: Kalamalka is very talented and the roster is laden with experienced players. Mt. Baker is going through the process of building a program. The long-trip is in Bakers corner this time round, but bus legs are not going to be enough to slow down the Lakers. This one will get out of hand early in the 2nd quarter.
GI's Pick: Kalamalka by 40 plus
Vernon @ Clarence Fulton: Vernon comes off of a dominant performance vs Norkam this past weekend. The Maroons have always been top rail on the football fence in town and the Panthers are perhaps as poised as they have ever been to erase their status as second best. Fulton knows it and will be on their A-Game when these two squads lock horns. Will be fun to watch!
GI's Pick: Fulton by 3
Frank Hurt (Tier 2) @ Timberline (Tier 2): Timberline is resurgent and may be the only Tier 2 team with the firepower to overcome Nanaimo District this year. Frank Hurt needs a big road win to turn around the 2011 season. The Wolves are very tough at home. There will be footballs in the air on Saturday thick as hail when these two squads get it on. Air Wolf will notch a W in their belt this weekend.
GI's Pick: Timberline by 21
G.P. Vanier (Tier 2) @ Howe Sound (Tier 2): This will be an extremely close game with both teams looking to rebound from losses. The Sounders have played tough, respectable ball this year. Vanier has had flashes of greatness, but consistency eludes them. If playbooks get shortened and the coaching staffs emphasize what "has worked" thus far in 2011, we will have a stellar game on our hands. Whomever does this best will win.
GI's Pick: G.P. Vanier by 2
Mt. Douglas (AAA) @ Pitt Meadows: Mt. Douglas will be gracious to their hosts for providing a game at the last second. Even so, Pitt Meadows will emerge from this one like so much shredded coleslaw.
GI's Pick: Mt. Douglas by 36