Monday, October 31, 2011

GI's Picks Week Nine

Week 9 2011

Well, here we are folks at the end of the regular season of play.  Sure did go by quick!  This weekend sees multiple games that will determine first and second place seeding into the playoff tourney.  For some seniors, this will be the last game of HS football.  Make it your best fellas!

GI's Week Nine AA Varsity Top Five

1. Mission
2. John Barsby
3. Ballenas
4. Abbottsford Collegiate
5. Holy Cross

GI's Week 9 Tier 2 Varsity Top Five

1.  Nanaimo District
2.  Howe Sound
3.  Belmont
4.  G.P. Vanier
5.  Edward Milne

Gridiron's Picks

Thursday, 3 November

Hugh Boyd @ Handsworth:  Hugh Boyd and Handsworth are playing their best football of the year right now.  Both Squads are coming off of big, emotional wins and though this game is exhibition, it will speak a lot to momentum headed into the post-season.  Handsworth wins this match-up in the passing game, Boyd on the ground.  The weather man may be a prominent figure headed into Thursday.    Defensively, this is a toss-up.  Special teams are going to have a big say overall.

GI's Pick: Handsworth by 2

Friday, 4 November, 2011

Abbottsford Collegiate @ Mission: Divisional title on the line.  In a short period of time, Abbey has come to rule the local roost in their town and now they are travelling to play The King of the Fraser Valley in the Mission Roadrunners.  Abbey is very hard hitting and they have been improving week-to-week all year long.  Mission has not broken a sweat against any AA competition this year.  Abbey may make em sweat a bit, but not for long.  Mission has too many offensive weapons and will clearly and effectively dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. 

GI's Pick: Mission by 36

Ballenas @ Windsor:  The Whalers are rolling into North Vancouver coming off of a bye and in playoff form.  Windsor is going to play tough for awhile, but cannot run with the Whaler receiving corps.  This one does not come down to coaching as both squads are very well tutored, but rather it comes down to roster maturity and the Whalers hold a decisive edge in that category.

GI's Pick: Whalers by 16

Rick Hansen @ Robert Bateman: A few weeks back I'd say Bateman in a landslide.  Consecutive physical maulings of the Wolves by Abbottsford and Mission have brought the once surging Bateman squad crashing back to earth.  Rick Hansen has a real shot to take this one as the Bateman offense is basically starting from scratch with injuries and illness having taken a toll.  Rick Hansen will execute better on offense as a result and a sound defensive effort may give em the margin to steal this one/

GI's Pick: Hansen by 2

Nanaimo District (Tier 2) @ Frank Hurt (Tier 2):  Frank Hurt has put up some sereious points in a few of their games this year.  Nanaimo District up until last weekend has been flat-out dominant.  These two squads played a close game in Nanaimo last September with the Hornets eventually emerging triumphant; now the Islanders are on the road with some payback on their minds.  I think the Islanders have demonstrated themselves to be better in all three phases of the game this year.  I also think they play a way more physical brand of ball. 

GI's Pick: Islanders by 31

Eric Hamber (Tier 2) @ Moscrop (Tier 2): Moscrop, when its players and coaches feel confident about their opponent, can really score points in a hurry.  They are entering this game feeling brash and good about who they will be matching up against.  Hamber is still on a big learning curve.

GI's Pick: Panthers by ground and air win by 30

Belmont (Tier 2) @ Mark Isfeld (Tier 2): If Isfeld can get the bodies to play this weekend, they will have a tough game ahead of them.  Belmont is on a win streak and getting healthier with each passing day.

GI's Pick: Belmont by 30 plus.

Saturday, 5 November

Clarence Fulton @ Kalmalka:  Game for divisional title.  Fulton has been on a tear late in the season.  A young but fast Kalmalka found a way to win last weekend.  I think Fulton is more complete on both sides of the ball.

GI's Pick: Fulton by 8

Norkam @ Mt. Baker:  This is a good way for Norkam to wrap-up its season.  Mt. Baker gets to finish at home which is also good for them.  Norkam is quite simply, further along as a program and group of athletes.

GI's Pick: Norkam by 27

Langley @ Seaquam:  Seaquam has clearly been the better team this year if one looks at wins and losses vs common opponents.  In a smallish division, this counts for very little as a Langley victory would tip the whole division on its ear.  If Langley can get all over Seaquam's running game and put a couple scores on the board, they may have a shot this Saturday.  High school athletes are full of surprises and there is a reason we play these games.

GI's Pick: Seaquam by 22

John Barsby @ South Delta: Both teams have a stake in a positive outcome in this game for entirely different reasons.  A South Delta win would bring a tie breaking pts. for and against formula to the Western 3 and 4 playoff berth.  Interesting indeed.  Barsby, well, they want to play this one as hard as any this season.  It ought to be a good game to watch.  South Delta has been very balanced offensivley this year and they are trick play masters.  Barsby likewise, has had a balanced attack from a different offensive set entirely.  Defensively, both squads have superb run pursuit and I really like the SD cover schemes.   The Sundevils are tough at home and would love to add this big notch to their belts.

GI's Pick: Barsby by a close 10

Okanagen Mission @ Vernon:  Huge game for Vernon with a 1st place seed on the line.  Likewise for OKM, an upset would propel them to a 4th place finish divisionally and the satisfaction that they derailed a divisional heavyweight.  I don't think the Panthers are going to let it happen though.  Too big, too fast, too many players for their opponents.

GI's Pick: Vernon by 16

Valleyview @ South Kamloops:  Perhaps the hottest team in the Interior, SKS can only wonder what may have been this year if they had been able to roll in September.  The Titans will finish strong in this local rivalry game and will hang-up their hats with another W under their belts.

GI's Pick: Titans by 16

Gulf Islands @ G.P. Vanier:  The Saltspring scrappers are travelling North to tangle with a goliath school in Vanier.  They all oughta get medals of valor for making the trip.  We need B-8 or 9 in this province.  I volunteer to help set it up.

GI's Pick: Vanier by double digits

Timberline @ Edward Milne:  This could go either way, especially if Timberline trys to get "style points" on offense.  Ugly touchdowns are worth just as much as pretty ones guys.  This game has become a bit of a rivalry and I believe the 2011 edition will be no exception.  Timberline rolls in with a deeper bench and a size advantage.  Milne is at home and will be giving no quarter themselves.  I think if the Wolverines are patient offensively and get some big heat on the Timberline QB they are in this one.  Conversely, if the Timberline bench doesn't roll in more jacked than their players, they will do just fine.  Kinda wish I could watch this one. 

GI's Pick:  Timberline by 8

Howe Sound @ Argyle:  Kudos to Howe Sound last weekend rolling into Nanaimo and giving the Islanders all that they could handle.  Shorter trip this time and the opponent did not fare so well last time they stood in front of a Double-Wing.

GI's Pick: Sounders by 38

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gridiron's Picks Week 8

Gridiron's Week 8 AA Varsity Top Five

1.  Mission
2.  John Barsby
3.  Seaquam
4.  Ballenas
5.  Abbottsford Collegiate

Gridiron's Week 8 Tier 2 Varsity Top Five

1.  Nanaimo District
2.  Howe Sound
3.  Belmont
4.  Edward Milne
5.  Timberline

Thursday, 27 October

Moscrop (Tier 2) @ Argyle (Tier 2):

Friday, 28 October, 2011

Mt. Baker @ Vernon:  Got to give this one to the Panthers coming angry off of a tough loss to South Kamloops.  Beyond sheer emotion and the will to rebound, Vernon has more veteren depth than their Mt. Baker foes.

GI's Pick: Vernon by 38

Windsor @ John Barsby:  Windsor is executing as good as anyone in the league.  Barsby, a more mature team in terms of depth and veteren roster had better not take the Dukes for granted come Friday.  Look for a big effort on behalf of the Dukes to slow down the chainsaw Dawg offense.  "The Box" is going to be a very crowded piece of real-estate for this tilt.  Windsor will also go to the air early and often on offense.  Turnovers and an opportunistic kicking game could not be bigger for the Dukes.  Barsby has to play smart ball on every down to take care of its week 8 business.

GI's Pick: Barsby by 18

South Delta @ Handsworth:  Huge game for both teams in terms of playoff seeding coming out of divisional play in a couple weeks.  South Delta had a big team performance vs Windsor last week and Handsworth though they came up short, mounted a furious near comeback from a 21 pt. deficit vs Ballenas.  The Royals always play South Delta very good and they are on home turf to boot.  South Delta however, is a very complete team and they match-up very well across the board athletically with their North Van. foes.  Look for the squad who can move the ball on the ground to prevail in this contest.

GI's Pick: South Delta by 10

South Kamloops @ Okanagen Mission: South Kamloops is making a late season run at the divisional title and OKM is their next obstacle to overcome.  Momentum is a big factor here and the Titans have a lot of it.

GI's Pick: Titans by 12

Seaquam @ Hugh Boyd: The East division is proving to be a rough one for prognosticators in 2011.  Hugh Boyd is at the headwaters of this cascade of uncertainty as one never really knows which group of Trojans will show up to play on a give Friday afternoon.  One thing is for certain, when these guys are "on" they can play ball with pretty much anyone.  Seaquam plays for keeps in the big games and if they get their big back running downhill the men of Troy are in trouble. 

GI's Pick: Seaquam by 17

Mission @ Robert Bateman:  Bateman has wound-up playing its two toughest divisional games in a four day span.  This is often a very good thing when you emerge from the 1st relatively healthy.  There is not a whole lot to insert and bango, you pick-up where you left off.  I have been anxiously awaiting this tilt since the day the schedule came out for 2011.  Mission is the big dog in the Valley and the one of the squads that really looks to be able to unseat them any time soon is Bateman.  The JV's are neck and neck and the Varsity aren't far off of the mark.  All year long, the Mission defense has been very impressive.  Bateman isn't going to do anything offensively but come right after em.  This is goign to be an honest game.  One side or the other is going to break in the second half.  Offensively, Mission has to be able to finesse the ball to compliment their powerful running game.  If Bateman cannot cover the pass, doom awaits them.  If they can can turn this into a slugging match, they have a chance. The weather report calls for rain...

GI's Pick:  Mission by 21

Abbottsford Collegiate @ Pitt Meadows:  Abbey is flat-out tougher on defense than their hosts this weekend.  The Panther offense is a reflection of their defensive demeanor.  The "tough" math does not add up very well for Pitt.  One thing the Marauders do have going for them is that Abbey is playing this game a very short four days after a physical contest vs Bateman. The momentum of the Panther's big win over rival Bateman should stand them in good stead!

GI's Pick:  Abbey by 23

Holy Cross @ Rick Hansen:  I like this match-up a lot.  The Hurricanes showed up to play some very solid football last week vs Pitt and they have that to build on as they host HC.  The Crusaders took it on the chin vs divisional top dog Seaquam and are looking to regain some of the swagger they had entering that tilt.  The match-ups are very equal between these groups with an edge going to the HC offensive line and smashmouth running game.

GI's Pick:  Crusaders by 8

Saturday, 29 October

Valleyview @ Kalamalka:  Kalmalka rolls into this one with the better team speed.  All other things even, the Lakers should take this one.

GI's Pick:  Lakers by 10

Gulf Islands (Tier 2) @ Belmont (Tier 2): Belmont is getting healthy and has won consecutive big games.  Gulf Islands is far better suited roster wise to 9 man football where they would be fearsome.  Belmont matches up very well in every phase of the game.  They are on home turf as well.

GI's Pick:  Belmont by 36

Howe Sound (Tier 2) @ Nanaimo District (Tier 2):  Here it is folks, the game that decides first place coming off of the mainland division in Tier 2.  Nanaimo district has been essentially mercy ruling teams by half-time all year and now they may have a game on their hands, if not a legitimate challenge. Howe Sound has been playing solid ball and has really earned some respect around the league.  Nanaimo District has been Moby Dick in the Tier 2 Goldfish Bowl.  This game will be physical and possibly close at first, but then the Islanders will sniff out weakness and pounce. Both teams run the double-wing, Nanaimo District knows how to run the double-wing.  The Islander Defense aka Gang-Green is a wrecking crew as well.  In the end, the debris field that was once the Sounders will be scattered from end-zone to parking lot.

GI's Pick: Islanders by 38

Edward Milne (Tier 2) @ GP Vanier (Tier 2):  This could very well be the closest game played at any level during the weekend.  Both of these teams are playing their best ball of the season and they have played common opponents with very similar outcomes.  Vanier has a definitive edge in size and overall team speed.  Milne does a better job of identifying and exploiting opponent defensive flaws.  What could emerge here is a barnburner on the scoreboard that resolves itself in the last minutes of the game.  One thing in Vanier's favor and I believe the tipping point, the Towhees are at home.

GI's Pick: Towhees by 6

Eric Hamber (Tier 2) @ Frank Hurt (Tier 2):  The Hornets will throw and counter their way to victory in front of their home crowd this Saturday.  Hamber has gotten better this year for sure, but still a ways to go fellas.

GI's Pick: Hornets by 11

Timberline (Tier 2) @ Mark Isfeld (Tier 2):  Timberline got an abrubt reality check vs a surging Belmont crew at home last weekend.  Now the Wolves are on the road and looking to feast.  Isfeld is going to be outmatched by Timberlines offensive assault and the Ice just don't seem to have the game breakers offensively to match their guests score for score across four quarters.

GI's Pick: Wolves by 22

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gridiron's Week Seven Picks

Week Seven

Dawgs, Roadrunners, Whalers SeaHawks, Wolves continue to roll!

GI's AA Varsity Top Five

1.  Mission
2.  John Barsby
3.  Seaquam
4.  Robert Bateman
5.  Ballenas

GI's Tier 2 Varsity Top Five

1.  Nanaimo District
2.  Timberline
3.  Howe Sound
4.  Belmont
5.  Edward Milne

GI's Week Seven Picks

Friday, 21 October

Pitt Meadows @ Rick Hansen: This is a playoff game for both teams.  Pitt has been playing very tough competition of late and their game has to be on the elevated side assuming they are healthy.  Hansen is quickly coming to the realization that Abbey and Bateman are now mature programs who are forcefully asserting their place in the Valley pecking order.  This game is pivotal for reasons that extend past playoff viability.  I think the Hansen crew will be very well prepared for this tilt and they can run the ball better.  Team speed to Pitt.

GI's Pick: Hurricanes by 1

Handsworth @ Ballenas: The Whalers are coming off of consecutive big games and are playing very good football at this juncture of the season.  The Royals are playing some very tough ball of their own as well.  I like the Handsworth defensive line vs the Whaler offensive line but the Whalers match-up way better in the secondary and perimeter.  The key to this contest will be whether or not the Whalers can make short work of the Royal rushing attack.  If they accomplish this, I like em to win.  Kicking game could not be bigger.  There are some great opportunities for Ballenas here as well.

GI's Pick: Whalers by 14

Hugh Boyd @ Langley: This is a perfect game for the Trojans to rebound from last weekend's heartbreak. Boyd can run the ball and Langley just doesn't have the jam to do anything about it.  Look for a big score.

GI's Pick: Trojans by 24

Robert Bateman @ Abbottsford Collegiate: Best game of the week right here.  Bateman is making huge waves and a big win for them will create a Tsunami of interest headed into their game vs Mission on the 28th.  These programs are on the rise and the collission is going to be very physical.  I like Bateman in this game because of their offensive simplicity.  They do what they do and are relentless in their approach.  There are a few more "explosive" athletes in the black and green uniforms as well.  It will be a very tough game, but the outcome will never be in doubt.

GI's Pick: Bateman by 16

Clarence Fulton @ Okanagen Mission: Two squads headed in the right direction at mid-season.  I like Fulton as their schedule has been more challenging to date.  The Maroons are going to run the ball better and that is the key to Interior success year in and year out.

GI's Pick: Maroons by 8

Vernon @ South Kamloops: Vernon has emerged as the class of the Interior in 2011.  The Panthers have all the offensive and defensive tools to dominate this contest.  SKS is above middle in the mix this year but not top rail.

GI's Pick: Vernon by 16

Edward Milne (Tier 2) @ Gulf Islands (Tier 2): Milne is a solid all around squad with plenty of depth.  The Milne roster is also hardened by a full season of play.  Gulf Islands is scrappy, but they have all the chance of winning this one as a sunfish does of snapping 15 lb test line.

GI's Pick: Milne by 26

Nanaimo District (Tier 2) @ Eric Hamber (Tier 2): Congrats Hamber on your victory this past weekend.  Bring plenty of ice to this game.  Nanaimo District is a juggernaut in 2011 and is playing for keeps.  A Hamber score can be considered wild success.  The home team will not be celebrating much at game's end.

GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 46

G.P. Vanier (Tier 2) @ Mark Isfeld (Tier 2): The Comox Valley Civil War.  This has been a one sided affair over the years with Vanier having their way with little bro Isfeld.  I think the Towhees are more than hungry for a W coming off of consecutive narrow losses to divisional opponents.  If Isfeld is healthy they can keep things close for awhile.

GI's Pick: G.P. Vanier by 30

Saturday, 22 October

Mt. Baker @ Valleyview:  Valleyview gets in the win column with this one.  The Vikings are simply better at every facet of the game in this match-up.

GI's Pick: Valleyview by 24

Windsor @ South Delta:  This game will be one of the most interesting first halves of the weekend.  Windsor is executing as good as anyone in the province at any level of play right now.  Problem for them is that they are using .22 calibre ammo and their opponents are showing up with the .50 variety.  The Dukes are playing great football, they are just outgunned when it comes to some key athletic match-ups.  South Delta has a very impressive defensive line and linebacking crew.  Their cover one is very tight.  Offensively the Sundevils trap very well and do a great job protecting the passer from multiple spread looks.  Windsor's defense plays solid zone and they fly to the football.  I think that the running game will be all important on Saturday.

GI's Pick: Upset alert...Windsor by 1

Holy Cross @ Seaquam: HC is on a win streak and has been making hay with their running game.  Week to week these guys have surely gotten better.  Seaquam loves to rumble inside the box.  These guys are tough and "old school" when it comes to their playing mentality.  Both defenses are a reflection of their offenses.  Seaquam can pass a bit better than their foes this Saturday.  Their defense can cover the pass better too.

GI's Pick: Seaquam by 12

Mission @ Lakeside (WA):  I took a good look at the Lakeside Lions and I think they bit off way more than they can chew by scheduling Mission.  The Roadrunners are bigger and faster.  They also have a skill set to match their impressive physicality.

GI's Pick: Mission by 17

Argyle (Tier 2) @ Frank Hurt (Tier 2): Frank Hurt has shown signs of life this season.  Argyle is going through new team blues so to speak.  Argyle has better athletes than Hurt.  Hurt has better football players.

GI's Pick: Hornets by 17

Moscrop (Tier 2) @ Howe Sound (Tier 2): Two double-wing teams in a row for Moscrop.  Ever seen one of those racoons who didn't get across the highway fast enough?  Ever seen one of those same racoons that has been run over for half a week?  You get the picture of what things will look like Sunday morning.

GI's Pick:  Howe Sound by 23

Belmont (Tier 2) @ Timberline (Tier 2): This is the game for first place in the Island division.  These two squads have played epic contests in years past and Saturday's tilt will be no different.  The Wolves will show up to the dance with the more balanced offense, but Belmont plays a better brand of D.  If the Bulldogs are healthy this is going to be a classic.  Timberline is at home and this could be the difference all things considered.

GI's Pick: Timberline by 2

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gridiron's Week 6 Picks

Happy Thanksgiving All!

GI's AA Varsity Top Five

1. Mission
2. John Barsby
3. Handsworth
4. Ballenas
5. Robert Bateman

GI's Tier 2 Varsity Top Five

1. Nanaimo District
2. Timberline
3. EJ Milne
4. Howe Sound
5. Belmont

GI's Week 6 Picks

Thursday, 13 October

Correlieu @ College Heights:  College Heights has been playing better football than the Clansmen of Quesnel.  Look for the Cougars to put together a stubborn defensive performance and grind away on the ground en route to victory this Thursday.

GI's Pick:  College Heights by 18

Friday, 14 October

Rick Hansen @ Mission: Mission, traditionally known for its prolific and entertaining offense is making a huge defensive statement this year.  There is no reason why they cannot blank middleweight and erstwhile divisional foe Rick Hansen on Friday afternoon.  Hansen is totally outgunned in this one and will seek to find some small victories to carry forward into the rest of the season.

GI's Pick:  Mission by 38

Abbottsford Collegiate @ Langley:  Langeley is in for a tough one in this exhibition tilt vs the surging Panthers.  Abbottsford is positioning itself to challenge for the second seed out of their division.  This is another momentum building game for the red and black.

GI's Pick: Abbey by 24

John Barsby @ Handsworth: Anyone smell an ambush?  Handsworth usually plays their games on the artificial turf at a local field.  This game is on campus at 2 PM.  Perfect timing and location for a rematch against last year's Subway Bowl opponent John Barsby.  This game comes down to defense plain and simple.  Both squads can move the ball very effectively and a tight game on the scoreboard and some great special teams will likely be the tale of the tape.  Home dirt is surely in favor of the Royals.  Barsby is on a roll.

GI's Pick:  Barsby by 10

Prince George @ Kelly Road:  The Polars and Roadrunners, the two biggest schools in the district lock horns this weekend in a game that may very well decide the number 3 seed in the playoffs.   Kelley Road has been coming on strong as of late and I think they will win a squeaker.

GI's Pick:  Roadrunners by 2

Dutchess Park @ Nechako Valley:  Red hot Dutchess Park is going to have to work for every point they can get on the board versus the division leading Vikings.  The Condors have a very balanced attack and are playing great defense.  This is the third game for them in two weeks and health could factor.  If the Condors enter the game healthy I like em because they have been playing tougher competition of late and their game will reflect that pace from the outset.

GI's Pick: Condors by 3

Robert Bateman @ Pitt Meadows:  Bateman is healthy and is on a roll.  Pitt Meadows had better spend a lot of time working on run defense headed into this game.  If the Marauders can get eight in the box and lock-up successfully in man coverage they may have a shot.  Hec, nine in the box-Cover 2 isn't a bad idea either.  Bateman has not proved to anyone that they can throw the ball consistently.  They havn't had to do so either.  You know what, maybe a gentlemen's agreement to completely suspend Batemen's passing game for the contest is in order.  Eleven in the box it is.  Still won't work.

GI's Pick:  Bateman by 30

Mark Isfeld (Tier 2) @ Gulf Islands (Tier 2):  Gulf Islands will post their first victory of the season on Friday vs the Ice.  These guys are scrappers and they have some edge speed their opponents lack.

GI's Pick: Gulf Islands by 14

Edward Milne (Tier 2) @ Belmont (Tier 2):  Now here is a bit of a rivalry game on the South Island.  Milne has always been Belmont's pesky little brother on the field.  I think lil bro has grown up this year.  I like the balanced Milne attack and their team discipline in this game.  I am not convinced Belmont has recovered from their week two and three games up Island.

GI's Pick: Milne by 10

Mocrop (Tier 2) @ Nanaimo (Tier 2):  Moscrop has proven they can score points by the bushell in games where their squad's talent pool is evenly matched.  Nanaimo District is big, nasty and has the complete package this year.  Defensively they love to brawl with opponents, their kicking game is fantastic and their offense has not faltered all year.  Moscrop is going to find out how tough they are or are not on Friday.

GI's Pick:  Nanaimo District AKA Mean Green by 36

Argyle (Tier 2) @ Eric Hamber (Tier 2):  Hey Pipers, get ready to celebrate Friday Night.  You have more size, speed and talent at every position.  Put it all together and you will mark a historic win for yourselves.

GI's Pick:  Argyle by 28

Saturday, 15 October

Okanagen Mission @ Mt. Baker:  Long trip for the Huskies.  Long trip, and a quality road win.

GI's Pick: OKM by 34

Vernon @ Kalmalka:  One of the best games of the weekend will be played here.  The Panthers will need to be very efficient on offense and will have to create some turnovers defensively to steal this one away from the Lakers who have a faster roster.  This comes down to kicking game and turnovers.

GI's Pick: Kalmalka by 4

South Delta @ Ballenas:  Both of these teams play some great offense and throw the ball exceptionally well.  Ballenas can run the ball quite effectively to compliment their passing game.  Only Mission boasts a similar combination to what the Whalers possess on offense.  South Delta's defensive line is pretty darn good and the Whaler's are going to be challenged mightily to block it up for the provinces top quarterback.  Special teams are certainly going to have a say as well on Saturday.

GI's Pick: Whalers by 6

Frank Hurt (Tier 2) @ Howe Sound (Tier 2):  Frank Hurt exploded for record points in an overtime victory this past weekend.  Howe Sound won't be as accomodating defensively as the Moscrop Panthers were.  The Howe Sound running game is starting to mature nicely and will present Frank Hurt with a real gut check in terms of defensive toughness.  The Hornets are not going to like what they find.
GI's Pick:  Howe Sound by 14

G.P. Vanier (Tier 2) @ Timberline (Tier 2):  A budding rivalry up on the North End  of the Island.  Timberline's offense has yet to face a serious defense to challenge its multi-faceted attack.  Vanier has proven it doesn't stand up well to anything but the most vanilla offensive assault.  The Wolves will give them a Baskin Robbins assortment of offensive flavors and tweaks.

GI's Pick:  Timberline by 26

Hugh Boyd @ Holy Cross:  There really is no such thing as divisional play in The South this year but rather a bit of a seeding tournament for the playoff dance.  The Trojans have had a real see-saw season to date playing great ball and then surrendering games that seemingly should have been closer or even winnable at first glance.  Well, this one is for real and it counts big time.  The Trojans always prepare exceptionally well for big games and this will be no different.  HC has found its offensive feet as well and are on a bit of a roll.  This one will be very close.
GI's Pick: Hugh Boyd by 2

South Kamloops @ Clarence Fulton:  SKS, the football version of Lazarus travels to play the Maroons.  Fulton is getting better and I have my doubts as to the ability of the Titans to knock off traditional Interior powers this year.
GI's Pick:  Fulton by 11

Windsor @ Seaquam: Windsor is playing very, very good football considering it is rolling with a mixed JV/Varsity roster.  The Dukes are executing in all phases of their game and the defense is really hustling to the ball on every play.  Seaquam may enter this game without their star running back Lego.  The absence of the punishing back may have been a contributor to the narrow loss against South Delta this past weekend.  In any event, with our without their big back, Seaquam has a big, physical and importantly, mature roster that will host the Dukes on home dirt.  Unless there is an obscene amount of turnovers in the Dukes favor, this game goes to Seaquam who ought to be snowplowing their North Van guests up and down the field.

GI's Pick: Seaquam by 18 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

GI's Week Five Picks


In some respects, it has felt like one of the longest of Septembers in 2011.  October is now here and so is meaningfull league play to go with it!  Everything counts now and this month willl be the one where a lot of playoff fates are determined.  We begin with a bang with the 11th annual Border Battle on The Island as the surging Ballenas Whalers pay a visit to arch-rival John Barsby.  Beyond this classic is going to be a slate of hard fought games each with big implications down the road.  Lets get it on!

A special note to this blog's readers:  This thing only gets better with your help.  GI needs photo's, game recaps, and you-tube video hi-lites.  E-mail me when you get yours up and it will get included.  The Border Battle is getting a lot of attention this week and we can do this for all the big games with your help.  Send in what you've got as it surely helps!!  Lets make the big time where we are!!
Week 4 Wrap-Up

Mission, Barsby, Seaquam, Bateman, Ballenas and Dutchess Park had big wins this past weekend and Vernon formally ended their little brother status with a historic victory over the much loathed Maroons of Fulton.  In Tier 2 Nanaimo District KO's their opponent scoring 42 pts and ending the game early in the second quarter while Timberline gave the scoreboard a stress test to remember vs the visiting Frank Hurt Hornets.  These two are on a collission course for the title game unless someone can get in their way.

AA Varsity Week Five Top Five
The Whalers Have Been Ripping It Up In 2011!

1.  Mission Roadrunners
2.  John Barsby Bulldogs
3.  Seaquam SeaHawks
4.  Handsworth Royals
5.  Ballenas Whalers

Tier 2 Varsity Week Five Top Five
Mean Green Lays The Smack-Down Friday Afternoon!

1.  Nanaimo District Islanders
2.  Timberline Wolves
3.  Howe Sound Sounders
4.  EJ Milne Wolverines
5.  Belmont Bulldogs

Timberline Juggernaut Kicks In To High Gear Saturday!

GI's Week Five Picks

Tuesday, 4 October

Dutchess Park @ PGSS:  Coming off of last this past weekend's upset of Nechako Valley the Condors now have the inside track to the top seed coming out of El Norte.  PGSS presents a hec of a big speed bump along the way but this crew is obviously on fire.  The Condors are playing solid defense and are opportunistic on the offensive side of the ball.  The gold and black will be a little too much for the big school up the road.

GI's Pick: Condors by 10

Friday, 7 October

Ballenas @ John Barsby:  The eleventh annual Border Battle will kick-off "In The Cage" at John Barsby Friday afternoon at 1:46 PM.  These arch rivals are playing great football right now with Ballenas being a failed 2pt. conversion vs AAA Centennial away from a perfect pre-season record.  The dynamic Whaler offense will run up against a Barsby defensive crew that has allowed eight points in four games.  This will be a true test for both units!  Defensively the Whalers have their hands full with the Dawg onslaught, but the Blue and Grey have a history of defending the Barsby Double Wing exceptionally well.  The kicking game is going to be absolutely huge and the Whalers can kick-off short or long with pin-point accuracy.  This game will be a classic that also will have immediate playoff ramifications.  Take nothing for granted here!!

GI's Pick:  Barsby by 6

Past Border Battle's

Whalers Win This One

Barsby Wins This One

Whalers Week 3 2011

Whalers Week 4

Barsby Week 2 2011

Border Battle 2011  It's Going To Be Epic!

Mark Isfeld (Tier 2) @ Edward Milne(Tier 2):  Both of these teams travelled to Nanaimo to play NDSS and Barsby respectively.  Milne survived intact, Isfeld did not.  Observing both games, it is clear that Milne has it together on both sides of the ball and has better athletes.  Nuff said.

GI's Pick: Milne by 34

Argyle (Tier 2) @ Nanaimo District (Tier 2):  Well Argyle, you are surely going to find out just how tough you guys are when you come a calling to the Mean Green this Friday.  Strap on your headgear because this one is going to be physical.  The Islanders are the complete package with perhaps the best kicking-game at any varsity level in BC.  This game will be played on a short field and the Islander offensive juggernaut will be chewing its way through the opposing defense early and often.  New team blues Argyle, new team blues.

GI's Pick: Islanders by 40

Frank Hurt (Tier 2) @ Moscrop(Tier 2):  Frank Hurt got totally shelled by Air-Wolf this past weekend and now travells a much shorter distance to play another pass oriented offense.  This game will be far closer than the Timberline affair and will be a real gut-check for the Hornets in terms of their ability to regroup and have a focused week of practice.  If not, they are on their last legs.  It's character time boys.

GI's Pick:  Moscrop by 17

G.P. Vanier (Tier 2)  @ Belmont(Tier 2):  This will be a close game and playoff seeding is definitely on the line here.  Belmont will enter the game having had a full two weeks to lick its wounds and refocus on the league play at hand.  Vanier has a huge itch to get a W for the program and some team confidence to go along with it.    Belmont can throw the ball quite well and the Towhees can pound it when they get in the groove.  This game is a tough one to call as it is tough to say if the Belmont crew will have its full roster at hand playing up to a good share of its potential.  I have to go with Belmont as I think they adjust better to what their opponent gives them on either side of the ball than does their foes.

GI's Pick:  Belmont by 6

Holy Cross @ Langley:  HC weathered the gauntlet of tough match-ups weeks 1-3 and was rewarded with a hard-fought victory against a tough Abbottsford squad.  This game will again emerge as a W for the Crusaders and by a much bigger point spread than last week.  This crew is getting better with each game played and will hang some big points up on the board as their offense gets in synch.  Langley is in tough in this one.

GI's Pick: Holy Cross by 24

Abbottsford Collegiate @ Rick Hansen: This will be a very good game to watch as these divisional rivals contest the inside track for one of the lower playoff seeds in the valley.  Both squads are coming off of losses this past weekend with Hansen by far playing the tougher opponent.  Look for the run game to be the decisive factor in this contest.  Abbey spreads it out and throws very well, Hansen is a lot more balanced and dynamic on offense.  I really like the physicality of the Panthers so this could boil down to who has legs in the late quarters.

GI's Pick: Hansen by 1

Handsworth @ Windsor:  Never mind the rosters, hec, the chess match between two of the all time AA coaching greats is going to be fun to watch.  All things equal, this game would be way too close to call, especially with each team coming off of two weeks preparation for the other.  All things this year are not equal however as Windsor rolls on the field with a blended JV/Varsity Crew and Handsworth a seasoned group of Varsity players.  Though he is very, very good, there just are not enough tricks and tweaks in Coach Schuman's playbook to handle the physical onslaught that Handsworth will bring at The Dukes.  There may be some moral victories for the Green and Gold, but not on the scoreboard

GI's Pick: Handsworth by 26

Kalamalka @ Okanagen Mission:  Big, big game in the Interior!  Kalmalka has the athletes to win this one and will pull away rapidly in the mid-second quarter.  OKM is going to have to slow this game down any way it can, particularly by using some ball control, clock eating offense and a few trick plays to get on the board.  The kicking game will be big and turnovers even bigger.

GI's Pick: Kalamalka y 20

Vernon @ NorKam:  Vernon's big boys are on the road to play the Saints at home.  The Panthers are surely on an up year and they won't break stride en route to taking another step closer to the playoffs.

GI's Pick: Vernon by 23

Nechako Valley @ Correlieu:  The Vikings may have been reading their own press clippings last weekend or Dutchess Park is really that good.  In either case, it is Correlieu's bad luck that they are Vanderhoof's rebound game on the 2011 schedule.  It won't be a nice day in Quesnel.

GI's Pick:  Nechako Valley by 34

Kelley Road @ College Heights: Two teams that bookend the city of Prince George Geographically.  Two teams headed in different directions.   Kelley Road is getting itself on a playoff trajectory.  College Heights is working its way through a tough, but developmentally important year.

GI's Pick:  Roadrunners by 18

Clarence Fulton @ Valleyview: This is going to be a very closely matched slugfest up in Kamloops.  I thing the perimeter running game will be the story here.  Fulton has one and Valleyview doesn't.  Can the Vikings keep their edge and turn this game into a slobber-knocker between the tackles?  Who's defense is going to get lazy and stunned by PAP?  Kicking game will be huge.  A consistent short field for one team's offense will be hard for its opponent to surmount.

GI's Pick: Fulton by 10

Mission @ Pitt Meadows: Two spread offenses, two pistol alignments, two vastly different rosters in terms of depth, size and speed.  Mt. Douglas was a tough game to play (kudos for playing it!), this game is going to be a lot worse for Pitt.

GI's Pick:  Mission by 48

Saturday, 8 October

South Kamloops @ Mt. Baker:  SKS is feeling its oats.  Baker is at the bottom of a long uphill slope towards being competitive.  SKS will run to daylight all day long.

GI's Pick: Titans by 40

Sexmith (Alberta) @ Dutchess Park: Sexmith is a very accomplished Alberta Football Program and the Condors are in what I would term as early football adolescence.  This will be a great growing game for Dutchess Park and it is very good to see the nexus of BC and Alberta programs on the field.  This said, the Sabres are going to dice up some bird in a game that ironically, is on Thanksgiving weekend.

GI's Pick: Sabres by 36

South Delta @ Seaquam:  I like this game.  Similar rosters in terms of size and speed.  South Delta throws the ball very, very well and Seaquam likes to ground and pound.  If there is wind and rain, it could be a long afternoon for SD.  Fair conditions and we have a game on our hands.  Overall, Seaquam is really playing good ball these days and they will surely bring their best to this home game.

GI's Pick: Seaquam by 16

Howe Sound (Tier 2)  @ Eric Hamber (Tier 2):  Howe Sound has really been slugging it out with folks these past four weeks and I believe them to be my pick as the number two playoff seed coming off the mainland when the playoff dance begins in earnest.  Hamber is learning the game.  It is going to be a tough afternoon for them.

GI's Pick: Howe Sound by 40

Gulf Islands(Tier 2)  @ Timberline (Tier 2):  Gulf Islands has yet to play a game in 2011.  Timberline has played four and is scoring points by the bushell.  Gulf Islands is a perfect study in why we should have eight or nine man football in BC.  They would be a powerhouse in that game.  Not this one.

GI's Pick: Timberline wraps the scoreboard and there is still 40 pts to zero on it.

Air Wolf ...These Guys Warm-Up By Throwing a Bucket of House Flies on the Field and Catching Them All!