Gridiron's Week 8 AA Varsity Top Five
2. John Barsby
5. Abbottsford Collegiate
Gridiron's Week 8 Tier 2 Varsity Top Five
1. Nanaimo District
2. Howe Sound
4. Edward Milne
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