Sunday, November 20, 2011

Playoff's Round Three

AA Varsity BC Semi-Final Games

John Barsby vs Vernon:  Kudos to the Panthers on their victory and their Semi-Final appearance!  Well done guys!  John Barsby struggled finding any kind of offensive consistency during the first half of their quarter-final game vs Abbottsford last weekend.   They did improve in the second half which has to be a somewhat gratifying.   As the games get only bigger, this has to be corrected if the Dawgs are to advance.  Vernon is getting it done in all of their big games thus far in 2011.  The speed of the Barsby defense is going to present some problems for the Panthers to overcome.  These teams have met in the playoffs twice before (1999 and 2004) with the Dawgs coming out on top.  All things considered, Barsby has the depth to win a third time.

Gridiron's Pick: Barsby by 16

Mission vs Ballenas: Mission has yet to be seriously tested by BC AA varsity competition in 2011.  Is Ballenas the team to get it done?  I think the first quarter of the Ballenas-Holy Cross game is a preview of how things will go.  The Crusaders ran unbalanced, power football at the Whalers and gashed em hard for the first quarter and a half of the game.  Mission quite simply wins all of the match-ups up front and they have better running backs than HC did.  The Whalers have a chance in this one only with a lot, and I mean a lot of turnovers going in their favour.  High school football is a funny game however, and you can never count out a prohibitive underdog playing the game of their lives at exactly the right moment in time.  

Gridiron's Pick: Mission by 18

Tier 2 Varsity BC Championship Final "The Ackles Cup"

Nanaimo District vs Howe Sound: These two teams met several weeks ago in a game that turned-out to be the biggest test of the year for the Islanders.  Gang Green had to recover from a 12-0 deficit to propel themselves past the hard-nosed Sounders on Nanaimo home turf.  Now the Island squad has to travel to play their most dangerous foe for all the marbles this coming weekend.  Both of these squads run similar offenses and play the game with a physical edge.  I don't think that Nanaimo is going to get surprised this time around and I believe they have a better kicking game as well.

Gridiron's Pick: Nanaimo District by 11

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gridiron's Playoff Picks: Round Two

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

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

Gridiron's Tier 2 Varsity Top Five

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

Gridiron's Picks

AA Varsity BC Quarter-Final Picks

John Barsby vs Abbottsford Collegiate:  The Panthers are coming off of a huge win and program milestone vs the Handsworth Royals this past Saturday.  This team has pride and tons of momentum coming up against Nanaimo's John Barsby Bulldogs.  The Panthers have been putting a lot of points on the board and their passing game is a threat to score on every snap.  Defensivley, these guys are tough as well.  The John Barsby defense has not allowed a score since their week 6 game vs Handsworth.  This ought to be a good match-up between the two opposing units.  Look for the kicking game to play a big role in field position come gameday.  Whomever is on a short field will roll.

GI's Pick: Barsby by 18

Vernon vs Rick Hansen: Wow, who would have picked this match-up for the quarter-final game?  Vernon is coming off of a dramatic overtime victory and Rick Hansen, a shocking win over Seaquam. High school football baby, the games are played for a reason and you can never underestimate the capacity of a group of 16 and 17 year olds to catch fire and exceed all expectations. Hansen rolls into the game with a) more playoff experience; b) a more balanced offensive attack; c) a shorter trip to the game and d) a tougher league schedule behind them.  Vernon has a more athletic squad and has had a season of game winning performances.  They come in to the game with high expectations of themselves.  Kicking game will again in this match-up, be a potent force in terms of determining the outcome.

GI's Pick: History is going to be made this weekend with an Interior squad playing its way into the BC Semi-Final game for the first time in over a decade.  Vernon by 8

Ballenas vs Hugh Boyd: The Trojans have completed their season's turn-around and have won a string of close, late season games with a lot hinging on the outcome.  The Trojan defense has been very reluctant to give-up points keeping every game winnable for their offensive counterparts. The Whalers are having a fine season of their own and are consistently scoring over 30 points a contest offensivley.  The special teams group for Ballenas is outstanding and the blue defenders are hard-hitting and opportunistic.  An early surge by Holy Cross last week faltered under the relentless Whaler offensive attack and by game's end, the game was clearly in hand.  I like the Whaler team speed in this one as the difference maker.  Boyd is going to have to get some turnover breaks and start on a very short field consistently to have a realistic shot at victory.

GI's Pick: Whalers by 14

Mission vs South Delta: Mission has clearly been an "order above" in terms of roster depth, size, speed and overall execution in 2011.  The Sundevils have been struggling with consistency throughout the year.  If the blue and gold can keep their emotions in check and execute their offense to a high degree, I see em making the game a bit closer than most expect it to be.  Mission has not been tested north of the 49th and will likely not be tested come game day.  These guys are quite frankly the complete package on both sides of the ball and they will absolutely Dominate the line of scrimmage.  The Mission receivers block exceptionally well in space as well and this means that SD is going to have fits stopping the run inside and out. 

GI's Pick: Mission by 36

Tier 2 Varsity BC Semi-Final Picks

Nanaimo District vs Timberline:  It is playoff time and sure enough, we have a Timberline-Nanaimo District tilt on our hands. Timberline is coming off of its most impressive victory of the year vs G.P. Vanier.  Nanaimo District is coming off of a bye.  The Wolves will be rolling on to the playing field with all the momentum on their side, a healthy roster and the feeling that all the pieces are coming together.  Nanaimo District found themselves reading their own press clippings early on in their last big tilt vs Howe Sound.  This led to a costly first quarter and a half and a hole to be climbed out of.  Athletically, both teams are evenly matched and I think the biggest factor may very well be the weather.  Running the football and hanging on to the dang thing are going to be equally important.  Nanaimo's kicking game is as good as it gets and field position will be crucial come gameday.  This game will be fun to watch!

GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 7

Belmont vs Howe Sound: Belmont is surging late in the season and Howe Sound has been doing the same with the exception of a tough loss to Nanaimo District.  The Sounders have a long travel day headed into this tilt and have not fared overly well versus  spread offenses that are run with any degree of skill.  Belmont has seen double-wing twice this year and has played against it for half a decade previously.  No great surprises for them.  This game is going to come down to a) grit and b) composure.  Penalties will really hurt either squad as big plays are going to be few and far between in long distance situations come gameday.  Kicking and handling the bounces on Belmont's artificial turf surface will also be problematic.  Practice those short kicks both ways fellas!  This may very well be the closest game of the weekend.

GI's Pick: Belmont by 2

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gridiron's Playoff Picks Round 1

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

1. Mission
2. John Barsby
3. Ballenas
4. Seaquam
5. Handsworth

Gridiron's Tier 2 Varsity Top Five

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

GI's Playoff Picks




West 1 John Barsby vs. Interior 3 Clarence Fulton:  The Dawgs are loaded for bear and can run or pass with equal effectiveness.  The Dawg D has become exceptional over the course of the year.  Fulton is a bunch of tough-nut gamers who want the challenge and competition.  Kudos to this crew!

GI's Pick:  John Barsby by 21

East 2 Abbotsford vs. West 3 Handsworth:  This is going to be a very, very physical game.  Handsworth has all the playoff exprience here and ought to eke out a victory if they can get their counter game rolling.

 GI's Pick: Royals by 3

South 1 Seaquam vs. East 4 Rick Hansen: Seaquam's downhill running game and size up front will enable them to have a big day on the scoreboard against under-sized Rick Hansen.  The points will pile up, particularly in the second half.

GI's Pick: Seaquam by 24

Okanagan 1 Vernon vs. Northern 1 Nechako Valley:  The North is getting better each year.  They have not caught up to the Interior yet and this will be on display for the entire province.  Vernon is bigger and faster.  Good math to have on your side come game-day.

GI's Pick:  Vernon by 21


West 2 Ballenas vs. South 3 Holy Cross:  Love this match-up.  Can Ballenas stop the HC running game?  Can HC defend one of the three most balanced run-pass attacks in BC?  Special teams, wow, this is going to be big.

 GI's Pick: Ballenas by 10

South 2 Hugh Boyd vs. East 3 Robert Bateman:  These two squads played one another earlier this year.  A healthy Bateman won that game.  Weeks have passed and Boyd seems to be the team that has improved.  The Trojans have a positive history in big games as a staff as well.

 GI's Pick:  Hugh Boyd by 8


East 1 Mission vs. Northern 2 Duchess Park:  Great season Dutchess Park.  Way to go yellow and black!  It ends this weekend however.  Is there a match-up that is not hugely in Mission's favour?

 GI's Pick:  Mission by 50...conservatively.

Interior 2 Kalamalka vs. West 4 South Delta:  South Delta is simply bigger, stronger and more battle tested.  Kalmalka has a chance if they can get up early and win the turnover battle.  Tall order.

 GI's Pick: South Delta by 21

Tier 2 Varsity Playoffs

Side A 
#1 NDSS vs #4 Moscrop:
The Islanders will steamroll their opponents on their home field in front of a packed and enthusiastic house.  Moscrop can make a go of it if they get firing on offense and get a couple timely turnovers.  Big "Ifs".
GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 34
#2 Timberline vs #3 Vanier:

Perhaps the game of the Tier 2 week.  Timberline has a more dynamic offense, but Vanier has perhaps the best back in the league.  Home field goes to the Wolves.  So this one is going to be about defense and the kicking-game.

GI's Pick: Timberline by 2

Side B

#1 Belmont vs #4 EJ Milne:

Milne plays Belmont tough every time.  I think the Wolverines are a bit banged-up heading into this one and Belmont is playing some darn good ball at this point in the season.  The Bulldogs ought to stop the run here and then it becomes a very one dimensional game for Milne.  Not good.

GI's Pick: Belmont by 18

#2 Howe Sound vs #3 Frank Hurt: 

Frank Hurt cannot play the physical game that is going to be required to tangle with the Sounders.  Look for big second half scores for HS.  Hurt, champs no more.

GI's Pick: Howe Sound by 31

Monday, November 7, 2011