Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gridiron's Picks Week 4

Week Four
Islanders Roll!

Week Three Storyline

Week three saw Barsby dismantle a chewed-up Carson Graham squad while Robert Bateman did much the same in blanking the Hugh Boyd Trojans by a lopsided score.  South Delta continued to put big points on the board and Ballenas transitioned into what it is truly capeable of after a slow start vs Windsor.  Mission played AAA Centennial close and though short benched and nicked-up, gave em all they could handle with the return of qb Kevin Weins.  Its on to league play from here on out.

Whalers Surge!!

Teams gaining traction: The Handsworth Royals have been playing some good competition the past couple of weeks and it is becoming evident that defense is a huge priority for the North Shore squad.  When Handsworth has played good defense, they have historically fared well deep into the playoffs.  Nanaimo District was impressive en-route to a 30 plus point win on Friday afternoon as well and are off to play the Pitt Meadows Marauders this coming weekend in a statement game for both programs.  Seaquam posted another W on the running of Mark Lego.  Will be interesting to see whether this crew can succeed if their uber-back gets slowed down by somebody.  In the Interior Kalmalka looks to be one of the teams to beat along with Valleyview.  In the North, the sons of Vanderhoof are positioning themselves as the team to beat in 2012.

Week 3 Scores and Wrap-Ups

These can be found at Howard Tsmurra's excellent blog located at:

AA Varsity Top Five

1. Mission Roadrunners
2. John Barsby Bulldogs
3. South Delta Sundevils
4. Robert Bateman Timberwolves
5. Ballenas Whalers

GI's Picks Week 4

Tuesday, 25 September

Nechako Valley @ Dutchess Park:  This is a marquee match-up in El Norte with the winner holding the high ground in the annual surge to see who will be top of the pile in the division.  The Vikings are more battle tested at present and this will weigh in on their behalf.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 6 on the strength of their pass game.

 Friday, 28 September

Nanaimo @ Pitt Meadows: Pitt has been playing better football in 2012 than it did a year ago.  The Islanders are really finding their own groove as well.   I like this match-up across the board.  The Islander's ought to take this one based on the strength of their running game.  GI's Pick: Islanders by 8

Eric Hamber @ Belmont: Kudos to Belmont for finishing out a tough game vs South Delta last week.  Hamber is struggling early on and will find the sledding tough vs a win hungry Belmont on the Bulldog's home turf.  GI's Pick: Belmont by 20

John Barsby @ Windsor: Barsby rolls into North Van on Friday with a lot of momentum and the desire to win a varsity game on Windsor's home turf for the first time in program history.  That is 16 years folks!  The Dukes showed flashes of brilliance in last week's road loss to Ballenas.  They are on home turf this week and Coach Schuman ought to have em tightened-up for this game.  Matching up the two teams, it would seem like Barsby holds the edge in size and depth.  Unless, the Dukes have discovered the football equivilent of a 105 mm flachette round defensively, things could get tough.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 20

Seaquam @ Rick Hansen: Well Seaquam, you looked ok in pre-season thus far but you are playing a rested and surging Hurricane squad at their house to cap off the first phase of your year.  The story here will be the trenches.  Lego is going to find that the inside dirt is nigh impossible to traverse as the Hansen defensive line will dominate on Friday.  Big backs are easier to tackle when they run sideways on perimeter plays and just how far the Seaquam passing game has developed is questionable.  I think the balanced Hurricane offense and their largesse up front will be too much for the visitors.  GI's Pick: Hansen by 18
Kalmalka @ South Kamloops: I like Kal's running game in this one.  The Lakers have a couple backs that can "rip it up" inside and out.  The Titans will keep it close for awhile, but the dam will break mid second quarter.  GI's Pick: Kal by 14

College Heights @ Kelley Road:  The Cougars play grudging defense and pound away on the ground year in and year out.  The Roadrunners abound in young talent.  I think this game will be fairly close throughout but Kelley Road's  speed edge will carry the day.  GI's Pick: Roadrunners by 8

Correlieu @ Dutchess Park: If Dutchess comes out of their Tuesday game without being too dinged they definitely will carry forward into this tilt a lot of game speed quickness and momentum.  The Condor opening offensive burst will be tough to recover from and they will roll throughout.  GI's Pick: Dutchess Park by 22

Saturday, 29 September

Argyle @ Ballenas:  Two trips in a row to the Island for Argyle.  The Pipers will look back on this season as a year when they crossed the threshold to a better brand of ball, I guarantee it.  The North-Shore squad is learning to travel, battle and get back to work on Mondays building a better mouse trap.  This is huge from a maturity perspective and down the road, meaningful road-trips will be have a well versed cookbook everyone is familiar with.  Now the game.  Ballenas at home is a tough group.  The Whalers also found their stride a quarter or so into their game last weekend.  Ballenas will be out to score points and build team confidence all round and it is doubtful they will take their foot off of the pedal.  Argyle would be best advised to turn this one into a gutfest  offensively to chew up clock time.  Fourth and reasonably short, go for it every time.  A new series is time off of the clock and the Whalers can score quick.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 40

Handsworth @ Carson Graham: Two and a half weeks ago I'd be picking Carson Graham in a blowout.  Two tough physical games later and the Eagles are a vastly different roster this Saturday in the Buchanan Bowl.  Carson still has an intact offensie line, a healthy qb, their go-to receiver and their most dangerous running back intact.  The Royals have been quitely playing good competition and ratcheting up their defense.  Offensively, they do what they do and have gained a measure of consistency.  This is a big rivalry game between the two squads and this year it is meaningful from a divisional playoff perspective.  Carson has dominated in recent years.  They wont dominate this year, but they will win via the big play.  GI's Pick: Carson by 8

Langley @ Holy Cross:  This is a game the Crusaders could cross off in advance a year ago as an automatic win.  Not the case this year.  Langeley has gotten a lot better.  The Crusader running bame will however, be enough behind a physical offensive line and some unbalanced sets.  GI' Pick: HC by 16

Hugh Boyd @ South Delta: Out of the pot and into the fire. The Trojans are transitioning from a tough road trip vs valley powerhouse Bateman to a divisional road game vs red-hot South Delta. The Trojans usually play very good in big games and Coach Haddow will have his boys prepped. Problem for Troy is that their are physical limitations to prepping for size, speed and team quickness all of which the South Delta crew possesses in copious amounts. GI's Pick: South Delta by 22

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