Sunday, November 25, 2012

Subway Bowl Preview

AA Varsity BC Championship Game

Mission Roadrunners vs South Delta Sundevils:  It's AA Varsity's best two teams squaring off in the Dome on Saturday afternoon and a contrast in styles of play that is sure to intrigue fans of the game.  Mission is fast, precise and extremely disciplined offensively and defensively.  South Delta is equally fast across their roster, bigger, stronger and relishes a physical brand of ball.  The coaching is exceptional both ways and the kicking games are the best in the province.  What then will give?  Well, I think the game comes down to A) Turnovers and B) Depth.  South Delta is deeper up front than Mission and quite frankly, deeper across the board.  Mission relies on a big contribution from its JV squad and their JV's play hours earlier in the JV championship game.   I believe that if South Delta can keep Weins and Horton inside the box and turn this game into a highly kinetic affair, that Mission will not get out of the mid-3rd quarter with any juice left for a finish.  Can they do this?  Yep, they have the speed and coaching aptitude to successfully game plan it.  Defensively, the Roadrunners have a tough choice: Do they play zone or man primarily.  Again, using their speed, a zone approach can get a lot of hats to the football.  SD can find the holes in the zone coverage however and has players that can turn small throws into huge plays.  If Mission goes man, their depth becomes a problem as they will be running all day vs the Sundevil receivers and then, toungues haning out, have to report for offensive work and the thumping that awaits.  GI's Pick: South Delta by 16

AA Junior Varsity BC Championship Game

Mission Roadrunners vs Abbottsford Collegiate Panthers: Kudo's to Abbey and Mission for getting to the big dance.  Abbey has gotten to the event with size, power and hard nosed play.  Mission, with smothering defense and great athletes in space offensively accompanied by some gridiron guile.  The big question to be answered is going to be whether or not the Misssion staff is prepared to sacrifice key components of its Varsity squad (10's who also play-up) in a physical mash-up for the JV title.  If so, the Roadrunners have an outside shot of prevailing.  I think however, depth and split duty are going to be hamstring factors in this contest for the boys in green.  The Abbey staff has the luxury of preparing their team for the big game with undivided attention and focus.  The Panthers will be fresher, longer and it will be telling in the second half.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 7

Sunday, November 18, 2012

BC Semi-Final Round

British Columbia AA Varsity Semi-Finals

Quarter Final Wrap

The top four did their thing on the weekend and the semi-finals will truly represent the top squads in the province for 2012.  Mention must be made of the tremendous job done by the Rick Hanson Hurricanes and the Windsor Dukes in terms of preparation, intensity and execution as both teams had legitimate chances to upset South Delta and Mission respectively.

Lastly,  I most humbly offer an apology tot he Hurricanes in particular for the lambasting given to them in last week's edition.  You guys are legit and will be a wrecking crew come 2013.


Ballenas Whalers 56 Robert Bateman 26
South Delta Sundevils 29 Rick Hansen Hurricanes 14
John Barsby Bulldogs 58 Pitt Meadows Marauders 9
Mission Roadrunners 21 Windsor Dukes 7

Gridiron's Semi-Final Picks

Barsby vs South Delta:  South Delta beat Barsby in what can only be described as one of 2012's biggest slobberknockers of the season.  The Sundevils have surged ever since while Barsby has regrouped and refocused on the opportunity for another shot at their nemisis.  The Sundevils have certainly found medicine for the double-wing defensivley and Barsby has got to play better in all areas to be able to get more thatn 6 points on the board.  Offensively, South Delta has been unstoppable week in and week out all year with easily the most accomplished passing game in the province at any level.  The Barsby defense has been solid all year and will be called on yet again to keep the game tight enough for an opportunity to win.  The Sundevil kicking-game, particularly kick-offs and field goals is the best in BC so Barsby is going to be playing on a long field throughout.  This could be a huge difference maker in the contest. GI's Pick: Overtime

Mission vs Ballenas: Wow!  Where to begin on this one?  Ballenas has been scoring in huge chunks with the most explosive offense in the post-season tourney to date racking up an incredible 119 points in their first two outings.  Most impressively, these points have come almost equally via the ground and the air.  Defensively however, the Whalers have given-up 61 points to their opponents and have been hurt by the run.  Mission rolls in with arguably the most explosive backfield in BC led by Mr. Everything, Kevin Weins.  This game could truly become a shoot-out of epic proportions!  The match-ups are dead even across the board with the advantage in roster depth going to Ballenas.  This could be very telling in the late third and throughout the fourth quarter.  Specials are a dead heat with each team posting a very creative kicking-game.   The  wildcard in this game...will it be raining and worse yet, will it be raining and windy.  If this is the case, the Whalers could be in for a tougher go than in optimum conditions.  GI's Pick: Ballenas by 6, possibly in overtime.

British Columbia AA Junior Varsity

Quarter Final Wrap


John Barsby Bulldogs 40 Argyle Pipers 33
Abbottsford Collegiate Panthers 41 Nanaimo District Islanders 8
Mission Roadrunners 55 South Kamloops Titans 15
Vernon Panthers 28  Hugh Boyd Trojans 22 (Overtime)

Gridiron's Semi-Final Picks

John Barsby Bulldogs vs Mission Roadrunners: "When old friends meet again" and so the song went.  Barsby and Mission will have been dancing together on the big stage for three years running when this thing plays out.  Looking at October and November scores, it is hard not to argue that Mission may be the hottest team in AA JV football right now.  Barsby too is gelling at the right time of the season and this is going to be a hec of a contest.  Mission will have a speed edge and a slight edge in size.  Barsby specials are pretty good and the Dawgs are playing a pretty balanced game on offense.  Mission's offensive line is very sound fundamentally and both teams like to dust it up physically on defense. When it all said and done, size and speed are a tough duo to beat.  GI's Pick: Mission by 9

Abbottsford Panthers vs Vernon Panthers: A Pumatic cat fight if there ever was such a phrase, (not).  Kudos to Vernon on their big upset victory over the men of Troy this past Thursday!  I'm personally a fan of the Trojan program and its coaches, but I always celebrate a little when the Interior finds playoff success and the respect that comes with it. Vernon crashed the semi's last year at varsity and now here they be in the JV final four.  Gotta be something to those fellas.  Abbottsford is the beast of the East this year and is playing sledgehammer football behind a big tough line and on the feet of some varsity sized backs.  Coach Fujimura is one of HS Football's "good guys" and his quiet, tough approach to the game resonates throughout his program.  Abbey's success has been well earned and this crew can smell the Dome!  I think that the overall size and physicality brought forth by Abbey will be a decisive factor in Wednesday's game.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 21

Sunday, November 11, 2012

BC Quarter-Final Round

AA Varsity
British Columbia Quarter-Finals!
Tough Sleddin For The Dukes As They Win A Close One In Belmont's Back Yard
Wild-Card Wrap

Well, Windsor/Belmont and Valleyview/Pitt played two close games and the rest of the opening round was entertaining for those who like offense.  The Ballenas-Seaquam game was fast and furious with big plays going both ways throughout the tilt.  Lego and O'Brien are all they are billed to be and then some.  South Delta showed yet again why they are ranked by some to be number 1 and the Roadrunners lit up their foes early and often.  Rounding out the action, Barsby had over a half kilometer of offense vs Holy Cross via the air and ground while East Conference Hansen and Batemen lit-up their respective scoreboards.  There are a lot of defensive coordinators this week who are going to be burning the midnight oil.  Bad dreams fellas.  The championship committee would do well to serve-up some strong black coffee to those tortured and tired souls when they walk through the gates at Thunderbird stadium this coming weekend.


Rick Hansen 54       College Heights 13
Mission 49               Nechako Valley 13
South Delta 46         Carson Graham 10
Ballenas 63              Seaquam 35
Robert Bateman 48  Kalamalka 0
Pitt Meadows 28      Valleyview 21
Windsor 21               Belmont 14
John Barsby 57         Holy Cross 14

GI's Picks

Friday, 16 November, 3:00 PM

Ballenas vs Robert Bateman:  Love this match-up.  The Whaler passing game is unsurpassed with perhaps the exception of South Delta.   Making them even more dangerous is the fact that they can run quite effectively when they want to. Pick your poison on defense. The Timberwolves of Bateman have three bonafide running backs on the field on any given play and looking back at last weekend, Seaquam's Mark Lego gave the Whalers fits all by his lonesome.  Batemen throws decently and has big play potential on every completion.  Yards after contact are going to be huge for em.  The kicking game goes to Ballenas in this game.  Defensively, I think this one is a toss-up.  The Whalers will have trouble with the speed coming at them on the peremiter run game and Batemen is going to have to defend a passing game like no other they have seen to date.  This game will come down to who can figure out the other's attack earliest and adjust accordingly.  Points will be scored by the bushell!! GI's Pick: Whalers by 7

Friday, 16 November, 5:30 PM

South Delta vs Rick Hansen: Hansen enters yet another game acompanied with media hype about how good they are, how for real they are, etc. They fact is that they lost big in every "Big" game they were supposed to show their stuff in. Now here is a BIG GAME vs a Big, Nasty, Mean South Delta football team. Overrated and over-hyped vs got there by Doing It. The Hurricanes are outmatched in every possible area one can conceive of except maybe travel distance to stadium. The Sundevils will grab hold of the Hurricanes like a large dog who got into the chicken coop. When all the panicked squawking and loose feathers come to a rest, SD will playfully trot away from the crime scene licking its chops and anticipating its next meal. GI's Pick: South Delta by 40 in a game they slow down on their own.

Saturday, 17 November, 3:00 PM

John Barsby vs Pitt Meadows:  Pitt is tough, fast and does not quit.  They kick-the ball well and are sound in terms of special teams coverage/their return game.  I love their aggressive approach to the game on both sides of the ball and mental focus when down a score or two.  These qualities kept the Marauders in good stead as they rallies from a two score deficit on Friday to defeat a very well coached-up and talented Valleyview squad.  Barsby can score quickly via the ground and importantly, the air from a variety of formations and via a wide variation of athletes.  The Barsby defense is stingy and gets a lot of hats to the football.  Special teams for the Dawgs have been problematic, particularly the inability to kick deep.  I think this game will be very physical from the outset.  Barsby has the narrow edge on both sides of the ball, but specials go to Pitt.  Turnovers could play a massively helpful or harmful role either way.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 11

Saturday, 17 November, 5:30 PM

Mission vs Windsor: These two teams are extremely well coached and will be hyper prepared for this game. I believe that those in the stands will bear witness to fundamentally sound and technically well coached football. Each offense will find a missing chunk of armour in the opposing defense and exploit it once or twice during the game til adjustments are made. Mission gets the advantage in the kicking game. What therefore is left? Well, I believe it will come down to athlete vs athlete across the board and speed/agility out in space. Mission has more in the cupboards than does the Dukes. This will be telling in the big play department. GI's Pick: Mission by 26

AA JV British Columbia Quarter-Finals
The Argyle Pipers Barnstorm Into Quarters!
Wild Card Scores
Abbottsford Collegiate Panthers 35        Belmont Bulldogs 6
Nanaimo District Islanders 26                 Eric Hamber Griffins 8
Argyle Pipers 32                                     Robert Bateman Timberwolves 21
Mission Roadrunners 27                         Carson Graham Eagles 0
John Barsby Bulldogs 46                         Earl Marriot Mariners 0
Hugh Boyd Trojans 40                            Handsworth Royals 12
Vernon Panthers 28                                 Dutchess Park Condors 24
South Kamloops Titans 27                       Prince George Polars 0

Quarter-Final Match-Ups
Great representation here.  Two teams from the East, two from the Interior, two from the Island and one each from the West and South.  A provincial playoff indeed!
GI's Picks
John Barsby Bulldogs vs Argyle Pipers:  Argyle wins the match-up here in terms of overall athleticism/size of roster and explosive offense.  Barsby has a slight defensive edge in terms of points allowed, but has not played as tough a league schedule as the Pipers.  In terms of kicking game, this is a draw.  These teams have tangled before and Barsby won out a year ago.  This is now a veteren Argyle squad with something to prove.  In short, they are dangerous as hec.  The Dawgs, well they always play pretty tough at home.  If they can find consistency and limit penalties they have a shot. GI's Pick: Barsby by 4
South Kamloops Titans vs Mission Roadrunners: South Kamloops has not allowed a touchdown in their last three games.  In the last two months and change, 18 pts or so.  So how are these guys gonna react when they play somebody who actually fights back and can score?  Mission is playing the best football outside of Abbottsford in the JV ranks and maybe the best ball of all the last month or so.  Look for the spread and shred of the Roadrunners to spend a lot of time in the Titan end-zone. GI's Pick: Mission's QB gains 270 yds by his lonesome en route to a 35 plus pt. win.
Hugh Boyd Trojans vs Vernon Panthers: The Trojans are playing some red-hot football of late and know how to find the endzone.  Vernon has some great size and athletes, but lack of consistent competition will expose one dimensional offense and a defense that cannot adapt quickly enough to Boyd's ability to hit-em where they ain't. GI's Pick: Trojans by 27
Abbottsford Collegiate Panthers vs Nanaimo District Islanders: Abbottsford is at home, is far bigger, matches-up in team speed and loves to pound the football.  The Islanders have had a great run in 2012, but the math is tough in this game.  I think Abbey is the team to beat in this year's AA JV mix.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 21

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Round 1 Playoffs

Playoffs Are Here!

Week 9 Review
Belmont Defeats Seaquam In The Largest Naval Action Since WW2's Leyte Gulf!
Mt. Baker 13 Westsyde 6
Mission 30 Robert Bateman 7
Belmont 30 Seaquam 22
Pitt Meadows 33 Langley 6
John Barsby 61 Argyle 0
Windsor 41 Handsworth 0
South Delta 42 Eric Hamber 0
Rick Hansen 52 Abbotsford 23
Valleyview 24 South Kamloops 0
Ballenas 41 Nanaimo District 8

Gridirons AA Varsity Top 5

1.  Mission Roadrunners
2.  South Delta Sundevils
3.  John Barsby Bulldogs
4.  Ballenas Whalers
5.  Windsor Dukes

Round 1 Match-Ups

Top Half of Bracket

Mission vs Nechako Valley  : The key to this game is Mission's week long fundraiser.  You see folks, they need to collect at least 10 G for all of the speeding tickets they are going to get en route to the endzone.  All Smart Aleking aside, Nechako Valley is a pretty good squad with veteren players and continuity in their offensive/defensive systems year-toyear.  Athletically, they are just overmatched. GI's Pick: Mission by 30 plus.

Belmont vs Windsor: This game is a rematch of an early season tilt between these two squads.  Round 1 did not go favorably for Belmont.  Oh, the difference a season makes!  Both teams have made great strides since early September and Belmont enters the game the higher seed and importantly, playing at home!  I see this game coming down to three key factors: 1) Turnovers: Belmont can ill afford to turn over the ball. 2) Defense: Windsor has not stood in front of a massive offensive line such as Belmont's and the home squad will put at least 3 TD's on the board. On the flip side, Belmont gave up huge yardage to Seaquam in their week 9 finale.  Can Belmont match scores with Windsor?  3) Kicking-Game:  If Belmont gets on a short field with their offense, it could be lights out for Windsor.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 11 as the Duke offense finds the perimeter and passing holes in Belmont's defense.

College Heights vs Rick Hansen:  Will the real Slim Shady er um Rick Hansen please stand-up, please stand-up?  Hurricanes or Jekyll and Hydes, who the heck knows with this crew.  I think that if Hansen goes with power running and stays patient, their better half will emerge in this contest. College Heights was a bit of a surprise up North.  Cinderella ends here fellas. GI's Pick: Hansen by 14

Ballenas vs Seaquam:  The Whalers are tough close to home and boast one of the top two passing attacks in the province.  This said, they run the ball very effectively as well.  Seaquam has consistently gained large chunks of yardage on the ground with their big back, but has done little else offensively.  I just cannot see the Seaquam defense being complete enough to handle the shelling that is coming their way.  In terms of special teams, the Whalers are lethal in the short kicking department and complete in all other areas.  GI's Pick: Whalers by 24

Bottom Half of Bracket

John Barsby vs Holy Cross: Holy Cross will have had two weeks to prepare for the Barsby Double Wing due to a week 9 bye.  The Crusaders are very well coached and will bring their A game to Nanaimo this Friday.  On top of the bye week preparation, HC has no JV distractions to deal with either as their crew was eliminated on Thursday.  For their part, Barsby is a bit chewed-up from the past three weeks and will need to rely on great defense and special teams to get er done.  This game will be closer than many think. What does this mean? HC will be in full force and this game has upset potential written all over it if Barsby can't score often and early.   GI's Pick: Barsby by 11 in a squeaker.

Robert Bateman vs Kalmalka : Bateman has been playing some very good football of late and other than a loss to all world Mission, this is one of the hottest teams in BC AA ball.  The Timberwolves have too much team speed for their opponent to match-up with across the board and are a physical crew to boot. The running game will be exceptional for them as will explosive short catches and big runs.  Kalmalka is the class of the Interior and can run the footall very well.  I am not sure they have a balanced enough offense to keep Bateman from loading the box on em and smothering the Laker ground game.  Bateman does have a long travel day which will help out Kal's chances GI's Pick: Bateman by 17

South Delta vs Carson Graham: The Sundevils are healthy and playing their best football of the year.  The South Delta squad is also far more physical than the Eagles. This, combined with an edge in team speed going to the SD crew does not bode well for Carson.  GI's Pick: SD by 34

Valleyview vs Pitt Meadows: Pitt has quietly put together a superb season and their combination of speed and size are going to make them tough indeed this weekend.  I like the defensive front 8 to dominate by mid game and the deep passing game to hit paydirt for the Marauders. Valleyview will run the ball well early but find the going tough in the second half.  Pitt is just too big.  GI's Pick: Pitt by 14