Sunday, September 8, 2013

AA Varsity Week 2

AA Varsity Week Two
Mission Gives Cedar Park (WA) All They Can Handle
Week 1 Wrap

A big week for rebound games.  Windsor responded to a big zero week loss with a 55 point blanking of Earl Marriot, Nanaimo District did similar things against Timberline, Holy Cross racked up an impressive shutout against Abbey, South Delta got a quality win over Rick Hansen and Duchess Park steamrolled Correlieu.  Other scores of note were the close contests betwen Ballenas/Hugh Boyd and the huge varsity debut by the GW Graham Grizzlies falling just short of AAA Kelowna.  Mission and Barsby both lost tight games on the weekend as well.  Carson Graham is shaping up to be a juggernaut in 2013.


W.J. Mouat 52 Robert Bateman 10
Lord Tweedsmuir 36 John Barsby 30
Kelowna 14 G.W. Graham 8
Rutland 7 Salmon Arm 6
Frank Hurt 30 Argyle 0
Windsor 55 Earl Marriott 0
Belmont 35 Pitt Meadows 6
Nanaimo District 33 Timberline 0
Ballenas 14 Hugh Boyd 7
Cedar Park (Wash.) 18 Mission 15
Holy Cross 50 Abbotsford 0
Vernon 33 Clarence Fulton 6


South Delta 36 Rick Hansen 20
Centennial 38 Seaquam 0
Duchess Park 43 Correlieu 7
Carson Graham 31 Handsworth 14

GI's Top Five

1. South Delta 1-1
2. John Barsby 1-1
3. Mission 1-1
4. Carson Graham 2-0
5. Rick Hanson 1-1

GI's Week 2 Picks

Thursday, 12 September

College Heights vs Nechako Valley: This will be the first crack at the season for both squads and will be under the lights at Masich.  Both teams are on the rebuild but Nechako Valley has the program history of winning consistency year after year on its side.  The sons of Vanderhoof will just play a clearner, more fluid game of ball than their opponents come Thursday night.  GI's Pick: Viking by 14

Friday, 13 September

High Flying Grizzlies To Host First Ever Varsity Home Tilt vs Barsby

John Barsby @ GW Graham:  Barsby rolls into Chilliwack on week 3 of its 5 game road trip for a 1 PM kick-off vs what can only be described as one of the greatest start-up programs in BC High School Football history.  The Grizzlies are surging at all levels of play, building their program and playing the game "the right way".  Last weekends varsity debut vs AAA Kelowna powerhouse KSS Owls was shockingly close and scoreless for over three quarters!  Even more amazing was that this was a road trip for the Grizzlies.  Adding to the flavor of this week's game is that this is a budding provincial level rivalry game between these two schools.  Many of the players on these two teams have seen each other lined-up across the ball from one another and there is some history pushing things along.  Graham is hosting this one on their school field.  I am pretty sure that there will be a large student body contingent to liven things up come game day.  Now the x's and o's.  The Barsby defense is going to have to lead the visiting Dawgs come Friday.  The Grizzlies have an explosive passing game that is beginning to find its stride.  The Dawg defenders are going to be very busy all afternoon covering their grass.  Equally important for the Grizzlies will be their own defense.  This game is going to be kinetic and Barsby can run-pass pretty well themselves.  Specials and turnovers will be major factors as field position will come into play from drive one!  Now the what if's and intangibles:  Roster health;  after two weeks of play and four weeks of practice, there are going to be some sore bodies here and there.  Who has the depth to take care of the patch-work.  Home field advantage is soundly in the Grizzlies favour.  Barsby will be taking the 0620 boat over.  This means that the Dawgs will have a first call of 0400.  The last such game for Barsby took place in 2011 on a trip over to play Abbey at the same time.  Barsby played pseudo comatose football for 2 quarters that week.  Sleepy Dawgs this Friday could mean big problems out of the gates.  Barsby always works to teach its players to think and play under pressure and mental discomfort.  Exactly the same conditions that this game will present.  Can they handle it?  Lastly, the weather.  It is going to be hot and muggy.  This takes a toll in such games.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 7 in a close one

Clarence Fulton @ Rutland (AAA): Fulton struggled in week 1 against Vernon and now travel to play Kelowna's Rutland Voodoo.  The hosts will be bigger, stronger and faster across the board.  This will be a real test for the interior of Fulton's defense as they are going to be challenged inside the tackles.  GI's Pick: Rutland by 14

Howe Sound (Tier 2) @ Abbottsford: The Panther's imploded last week vs Holy Cross and now host one of the bigger, more physical Tier 2 squads in the province.  The key here is hosting and having a game under their belts.  I think the Panthers will have just enough in their tanks to eeke out a W.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 2

Spectrum @ Nanaimo District: This is a big game for both squads under the lights at Merle Logan Field in Nanaimo.  Spectrum has lost two games in a row by lopsided scores against traditional powerhouses Ballenas and Mt. Douglas.  The Thunder have not waivered however and now are in a perfect position to get some points on the board and positive momentum headed into league play.  Nanaimo District for its part, has had a good week after opening up against Mission and now has a few more players on their roster.  The Islanders are at home and they have the edge in experience.  The teams are mirror images of one another in terms of size so this one is going to come down to execution and persistence.  GI's Pick: Nanaimo District by 12

Frank Hurt @ Langley: OK Frank Hurt, you deserve it, WOW!  Nice job ont he 30 point shut-out over Argyle.  Welcome to AA ball, you belong here for a long time and then some.  Last week was a statement game and this weekend's game versus the Saints will solidify the idea of being at least a round 1 contender in the playoffs.  Langley has the roster to bang with the Hornets, but this game features a dynamic of great interest that once in awhile we get to see being played out.  There is a Lombardi saying that goes something like " ...winning is a habit and so unfortuanately, is losing...". The Hornets won the Tier 2 crown twice in the last three years.  Langley has struggled mightily in the win-loss column.  Now the two programs, who are pretty even on paper, collide in an early season game. The Lombardi Theorum litmus test is at hand.  One small differential is that Hurt has played a game already and Langley has not.  GI's Pick: Hornets by 16

Kelowna (AAA) @ South Delta: Love this game. The football field on Friday is going to be oozing with prototype looking football players doing their thing in a big time game atmosphere.  Gotta say I wish I could be there to witness the spectacle.  South Delta is on a major upwards trajectory and will be banging on all cylinders vs the Owls.  The advantages for the home field squad as I see em are as follows:  Sundevils are home in front of their friends and family, Kelowna will have bus legs, South-Delta offense is more balanced run-pass than Kelowna, it is going to be hot outside and the ocean humidity will impact the visiting squad much more than the hosts.  In fact, a light overcast could turn this into the greenhouse bowl!  South Delta also features one hec of a kicking-game.  GI's Pick: Sundevils by 21

Carson Graham @ West Vancouver (AAA): A consecutive North-Shore tilt for the Eagles on Friday.  Carson is on an early season tear while the Highlanders are working to find their legs and get some positives in place prior to league play.  In its first two games, Carson has found some team personality.  They are going to be able to run-run-run the ball this year and the defense is going to be a reflection of its offensive self.  The game on Friday will hinge on the West Van defense.  If they can keep it close, they have a chance.  GI's Pick: Carson by 12

Seaquam @ Windsor: Two squads who will surge mid-to late season in an early match-up.  Seaquam will definitely have the roster advantage in numbers and just about every category thereafter.  Windsor is at home and Coach Schuman has his blood up after the Zero Week thrashing at the hands of Rick Hanson.  I have to give this game to the visitors in a qualified way.  If Seaquam comes into the game with a focused, specific offensive attack that does not turn into a cover-to-cover review of a partially learned playbook, they ought to grind out a victory.  If the visitors lose disclipline and attack with an open hand instead of a clenched fist, they will fall short.  GI's Pick: Seaquam by 6

Vernon @ Salmon Arm: OK, here you have it.  The top two tems in the AA Varsity Interior go toe to toe in week 1.  The Golds are going to be the larger of the two, but Vernon is and has been playing like the team of destiny in this conference.  There is a swagger and a lot of proficiency to back it up on the Panthers this year.  GI's Pick: Vernon by 11

South Kamloops @ Kelley Road: Another good game north of the Town of Hope.  I am really encouraged and happy to see the Interior and North forming some home and home rivalry games.  It will make ball better up that way for sure!  The visitors will be greeted by the top running game in the Northern conference on unfamiliar turf.  If the Roadrunners can defend the pass decently, they ought to be able to post a W.  If the Titans are balanced and find a good rhythm, look out.  Turnovers loom large here.  GI's Pick: Kelley Road by 4

Rick Hanson @ Hugh Boyd: A tell-tale game of sorts to be played in Richmond this Friday.  The Hurricanes discovered they aren't playing ball at the same level as South Delta just yet and now will see if they are better than middle of the road.  The word on Boyd is that they hit very well this year and have a tough front 8 on defense.  It will likely be the case that the box is going to be loaded to stifle the Hanson running game.  If this proves to be the case, than the Hurricane Offense may be looking for pay-dirt in one on one passing match-ups.  When all is said and done, Hanson is still miles ahead of their hosts in terms of development. GI's Pick: Hurricanes by 18

Westsyde @ Moscrop (Tier 2): Gotta go with Westsyde in a close one here.  Moscrop has had its struggles and Westsyde has been able to put together a solid pre-season.  GI's Pick: Blue Wave by 8

Mission @ WJ Mouat (AAA): This was the game and scene of a stunning upset in 2011 as the Roadrunners stunned the highly ranked Hawks in front of a Mouat Home crowd.  Two years later, we still have the two most prominent and accomplished programs in the Valley set to do battle with huge bragging rights at stake.  The difference this year is depth and median size.  Mouat has it and Mission does not.  If Mouat turns this game into a smashmouth, kinetic affair, they will likely win-out big in the late 2nd quarter-whole second half by a process of attrition.  If this game takes on a cat and mouse, pin-prick personality, all bets are off.  When all is said and done, both teams will emerge better for the experience as will the great game of High School Football in the Valley.  GI's Pick: Mouat by 22

Valleyview @ Pitt Meadows: A rematch of last year's wild card playoff in week 2.  Both squads are vastly different in terms of roster and in the case of Valleyview, their offensive attack.  The Vikings seem to have transitioned better from heavy graduation and have had two solid weeks of practice to prepare for this game.  Pitt played a tough Belmont squad on the weekend that runs a similar offense to Valleyview so theywill be prepared for what comes at em.  GI's Pick: Valleyview by 8

Eric Hamber @ Earl Marriot: Both of these squad fielded JV teams that made the first round in the playoffs last year.  I got to see them both play and feel that there was a slight roster edge going to Hamber.  This said, the Mariners are at home on Friday and that surely counts for something with young people in particular. The Mariners also have a game under their belts while the visitors do not.  Mistakes could hurt big. GI's Pick: Mariners by 3

Saturday, 14 September

Surging Belmont (AAA) Will Visit The Whalers Saturday

Belmont (AAA) @ Ballenas:  I am excited about this game.  So excited I am going to do the unthinkable and miss some college football on Saturday afternoon to go watch this one live.  The past two years Belmont has been a singular pleasure to watch as a program.  They have overcome a lot of local dynamics living in the shaddow of Team Victoria and have built a program based on hard work in the gym,taking advantage of development opportunities abroad across the calendar year and coming together via collective fundraising to "earn their shirts".  That gang is character.  The level of football on the field has steadily and rapidly risen to a point of no return.  This upward trajectory will continue.  Ballenas is most certainly in a rebuild and are handling the process extremely well.  This is a squad to definitely keep an eye on as the season unfolds and I believe it will be just as good as the previous two editions come November.  Coach Conn and co are coaches of the highest order.  Mad respect guys!  Sooo, what will we see on Saturday? Ballenas is going to have to find ways to pressure hard against the run game as they are big-time outmatched up front in terms of sheer brawn.  The problem is however, there are plenty of athletes in the Belmont spread scheme oozing with big play potential on the perimeter.  If this turns into a man coverage affair, the Belmont QB could be decisive.  This is big, because their erstwhile number 2 is taking the snaps from here on out.  The Whaler offense is going to have to be on its A-Game and I see run-pass balance as key with perhaps the screen game being decisive.  Ballenas is a danger on special teams, particularly the kick and kick-return phase of the game. GI's Pick: Belmont by 4

Holy Cross @ Argyle:  I was frankly shocked by both scores last week.  Looks to me like HC is going to be a for real contender in their divisional race with the exception of their game vs South-Delta.  Argyle, what's up?  Time to get back into the form you exhibited as a post-season beast at JV last November.  There is nothing wrong with cutting your playbook by 3/4 and spending a week on the core of your attack and a tonne of defense/special teams practice.  GI's Pick: HC by 26

Duchess Park @ Robert Batemen: Another game I would love to watch.  Duchess is very talented, has superb size and is getting better across the board.  This program is making all the right moves by finding the best competition it can, wherever it can.   I think as this season unfolds, the key to a big November for the Condors is going to be challenging their inner-opponent each week, by setting their own standards very high and working to obtain them regardless of the team in front of em on the field.  Bateman has been playing harcore competition each week dating back to their spring jamboree vs Tweedsmuir.  Last week's tilt against Mouat was another big one and they will find it has helped big-time when hosting this weeks game.  Duchess has to be prepared for Bateman's perimeter speed if it wants to keep this one close.  D-Gap has to belong to Duchess and the C Gap scrape has to be there when Hucheson and co cut-back.  This one hangs on the hat of the Condor D.  Offensively, the Condors are much bigger across the board than their hosts.  A balanced run-pass performance will be key. Lastly, special teams; defend the short kick, a front row that lines up fifteen yards off of the ball on kick-return invites disaester and offensive linemen covering punts isn't a good idea when the returner gets in space.  On Bateman's part, they will do well if they keep being who they are.  The present course they are on is a good one. GI's Pick: Bateman by 26

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