Sunday, October 25, 2015

AA Varsity Week 8

AA Varsity Week Eight

Week Seven Round-Up

Abbey comes up with a statement game, Holy Cross surges and Barsby claims top seed for the West. Up North, Prince George put together a solid divisional playoff performance and South Kamloops won big to bring momentum in to their showdown with the Vernon Panthers this coming week.


John Barsby 34 Carson Graham 7
Abbottsford 41 Robert Bateman 14
Windsor 16 Nanaimo District 0
Moscrop 18 Frank Hurt 7
South Kamloops 41 Valleyview 6
G.W. Graham 40 Pitt Meadows 7
Prince George 39 Nechako Valley 0
Westsyde 30 Clarence Fulton 14
Holy Cross 51 Hugh Boyd 19
Mission 58-Rick Hansen 0

Gridiron's AA Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Panthers
3. Langley Saints
4. John Barsby Bulldogs
5. Vernon Panthers

Honorable Mention

Holy Cross Crusaders, Mission Roadrunners, Hugh Boyd Trojans, Carson Graham Eagles , Windsor Dukes, Prince George Polars, South Kamloops Titans,  Duchess Park Condors

The Conferences

AA East: Things get really interesting this coming weekend as the Grizzlies pay a visit to their nemesis the Abbottsford Panthers.  If Abbey wins, they will be the outright divisional champs.  If they lose, Graham can clinch with a solid win over the surging Mission Roadrunners.

AA West: Barsby has clinched the divisional number one seed oughtright with their victory over Carson Graham this past weekend.  An Eagle win over the Windsor Dukes gives them a likely number two seed into the post-season.  A Duke win and they are the #2 seed.  The Ballenas-Nanaimo District tilt is for all purposes an early playoff game for these two squads with the winner likely clinching the 4 seed.

AA South: This is Langley's division to win.  They just need to run the table the next two weeks which is a very possible thing to do.  Holy Cross is in the driver's seat for the number two seed followed by Boyd for number three and Moscrop for number four.

AA Interior: The first and second seed divisionally will be settled on the field this weekend between Vernon and South Kamloops.  These guys will then cross over with the top seeds from the North.

AA North: PG or Duchess for top rail and then time to cross-over with the Interior.

GI's Picks

Friday, 30 October

John Barsby @ Holy Cross: Two teams playing some of their better football this season square off on HC's home turf this Friday for a late season exhibition tilt.  In many ways the rosters appear to be mirror images of one another and both play a physical style of ball.  This game will come down to turnovers and the play up front.  HC is very balanced offensively and Barsby's defense will have its work cut-out for it.  The Crusaders defeated Abbottsford earlier this year which is quite an accomplishment. They know how to play the big games. Turnovers and time of posession will be big.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 3

Rick Hansen @ Robert Bateman:  The Timberwolves have been playing the best AA has to offer the past several weeks.  The Hurricanes are trying to navigate through a tough season.  Bateman has too many athletes at too many positions for Hansen to handle. GI's Pick: Bateman by 24

Carson Graham @ Windsor: This will be a very close contest from the opening kick-off to the final whistle.  Carson wins the size and depth contest, but other than that, these teams are very evenly matched.   Windsor has more discipline and  is playing a good brand of ball at present.  If this game stays close into the late 4th quarter look for a minor upset in favor of the Dukes.  GI's Pick: Windsor by 1

Valleyview @ Clarence Fulton: Another close game for week eight.  These teams are evenly matched and Fulton is at home.  This said, I like the Valleyview run game in this one as a difference maker.  GI's Pick: Vikings by 8

Moscrop @ Hugh Boyd: Moscrop is not going to find a whole lot of love when they come knocking on the Trojan's door this Friday.  Boyd is playing very good football and their run game is impressive to say the least.  Moscrop simply cannot hang with the level of physicality and execution they are going to encounter. GI's Pick:  Trojans by 22

G.W. Graham @ Abbottsford: Game of the week by a wide, wide margin.  These two rosters have been rivals since the eighth grade and the coaching staffs are very, very familiar with one another.  The Grizzlies are going to have to own the clock to win this one.  If the game is left to a wide-open shoot out, Abbey has more tools in the kit.  I think Graham can push em around if they are patient. GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 4

Ballenas @ Nanaimo District: Both teams have had what can only be described as a train-wreck this year in terms of health.  They are however, on the mend and we can safely coing this game as the Lazarus Bowl.  The Whalers have a superior passing game and their offensive line is largely intact.  I think they will be able to put together the long drives necessary to come out of this one with a win. Nanaimo will play em tough however. GI's Pick: Whalers by 12

Mission @ Pitt Meadows: Mission is now playing playoff calibre football.  This makes them very dangerous as this program has had nothing but success the past eight years and they know how to get those W's in late October/November.  The Roadrunner ground game will be clicking on all cylinders and will flatten the Marauder defense start-to-finish. GI's Pick: Mission by 17

Prince George vs Duchess Park: (Northern Playoff Final)  This is the year of the Polar.  The two headed rushing attack and dominant offensive line play ought to carry the grey and green past the traditional top rail up North known as the Duchess Park Condors. GI's Pick: Polars by 11

Saturday, 31 October

South Kamloops @ Vernon: This is the battle for first place in the interior. It will be very close and hotly contested.  Size goes to the Titans and grit to the Panthers along with home turf. Both teams run the ball well.  Believe it or not, I think the team that shows up and throws the ball most effectively will have the winning edge.   GI's Pick: Vernon by 9

Langley @ Frank Hurt: Langley will suffocate the Hornet offense and shell their defense with the long pass over and over again.  The Saints are also bigger and far more physical. GI's Pick: Saints by 24

Sunday, October 18, 2015

AA Varsity Week 7

AA Varsity Week Seven

Week Six Round-Up

College football has its rivalry week.  This past weekend was BCSSFA's AA blowout week.  With one notable exception, none of the scores were very close.  You can seriously get a good snapshot of program momentum headed in to week eight by looking at the scores below.  This sets the table for a decisive final three weeks of play!


John Barsby 44 Windsor 20
Hugh Boyd 52 Clarence Fulton 7
Holy Cross 57 Frank Hurt 0
Carson Graham 35 Ballenas 7
G.W. Graham 42 Rick Hansen 0
Abbottsford 42 Pitt Meadows 0
Langley 54 Moscrop 0
Mission 10 Robert Bateman 9
Vernon 27 Valleyview 8
Nanaimo District 40 Timberline 0
South Kamloops 38 Westsyde 9

GI's AA Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Panthers
3. Carson Graham Eagles
4. Langley Saints
5. Holy Cross Crusaders

Honorable Mention: Hugh Boyd Trojans, John Barsby Bulldogs, Vernon Panthers, Mission Roadrunners, Prince George Polars, South-Kamloops Titans

The Conferences

AA East: The October 30th tilt between Graham and Abbey looms large in the East as first and second place will be decided right then and there.  Mission will likely get to a hard fought third place and Bateman the number 4 seed.  High school football players have a say however and the Roadrunners are capable of an upset along the way.

AA West: The Carson Graham-Barsby game will clarify the post season fate of both teams in a very meaningful way.  Windsor is surging and Nanaimo District/Ballenas are trying to find a way to get healthy headed in to the final couple of weeks.  This week's bye for the Whalers is massive in terms of being timely and inmportant.

AA South: What seemed a two horse race between the Trojans and Cruseaders in early September has now become a serious three way affair with the emergence of the Langley Saints as a serious contender.  This weekend's tilt between Troy and Cross can be considered the game that decides who is number three coming out of the South.

AA Interior: Vernon is the class of the Interior and on their heels is South Kamloops and Valleyview.  These two teams will sort things out this coming weekend and then it will be time to dance with the Northern squads for final playoff seeding.

AA North: Prince George is having their best year ever as the Condors cede top rail to their Polar Rivals.  After that, Duchess is the likely number two.  I think PG can legitimately compete with all but Vernon from the Interior when the seeding match-ups get going in earnest.

GI's Picks

Friday, 23 October

Robert Bateman @ Abbottsford: Robert Bateman has been playing very tough football week in and week out this season.  They have been more consistent in terms of their effort than the vastly deeper and more talented Abbey Panthers.  This said, Abbey has put together a couple solid wins of late and they appear to be ironing out internal wrinkles.  Bateman's speed is a plus for the game day match-ups, but their depth is questionable.  GI's Pick:  Panthers by 15

Carson Graham @ John Barsby: This tilt can be legitimately billed as the co-game of the week and it pits two programs who have been building a great divisional rivalry with one another the past four years.  Look for the Eagles to come in to this one very aggressive on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they are a two headed monster in terms of their run-pass balance and defensively, this group loves to pressure from every direction possible and if you could pressure vertically ie. coming at offenses from the clouds, they would do that too!  Barsby for their part, have finally gotten some quality production from their offensive group.  Defensively, the Dawgs are always tough and this side of the ball will surely have its work cut out for it come game day.  Special teams for both groups have been fairly solid to date.  Friday afternoon in Nanaimo is going to be entertaining for sure.  GI's Pick: Barsby by 3 in a minor upset.

Frank Hurt @ Moscrop: This game is likely for the fourth place seed coming out of the South. The present state of self-confidence within each roster coming off of big losses will have much to say in terms of what the coaching staff can milk out of em this week at practice.  A couple quick scores for either team could cause a big collapse by the opposing group come game day as there are likely some fragile egos.   GI's Pick: Hornets by 7

Clarence Fulton @ Westsyde: The Maroons have traveled a lot this year with near perfect consistency in terms of scoreboard results. Westsyde is playing some good scrappy ball and they are at home.  Look for the home team to wear out the Vernon group in this tilt.  GI's Pick: Westsyde by 11

Windsor @ Nanaimo District: The Dukes travel back to Nanaimo for round two of their series versus the Nanaimo schools of Barsby and Nanaimo District.  Windsor came up short on the scoreboard versus the Dawgs last week, but played very good football throughout.  Nanaimo is coming off the biggest win of their season headed in to this one.  Windsor has a deeper bench and  is executing with great precision up front.  GI's Pick: Dukes trap and toss their way to big numbers....Dukes by 19

Pitt Meadows @ G.W. Graham: Last week it was divisional powerhouse Abbey for the Marauders, this week it is another flavor of the same versus the Grizzlies.  When Pitt emerges from these two games, they will be battle tested for sure and won't be playing anyone else of that calibre the rest of the season.  Graham has with two exceptions, barely broken a sweat this year.  Their biggest enemy headed into their final couple weeks after this will be complacency.  GI's Pick: Grizzzlies by 20 plus

Valleyview @ South Kamloops: This on paper is a very evenly matched contest in the Kamloops area.  Both squads know each other well and there will be few surprises other than your garden variety bad bounce of weather induced turnover.  The Titans have been playing a better game on the field than their guests of late.  GI's Pick: Titans by ten

Saturday, 24 October

Hugh Boyd @ Holy Cross: Huge Game for both squads deservedly earning co-game of the week honors!  This is going to be both physical and telling in terms of how both teams enter the looming playoff draw.  Both teams are coming off of blowouts versus divisional foes and the first quarter is going to be interesting indeed as that momentum blows in like a Pacific Storm Front.  I think on balance, the Holy Cross crew is deeper and has more experience this year playing tougher competition.  This will be telling if things stay close for any amount of timeGI's Pick: Crusaders by 11

Rick Hansen @ Mission: The Hurricanes play an old divisional rival in the Roadrunners on Saturday.  Mission has been stringing together a series of quality game day performances and are certainly going to be one of the lower seeds who can make a deep run in the playoffs.  Kudos to the coaching staff for bringing this group along so nicely!  Rick Hansen on the other hand is gamely working their way through a long rebuilding process.  Hats off to the players and coaches of this group as well.  Come game day, this will be lopsided, its the simple math of the matter GI's Pick: Mission by 20 plus

Sunday, October 11, 2015

AA Varsity Week 6

AA Varsity Week Six

Week 5 Round-Up

Two big upsets this week!  The Windsor Dukes were explosive offensively in their shocker over Ballenas and you all now know that this year's Dark Horse has emerged in the form of the Langley Saints.  The result, divisional chaos in the South and the West!  In the East, long the undisputed realm of the Mission Roadrunners, parity has emerged.  Anyone playing the 1,2,3 or 4th seed coming out of that battlefield, will be playing a tough hombre to be reckoned with!  In the Interior I see a looming showdown between Vernon and SKS for divisional hegemony and the PGSS Polars are on a tear up North.


Abbottsford 24 Mission 21
Hugh Boyd 24 Frank Hurt 0
Prince George 53 Nechako Valley 0
South Kamloops 23 Clarence Fulton 13
Langley 20 Holy Cross 13
Vernon 34 Westsyde 7
G.W. Graham 21 Robert Bateman 14
Pitt Meadows 40 Rick Hansen 0
Windsor 33 Ballenas 20
Carson Graham 54 Earl Marriot 7
Valleyview 28 Moscrop 9
Duchess Park 46 Kelly Road 6

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Panthers
3. Mission Roadrunners
4. Vernon Panthers
5. Carson Graham Eagles

Honourable Mention

Robert Bateman Timberwolves, Langley Saints, Holy Cross Crusaders, Hugh Boyd Trojans, John Barsby Bulldogs, Windsor Dukes, Ballenas Whalers

Divisional Races

AA West: Totally up for grabs!This weekend's tilts on the Island with Carson Graham at Ballenas and Windsor @ Barsby will go a long ways towards the ultimate divisional standings.

AA East: This looks like a two horse show at the top with Graham and Abbey vying for top-rail. Three and four will be a toss-up as well between Mission and Bateman.  The East can lay claim to being the toughest division in AA this year.

AA South: This is a three way race between Langley, Boyd and Holy Cross.  The Saints just served notice that they are playing for keeps and the Trojans/Crusaders had better be on their A game the rest of the regular season!  Boyd vs Langley is going to be epic!

AA Interior: Vernon may get a bit of a challenge from South-Kamloops but that is about it.  The Panthers ought to represent well again in the post-season.

AA North: Prince George and Duchess will tangle for top spot up North by the looks of things.  The Polars ought to win out.

GI's Picks

Friday, 16 October

Windsor @ John Barsby: The Dukes are on the road @ Barsby this Friday afternoon.  Windsor is coming off of their best game yet in 2015 with an impressive 33-20 win over Ballenas.  The signature of this game was big plays and lots of em!  Barsby had a bye due to forfeit this past week.  Byes are double edged swords in mid-season.  The Dawg defense has played great ball the past couple of weeks.  Offensively, Barsby has moved the ball, but struggled to score.  It is going to take more than a touchdown to defeat Windsor, but that is exactly what Barsby has been averaging the past three weeks.  Special teams will be huge in this game! GI's Pick: Barsby by 6

Mission @ Robert Bateman: Now here are two teams that are playing their best ball of the season thus far.  Both have had very challenging schedules and both have improved week-to-week.  You can bill this as Bateman's speed versus the Mission offensive line/ground game.  If the Roadrunners can mitigate turnovers and be clock-hogs, they have a more than legit shot at taking this game.  On the flip side, Bateman can score in a flash and Mission really needs to take away big plays from their foes.  GI's Pick: Mission by 3

Vernon @ Valleyview: Valleyview is playing some good football right now and their down hil running game is rounding in to form.  For Vernon's part, they are winning while putting their tenth grade contributors through the crucible of tough varsity play. I don't see this game being any kind of an air show.  Vernon has the push up front on both sides of the ball to win this one. GI's Pick: Vernon by 17

College Heights @ Duchess Park: Duchess is a better overall team on both sides of the ball and their bench is deeper. GI's Pick: Condors by 21

Pitt Meadows @ Abbottsford: Pitt is speedy and scrappy.  Abbottsford is both plus it is bigger and has a far deeper bench this year.  The math in this contest appears unassailable at face value. Teenage football players surely do have the ability to surprise all logic with an inspired performance.  Look for this game to be close early, but Abbey pulls away.  GI's Pick: Panthers by 24

Clarence Fulton @ Hugh Boyd:  Fulton has sure done its share of travelling this year.  The game at Hugh Boyd will be good for both teams in this exhibition tilt.  The Trojans are packing a deeper roster and will wear out the visitors over the course of the game. GI's Pick: Troy by 18

Prince George @ Kelly Road: "Whump-Whump"  naw, that is not the familiar sound of a car hitting a speed-bump at a good clip, that is the sound the Polar running game is going to make as it tramples cross-town foe Kelly Road.  The Roadrunners can take solace in the fact that they are not the only contributor to the PG "whump" cacaphony this year. GI's Pick: PG by 25 +

Moscrop @ Langley: A couple years ago this would have been a tight contest.  Langley however, has significantly upped their game in 2015 and will rain big plays with the vertical passing game while taking care of the defensive line of scrimmage. GI's Pick: Saints by 21+

South Kamloops @ Westsyde: Nice cross-town rivalry here that finds its roots with names like Chow, Olthius, Bridger and the like.   South-Kam still has a bit of Red Devil in em and this will be hotly contested from the opening whistle.  It appears that in 2015 SKS deeper in terms of bench and a big bigger and faster than their hosts.  GI's Pick: Titans by 14

Saturday, 17 October

Frank Hurt @ Holy Cross: This is the rebound game for the Crusaders in 2015.  The Hornets better have their chinstraps done up real tight when they come a calling on HC this Saturday.  Beyond this, HC is simply deeper and more mature in terms of roster.  GI's Pick: Crusaders by 21

Carson Graham @ Ballenas: Two teams with proud histories, two teams with winning records, two teams that badly need a divisional win.   Ballenas may be the toughest team at home in the North as their historical record seems to indicate.  These guys are pretty chewed-up right now and went from looking like supermen vs Belmont to well, pretty vulnerable against a tough Windsor squad this past Friday.  Carson is fast, aggressive on both sides of the ball and can score quickly on offense. Defensively, they pressure very well.  This could cost them as they face a very disciplined and cohesive Whaler offensive line. Turnovers and special teams...B I G ! GI's Pick:  Carson by 7

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week Five

AA Varsity Week Five

Week Four Round-Up

Wow folks!  You gotta love the free for all that has become the 2015 AA varsity season!  Holy Cross just found out the hard way that Bateman is a for real squad that cannot be overlooked.  The Timberwolves put a chomp on the Crusaders they won't soon forget!  Out west, the Ballenas Whalers walloped a pretty good group of AAA Belmont Bulldogs 35-6 in a game serving notice that this year's group out of Parksville is the real-deal.  The balanced offensive attack, ferocious line play on both sides of the ball and the well healed passing game were hi-lite material start to finish.  Abbottsford rebounded from last week's upset at the hands of Holy Cross with a big outing vs the scrappy Windsor Dukes on Friday evening and Vernon laid the smack down on the road versus Pitt.   Barsby took it on the road to play another nail biter versus cross-straight rival Argyle and up north, Prince George romped in a big win over Duchess Park.  The playoff picture right now, clear as mud.  I don't think we are going to get a grasp on final divisional standings until the dust (November mud spray) clears at the end of week 9.


John Barsby 7 AAA Argyle 6
Abbottsford 35 Windsor 6
Westsyde 21 Nanaimo District 6
AAA South Delta 41 Carson Graham 6
Salmon Arm 12 Valleyview 0
Correlieu 55 Kelly Road 0
Prince George 55 Duchess Park 18
Vernon 20 Pitt Meadows 8
Rutland 26 Clarence Fulton 14
Robert Bateman 17 Holy Cross 10
Langley 32 AAA Seaquam 16
Ballenas 35 AAA Belmont 6

Gridiron's AA Varsity Top Five

1. G.W. Graham Grizzlies
2. Abbottsford Panthers
3. Ballenas Whalers
4. Misssion Roadrunners
5. Vernon Panthers

Honourable Mention

Robert Bateman Timberwolves, Holy Cross Crusaders, Carson Graham Eagles, John Barsby Bulldogs, Hugh Boyd Trojans, Prince George Polars,

GI's Picks

Thursday, 8 October

Earl Marriot @ Carson Graham: The Eagles just played AAA powerhouse South-Delta and now they play the top Tier 2 squad in BC.  This game won't be an easy walk-in-the park for Carson by any means.  Marriot is quietly having another good season and has matched up well in all of the games it has played this year.  Carson has the horses however and that must be factored in. GI's Pick:  Eagles by 22

Friday, 9 October

Valleyview @ Moscrop: Very intriguing game here between two evenly matched squads as the Vikings travel down to Burnaby for a tilt vs the Panthers.  I like the running game of the Panthers in this one as their version of the double-wing eats clocks and consumes yardage in relentless fashion. In addition, the Panther backs have speed in the open field.  GI's Pick:  Moscrop by 7

Holy Cross @ Langley:  Word has it that Langley has put together a big, physical and ever improving squad for 2015.  Triple A Seaquam found this out the hard way! This came may not be the cake walk that the powerful Crusader squad is expecting come game day.  This said, it is becoming evident week by week that Holy Cross may very well be a favorite to make a Subway Bowl appearance this year.  There will surely be some interesting moments as Langley will take its shots with the deep vertical passing game.  HC will counter with run smothering defense and a lethal blitz package. GI's Pick: Holy Cross by 10

Westsyde @ Vernon:  This one will be a good ol Interior smashmouth running contest from start to finish.  Vernon is King in the Interior and will not take kindly to any potential usurpers again this year.  Playing on home turf is a big plus for the Panthers as is depth of program. GI's Pick: Westsyde needs a fast start, I just don't see it come Friday as the Panthers win by 18

G.W. Graham @ Robert Bateman: Well here we are, week five of the season and Graham is only playing their third game.  This bodes well for health on the one hand and the long gaps between games could also lead to rust or a lack of urgency.  This said, the Grizzlies are loaded with talent and have few peers across the board in AA ball this year.  Bateman stunned Holy Cross this past weekend and is riding a wave of confidence as a result, the first quarter could be interesting for awhile. GI's Pick: Grizzlies by 21

Ballenas @ Windsor: "Out of the frying pan and in to the fire."  The Windsor Dukes get to stand in front of one of the elite AA running games a short week after a tough loss to the powerhouse that calls itself the Abbottsford Panthers.  The Whalers are looking complete with a superb passing game to go with an outright nasty ground-game.  Windsor is not as far off as some may think and they present their own set of problems to opposing defenses.  The Whalers have the horses up front and in the backfield however. GI's Pick: Whalers by 16

Clarence Fulton @ South-Kamloops:  Fulton played a pretty darn good game vs Salmon Arm last week.  The Titans are hosting and are fresh going into this game.  I think South-Kam has a depth edge that will come in to play as the game matures.  GI's Pick: Titans by ten

Correlieu @ College Heights: Wow Correlieu, big win for you guys this past weekend.  Long overdue I reckon!  This game will be close in the first half with a second half turnover being the difference.  GI's Pick: Clansmen by 4

Kelley Road @ Duchess Park: Duchess is gonna be in a bad, bad mood after the PG game.  Kelley Road will find itself in front of some deternined Condors come game-day.  Look for lots of point on the Duchess board.  GI's Pick: Duchess by 20

Saturday, 10 October

Hugh Boyd @ Frank Hurt: Big divisional game for the South right here.  The winner is likely at least a number 4 seed in the post-season.  The loser is in for some tough sledding.  With the season Holy Cross and Langley are having, a win is paramount.  Hugh Boyd has been the most consistent team on the scoreboard and their roster is the more mature of the two taking the field on Saturday. GI's Pick: Trojans by 11

Abbottsford @ Mission: How big is a year?  Well, a year ago Abbey gained their first varsity win against Mission in program history.  The game was close and yes, it was a big deal to the Panthers. Now, the Roadrunners are clear underdogs and they are square in the sights of an electric offensive team who has big things to prove to itself in the Eastern Division.   Mission for it's part, is no pushover and you can bet that the coaching staff has game planned this one for some time.  This game believe it or not, will hinge on Mission's offense.  Abbey's offense is pretty ineffective if it is sitting on its hands.  The more the Roadrunners can do to slow down the clock and control the game's temp, the better off they will be.  Tall order, but doable.  GI's Pick: Abbey by 11

Prince George @ Nechako Valley:  Fun game up-north!  The Vikings will make a determined go of it for sure, but this is PG's year by the looks of things.  Look for some big time ground game from the Polars en-route to a big win headed into Turkey Day. GI's Pick: Polars by 18