Wow! Are there ever some great games this weekend. Totally exciting and very, very intriguing in their match-ups.
Opening Round Recap and Scores
The opening round of the playoffs was a reflection of the regular season with divisional number one seeds carrying the day in every game as well as the 2's where they were matched-up with a lower seed. This speaks well to the growing parity in play across the province. The Vernon-Mission was by all accounts and epic defensive battle that came down to a break-down on special teams. Conversely, Barsby scored in avalanche type quantities when Moscrop turned over the ball five times within their own 30 yard line. In between, Langley, Carson, Abbey, PG and G.W. Graham methodically took care of business in their own fashion.
Langley 41 Ballenas 19
Carson Graham 35 Hugh Boyd 12
Prince George 19 Robert Bateman 0
Vernon 7 Mission 0
Abbottsford 58 Pitt Meadows 8
Holy Cross 28 Windsor 6
John Barsby 77 Moscrop 0
G.W. Graham 38 South Kamloops 21
Carson Graham @ Prince George: The Eagles have been soaring on the scoreboard as the Carson Offense has really begun to hit on all cylinders. They are going to have to continue to do so versus the Polars in order to win this game. Prince George is the real deal and is only getting stronger. PG has to get vertical behind their pulls with their power game and with their reverse to take the next step towards a lethal Double-Wing and if this happens, look out Carson. The match-ups: up front it looks like depth and size goes to PG. On the perimeter, speed goes to Carson. The passing game, Carson. Offensive execution, Carson. Physicality..PG by a narrow margin. Intangibles, PG. The game being played in Kamloops...winner...BCSSFA integrity! GI's Pick: If the weather is nasty, PG could upset in a big way. Speed and overall execution will carry the day however for Carson. Eagles by 8
Vernon @ Langley: Great match-up here. Vernon's defense vs a truly fearsome Langley offense. Offensively, the Panthers have big play ability that cannot be overlooked and defensively, the Langley squad seems to get better as the game matures into the mid-late 3rd quarter. This game is being played in the Dome and Langley's quarterback can reach-out and touch defensive coverages with his cannon arm. Vernon has to win the turnover battle and score at least three TD's to win this game. GI's Pick: Langley by 4 on a long 4th quarter run by their feature back.
Holy Cross @ G.W. Graham: The Grizzlies win the battle on the line of scrimmage hands-down in this contest. I predict that they will try to play smash-mouth, grind you down offense while taking a couple big shots downfield vs the man coverage they are likely to face. I say this because Cross is going to have to pressure a lot to even out their deficit in the trenches. Offensively, the Crusaders are very, very balanced and are dangerous in their own right. Graham may also find that playing a base scheme defensively is problematic. This makes one think that the screen game for either team could loom large in their offensive reckoning. A slight edge in the kicking-game goes to Graham. I think that this game will either be won big by the Grizzlies or by a narrow margin by the Crusaders. GI's Pick: Graham by 21
Abbottsford @ John Barsby: Well, these programs have more in common than the same school colours. They are playing one another in the JV quarter-final on Thursday afternoon in Abbottsford and the Varsity tilt on Saturday afternoon in Nanaimo. They have also played in some big games this year and last. Beyond this however, here is a tale of two solitudes. Offensively the Panthers are gun slingers with amazing athletes at all the "skill" positions. The offensive line is very effective and superb at what it does. Barsby is very vanilla, they don't do a whole lot of things that are traditional hi-lite video material, but they do execute their scheme with a degree of precision. Defensively, both teams are opportunistic. Abbey attacks more and Barsby positions itself to capitalize on breakdowns. The kicking game in this one goes to Abbey in terms of range. Barsby has home field. This game for differing reasons could get out of hand real fast one way or the other or remain close. A very intriguing match-up indeed. GI's Pick: Barsby by 3