North Central vs. Mt. Spokane @ Albi = Well, believe it or not, one of these two 2-6 teams will capture the #2 seed in the 3A playoffs next week with a win. Mt. Spokane was able to break a 4-week losing streak last week to Rogers thanks to their senior the Human Bottle Rocket Chase Nacarrato. The Deuce exploded for 4 TDís and put the Cats in position to return to the playoffs yet again. As for the Indians, they are hoping to snap their own 4 game losing streak and build momentum going into next year. What will happen ?? I just donít see NC having the horses to catch up and stop Nacarrato. And much like last week, I feel the Wildcats will see this as a win where NC would like to win. Mt. Spokane 35 NC 20
Rogers vs. SP @ Albi = The battle of the winless teams will be the 8pm game at Albi Friday night. Both teams have had huge emotional ups and downs this year and the key in this one will be consistency. Neither team has played 4 consistent qtrs this year and whoever can do that better in this game should win. Can SPís defense shut down a hobbled Luke Rogers (1,015 yds)? Can a suspect Pirate secondary slow down the hard charging Frosh QB Brett Rypien? In the end, I think SP has played more quality qtrs this year then the Pirates. SP 45 Rogers 20
Ferris at G-Prep = For the 2nd straight week, G-Prep will play host to a state ranked team at their home on Euclid St. Last week, they just fell short of pulling off a hard fought upset over Mead. This week, in walks the Saxons who many Pups share a familiar zip code with up on the South Hill. What I will be watching for in this game is Ferrisí ability to stop the run for 4 qtrs. Meadís Fly, Wildcat, Misdirection offense gave this Ferris defense issues that they arenít accustomed seeing. Can the Pups Pistol-Option do the same?? Again much like last week, I see this game being close on the scoreboard much of the game. If Ferris continues to work on the pass heading into the playoffs, I think that will pay huge dividends in this game. The Pups have given up the leagues 2nd most yards in passing and I just donít see the Saxons not trying to exploit that fact. Also, I feel that the Panther Loss a few weeks back should the boys on the Hill that the forward pass is still needed in big games. I will take the Saxons to defeat the Bullpups 28-17.
U-Hi vs. Mead @ Albi = This game is simple. Can the leagues #1 ranked pass defense (Mead 94 yds per game) slow down and defend the leagues #1 ranked pass offense (U-Hi 248 yds per game)? With passing overall down in the league this year, the U-Hi Titans are making up for that by themselves. In this game, Titan senior QB Connor Johnson is looking to eclipse the 2,000 yard mark (something only 1 other GSL QB has every done). The Titans, whose schedule was a bear the first 4 weeks, have won 4 straight and are heading into next weeks playoffs as the GSLís #1 seed. The key will be to see if their run defense has improved over the last 4 weeks vs. sub-par competition. They will get their chance to prove it as the Panthers are coming in as the leagues 2nd best rush offense avgín just around 6 yards a clip. Despite the improvement, I just donít see the Titan defense being able to keep the Panther ground attack off the field much. Long painful drives will be the doom for the Old College coach and his senior signal caller in this game. I will take Mead, making up for last years loss out at U-Hi, 35-21 winners.
CV vs. LC @ Albi = The Last week of the season provides us with a little drama as the 3rd 4A playoff spot will be handed out to the winner of this one. Both teams come in evenly matched from a stats standpoint and if you like skill players, we got them in this game. Two of the leagues best QBís will square off in what could be a key 4th qtr drive type of game. Both signal callers are 3yr starts and should be able to tap into that experience when needed. For me, I will want to watch the match-up of the LC QB & WRís vs. the secondary of the Bears. Both groups have solid athletes, which could create a big play to decide this game. The Tigers are coming off a difficult loss to Ferris last week and if they donít put that behind them early, the Bears will take advantage. After all, it was the Bears who came out flat the next week after a Ferris loss and were upset by G-Prep. Turnovers should play a key part in deciding who will travel down and take on Chiawana of the Big 9. Despite the Tigers surprising effort this year, I will give the edge to the Bears behind a great group of senior DBís and the leagues best kicker. CV 26 LC 21