Another week over, a new one’s about to begin.
Here are five games we're looking for on this weekend’s football slate, with predictions from staff writers Brendan Hall and Scott Barboza, along with predicted scores on the other games you should be paying attention to.
NO. 1 BROCKTON (2-0) AT NO. 2 XAVERIAN (2-0), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
The skinny: What hasn’t been said about this matchup already? The Boxers and the Hawks are about as evenly matched as you can imagine, even when looking at the teams’ history playing each other. The all-time series between Brockton and Xaverian is tied 13-all. We expect this “rubber match” will be just as close.
Hall: Six letters: ALJ (Albert Louis-Jean). FTW. Brockton, 21-13
Barboza: The matchup I’m watching is Boxers running back Trevon Offley against the Hawks linebackers, led by Chris Tamasi. But I think Brockton has too many weapons in the passing game. Brockton, 28-24
NO. 17 METHUEN (1-1) AT NO. 9 BILLERICA (2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
The skinny: Methuen’s Cal Carroll (six TDs—five passing, one rushing) is coming off a huge week against Malden. And Billerica’s defense has been prone to giving up yards in large chunks, so this one could turn into a shootout pretty quickly.
Hall: The Rangers impressed the heck out of me last week with a dominant second half against Malden. They will be Billerica's toughest test to date, and I like the chances of an upset here. LaSpada is all-world once again, but don't sleep on Raudy Minaya. Methuen, 17-10
Barboza: For the first time this year, LaSpada doesn’t put up video game numbers. But the Indians still win. Billerica 31-24
BB&N (0-0) AT BELMONT HILL (0-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.
The skinny: Last year, BB&N provided the only legitimate challenge to Lawrence Academy’s supremacy. But last year’s roster has been largely stripped away and some are calling for the Knights to have a down year. Quarterback Eric Bertino is back though and should get help from a couple of transfers in linebacker Chris Coady and lineman Dan Connaughton. BB&N faces a first-week challenge from Belmont Hill quarterback Tyler West and top-target receiver Zach Williams.
Hall: Another rite of fall here. Of all the years, I think this is the year Kevin Fleming takes down the Knights. Belmont Hill, 14-10
Barboza: The cupboard may be bare compared to last year, but the Knights still have enough. BB&N, 17-14
NO. 15 ST. JOHN’S PREP (2-0) AT NO. 3 EVERETT (1-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.
The skinny: The Crimson Tide spent last week with their heels kicked up on a bye week, while the Eagles went down to the wire and escaped with a 22-21 comeback win over Central Catholic. So it will be interesting to see how the teams look early. For St. John’s Prep to win, the name of this game will be ball control and keeping Everett’s spread attack off the field as long as possible.
Hall: The Eagles will likely provide better coverage matchups than what the Tide saw in week one, but it's going to be very tough to shut down not one, but two elite receivers as skilled as the Asprilla-Costello pair. Everett, 22-14.
Barboza: The Eagles secondary has a tall task in covering Asprilla and Costello. I like the Tide in that regard. Everett, 14-13
SILVER LAKE (2-0) AT PLYMOUTH NORTH (1-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
The skinny: After nearly pulling off a big upset for the second week in a row, Plymouth North fell to Duxbury, 16-12, with a two-point conversion play creating the difference. Now, Matt Walsh and the Eagles are home to welcome regional non-league rival Silver Lake. The Lakers, led by senior quarterback Mitch Graziano, are off and running after wins over Coyle-Cassidy and New Bedford.
Hall: Right now, I can't think of anyone with more steely nerves with the game on the line than Matt Walsh. Maybe he can save this economy, too. P-North, 24-21.
Barboza: This one’s a coin flip, but I like the Lakers’ ability to defend the run a little bit more. Silver Lake, 27-24
THE REST OF THE BEST:
Durfee 20, Taunton 16
Lynn English 28, Beverly 21
Apponequet 17, Seekonk 14
Franklin 21, Attleboro 10
No. 25 Barnstable 31, Sandwich 21
Abington 27, Bishop Feehan 14
Marshfield 17, Bridgewater-Raynham 14
Catholic Memorial 27, Hartford (Vt.) 10
Central Catholic 27, Dracut 21
Scituate 14, Cohasset 7
Revere 21, Danvers 14
No. 13 Falmouth 27, Dartmouth 14
No. 6 Gloucester 31, Winthrop 7
No. 23 Dennis-Yarmouth 34, Hingham 24
Wakefield 14, Lexington 13
Lincoln-Sudbury 28, Masconomet 20
Lawrence 20, Lowell 17
Malden 14, Acton-Boxborough 7
Somerville 21, Malden Catholic 17
Medfield 27, Hopkinton 14
Weymouth 16, Milton 14
Rockland 24, Rutland (Vt.) 20
Stoughton 21, Foxborough 20
Tewksbury 27, Andover 20
Lynn Classical 28, Marblehead 21
Duxbury 27, New Bedford 24
Lawrence Academy 31, Milton Academy 24
St. Sebastian’s 21, Noble & Greenough 14
Somerset 23, Bishop Stang 21
Governor’s Academy 21, Thayer Academy 14
Rivers 14, St. Paul’s 7
Martha’s Vineyard 27, Coyle-Cassidy 20