We kick off the Massachusetts high school football season with our weekly preview from Barnstable High School, the site of our first New England Dairy Game of the Week, as the host Red Raiders welcome Cape rival Dennis-Yarmouth, Friday night at 6 p.m.
ESPN Boston High Schools editors Scott Barboza and Brendan C. Hall break down the Top 25 matchup between the No. 12 Dolphins and No. 23 Red Raiders, while making their weekly picks (for a larger slate of Week 1 picks, scroll below):
(Video produced by Greg Story)
WEEK 1 PICKS:
No. 24 Marshfield at No. 15 BC High, Friday, 7 p.m.
Scott Barboza: I’m as bullish on the Rams as anyone enetering the season, but I’m going with a large-and-in-charge Eagles offensive line to win the day in a tight one. BC High, 14-12.
Brendan Hall: Right now, Marshfield is a snake hiding in tall grass. And what happened last time Marshfield hosted a Top-15 Catholic Conference team on tall grass? A 24-0 shutout of a Catholic Memorial squad that featured five Division 1 FBS signees. Tread with caution. Marshfield, 21-14.
No. 14 Holliston at Duxbury, Friday, 7 p.m.
Barboza: This one might be played with the offensive gusto and pace that of what you might find if Baylor and Oregon matched up. Holliston, 34-28.
Hall: Expecting lots of fireworks in this one. Both teams are known for their aerial skills, but Zach Elkinson’s unpredictability puts the Panthers over the top. Holliston, 38-30.
No. 3 Everett at No. 17 Springfield Central, Friday 7 p.m.
Barboza: Once again, it’ll be intriguing to see how the Crimson Tide’s offense evolves through the weeks, but with Jordan McAfee and Nick Orekoya, this could be a very fun group to watch throughout the year. Everett, 30-21.
Hall: Last year was probably Central’s best shot at taking down Everett. The Golden Eagles will be formidable on defense yet again, but the Crimson Tide will win the trench battle. Everett, 30-17.
Andover at Cambridge, Friday, 7 p.m.
Barboza: Here’s betting EJ4 has a better season than RG3 this year. Andover, 36-30.
Hall: Two polished aerial attacks for two quarterbacks on the rise. E.J. Perry IV should have a breakout season for Andover, but in this battle I think Marcus Collins has a few more weapons to give the Falcons a slight edge. Cambridge, 28-27.
No. 10 St. John’s Prep at No. 6 Bridgewater-Raynham, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Barboza: This will be a fun matchup just on the tight ends alone, with BC commit Jake Burt going head to head with Connor Reagan. B-R, 13-10.
Hall: Brandon Gallagher had a big day last year against Prep, and I’m predicting another big one this year: Two touchdowns, 150 rushing yards. B-R, 20-13.
Chelmsford at No. 21 Tewksbury, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Barboza: This is where the Lions’ hype train departs; this team will challenge for the MVC Large crown. Chelmsford, 20-14.
Hall: Sneaky good matchup in MVC Land, and perhaps a welcome pace from some of the arena-like scores the league has produced in recent years. Tewksbury, 23-20.
No. 4 Mansfield at Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.), Saturday, 1 p.m.
Barboza: Because a Boston accent is better than a New York one. Mansfield, 31-28.
Hall: After last year’s win over Dunbar (Md.), I’m not putting anything past the Hornets. Mansfield, 17-10.
GAME OF THE WEEK – No. 12 Dennis-Yarmouth at No. 23 Barnstable, Friday, 6 p.m.
Barboza: I think the Red Raiders can win the battle at the point of attack, but D-Y’s athleticism will be too much to handle. D-Y, 34-24.
Hall: I’m predicting a big night for Michael Dunn to kick off the 2014 season. Let’s set the over/under at 250 yards all-purpose, three touchdowns, and what the heck, two picks on defense. D-Y, 35-28.