No. 5 BC HIGH (1-1) at No. 8 CHELMSFORD (2-0)
The Skinny: The Eagles offense was rolling in Week 1 against Brockton, but BC High still suffered a loss to DePaul Catholic in New Jersey. However, while the Lions have a much-feared defense, it's been their offense that's been making waves, including a 54-point performance in their season-opening win over Westford Academy.
Scott Barboza: I think a good performance in this game would mean as much to the Lions as the Eagles’ performance against Brockton meant to them. Still, I think the Eagles put a lot of different pressures on the Chelmsford defense. BC High, 21-17.
Brendan Hall: I owe a slice at Zesty's to John Swenson and the Kennedy brothers if the Lions pull this one out. Aw heck, screw it, Tim Joy's gonna have the game of his life. Chelmsford, 17-14.
No. 19 ST. PETER-MARIAN (2-0) at No. 9 AUBURN (2-0)
The Skinny: Coming off a thrilling 14-13 victory over Holliston a week ago, Auburn is staring down an unprecedented 40th straight win, but once again the path will not be easy. Standing in its way is a Guardian defense led by Tre Watson in the secondary; and Jordan Knowles, Steve Flynn and Chris Nichols up front. Meanwhile, an Auburn line that averages 250 pounds across will look to make wiggle room for hard-charging back Dan Flink.
Barboza: I’m waffling on my prediction from last week that the Rockets’ streak would come to end either last week against Holliston or this week against the Guardians. After surviving the Panthers’ best shot, they made it 40. Auburn, 13-10.
Hall: I expect both teams to be deploying power-based possession game plans. That said, I like the weapons St. Pete has on defense. St. Peter-Marian, 7-6.
BELMONT HILL at BB&N
The Skinny: These two old rivals kick off the ISL season with a matinee showing Friday afternoon. BB&N boasts two of New England’s best linemen in Eric Olson and Dan Connaughton, while Chris Coady switches to quarterback after rushing for over 1,800 yards a season ago. That should pave the way for fullback Nick DiChiara (Papagianopoulos lite?) to have a big season. Meanwhile, all-league quarterback Connor Murphy returns under center, and will look to stretch out the field.
Barboza: Coady will make a seamless transition to quarterback behind an offensive line that’ll give him all sorts of time to throw. BB&N, 23-14.
Hall: Belmont Hill's Kevin Fleming is a terrific coach, but there's too much firepower to account for in the trenches here. BB&N, 24-10.
No. 4 XAVERIAN (2-0) at No. 14 BROCKTON (1-1)
The Skinny: These are two teams looking to open things up some. While the Hawks are off to an undefeated start with wins over Malden Catholic and Waltham, this is the first big test Xaverian faces on its loaded schedule. Meanwhile, the Boxers followed up their opening week loss to BC High with a 20-point win over Taunton.
Barboza: As much as Brockton has something to prove in this one, I’m looking for the Hawks to step it up after a couple of tune-ups. Xaverian, 27-20.
Hall: Chris Calvanese moves to 2-0 all-time against teams from Brockton. And like last year, he'll do it with late heroics. Xaverian, 20-13.
No. 20 NEW BEDFORD (2-0) at No. 2 DUXBURY (2-0)
The Skinny: Whalers quarterback Myles Medeiros is second in the state with eight touchdown passes (behind Weymouth QB Cam McLevedge's 9) and Marcel DePina is as talented an open-field runner as there is in the state. Yet, this is New Bedford's first real challenge of the season and the Dragons' disruptive defense balances the ability to get after the passer with strong play on the second and third tiers; that all starts with middle linebacker Max Randall.
Barboza: This might end up being the game of the weekend. Look for the Dragons’ secondary to play a major role in this one. Duxbury, 21-20.
Hall: Dragons survive this fierce one, but only after their secondary holds up late. Duxbury, 28-24.
No. 18 CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (0-1) at No. 6 ST. JOHN'S (SHREWSBURY) (2-0)
The Skinny: Can CM finally get in the win column? The Knights were up 14-0 on last year’s Connecticut Class LL finalist Trumbull before the lights went out on their home stadium. On paper, CM holds a distinct advantage at the skill positions, led by BCS commits Armani Reeves (Penn St.), Donovan Henry (BC) and A.J. Doyle (NC State). But the Pioneers always churn out quality lineman, and 6-foot-6 senior Ethan Borchelt could be one of the region’s hidden gems. They’ve decidedly downshifted this season, but for two straight weeks quarterback Connor Kurtz has led them to gutsy last-minute wins.
Barboza: Here’s betting the Pioneers stick to their early season form of making things very interesting. St. John’s 17-14.
Hall: This is the week Armani Reeves and Co. finally get back on track. But given the way the Knights' season has gone so far, I wouldn't be surprised to see this game called on account of a biblical storm. Catholic Memorial, 20-10.
MARSHFIELD (1-1) at No. 13 BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (1-1)
The skinny: This teams are a near mirror image of each other -- tough, physical teams who love to run the ball and pride themselves on stout defenses. Both teams are looking to strike some consistency with B-R falling to No. 2 Duxbury before rolling over Durfee, while the Rams scored the premiere upset of the early season with a win over Catholic Memorial before a let-down last week against Westford Academy.
Barboza: An old Old Colony League rivalry rekindled. This should be an old-fashioned slobber-knocker. B-R, 16-10.
Hall: Two programs known for their consistency in the trenches. Now that Marsh Vegas has come back to Earth a little, expect Nick Schlatz to be the difference here for the Trojans. B-R, 17-6.
No. 1 EVERETT (2-0) at ST. JOHN'S PREP (0-2)
The Skinny: In other programs across the state, winning by four scores and calling yourself rusty sounds laughable. But in Everett, it’s the truth – which, depending on the opponent, could be scary. Vondell Langston and Kenny Calaj have been tough to tackle in the short-yardage game, while quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso continues to break in his new receivers by going deep. Meanwhile, Prep will try to avoid its first 0-3 start of the 21st Century, but to do that it has to be able to move the ball against an Everett defensive line that has brought good pressure off the edges so far.
Barboza: The Eagles may take flight yet, but this is simply not that week. Everett, 30-17.
Hall: After sleepwalking through blowouts the first two weeks, the Tide finally get a true test. But how do you stop a thunder-and-thunder combo like Langston and Calaj? Everett, 28-10.
No. 12 DENNIS-YARMOUTH (2-0) at HINGHAM (1-1)
The Skinny: Last week’s comeback win over Barnstable put Division 2A on notice: Matt Montalto is a gutsy quarterback for the Dolphins, and Damion Johnson is among the state’s elite receivers. This D-Y team has plenty of quality parts, between slot receiver Dylan Hodsdon, fullback Joe Furness and a pair of quality cornerbacks in Quan Lovett and Rufus Hamilton. Hingham has been on the wire the first two weeks, losing to Medway by an extra point in the opening weekend before rebounding with a 13-10 win over Cohasset. As usual, the Harbormen will look to stretch the defense with its running scheme.
Barboza: It’s going to be interesting to see how these teams bounce back after a pair of emotion wins against regional rivals. Still, like the Dolphins’ offense a bit more in this one. D-Y, 24-16.
Hall: The Montalto-Johnson connection continues its strong showing in the first month. D-Y, 24-7.
No. 10 WEYMOUTH (2-0) at GLOUCESTER (0-2)
The Skinny: The Wildcats' offense is pure sugar and spice with quarterback Cam McLevedge on a Brady-esque pace with nine touchdowns passes in two games and Ozzy Colarusso running tough out of the backfield. Gloucester's gotten off to a tough start, seeing their Eastern Mass.-best winning streak go up in smoke and turn into a two-game losing streak. Things didn't get better when senior captain and two-way talent Chris Burke went down with an injury.
Barboza: The McLevedge to Bailey-Smith connection rolls along, exploiting a young Fishermen secondary. Weymouth, 31-21.
Hall: The messageboards on MassLive.com may very well force the whole website to crash if the Fish fall to 0-3. Weymouth, 33-10.
HOW WE'RE DOING
Last Week: 9-3
Last Week: 7-5