This week's most intriguing matchup had the potential be the game of the season, but No. 5 Xaverian lost to No. 2 Duxbury last weekend, spoiling what could have been a 1 vs. 2 showdown. It's still going to be one of the best-played games of 2011, as these are two talented squads. Everett is once again the best team in Massachusetts, while Xaverian has legit Division 1 Super Bowl hopes.
No. 5 Xaverian (4-1) at No. 1 Everett (5-0)
Saturday, 2 p.m.
Xaverian — The Hawks employ a QB time share, with Chris Calvanese and Austin DeCarr both getting significant snaps. Both are capable of hitting the big pass down the middle of the field, a staple of the Xaverian offense. When DeCarr is under center, Calvanese moves around the field and lines up at WR and RB, where his athleticism causes matchup problems for the defense.
Everett — The first thing any opponent has to consider is QB Jonathan DiBiaso. Give him time in the pocket and he will find the open man. But while Everett has turned to the passing game in recent years, the 2011 Crimson Tide have a power running presence in senior Vondell Langston. On defense, DE Ralph Jonathas will try to hem in the Xaverian QBs.
For Xaverian, this is the second "statement game" in a row. After blowing a fourth-quarter lead at home against No. 2 Duxbury last week, a win over Everett would completely erase any negative vibes and cement the Hawks as the Division 1 favorite. Everett is looking to make a statement of its own — the Crimson Tide play No. 3 BC High next week, and sweeping those two games would give them a clear path to another undefeated season.
Xaverian needs to attack through the air to be successful, but it has to be on the Hawks' terms. If Everett gets out front and forces Xaverian to play catch-up, things could get out of hand quickly. In the end, I don't think Xaverian has the athletes up front to slow down Langston and the rest of the Everett running attack, which will open up the entire playbook for DiBiaso.
EVERETT 38, XAVERIAN 20
For the rest of my picks, check out yesterday's post by clicking here.