Game of the Week:
Brockton at Xaverian, Saturday at 1:30
Eh, you were expecting maybe Duxbury at New Bedford? Yours truly briefly touched on this game in this week's edition of “The Huddle”. Now let's see how they stack up against each other:
QB -- The quarterback position was an unknown for both these squads coming into the year, but the much-publicized emergence of Paul Mroz has lifted Brockton to, in these eyes, Super Bowl favorites. Xaverian knew what Chris Calvanese's potential was, but whether or not he would hit it was a question. He seems well on his way there after two weeks of carving up defenses. A slight edge goes to Xaverian, as Calvanese's legs can and will make a big difference.
RB -- It's hard to believe both Brockton's Trevon Offley and Xaverian's Joe Colton were juniors last year. Colton finds ways around or through the defense, always finding the end zone in one fashion or another. Offley is a speedster with great feet, and don't think his shoulder injury he suffered in Week 1 and kept him out of the Taunton game will be much of a burden. Capable Chris Tamasi backs up Colton, while Joshua “Bruiser” Brewster has gotten Offley's carries. Brewster's admirable performances against BC High and Taunton give Brockton the edge in the running game.
WR -- Mike Muir is an absolute rock at wide receiver for Xaverian, and Nick McDaniels is a solid No. 2 pass catcher. But now armed (no pun intended) with a quarterback who can get them the ball, Brockton is showing that they possess maybe the most dangerous receiving corps around. Soft-handed Ralph Cherry has been a stud over the first two weeks, Louis Depina shredded BC High, and most coaches would kill to have a fourth option like Jesse Montiero. But the best player in the game will be Albert-Louis Jean, and he breaks this competition open in favor of the Boxers.
D -- Brockton takes this category as well with what is arguably the best defense in the state. But let us not forget that the Hawks have put up back-to-back goose eggs against Malden Catholic and Waltham. The names on these defenses are pretty well known, but look out for Xaverian linebacker Zach Bartlett, who plays strong against the pass and the run.
OL -- We aren't exactly line gurus here, so we'll avoid looking foolish. But Xaverian lost some serious talent on the offensive line from last year, and that reared it's head against Malden Catholic. BC High's Obum Obukwelu gave Brockton's big guys some trouble, but he's one of the best around. The Boxers are young at the line, though my eye tells me they take this one.
The final verdict?
Brockton has more talent and, if these teams face each other in the playoffs again, will win. But this Saturday is the more polished Xaverian's day to shine, proving why they are the Globe's No. 1 team.
Not much separates these two squads and if we have to eat our words, we'll just be happy for a great football game between the two best teams in the state.
Whoever stays home to watch college football will be missing the day's best football game.
Others to watch:
Methuen at Billerica, Friday at 7
Last time these two teams met, the Indians squeaked out a win behind Nick LaSpada's 405 all-purpose yards. At the rate he's going, he'll put on quite the encore.
Malden at Acton-Boxboro, Friday at 7 p.m.
Malden was favored by some heading into the Methuen game (OK, by us), but could not compete with the Rangers' physicality, which led to a second-half explosion. Things won't get much easier for what was the chic pick to wrestle the GBL-crown away from Everett.
St. John's Prep at Everett, Saturday at 2 p.m.
Prep jumped to 2-0 with a slim victory over Central Catholic last weekend. The Eagles have looked good running the ball, and stopping the run may qualify as Everett's biggest weakness.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.