We’ll start, as always, with a peak at the new Division 3 and 3A Top 10s:
1. Somerset (8-0)
2. Dighton-Rehobeth (7-1)
3. Scituate (6-2)
4. Apponequet (6-2)
5. Bishop Feehan (3-5)
6. Seekonk (5-2)
7. Swampscott (6-2)
8. Martha's Vineyard (5-2)
9. Saugus (4-3)
10. Bourne (4-4)
Not too much movement in there aside from Bishop Feehan’s ascent back up the standings. The Shamrocks have rebounded nicely with a 3-0 start in the Eastern Athletic Conference following an 0-5 out-of-conference showing to begin the year. Feehan goes out of conference again this week against Durfee, but will likely play for the EAC title in two weeks at Somerset –– easily the toughest test left for the defending D-3 champs.
1. Rockland (8-0)
2. Holliston (7-1)
3. Spellman (8-0)
4. Abington (7-1)
5. Norton (7-1)
6. St. Mary's (7-1)
7. Lynnfield (7-1)
8. Medway (7-1)
9. Westwood (6-2)
10. Mashpee (6-2)
A bit more movement in 3A, as Spellman jumps up the charts to No. 3 after an impressive 15-0 blanking of Bishop Fenwick a week after the Crusaders dropped 44 points on Archbishop Williams. The Cardinals are allowing just 6.1 points per game, and the first team defense has allowed exactly one touchdown all season. Quite a few pieces would have to fall the right way, but a Spellman-Holliston D-3A finale would have to be one of the more intriguing matchups in the MIAA.
Among the other movers are Mashpee, which jumps into the Top 10 after a 33-32 win over Cohasset last week, and Medway, which won a 30-16 decision to Tri-Valley rival Westwood.
Speaking of the TVL, the playoff seedings for the first and final TVL tournament have been set. Here’s a quick peak at the weekend schedule:
No. 1 Holliston vs. No. 4 Westwood, 7 p.m. Saturday*
No. 2 Medway vs. No. 3 Norton, 4:30 p.m. Saturday*
No. 7 Millis/Hopedale at No. 6 Hopkinton, 7 p.m. Friday
No. 8 Dover-Sherborn at No. 5 Medfield, 7 p.m. Friday
No. 10 Ashland at No. 9 Bellingham, 7 p.m. Friday
*Games at Westwood high school
For the week after, everybody except the winners of the Holliston-Westwood and Medway-Norton games will play Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at the home of the highest seed. The winner of the Millis-Hopkinton and Medfield-DS games will play each other. The highest seeded loser of the Millis-Hopkinton and Medfield-DS games will play the winner of Ashland-Bellingham, and the loser of those games will play the loser of Ashland-Bellingham.
The winner of the Holliston-Westwood and Medway-Norton games will play in the TVL title game on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the home of the highest seed.
So if all the highest seeds win, the schedule for Nov. 12-13 will look like this:
No. 2 Medway at No. 1 Holliston, 7 p.m. Saturday
No. 4 Westwood at No. 3 Norton, 7 p.m. Friday
No. 6 Hopkinton at No. 5 Medfield, 7 p.m. Friday
No. 9 Bellingham at No. 7 Millis/Hopedale 7 p.m. Friday
No. 10 Ashland at No. 8 Dover-Sherborn 7 p.m. Friday
And remember, that’s how Week 2 of the TVL playoffs would look if all the highest seeds win.
Lastly, a TVL title does not guarantee a team an MIAA playoff spot –– the teams in-conference record will still be the deciding factor, meaning that TVL Thanksgiving matchups could still decide who represents the league in the MIAA tournament. Namely, the Thanksgiving matchup between Holliston and Westwood – a guaranteed rematch of this weekend’s first-round matchup – could have a huge effect on who gets the MIAA bid, regardless of how the TVL playoffs turn out.
Now, for a preview of this weekend’s action:
Holliston vs. Westwood, 7 p.m. Saturday: Holliston’s spread offense is the hands-down most efficient in the league, averaging 42.8 points per game – 14.5 more than second-best Medway – and though Westwood’s defense is allowing just over 17 points per game, they’ve given up big scoring totals to Millis (28 points), Norton (28 points), and Medway (30 points). None of those offenses stack up to what the Panthers have, and odds are quarterback Sean Mayo and company are going to score big on Westwood’s D. The question, then, is whether Westwood’s ground game – headed by Sean Amaru and David DeCenzo – can control enough clock and put up enough points for the Wolverines to pull the upset.
Medway vs. Norton, 4:30 p.m. Saturday: Medway is fresh off a 30-16 statement win over Westwood, and senior running back Mike Ozzella might be the hottest player in high-school football with almost 450 yards rushing and eight touchdowns over the past two weeks. The Norton defense is among the best in the league, however, having held every opponent except Holliston to 15 points or less this season. On the flip side of the ball, Bishop Feehan-transfer Zach Schwieger led the Lancers to a 29-6 win over Millis last week with three rushing touchdowns and a passing score, but have struggled against stronger defenses –– a problem since Medway brings arguably the TVL's best. In the end, yards could be at a premium going both ways this Saturday, and this could be the tightest contest of the weekend when it’s all said and done.
Austin Prep at Cardinal Spellman, 6 p.m. Friday: As mentioned above, Spellman’s defense may be the best in D-3A –– it's first team defense has allowed just one touchdown this season. As always, Austin Prep's offense loves to ground and pound, and although the Cougars are just 4-4 on the season, the team is 1-1 in the Catholic Central (Large), and a win against the 2-0 Cardinals could put AP right in the thick of the CCL title hunt.
Quincy at Scituate, 7 p.m. Friday: The Sailors have reeled off five-straight wins after a 1-2 start, putting themselves in the driver’s seat for the Patriot-Fisher title, but Quincy is no small bump in the road. The Presidents are coming off a 29-7 loss to Hanover, but Reggie Cesar, Jalen Green and company are capable of scoring, and Scituate’s defense is allowing an unimpressive 22.4 points per game. The Sailors’ offense is led by quarterback Tyler Park, running back Wes Hawkins, and receiver Casey Burns, and have averaged over 28 points per game this year. A win would extend Scituate’s conference lead to a full game over the winner of Pembroke-Hanover, setting the team up nicely for a first postseason appearance since 1979.
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.