Overall, solid performances from both Anthony and Jason this week. Both finished well above the .500 mark, as Anthony chipped away at Jason's sizable lead. The difference-maker? North Reading's 17-14 win over Pentucket, in which Anthony correctly pegged the Hornets to win.
Week 5 Results: Anthony 8-2; Jason 7-3.
Season: Mastro 32-13; Anthony 26-19.
Here are our games to watch for Week 6, along with our predictions.
No. 8 Natick (5-0) at No. 9 Weymouth (5-0), Friday, 7 p.m.:
Anthony: Natick quarterback Troy Flutie and wide receiver Brian Dunlap are electric. Flutie leads Division 2A with 13 TD passes (8 to Dunlap), and has also rushed for five scores. But I love Weymouth in this matchup, especially at home. Quarterback Jack Lehan is a great pocket-passer, and ranks third in Division 1 with 10 touchdown passes.† Wide receiver Dave Harrison has also flashed his skills under center, throwing for seven scores -- including four in a 32-27 win over Needham last week in which he tossed the game-winning score with 20 seconds left. Not to mention, Harrison and teammate Tyler O'Brien are tied at the top of the Div. 1 receiving leader board with seven scores each. Wait. I forgot Ozzy Colarusso, who also has seven touchdowns and has the ability to rip off a big run at any moment. The point here is Weymouth is loaded with weapons Ė too many for Natick to defend. Weymouth 28, Natick 18.
Mastro: Natick hasn't played anyone too intimidating yet. You can look at the schedules of each of these two teams and they both cruised easily over Milton and Newton North. In the other three games, Natick has played three teams with a combined record of 2-13. Weymouth has played three teams with a combined record of 7-8. I know there's some Flutie magic to be accounted for in this one, but give me the team that's been tested. Weymouth 28, Natick 13.
No. 2 Everett (4-1) at Xaverian (1-4), Saturday, 1:30:
Anthony: How do you bounce back from four straight losses? An invigorating win over Everett would certainly help. Let's not forget Xaverian's losses came against three Top 20 teams (Brockton, Andover and Duxbury), and the No. 1 team in New Jersey, St. Joseph's Prep. The Hawks need to bounce back before it's too late, and Everett is hurting. I think the Tide's chances increase if renaissance man Gilly DeSouza and Jalen Felix are active against the Hawks, but Kenny Calaj also remains out. Last week, Xaverian was one dropped touchdown pass away from a victory over Duxbury (and a touchdown was also called back because of an illegal formation), and I don't think Charlie Stevenson's crew will make the same mistakes again. Xaverian 21, Everett 16.
Mastro:†Oh man, are we in for a good one here. I've heard all different sorts of things about how this is the worst Everett team in 15 years and it's lacking leadership, etc., etc., etc. But the bottom line is John DiBiaso always has talented players and he knows how to coach with whatever he has. And I still go back to that Barnstable game, where the Crimson Tide played a really inconsistent game in a lot of different ways but were still in it the whole time. I think the real battle will be between Everett's big man up front, Notre Dame-bound John Montelus (6 feet 5 inches, 330 pounds) vs. Xaverian's defensive tackle, Michigan-bound Maurice Hurst Jr. (6-2, 295 pounds). That may be worth the price of admission alone. But if Montelus can neutralize Hurst and maybe Jakarrie Washington can break one loose, Everett can squeak out a win.Everett 21, Xaverian 14.
Watertown (4-1) at Stoneham (5-0), Friday, 7:
Anthony: Here we have one of three conference games being played in this Middlesex (Freedom) matchup, and it's sure to be a good one. Stoneham has impressed on defense, allowing just 14 points all season while posting two shutouts. That said, Watertown hasn't scored fewer than 24 points in a game this year and will be difficult to contain. Stoneham receiver Eric Mooney has emerged as Andrew Cann's favorite target, hauling in seven of his quarterback's 11 scoring passes, and if the Spartans defense can make stops, then the two will be on the field often. I'll say Mooney hauls in two more scores. Stoneham 24, Watertown 15.
Mastro: I think Stoneham is the real rock of the Middlesex Freedom, having cruised over each bump in the road, so it's hard to pick against this team. It's the first time since 1992 that the Spartans are still undefeated by Week 5. And their defense speaks for itself. Stoneham 27, Watertown 7.
No. 14 Beverly (5-0) at Masconomet (4-1), Friday, 7:
Anthony: Beverly is rolling, having outscored opponents 206-28. The Panthers haven't given up more than one touchdown in a game, while making sure to score plenty. Running backs Brendan Flaherty (12 TDs) and Kenny Pierce (8 TDs) have shouldered the load for Beverly, and attack opponents from all angles. Masconomet has showed resilience this year, winning four straight since losing Week 1, including a 20-13 win over Catholic Memorial two week ago. However, I don't think Flaherty and Pierce can be stopped. Beverly 36, Masconomet 15.
Mastro: Flaherty has to be in the conversation for most important player to a team, doesn't he? There are certainly a handful of running backs Beverly can throw at you, but Flaherty has proven to be the best, with his 47 career touchdowns and 292 career points ranking first all-time in school history. Masco is good, Beverly might be great. Beverly 28, Masconomet 13.
Tewksbury (2-3) at No. 19 Central Catholic (4-1), Friday, 7:
Anthony: I'm going to start by saying I think Central wins this one. But Tewksbury has a special way of pulling off impressive wins, like its 21-0 shutout over Lowell, or a 30-22 win over Haverhill. Tewksbury also matched Andover punch for punch in a 51-42 loss last week. Can the Redmen upset Central Catholic? It's possible, but I think the Raiders have a quality defense (14.6 points per game), and an efficient running game in D'Andre Drummond-Mayrie and Santino Brancato. Not only are the two backs extremely talented, but they're also running behind 6-foot-4-inch, 260-pound lineman Ryan Barry. He doesn't waste any time clearing space here. Central Catholic 30, Tewksbury 22.
Mastro: Whenever I see Tewksbury on this list, I still think of you laughing at me when I took it over Haverhill earlier this year. Not only was it a stunning upset, but look how tough the Hillies have proven to be. They haven't lost since, with a big win over Chelmsford last week. I think it's time we give the Redmen the respect they deserve. Tewksbury 28, Central Catholic 21.
Middleboro (2-2) at North Quincy (2-2), Friday, 7:
Mastro: Both teams are off to matching 2-2 starts and this could be a telling game in the way the Patriot League's Fisher division shapes out. I like the way Middleboro has been able to run the ball this year, with Lucas Poteau, Casey Tucker and Taylor Frazier. If the Sachems can control the field position game and pound the ball, they should take this one. Middleboro 13, North Quincy 6.
Anthony: I see your three-headed rushing attack at Middleboro, and Iíll raise you my two chips in North Quincy's running back Antoine Allen and fullback Eddie Guinto, who have combined for 11 touchdowns this season. The two backs complement each other nicely -- picking up the slack when the other is having an off night. Allen, who has scored two touchdowns in three of four games this season, failed to score in a Week 2 loss to Oliver Ames, but Guinto answered with two scores. Both are a threat to score, and Middleboro will have a hard time figuring whom to key in on. North Quincy 18, Middleboro 12.†
North Andover (1-3) at Chelmsford (4-1), Friday, 7:
Mastro: North Andover is just having one of those seasons. I can't imagine that feeling in the bottom of John Rafferty's stomach as he's had to walk away from the field in three different losses knowing his team was so close to turning the "L" into a "W." That said, Rafferty knew he had a young team coming in and those tight games are something he can build off. And with Chelmsford still missing Bobby Sullivan at quarterback, this may be the perfect game for the Scarlet Knights to start rebuilding some momentum. North Andover 26, Chelmsford 20.
Anthony: It's hard to disagree with you here, Jason. After playing a close game against a solid Central Catholic team two weeks ago and losing by three, the Knights suffered a two-point loss to Lynn Classical and I think they're ready to bounce back. Bobby Sullivan is out, but Chelmsford still put up 23 points last week, and is capable of more behind running back Jeff d'Auria. But I'm going to go with Casey Walsh and the Knights here. North Andover 22, Chelmsford 18.
Sharon (5-0) at No. 6 King Philip (5-0), Friday, 7:
Mastro: Someone is falling off the undefeated bus, and you know neither team will have trouble getting up for this one. Ever since the young Dave Morse took over the Sharon program, there's been some added energy coming out of the Eagles' locker room. They're 9-4 over their last 13 games dating back to last year and it looks like they may have their first winning season in almost 25 years. But King Philip quarterback J.J. Dillon has excelled with his electric wideouts Sam McDonald and Joey Cochrane. And because of the emotion that will be riding on the outcome, I think I'll give the edge to the home team. King Philip 20, Sharon 14.
Anthony: Sharon got exactly what it needed before this edgy contest with King Philip, and that was an electrifying 21-14 overtime win against Canton. The Eagles will be flying high into Friday's contest, but King Philip has been pounding opponents 144-36 in its first five games. I like King Philips's passing game, but I love what running back Joe Johnston is doing this year -- cruising behind fullback Ryan Dunn to score 10 touchdowns. King Philip 28, Sharon 15.
Concord-Carlisle (3-2) at Westford (4-1), Friday, 7:
Mastro: You knew the Patriots were going to need time to click, especially with a new sophomore quarterback, Will Blumenberg, taking over. But you also knew they would have a tremendous pool of athletes to choose from and Evan Boynton can provide a spark in the running game. Unfortunately, with Troy Faretra and Justin Mount tearing apart opposing defenses, I can't pick against Westford right now. But I'll leave you with this: In back-to-back weeks, Newton South has lost to C-C, 34-10, and Westford, 42-7. Westford 35, Concord-Carlisle 21.
Anthony: Ever since Troy Faretra came back from last year's season-ending injury three games ago, he and Justin Mount have clicked with incredible success. Westford can now successfully run the spread offense with its No. 1 guy back under center. The Grey Ghosts can spread the field, and helping them do so is running back Ben Rodman, better known to his teammates as "the Worm." Hear that Dennis?! Westford has scored 40-plus points in back-to-back games, while giving up just one score in each game. The Ghosts mean business. Jason nailed this score. Westford 35. Concord-Carlisle 20.
No. 11 Bridgewater-Raynham (3-2) at La Salle Academy, R.I. (4-1), Friday, 7:
Mastro: OK, so there probably won't be a ton of local folks driving down for this one, but it's worth noting that La Salle is the top-ranked team in Rhode Island and its only loss this season came at the hands of North Attleboro. So this could be a good and telling matchup. And I still don't think we've seen Bridgewater-Raynham click against a strong squad yet, losing to Duxbury and St. John's Prep by matching 20-7 scores. There's a lot of talent there. And when Brandon Gallagher gets hot, look out. Bridgewater-Raynham 33, La Salle, 27.
Anthony: Brandon Gallagher is a tremendous talent for Bridgewater-Raynham and has scored seven touchdowns. But I also like what I've seen from quarterback Jordan Cohen. There's no question teams are going to key in on Gallagher, and I believe Cohen can keep the offense moving. Against Durfee earlier this year, Cohen was a precise 6 for 10 passing, with 124 yards and two touchdowns. Can you guess who provided two touchdowns in that game as well? That's right, Brandon Gallagher. When clicking, the two help the offense run smoothly for B-R. Bridgewater-Raynham 27, La Salle 22. †
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 winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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