at Reading, 5:15 p.m.
The rundown — For Wayland, it starts with defense. Led by captain Matt Devlin, the Warriors have the best unit in Division 3 and are one of only nine in EMass that has held opponents to fewer than 10 points per game. And that’s good, because Westwood can light up a scoreboard, led by brothers Alex (24 TD passes) and Bo Berluti (13 TD receptions). Wayland’s biggest win this fall was over Division 1A Lincoln-Sudbury, and considering it was L-S’s lone loss, that’s impressive. And Wayland beat Millis, a Division 4 school that beat Westwood.
PEMBROKE (7-3) vs. SHARON (8-3)
at Braintree, 5:15 p.m.
The rundown — Not sure what this means, but Sharon is the only team in EMass that scored the same number of points that it gave up, 197. Brad Schiff leads the Eagles and earned Hockomock Defensive Player of the Year honors. This is Sharon’s first playoff appearance. Pembroke is making its second straight. Pembroke’s offense isn’t impressive unless you dig deep. The first five weeks, the Titans averaged 12.8 ppg; the last five weeks, it was 34.6 ppg.
LYNNFIELD (8-2) vs. AMESBURY (9-2)
at Cawley Stadium, Lowell, 5:15 p.m.
The rundown — These teams met in the second week of the season, with Lynnfield scoring the last three touchdowns to beat the Indians, 31-27. Matt Talbot threw 15 TD passes for Amesbury, including one in the first matchup. His passing ability gives Amesbury an edge on offense, but defensively Lynnfield has a significant upper hand, allowing almost a touchdown less per game. If the unofficial Cape Ann Super Bowl comes down to one player, it could be Kyle McGah. The junior back scored three times for Lynnfield in the first game.
DIGHTON-REHOBOTH (9-1) vs. BISHOP FEEHAN (8-2)
at Taunton, 7:45 p.m.
The rundown — Don’t be surprised to see Matt Allen selling programs and taking tickets before the kickoff. The Bishop Feehan senior kicks field goals, scores via runs or receptions, and his kickoffs are impressive. But even more impressive is the Feehan defense, which gives up just 6.5 ppg. On the other sideline, D-R didn’t expect to be here after heavy graduation losses. The Falcons don’t score a lot (20.7 ppg) or play great defense (13.4 ppg). Led by QB Nathan Kowalski, they just win.
SHAWSHEEN (9-1) vs. ST. MARY’S (10-1)
at Manning Field, Lynn, 5:15 p.m.
The rundown — The Mike O’Hearn to Devonn Pratt connection is one reason Shawsheen is scoring more than 35 ppg. Paul DePlacido’s running is another. The Commonwealth Large had some of the top offensive teams in EMass, so don’t be deceived by the 20 ppgs the Rams allowed. St. Mary’s can score in bunches, too, led by Jordan Collier’s 20 touchdowns. The Spartans can also play defense, as evidenced by holding the high-powered Cambridge offense to 6 points — the same offense that scored 30 on Everett.
ABINGTON (11-0) vs. MILLIS-HOPEDALE (8-3)
at Bridgewater-Raynham, 5:15 p.m.
The rundown — If this is Jim Kelliher’s last year at Abington, it’s certainly a good one. The Green Wave are led by Babila Fonkem (13 TDs). Abington’s defense had the best numbers in the South Shore League, giving up just 11.8 ppg. Millis-Hopedale is back in the postseason for a second straight year and if you like good line play, check out TVL Small lineman of the year Jon Baker. Bay Tangney earned TVL Small MVP honors and Ian Strom was Offensive Player of the Year.
NORTH SHORE (8-3) vs. CATHEDRAL (9-2)
at Burlington, 5:15 p.m.
The rundown — Though not undefeated like last fall, Cathedral is still a force, led by its dominating lineman and CCL Small Player of the Year Mohammed Braimah. Offensively, Kadeem Edge (13 TDs) and Kejonte Hickman (18 TD passes) help Cathedral click at 29 points per game. North Shore is led by Ross Murphy (17 touchdowns). It’s an offense that produced 60, 46, and 44 points. North Shore turned heads in beating Blue Hills in September and has benefited from playing strong Commonwealth Large teams.
BRISTOL-PLYMOUTH (5-6) vs. MADISON PARK (7-4)
at Weymouth, 5:15 p.m.
The rundown — B-P earned the Mayflower Large title with a stunning, 28-26 victory over heavily-favored Blue Hills on Thanksgiving. The only team in the postseason with a losing record, the Craftsmen scored 21.5 ppg and allowed 21.6. The B-P defense forced Blue Hills into six fumbles and quarterback Colin McGrath took care of the B-P offense, scoring twice. MP has the best defense in the division, allowing just 7.6 ppg, pitching six shutouts. But the Cardinals sometimes struggle offensively, including a 6-0 OT loss on Thanksgiving.