If anyone watches Double Coverage, you might notice the picks I make on that video sometimes change on this blog.
Background: We tape that on Tuesday night after initally researching each opponent. I write this blog on Friday morning. In between, opinions change. I get more info and have more time to think about each game. So, there you go…
On to the picks.
Last week: 7-2
Alisal at Watsonville: Perhaps the best game of the weekend. On paper, Alisal enters as the stronger team. They’ve had two 44-point games, they have a strong defense, a solid RB and a QB who I’ve heard other coaches talk about positively. Watsonville has a strong offense that I think could score on most teams, but it’s defense, although hard-hitting, still needs improvement. The offense, additionally, continues to play catch-up after falling behind early. I think this could be a break-out performance by Watsonville tonight, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened. They could turn a lot of heads by winning. But until then … Pick: Alisal.
Santa Cruz at Aptos: Santa Cruz has limited numbers this season and is struggling defensively. Aptos’ wing-T should take another step forward in progressing. The Mariners will take the first step toward defending their SCCAL title. Pick: Aptos.
St. Francis at Soquel: I still think St. Francis, when they get healthy and going, is going to surprise someone. But this isn’t the game. The Sharks struggled to slow Stevenson’s run game last week, and while coach Adam Hazel said they had a good week of practice and been preaching team defense, Soquel’s run game is a different kind of beast. The Knights are too strong in the backfield. Pick: Soquel.
Pajaro Valley at North Salinas: The Grizzlies are another team that I think could surprise as the season develops. But I was expecting somewhat big things this year from North Salinas, and I think it got its kick in the pants last week by defeating Santa Cruz. The Vikings returned 17 starters from a year ago, while P.V. returned very few. They’re still developing, and they’re getting better every week. But I think North High is at a different point right now. Pick: North Salinas.
College of the Redwoods at Cabrillo: I still don’t really know what to make of this game. Redwoods has two wins by two points, needing a furious comeback in one victory and a defensive stand in the other. Meanwhile, there QB situation is back-and-forth, with Ricky Garcia possibly out for this game. There weapons at the skill positions appear to be strong, but few. I think Cabrillo has some momentum after last week’s win and I think they can slow Redwoods enough. Pick: Cabrillo.
Harbor at San Lorenzo Valley: The Pirates got a good bounce-back win last week after two straight defeats to Stevenson and Mills. They established their run and saw Garrett Fonseca have a terrific game. But I think SLV’s defense is at stronger point in the season right now. Robbie Biagiotti, Lucas Sinnott and others limited Watsonville’s offense to 20 points last week — and when the game was close, zero points in the fourth quarter. Pick: SLV.
Bear River at Scotts Valley: Scotts Valley is expecting Bear River’s starting QB to play in this game, which allows the Bruins to do their normal schemes. They play a shotgun wing-T, which I’ve never actually seen but I can assume, and they have plenty of RBs to operate it. I like that Scotts Valley is at home — that’s a long drive from Grass Valley. But Bear River sounds like another difficult nonleague opponent for the Falcons. I mean, they played with their backup QB last week and still posted 28 points. Scotts Valley will compete, but I see Bear River emerging. Pick: Bear River.