I didn’t get the chance to pick a winner from Thursday night’s Alisal-P.V. game. I would have picked Alisal (which won 42-18), but since I didn’t do it in time, I’ll leave it off the overall tally.
Speaking of which, that might be effected after this week’s games, which are some of the most evenly matched contests we’ve had all season — at least across the board.
And not only that, but there will be a lot on the line, too. MVC-Seaside could end up deciding the MBL Pacific Division, while Aptos-Scotts Valley should cause waves in the SCCAL.
Last week: 5-2 (guess which day I lost those two games on?)
North Salinas at Watsonville: I picked Watsonville last week to upset North Monterey County, and they ended up surrendering the lead in the final seconds and suffered a narrow defeat. I thought last week’s game could be a turning point for Watsonville, which you could see steadily improving week to week. And I think it still could be (that’s one of those things you won’t really know until later on in the season). How this team bounces back this week will end up saying a lot about its character, but I think they’re moving in the right direction. North Salinas, like NMC, will be another tough test. But I think this team is close to turning the tide. Pick: Watsonville.
Scotts Valley at Aptos: What makes this game difficult to pick is that I like Aptos, but I it’s also difficult to see Scotts Valley fall to 0-2 in the SCCAL. I could see the Falcons showing a lot in this contest in order to eke out a victory — a kitchen-sink game, if you will. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a win was in Scotts Valley’s cards. But, at least going into the game, I like Aptos just a little more. I feel like they have too many weapons offensively — some of whom will be stopped, but not all. And its defense is ever-improving. Pick: Aptos.
Santa Cruz at Harbor: The Pirates haven’t won this matchup since 2006, but this could be the year. RB Garrett Fonseca, once he gets going, is difficult to stop. Santa Cruz has some pieces, like Ashtyn Davis, but its numbers are lower than Harbor’s and that could play a role. I see this game tighter than others might expect, considering Santa Cruz hasn’t scored in three games, but I like Harbor in the end. Pick: Harbor.
MVC at Seaside: The game of the week and, at least in the MBL Pacific Division, the game of the year. The winner of this game should go on to win the league title, and with it the automatic playoff spot. I think this game is going to come down to which is better — MVC’s offense or Seaside’s defense. And we could probably spend all day breaking down those two sides of the football. But I think the edge might come down to Seaside’s defensive line. I’ve seen them twice this season, and the size and speed they have is difficult to match. Can MVC match it? Sure, and QB Nick Matiasevich and the weapons he has might get rid of the ball quick enough that Seaside’s D-line won’t matter. But we’ll see. Until then, I’ll go with what we know. Pick: Seaside.
St. Francis at SLV: I’ve always liked St. Francis, but the injuries they’ve had this season are difficult to overcome. SLV, meanwhile, is starting to hit its stride. And the thunder and lightning of Derek Poetzinger and Jason Bryson offers a nice 1-2 punch to the Cougars’ backfield that allows sophmore QB Isaac Newberry to grow into his role — which he is. SLV’s schedule ramps up after this, but don’t expect them to take St. Francis lightly. Pick: SLV.
Cabrillo at San Jose City: Cabrillo has made mistakes here and there that have prevented them from winning football games, but you can see the team is close. I expect this to be the game that they’ll crack though. SJCC is winless and QB Nick DeMartini has been sacked 17 times, while Seahawks QB Lucas Romanski had a nice coming-out party last week against a ranked team in Chabot. Pick: Cabrillo.