This week I will be covering South vs. Memorial for WGAM on Friday night, and broadcasting St. Thomas vs. Somersworth for WTSN on Saturday afternoon. The two biggest games this week though with regards to the Power Poll would definitely be North vs. Central on Friday night and Salem vs. Pinkerton on Saturday. Other big games on Friday night include Plymouth @ Trinity and BG @ Merrimack.
Here's how I see the top 10 looking as of right now.
Like I said last week I base my Power Poll rankings on how the teams are playing RIGHT NOW. So if you took any two teams and they played each other on a neutral field and the game happened RIGHT NOW the team ranked higher in the poll would be the favorite.
1) Nashua North
Yes, I know that Winnacunnet is 3-0 and they beat North week 1. But that was then, this is now. Winnacunnet barely beat Dover on Friday night and they fumbled the ball 10 times. North meanwhile was very impressive on Saturday in their 33-7 win over a good Pinkerton team. Winnacunnet might have won the game week 1, but if they played again this weekend North would be the favorite.
See Nashua North.
Salem gets the nod here over a Pinkerton team who has one of their better players injured (Luke Somers) and and a BG team that also has injury woes. The Blue Devils got hammered on their home field opening week, but since then have looked very good in blowout wins over Central and Memorial. The defense is starting to play better, and their all-state backfield is now starting to live up the hype as well.
Late in the third quarter Pinkerton was only down by 1 TD to the team now ranked #1...and that was without one of their top players in Somers. So even though they ended up losing 33-7 they don't deserve to drop too far. Don't forget they had a nice win over South in week 2. They got solid play on Saturday from QB Chris St. Onge, backs Emmitt Smith and Kevin Davies, as well as linebacker Mike Mazzola.
5) Bishop Guertin
It remains to be seen just how much Guertin is going to miss having star back Mike Kelly in the lineup. The game he got injured the Cardinals only beat Timberlane by 13 and it was only a 1 possession game pretty late in the contest. Kelly is out for the year, and QB Steve Cuipa and FB/LB Kyle Remillard are also banged up. That would explain why I have BG ranked a little lower than some. Make no mistake though, this is a very deep team and a football school. When guys get injured other guys just come in and fill their spot. They are still a top 5 team right now.
I give Souhegan the slight edge over Central here. Both squads had good multi-TD wins this past Friday night over decent teams. In the past 2 weeks though, I've see both teams play and Souhegan is playing slightly better football right now. Coach Beliveau's team was impressive on Friday night, blowing out a solid Goffstown team despite having 3 TD's called back from penalties. These guys have a lot of weapons on offense, good size and muscle on both sides of the football
7) Manchester Central
Souhegan might be able to, but Central can NOT afford to look past this weekend to their date with the Sabers. The Little Green have a good test against North on Friday night that will tell us whether they are contenders or pretenders.
8) Nashua South
Lost pretty good last weekend to Lowell High (MA), which makes it two losses in a row for Coach Knight's squad and their only win was over Portsmouth. I've heard mixed reviews on Lowell, though. Some say they're not that good so it was a really bad loss. Some have told me they are awesome in which case it isn't that bad of a loss. Only time will tell, we'll just have to see how the Purple Panthers fair over the next couple of weeks and then judge. They definitely have plenty of talent though.
Keene is definitely one of the state's surprise team so far this season. I really wasn't expecting much from them going into the year. I knew they had a couple of pretty good players but I figured they would just be a middle of the pack team at best in D-II. We'll see if they can keep it going, but they're playing some pretty good football right. now. After blowing out my preseason #10 team Alvirne on the road 42-18 they then went on the road and smashed Brattleboro High (VT) 48-13. The Blackbirds are being led by sophomore QB Lucas Luopa, receiver Jimmy Boulay, tailback Chris LaCroix and lineman Taylor Russell. They could easily be 5-0 a couple weeks from now, as their next two games are against West and Spaulding. They do however, end the season with Winnacunnet and BG the last 2 weeks.
Trinity gets the nod over Bedford, because they have two quality wins in the last 2 weeks over Hanover and Laconia. Their other game was a 48-0 blowout over Merrimack Valley. Big game this Friday vs. Plymouth. They can solidy their spot in my top 10 with a win over the Bobcats.