FROM THE PRESS BOX: WEEK 7 PICKS — A BUSY WEEKEND FOR NTL TEAMS
Football Friday has been a little lacking lately in the Valley with Sayre’s problems getting on the field. With Wellsboro canceling out on the Redskins tonight, and playing Canton instead, Athens is the only game on the docket.
The rest of the NTL is in action, however, with the aforementioned Wellsboro-Canton and the Troy-NPM games, the top match-ups of the weekend.
Last week, I only misfired on the Wyalusing-Montgomery game and was 4-1 on the weekend. Little Red shared top honors for the week at 4-1, while The Mick was 3-2, and Country Bob was 2-3.
The Mick and I have a commanding lead over the Little Red-Country Bob combo with a 37-9 record, compared to their 30-16 mark.
Individually, The Mick is 20-3, Birney is 17-6, Little Red is 16-7, and Country Bob is 13-10.Athens (4-1) at Montgomery (3-3), 7 p.m.:
The Wildcats are coming off a 35-18 win over South Williamsport, while the Red Raiders thumped Wyalusing 43-19.
This is an interesting match-up. Both teams want to run the ball, but both have good balance in their offense. The difference is Montgomery tries to pound you into submission with its running game, and then will go up top when their opponents push up to stop the run game, while Athens can throw successfully on first down, and at times uses the passing game to set up the run game.
Athens rallied to beat South convincingly last week, but Montgomery was beaten soundly early (33-13) in the season by the Mounties. The Wildcats had a struggle in a 21-14 win over Wyalusing, while the Red Raiders pulled away in the second half last week.Prediction
: Montgomery is 0-3 against teams with a winning record, and has only scored 13.3 points per game in those losses. … The Wildcat offensive line has been much improved this season, and will be the key to victory tonight. If they can run the ball, QB Mason Lister will have a big night, too. … ATHENS 28, MONTGOMERY 13.
Athens 30, Montgomery 13. … LITTLE RED:
Montgomery 34, Athens 20. … COUNTRY BOB:
Athens 24, Montgomery 6.Wellsboro (2-2) at Canton (3-0), 7 p.m.:
The Green Hornets are coming off a 41-0 loss to Troy, while the Warriors blanked Muncy, 19-0, in a key District 4, Class A match-up.
Wellsboro gave up 451 yards in total offense, including 389 on the ground, in its loss to Troy, while Canton dominated Muncy in the second half, churning out 234 yards on the ground.
The Warrior defense was also stellar in its win over Muncy, which all but secured home-field advantage in the upcoming Class A playoffs.Prediction:
Look for Riley Parker and Hayden Ward to have big nights again for the Warriors, and don’t be surprised if QB Cooper Kitchen and big TE Ben Knapp put up some big numbers as well. … CANTON 36, WELLSBORO 6.
Canton 34, Wellsboro 15. … LITTLE RED:
Canton 34, Wellsboro 13. … COUNTRY BOB
: Canton 28, Wellsboro 13.Troy (3-1) at North Penn-Mansfield (2-1), 7 p.m.:
The Trojans put it all together last week in a 41-0 romp over Wellsboro, while the Tigers have been off since a 30-12 win over Cowanesque Valley on On Oct. 9.
Both teams have a lot to play for. Troy can lock up a home game in next weekend’s Class AA playoffs, while NP-M needs a win to keep its slim hopes alive for the fourth and final Class AAA playoffs.
Troy ran all over Wellsboro, putting up 389 yards on the ground, with Damien Landon and Caleb Binford creating a lot of excitement and big plays.Prediction:
The Trojans are a fourth-quarter letdown against in Week 1 away from a 4-0 record. They rallied from an early deficit in week 3 to win at NP-M, 34-21. I don’t think it will be that close tonight. … TROY 42, NP-M 14.
Troy 25, North Penn 20. … LITTLE RED:
Troy 35, North Penn 14. … COUNTRY BOB:
Troy 42, North Penn 13.Towanda (1-4) at South Williamsport (3-1), 7 p.m.:
The Black Knights are coming off a 45-8 win over CMVT, while the Mounties dropped a 35-18 decision at Athens.
Towanda has been ravaged by injuries, and has struggled against teams with winning records, while South Williamsport needs a win to avoid dropping into the fourth seed in the Class AA playoffs, and an opening-round match-up with Southern Columbia.Prediction:
Look for Mountie RB Zach Miller to have a big night against the under-manned Black Knights. … SOUTH 40, TOWANDA 6.
South 28, Towanda 7. … LITTLE RED:
South 33, Towanda 13. … COUNTRY BOB:
South 40, Towanda 6.Wyalusing (3-2) at Muncy (5-1), 7 p.m.:
The Rams are coming off a 43-19 home loss to Montgomery, while the Indians dropped a 19-0 decision at Canton.
Wyalusing is a little banged-up, and that’s not a good thing against a Muncy team looking to get back into the win column.Prediction
: Muncy is a physical team, and Wyalusing is not. Look for the Indians to get back on track, heading into their rematch next week at Canton in the Class A championship game. … MUNCY 34, WYALUSING 15.
Muncy 35, Wyalusing 14. … LITTLE RED:
Muncy 28, Wyalusing 13. … COUNTRY BOB
: Muncy 27, Wyalusing 6.SATURDAY
Cowanesque Valley (1-5) at CMVT (0-6), 1 p.m.:
The Indians are coming off a 23-20 win over Bucktail, while the Rams dropped a 37-34 decision at Shenandoah Valley.
CV has some talented skill players, but don’t have the size up front to compete with many teams in the NTL. CMVT is very similar.Prediction:
I think CV ends the season on a high note — with two straight wins. … CV 35, CMVT 19.THE MICK:
CV 33, CMVT 7. … LITTLE RED:
CV 34, CMVT 0. … COUNTRY BOB:
CV 28, CMVT 6.
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