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FROM THE PRESS BOX: WEEK 6 PICKS — A BUSY WEEKEND OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL (2021-10-01)

The second half of the NTL season begins tonight with Week 6 of action South of the Border, while Week 4 in New York State wraps up the first half of the 2021 campaign.

Week 5 was a near-perfect week for our pigskin prognosticators. Little Red, Team Birney, and The Mick were all a perfect 11-0, with Country Bob 10-1.

Little Red improves to 45-5 on the season, while The Mick is 4 games back at 41-9, I have a 40-10 record, and Country Bob brings up the rear at 37-13.

(My guest prognosticators — The Mick, Country Bob, and Little Red — return this season. I’ve used pseudonyms to protect the innocent, but I will tell you that all three are either current or former coaches in the Valley, and all three are Valley grads.)

Despite the postponement of Waverly’s game at Ithaca tonight, it’s a busy week, with 13 games for the pigskin pickers to predict.

Let’s start with the three Valley teams in action.

Athens (3-2) at Hughesville (1-4), 7 p.m.:
The Wildcats are coming off a 46-6 rout of Wyalusing, while the Spartans rolled over Warrior Run, 46-7, for their first win of the season.

Athens has struggled against big, physical teams, but otherwise have clicked offensive — averaging nearly 42 points per game in their wins. Hughesville gave up more than 36 points per game it four losses.

Prediction: Senior tailback Shayne Reid is a physical runner, who can also outrun most defenders. He’s also dangerous catching the ball out of the backfield. I expect him to shine in both facets tonight, and for senior wideout Karter Rude to have a big game. … ATHENS 34, Hughesville 13.
Little Red:
Athens 27, Hughesville 13.
The Mick: Hughesville 21, Athens 20.
Country Bob: Hughesville 28, Athens 7.

Tioga (3-0) at Delhi (3-0), 1:30 p.m. Saturday: The Tigers are coming off a 44-8 rout of Walton Monday, while the Bulldogs thumped Sidney, 41-7.

Both teams have been impressive on both sides of the ball. Tioga is averaging 42.3 points per game and allowing just 8.3, while Delhi is scoring 37 points per game, and allowing 11.

Prediction: Walton may have shown a blueprint to beat the Tigers with its between-the-tackles ball-control offense that kept the Tioga offense off the field. The problem is, teams need to be physical enough to execute the offense, disciplined enough not to make mistakes, and athletic enough to finish off the drive. Not an easy task. … TIOGA 34, DELHI 15.
Little Red: Tioga 56, Delhi 0.
The Mick: Tioga 48, Delhi 6.
Country Bob: Tioga 56, Delhi 0.

Huntingdon (0-5) at Sayre (3-2), 2 p.m., Saturday: The Redskins dropped a 42-8 decision to division-leading Muncy last week, while Huntingdon forfeited a league game to Tyrone.

Sayre averaged 42 points per game in its first four games, while the Class AAA Bearcats were outscored 121 to 21 in their four losses.

Prediction: It’s hard to gauge an out-of-district opponent, especially one that was forced to forfeit a game the previous week. Sayre, meanwhile, is finally healthy and very dangerous offensively. … SAYRE 27, HUNTINGTON 12.
Little Red: Sayre 34, Huntingdon 7.
The Mick: Sayre 29, Huntingdon 16.
Country Bob: Sayre 28, Huntingdon 7.

Cowanesque Valley (3-2) at Towanda (0-5), 7 p.m.: The Indians are coming off a 50-12 win over CMVT, while the Black Knights dropped a 34-7 decision to North Penn-Mansfield.

Prediction: This is the best CV team we’ve seen in quite some time. Towanda? Not so much. … CV 34, TOWANDA 13.
Little Red:
CV 33, Towanda 6.
The Mick: CV 30, Towanda 12.
Country Bob: CV 35, Towanda 6.

Canton (5-0) at Wellsboro (1-2), 7 p.m.: The Warriors are coming off a 42-0 win over Northwest Area, while the Green Hornets dropped a 21-0 decision at Troy.

Prediction: Canton is the class of the NTL’s Large School Division. … CANTON 34, WELLSBORO 7.
Little Red:
Canton 42, Wellsboro 6.
The Mick: Canton 20, Wellsboro 14.
Country Bob: Canton 28, Wellsboro 0.

Montgomery (3-2) at Wyalusing (1-4), 7 p.m.: The Red Raiders dropped a 34-29 decision to South Williamsport, while the Rams suffered a 46-6 setback at Athens.

Prediction: Wyalusing is beat up, and Montgomery is solid. … MONTGOMERY 26, WYALUSING 14.
Little Red: Montgomery 26, Wyalusing 6.
The Mick: Montgomery 44, Wyalusing 7.
Country Bob: Montgomery 21, Wyalusing 14.

Troy (4-1) at Loyalsock (3-2), 7 p.m.: The Trojans are coming off a 21-0 win over Wellsboro, while the Lancers dropped a 26-21 decision to Montoursville.

Prediction: Troy has been very good since its Week 1 loss to Bald Eagle Area, but this is the best tea they’ve faced since that loss. … Loyalsock’s other loss came at Southern Columbia. … LOYALSOCK 21, TROY 13.
Little Red:
Loyalsock 14, Troy 7.
The Mick: Loyalsock 16, Troy 8.
Country Bob: Loyalsock 21, Troy 10

Midd-West (0-5) at North Penn (2-3), 7 p.m.: The Panthers are coming off a 34-7 win over Towanda, while Midd-West dropped a 62-6 decision to Lewisburg.

Prediction:
North Penn has struggled offensively against good teams, but has moved the ball well in its wins. Midd-West has struggled to stop anyone this season, allowing nearly 47 points per game. … NORTH PENN 33, MIDD-WEST 22.
Little Red:
Midd-West 21, North Penn 6.
The Mick: North Penn 23, Midd-West 15.
Country Bob: Midd-West 21, North Penn 14.

Muncy (4-1) at Northwest Area (1-3), 7 p.m.: The Indians are coming off an impressive, 42-8, win over Sayre, while the Rangers dropped a 42-0 decision to Canton.

Muncy is averaging 46 points per game in its four-game win streak, while Northwest Area has lost three in a row since a season-opening win over CMVT.

Prediction: Muncy is on top of its game right now. … MUNCY 48, NORTHWEST 0
Little Red:
Muncy 36, Northwest 13.
The Mick: Muncy 55, Northwest 8.
Country Bob: Muncy 42, Northwest 0.

Edison (1-2) at SVEC (2-0), 7 p.m.:
The state-ranked Eagles are coming off a 62-6 win over Moravia in Week 2, while the Spartans dropped a 56-16 decision to Trumansburg last week.

Prediction: SVEC, ranked second in the state’s 8-man ranks, is big, fast, and physical. Edison is better than last year, but that won’t help them much tonight. … SVEC 60, EDISON 6.
Little Red:
SVEC 34, Edison 6.
The Mick: SVEC 45, Edison 21.
Country Bob: SVEC 28, Edison 27.

Newark Valley (2-1) at Dryden (0-3), 7 p.m.:
The Cardinals are coming off a 64-22 win over Deposit-Hancock, while the Purple Lions dropped a 56-14 decision to Chenango Valley.

Prediction: Newark Valley has clicked on all cylinders since a season-opening loss to Harpursville-Afton. Dryden has been outscored by an average of 49 to 7 in its three losses. … NEWARK VALLEY 48, DRYDEN 0.
Little Red:
Newark Valley 34, Dryden 14.
The Mick: Newark Valley 35, Dryden 7.
Country Bob: Newark Valley 42, Dryden 0.

Owego (1-2) at O-M / Watkins Glen (2-1), 7 p.m.: The Class B Indians are coming off a 47-13 loss to Class AA Elmira, while the Seneca Indians topped an up-and-coming Oneonta, 27-7.

Prediction: O-M / Watkins Glen can run the ball with its double wing, and QB Cam Holland has a number of receivers, led by Travon Jones. I expect a big offensive night against an inexperienced Owego team. … O-M / WATKINS GLEN 40, OWEGO 19.
Little Red:
O-M/WG 28, Owego 0.
The Mick: O-M/WG 24, Owego 13.
Country Bob: O-M/WG 49, Owego 0

SATURDAY
South Williamsport (3-2) at CMVT (0-5), 1 p.m.:
The Mounties are coming off a 34-29 win over Montgomery, while the Rams lost 50-12 to Cowanesque Valley.

Prediction: South Williamsport is big and physical. CMVT allows 55 points per game. … SOUTH 58, CMVT 0.
Little Red:
South 28, CMVT 0.
The Mick: South 48, CMVT 7.
Country Bob: South 42, CMVT 0.

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