Week #5 Bayside Conference Picks:
-We have reached the mid-way point in the 2023 season. This week all but one are Conference games with the exception of Colonel Richardson who is on the road at Lancaster, VA. There are now two Thursday night games. The rest are on Friday. One of the Salisbury City Championship games takes place this week as well.
Our Overtime Live ‘Game of the Week’ presented by ‘Preston Ford’ can be heard on 94-3 WINX-FM on the Mid-Shore, on the WINX-FM App and streaming at forevermidshore.com…’The Roto Rooter Pre-Game Show’ is at 5:40pm with a kickoff at 6pm…The Thursday (Friday Night) Lights Game of the Week is:
#2 Kent Island (4-0) at #5 Wicomico (1-3)-6pm-The Bucs come in with their usual strong defense but now offensively they have added a productive passing game element to their usual strong power running game. Wicomico has played solid defense this season but have struggled to score points. Points will also be difficult to come by here, the Bucs have more offensive firepower.
#1 Stephen Decatur (4-0) at #10 Easton (1-3)-6pm-Both teams are in far different places right now. The Seahawks are off to a hot start again this season even though there is room for improvement. Easton, having lost their starting QB for the year is trying to figure out that position and adjust the offense accordingly. They are also rotating several players on the offensive line. The Warrior’s defense is solid, but the Seahawks should not have too much issue in winning.
#10 James M. Bennett (1-3) hosting #9 Parkside (1-3)-6pm-This is the first Salisbury City Championship Game of the season so far. As I have said I really do not think there is one dominant team over the other of the Salisbury schools. This game could go either way, and I am picking a slight upset here on gut and emotion as much as analysis and fact. However, putting emotions aside I like the Clippers to pull this one out because they are almost as battle tested as Parkside, their defense while young in some spots has shown signs of improvement and offensively, they have a more experienced QB along with enough speed and skill to get it done. Parkside will not be bullied in the trenches and will certainly test that Bennett defense. They can score equally if not better on the ground than Bennett. I think Bennett has more of a mix of offense right now along with an improving defense to get it done. A win would signal that the ship is moving in the right direction. If the Rams get good traction in the trenches and don’t turn over the ball it could be their night. I just have the feeling Bennett is ready for a signature win of sorts. No doubt a city rivalry game like this puts the players from both teams on full alert all week and you will see them giving extra effort and energy.
#7 Cambridge (2-2) hosting #12 Kent County (0-4)-6pm-The Vikings lost a tough one last week at the end to Colonel on the road in a game that could have gone either way. Cambridge will look to bounce back as they take on a Trojan team that has had a difficult first half of the season due in large part to a tough schedule and struggling defense that has not been helped by an unproductive offense. I expect the Trojans will compete better this week. However, the Vikings who have also played some tough teams will win because of more offensive skill talent and a more experienced QB.
#11 Snow Hill (3-1) hosting #13 Washington (0-3)-6pm-The Eagles suffered their first loss of the season last week at #1 Stephen Decatur. The Jags had a bye week to work on several areas and try and get ready for what they hope is their first win. The Eagles are at home, they have won multiple games and they know what it takes to win which puts them in a much better position for victory. That said their program has not been too far from where Washington has been and is still currently in right now so there can be no taking of the Jags lightly. The Eagles can still improve. But that said they have started out much better than anyone thought and have the chance to continue to take strides in the program with the amount of experience on the roster. The Eagles should win this one but will want to get out to a good start and quickly shut the door on the Jags who might be ready to play their best ball of the season.
#3 North Caroline (4-0) at #4 Queen Anne’s (2-2)-12pm-The Bulldogs are off to an undefeated start under new Head Coach Nic McMorris. The Lions have won the last two in a row after having to forfeit their first game and then losing to 3A Chesapeake-AA in a close game under new Head Coach Brian Mooney. This has the makings of a defensive game where both teams have been very good this season. Both teams are also pretty battle tested. The question in this game is who has a better chance of scoring. Both teams rely more on the running game and neither team at least as of now are major threats in the air even though the Bulldogs have had some success with the pass. This will come down to who can make a few plays in the air but primarily who is a bigger threat to score on the ground when the opportunity presents itself, which may not be often for either side. Right now, I give the advantage to the Bulldogs with their speedy and skilled backfield. So, I am going to go with the road team but the Lions at home on homecoming weekend certainly can take this one.
#6 Colonel Richardson (2-2) at Lancaster, VA (3-1)-1pm-This one is a tough call since I do not know how good Lancaster is as they play in a completely different state in an area I do not follow. While Lancaster is 3-1, they have only one quality win and that is over Arcadia, VA. That is an Arcadia squad that blew out Kent County but was blown out by Snow Hill. Colonel is coming off a big win over Cambridge-SD at home and they are certainly battle tested in losses to Woodbridge and Kent Island. Given their unique style of play and skill guys they certainly have a solid shot. I will give the Colonels the nod partially out of skill and partially for the Bayside bias.
Last Week Picks: 5-1
2023 Season Picks: 28-4