Week #7 Bayside Conference Picks:
-We enter the final third of the season beginning Thursday night. Another big matchup of undefeated teams (more upcoming) this week and good 1A matchup as well that has 1A seeding implications. There is also another Salisbury City Championship game taking place this week.
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 Friday Night Lights Game of the Week is:
#1 Stephen Decatur (6-0) hosting #3 North Caroline (6-0)-This game which was also in Berlin last season was a close one with Decatur winning 16-14. The rematch though in the playoffs in Berlin was a different story with Decatur winning 43-27. Many of those players are back this season for Caroline so they are very familiar with where they are playing and more importantly who they are playing. The Bulldogs are off to a great start this season thanks to a strong run game with multiple weapons and a very solid defense.
Decatur, which is off to a 6-0 start for the first time since 1984 (’74 the first time) and third overall in school history will look to go to 7-0 for the first time since 1984 as well for just the second time in school history. Decatur is coming off a decisive win over #2 Kent Island on the road last week. The timing of this game couldn’t have been better because they just faced a physical, hard nose team that can run the football and play very good defense. The Bulldogs are good, but they aren’t going to pose a more difficult challenge than what Decatur already faced in Kent Island. Decatur who went to the run more than expected last week won’t shy away from doing so this week, but I don’t think they will live in that world too many times. Their game is getting the ball out into space to their athletes and taking some shots downfield. Caroline will have to maintain their rush lanes and spy on QB Brycen Coleman whose legs can combat the strong Caroline pass rush led by the Piavis’ brothers. That said the Decatur O-Line will have their work cut out for them. Decatur has more offensive firepower, the advantage at QB and is battle tested on defense against this kind of personnel. The spread aspect of the Wing-T for Caroline might be more helpful to the Decatur defense but that can go both ways. Caroline will need to run the ball well and eat up clock to keep the Decatur offense off the field. They are battle tested and confident, but they will need to control the tempo and the clock. They will also need to stay ahead of schedule on offense and be able to make some plays in the air. While Caroline could give them a game, Decatur will be on alert given the Bulldogs record. Decatur also gets to play NC at home again in an energized atmosphere. I will go Decatur in this matchup to improve to 7-0 as the lone unbeaten.
#9 Parkside (2-4) hosting #8 Wicomico (1-5)-5 pm-This is another Salisbury City Championship Game that Wicomico will need to win to give themselves a chance to win the title and bragging rights as James M. Bennett has already defeated Parkside. (Wi-Hi and Bennett play each other in the last game of the regular season in Week #9.) Both teams are not where they thought they would be but still have a chance to finish strong and play the role of spoiler in the weeks ahead. While the Indians defense is better than the Rams, they have struggled mightily on offense although last week’s 14 points scored was one of their better performances in weeks. The Rams can match the Indians physicality and size in the trenches and is more of a threat to score than WiHi. Parkside must avoid special teams’ blunders that have plagued them at times in the past few seasons. The Indians certainly can win this game as it’s a toss-up, but I will lean Parkside to pull it out.
#6 Cambridge-SD (4-2) at #11 Snow Hill (4-2)-6pm-This could have been a 1A Championship opportunity for Snow Hill if they had defeated Colonel on the road last week, but it didn’t happen. But it is another opportunity to make their presence known in the 1A against one of the top teams in getting a win. Cambridge-SD though has two wins over 2A teams and only lost by a point on the road at Colonel. The Vikings have just as much speed and athleticism as Snow Hill and plenty of weapons. The Vikings are also good enough in the trenches that they should come away with the win. The Eagles will need to have one of their best games of the year.
#5 Colonel Richardson (3-3) at Nandua, VA (1-5)-6pm-The Colonels are on a roll in 1A matchups. Last week they sewed up a third straight 1A Bayside (Small School) Championship after their win over Snow Hill. Even though this game is on the road, Nandua has just one win and lost to Snow Hill earlier this year, a team Colonel blew out last week. Colonel should get their fourth win of the season.
#12 Kent County (0-6) at #13 Washington (0-5)-6pm-One of these two teams will get their first win of the year. The schedules for Kent and Washington have not been kind this season and have not helped their winless situation. They both have struggled on offense and defense. However, both teams, despite their record, have shown signs of improvement recently. Obviously not an easy game to call as both have had their fair share of struggles, Washington is at home. Kent County has scored more points than Washington and some of their players have experienced a few wins that Washington players have not yet experienced. I am leaning toward the Trojans in this one.
#4 Queen Anne’s (3-3) at #10 Easton (1-5)-6:30pm-While Easton showed signs of improvement last week in a loss to Parkside, Queen Anne’s offense is in a better place right now with more balance and with a better threat to score. The Lions have an established QB with more experience and a good defense that should give their offense plenty of opportunities to score.
#2 Kent Island (5-1) hosting #8 James M. Bennett (2-4)-1pm-The Buccaneers are coming off a tough loss to #1 Stephen Decatur at home last week. You can be sure the Bucs will be ready to go with a better defensive performance and will work out whatever blocking and or mental mistakes that took place offensively last week that HC Bryon Sofinowski mentioned after the game. The Clippers have made strides this season but they are not yet at the level of Kent Island.
Last Week Picks: 6-1
2023 Season Picks: 39-6