The focus is on Central Catholic this week, and particularly its secondary.
The Raiders host a Lowell squad that plays a very similar game Friday night, and the contest has serious playoff implications. Both teams are 3-1 and 1-0 in the MVC Division 1 race, just behind Chelmsford (3-1, 2-0), so the winner will go a long way toward locking up a playoff berth as one of the division’s top two teams.
In order to win, Central must lock down or at least contain Lowell receiver Jack Galvin, a returning MVC all-league performer who hasn’t slowed down despite catching balls from a new QB, Lawrence Academy transfer Brian Dolan.
Stopping Galvin completely will be tough, but I think the Raiders have sone good skill players in the secondary and they may be able to apply some pressure up front.
Because of Johnny Thomas, Central let me down against St. John’s Prep, I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again.
PICK: Central Catholic 26, Lowell 22
Concord (5-0) at Pinkerton (4-1)
The Astros have superstar Manny Latimore, but how will they respond against the unbeaten No. 1 ranked team in the state?
PICK: Concord 28, Pinkerton 21
Lawrence (0-4) at North Andover (1-3)
If you like offense, this is the game to go to. The Scarlet Knights finally broke into the win column last week, while the Lancers are desperate to do the same. Turnovers will decide it.
PICK: North Andover 38, Lawrence 34
Pentucket (3-0) at Masconomet (3-1)
Masconomet has played a tougher schedule, including a win over tough North Reading. But the Sachems have been the surprise of the region, including an upset of favorite Newburyport, led by QB Ryan Kuchar (6 total TDs).
PICK: Masconomet 20, Pentucket 14
Andover (1-3) at Billerica (0-4)
This is a must-win situation for the Warriors against a Dracut team that is struggling mightily, having been outscored 145-77. The return of running back Jack Sylvester should be a big boost.