The pressure is on this week for Methuen and North Andover, two teams that have taken very different paths.
Methuen, which won its first four games, has lost two straight, while the Knights have won their last two to move back into the playoff race. Both have one thing in common, however — they must win this game if they want to participate in the playoffs.
In the MVC Division 2, Tewksbury is looking nearly invincible and Haverhill currently has the upper hand for the second spot. North Andover, however, will be in a good position if it knocks off the Rangers.
With Austin George-Williams for Methuen and Casey Walsh for North Andover, both teams have skilled quarterbacks, with at least one capable running back available for each QB. It may come down to depth at receiver and the Knights may have an edge in that department.
Whoever gets the hot hand and avoids turnovers should decide it:
PREDICTION: North Andover 21 Methuen 14
La Salle, R.I. (4-1) at Andover (2-3)
With running back Jack Sylvester back and going for over 200 yards last Friday, Andover looked much better. But they face a tough task in Rhode Island power La Salle.
Prediction: La Salle 27, Andover 14
Haverhill (4-1) at Tewksbury (5-0)
Hillie coach Tim O’Connor will be more than happy to have me pick against him. Tommy Maguire and Haverhill are red hot, but I just don’t see how Tewksbury will lose to anyone in the MVC Division 2.
Prediction: Tewksbury 21, Haverhill 10
Timberlane (1-5) at Winnacunnet (3-2)
The Owls have not had good luck recently and it’s not likely to get much better.
Prediction: Winnacunnet 28, Timberlane 17
Pinkerton (4-2) at Manchester West (0-6)
This could get ugly, but hopefully not until area rushing king Manny Latimore puts up some big numbers.
Prediction: Pinkerton 49, Manchester West 7
Londonderry (3-3) at Manchester Central (3-2)