Heckman jumps into first
With a Week Nine record of 13-2, “Hot” Rod Heckman ignited his jets and fired past “Bad” Brad Hurley to sit alone on the king’s throne going into the final week of the high school football regular season.
With the same stellar two - loss week, “Handy” Andy Steinmetz tied Hurley and are both just one game off the lead. Two games back is Pat “The Mat” sinko. Worthy of mention is Emmett “Bossman” McCall who stepped up to the plate and banged out a 13 win week to distance himself from the dreaded Pundit Pit.
Yours Truly, mired in a slump, was four times wrong putting me an impossible 10 games back of Heckman, but a seemingly safe eight games from the Pit. Right now, six staffers are still alive in the quest for the grand champion trophy, while the rest of us are treading water an to not fall back to drown in the Pit.
Playoffs begin next week and there very well could be three of four more times for picking before a champion is crowned.
THE GAME lives up to the hype
The fans from Tamaqua and from Jim Thorpe held their collective breaths last Friday night until the final seconds of the game when a fourth down Raider pass fell incomplete in the end zone giving the Olympians a 21-14 win over previously unbeaten Tamaqua. JT’s win created a three - way tie along with North Schuylkill in Division 1 of the Schuylkill League with all three having one loss.
This week Thorpe takes on Lehighton, Tamaqua travels to Marian and North battles Pottsville in their regular season finales. The staff is unanimous on who will win these games except for me. I’m looking to pick up a game on everyone with a Pottsville upset over North.
Tom McCarroll’s Tribe has taken it on the chin in the past few weeks, but he’ll have his team ready to compete against Thorpe in this backyard brawl for the 903 trophy. Expect the score to be close, but in the end, the Olympians might have too much firepower for Lehighton to stop.
Pat Morgans’ Marian Colts won their fourth game in a row after dropping their first five. They play Tamaqua in both teams’ version of the Army – Navy classic. We see Bonners’ boys regrouping from their loss to Thorpe and corralling the Colts.
If Jim Thorpe, Tamaqua, and North Schuylkill all win and qualify for the District playoffs, you just might see a Raider – Olympian rematch for the second straight year.
Little drama for Week 10
Unlike last week when there was much disagreement with the picks, Week 10 shows unanimous selections for most of the 15 games. Pottsville upsets North Schuylkill is my pick. Hurley likes Pocono Mountain East over PM West. He can tie Heckman for the lead or fall two behind. It’s a risk, but the game features two teams with identical records and mostly the same results against common opponents. West is home which might give the Panthers a slight advantage over the visiting Cardinals.
Matsinko can sneak closer to the lead if Palisades knocks off Saucon Valley, two evenly matched teams standing at 7-2.
Count on Chuck “No Luck” Hixson to travel the road not taken for at least one pick. This week he likes Northern Lehigh to beat Palmerton even though the Bulldogs have lost four of their last five and the Bombers have put 121 points up on the board in their last three games. Good luck Chuck. You still have an outside chance to drag Sam “The Man” Matta into the Pundit Pit with you and if his pick of Nazareth over Easton proves right, you might creep a bit closer to him to almost see the light of day.
McCall’s upset of the week is William Allen over Louis Dierruff. Both are two win teams and both are on a three game slide. So, “Bossman,” a win for you here is not so much an upset, but a chance to gain a game on the field.
Playoff football starts next week. Get in the huddle with me and let’s play!