Steinmetz surges to the top in Grid Picks race
After two weeks of high school grid picks, “Handy” Andy Steinmetz is in sole possession of first place in our staff race. His 13-2 record from last week gives him a one game edge over Bob “Focus” Ford and two above Sam “the Man” Matta. Three games off the pace are Emmett “Bossman”McCall, Pat “the” Matsinko and Yours Truly, who doesn’t get a silly nickname like everyone else because I write this column, .
With a comeback week of 13-2, “Bad” Brad Hurley picked up ground and joined us in third place. This year’s newcomer, Chuck “No Luck” Hixson fell into Pundit Pit. At 18-12 and already six games out, this rookie is getting a rude education ever since he decided to compete with the big boys. Another bad week for him and he might have to “Chuck” out his crystal ball and ask a trusted friend to make his picks.
The red zone is a place opposing offenses seldom even get to visit when they go up against Jim Thorpe and its vaunted Red Swarm defense. Jim Thorpe had six shutouts last season and it has two already in this season.
In addition to their powerful defense, the Olympians offense, powered by CJ Selby and company, have already scored 84 points.
Panther Valley will get an opportunity against the Olympians this week. The Panthers will rely on the arm of Ethan Reis, who has completed 28 passes in two games, many to his favorite target, Blake White who had seven catches for 179 yards last week.
The grid picks panel is unanimous in thinking Thorpe rolls on for win number three.
After a winless 2017, coach Joe Tout has his Northern Lehigh Bulldogs unbeaten after Week 2. Pound and ground is their game, amassing 383 rushing yards last week. Justin Paul totaled 188 of them with several runs gaining 10 yards or more.
This week a good Bangor team comes to Slatington. The pickers give Northern Lehigh a slight edge with six taking the Bulldogs and four going with the Slaters. My gut says the Dawgs deliver with a late game-winning drive.
Tamaqua has outscored its opponents, 77-0, in two blowout wins so far this season. This week, the Raiders will face their toughest test at Schuylkill Haven.
We’re already talking about a Week 9 mega match up with Jim Thorpe, although both teams have a lot of work to do first.
The grid pick staff is unanimous in choosing Tamaqua. I agree, but I think it will be close. My pick is the Raiders by a touchdown.
Say it ain’t so!
Sorry to say, but the staff leans toward the rest of our area teams losing this week.
Sam “the Man” Matta must have looked into the same crystal ball with me because we were the only pickers to see Northwestern over Palisades. Tiger QB, Deven Bollinger, who threw three touchdown passes last week, along with his balanced running attack will have to play at the top of their game against the Pirates, who have put up 110 points on the board after two games.
Lehighton, after a one point loss to Haven, travels to Central Columbia. This was close, but Central Columbia gets the nod, 6-4.
Palmerton, Marian and Pleasant Valley will look for their first wins. Our pickers think they’ll have to wait another week as all three have difficult matchups with the Colts facing North Schuylkill, Palmerton facing Saucon Valley, and Northampton hosting Pleasant Valley. Neither Marian or Palmerton received one pick from our panel while only Steinmetz and Matta think the Bears will win.