Yes, I know there were games tonight, but I that won’t change how I break down any of these games, if they did happen already. Anyway, should be another interesting week in 9AA when Howard and Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan play, the 1 and 2 teams.
However, I will start in order.
#2 Sioux Falls Roosevelt (4-1) at Brandon Valley (4-1): There is a reason that while Brandon Valley is 4-1, why they are not receiving any votes. Brandon Valley may have one loss, but it was on the road to a decent Sturgis team. Then this past week, Brandon Valley struggled to beat a bad Brookings team on the road. BV has built up those four wins by playing some bad teams. Now they face a team who just came off a tough win over a pretty good Rapid City Stevens team, and the one loss is to the top ranked team in the state, Sioux Falls Washington.
Prediction: I think Sioux Falls Roosevelt runs all over Brandon Valley, keeping BV far, far from the rankings.
#3 Watertown (5-0) at Sioux Falls Lincoln (3-2): This game will show how good Watertown is basically. The Arrows have feasted on bad teams, and the one pretty good win was a close 13-12 win over Pierre that may have determined the Eastern South Dakota Conference race already, as long as they beat up on Brandon Valley. Sioux Falls Lincoln has put up some points this year, with the worst game coming against Sioux Falls Washington (12 points). SF Lincoln beat a good Sturgis team on the road last week 43-15 as well. However, the one blemish that really sticks out to me about SF Lincoln is a 52-28 loss to SF O’Gorman. So a win against Watertown will show that SF Lincoln is better than a middle of the pack team.
Prediction: This is a tough game to get a handle on, but I am going to go with the home team on this one. Watertown may be the cream of the crop of the ESD, but I don’t think much of the ESD so far this year. I think SF Lincoln will pick up a key home win in terms of playoff seeding.
Pierre (3-2) at #4 Rapid City Stevens (4-1): Rapid City Stevens is coming off a tough loss to Roosevelt, so Stevens has to make sure they don’t let that loss start a bad slide for them. A loss to Pierre would be a bad slide. Even though the Governors are 3-2, the three wins have come against Mitchell, Brookings and Yankton. Not exactly good teams. Plus, the two winning teams Pierre faced, the Govs lost to SF Lincoln and 29-22 and Watertown 13-12. Plus Pierre is on the road for this one.
Prediction: Once again I am going with the home team as Pierre struggles with another good opponent again, and RC Stevens gets back on track. Plus you know they are rooting for SF Lincoln and BV to move up to the 2 spot.
Vermillion (2-2) at #2 Dell Rapids (4-0): Dell Rapids worst game of the year has been a 20-18 win over Canton. Since then, Dell Rapids has given up 25 total points, and hasn’t scored less than 26 points since then. The Quarriers are keeping up scoring mentality. It isn’t as good as Sisseston’s, the top-ranked team. Vermillion started 2-0, but once the Tanagers started facing good teams, they showed they are just middle of the pact. Vermillion played Canton close before losing on homecoming, but St. Thomas More blew the Tanagers out.
Prediction: I don’t see this going well for Vermillion. Sorry, I know I work at the PlainTalk, but Dell Rapids is just too tough and is going to put up a ton of points on Vermillion.
Receiving votes St. Thomas More (3-1) at Custer (3-1): St. Thomas More is coming off a tough road loss to Winner, and is on the road again against another one loss team. Custer maybe 3-1, but I think it’s deceiving. They beat up on Douglas, and beat a decent Stanley County team, but Hot Springs is also decent, and Custer lost 12-0 to them. However, St. Thomas More beat up on Hot Springs 33-6. Plus, St. Thomas More’s only loss is to a pretty good Winner team.
Prediction: St. Thomas More gets back on track and beats Custer on the road
McCook Central/Montrose (3-2) at #1 Wagner (4-0): Wagner is coming off a big win over rival Bon Homme, so the Red Raiders have to avoid a let down. The game is at home for Wagner, and the Red Raiders defense has only given up six points all year. That is a problem for McCook Central-Montrose who scored 13 points in its first two games. Since then, MCM has scored 19, 28 and 20 against some bad teams.
Prediction: Wagner will stay on top with a convincing win at home over MCM, who might not even score in the game.
#2 Garretson (4-0) at #5 Flandreau (3-1): This game is confusing. It could go either way. Garretson has only give up 7, 6, 0 and 9, but hasn’t really beat anyone. Yes, they played a Tad Schuurmans-less Bon Homme team, who has no offense without him. Flandreau played Tri-Valley, but lost 7-3 to the Mustangs. Both teams seem to have a combo of good offenses mixed with a good defense.
Prediction: I have no confidence behind this pick, but I think Flandreau’s defense might be a little better since they only gave up 7 points on the road to Tri-Valley. Also, I think home-field will come into play.
Dakota Valley (2-2) at receiving votes Elk Point-Jefferson (4-0): 11B is a very tough division, but there is a reason Elk Point-Jefferson is behind Winner in the receiving votes category and a two-loss Tri-Valley team is in the rankings ahead of EPJ. When you look at the Huskies schedule, the scores don’t really excite you, and it’s even against bad teams. Now on the other hand, Dakota Valley’s two wins haven’t been eye-opening either, but the two losses are close ones to Canton (16-14) and Tri-Valley (14-7) last week. Plus, can you could a team with Matt Lupkes at quarterback out of a game?
Prediction: Dakota Valley knocks Elk Point-Jefferson from the ranks of the unbeaten, and also picks up a quality road win, which serves itself well come playoff time.
#1 Howard (3-1) at #2 Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (3-1): Ever feel like a team really doesn’t deserve to be number one and is just on top because of name recognition? I feel that way about Howard. Yes, I know the Tigers are 3-1, but I still think they don’t have enough to sustain a long run in the playoffs. Yes, Howard beat Chester Area, but I think that game was more of a fluke as they got blown out against White Lake-Plankinton. This game will go a long way to telling us if Howard is for real. However, I think Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan is for real and is actually the top team in 9AA. BEE’s one lose was on the road to Hanson, where many a talented foe has meet their destiny. Now BEE is at home, and Howard’s loss was on the road as well.
Prediction: I think Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan scores a ton of points against Howard and shows this team definitely is not a top echelon team. BEE will hopefully be the top-ranked team again.
#3 Chester Area (3-1) at Alcester-Hudson (2-2): Chester-Area is another team I am not very high on either. The one loss was to Howard, who I am not very high one. Yes, CA pounded White Lake-Plankinton, but I am not too high on that team either. Chester Area has pounded bad teams to pad its recorded. Alcester-Hudson is 2-2, but both wins were close against Gayville-Volin and Baltic, and the Cubs got demolished 61-6 to Viborg-Hurley.
Prediction: Chester Area continues to take it to lower level teams and scores a ton against Alcester-Hudson.
#5 Philip (3-1) at White River (3-1): Philip suffered a tough loss at home last week to a Wall team that frankly should be receiving votes, let alone ranked in Philip’s spot. Philip hadn’t scored under 50 points until being held to 20 last week. White River is 3-1, but has beaten up on bad teams and the one loss is to Gregory 14-0. However, this kind of sounds like last week’s game for Philip, but unlike Philip, White River has given up 24 points to Lyman, 20 to Jones County and 26 to New Underwood.
Prediction: I can totally see myself getting burned by Philip again this week, but I am going with them and with the blow-out prediction again. I don’t think White River’s defense is good enough at all to hold Philip’s offense.
9B #1 Canistota (4-0) at receiving votes Gregory (3-1): Gregory pounded on two lesser teams, got by White Lake and got destroyed by Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan. Canistota’s closest game was a 20-8 win at Hanson….Do I really need to say more besides this…
Prediction: Gregory, meet reality, which is Canistota. Thanks for playing, as Canistota is the best team in 9-man football and will score a ton on Gregory, who will be lucky to score in the game.
Northwestern (2-2) at #2 Sully Buttes (4-0): Sully Buttes knows how to score points against bad teams, and the worst win for them is a 12-0 win at Eureka/Bowdle. Against decent teams, Northwestern has struggled with the two wins over Ipswich and Langford Area.
Prediction: Sully Buttes wins this one. I really don’t have much to say about this one.
#3 Castlewood (4-0) at 9B #2 Dell Rapids St. Mary (4-0): Talk about a tough game to get a read on. Castlewood was pushed to the edge by Deubrook Area 30-22 at home last week, and Dell Rapids St. Mary held off Colman-Egan on the road 22-20 two weeks ago. Both teams have beat up on bad teams as well. Castlewood’s defense is more up and down, but Dell Rapids St. Mary can give up some points as well.
Prediction: I am going to go with the home team on this one. I think Dell Rapids St. Mary has the better defense, which will be the key in this, what I think will be, close game.
#T4 Harding County (4-0) at Wall (4-0): I have beaten a dead horse when it comes to Wall. I really think they should at least be receiving votes. Wall can’t have a let down here though as they host Harding County, who has given up only 14 points all year and scored no less than 52 points. However, Wall picked up the win against a high-powered Philip offense on the road and held them to 20 points. Plus Wall can put up points too, not scoring less than 32, which was last week.
Prediction: This might be my going out on a limb pick, but I am sticking with Wall. They are my Titanic, wait does that mean I think they will lose? Ugh, I am sticking with Wall. I think this could be a shoot-out with Wall coming away with it and hopefully gets respect.
South Central (2-2) at receiving votes Avon (3-1): Ever feel bad for a team before the game even begins? That’s how I feel for South Central right now. Yes, South Central is 2-2, but they got destroyed by Colome (52-7) and Corsica-Stickney (44-7). Really good teams have had their way with South Central. Avon is still a really good team despite not being ranked. The only loss is to Hanson….yeah.
Prediction: Avon rolls to an easy victory at home here.
9B receiving votes Grant-Deuel (3-1) at receiving votes Wilmot (4-0): Wilmot avoided the upset on the road with a 12-6 win over Tri-State. Besides that game, Wilmot has been solid, but really hasn’t faced anyone. Grant-Deuel is the game way, but did lose to a good Waverly-South Shore team on the road 38-32.
Prediction: Grant-Deuel’s road loss is the key to me when picking this game. Wilmot wins in a close game.
Woonsocket/Wessington Springs (3-1) at #3 Hitchcock-Tulare (5-0): Hitchcock-Tulare’s offense gets better every week and they put up a 60 spot last week. They are also the defending champs. Hitchcock-Tulare did give up more points last week, 16, then they gave up all year – 12. Woonsocket/Wessington Springs has scored 56 and 73 the last two weeks, but also gave up 35 points last week, and the one loss was to White Lake/Plankinton on home.
Prediction: Woonsocket/Wessington Springs may be putting up points, but Hitchcock-Tulare has the better offense and defense, and that usually is the recipe to success…so Hitchcock-Tulare in this game.
#4 Waverly-South Shore (4-0) at Hamlin (3-1): This game is tough to get a read on. Waverly-South Shore got by Tri-State 22-20 and Grant-Deuel (38-32), but has put up 50 plus points the past two weeks. Hamlin also has a pretty good offense, but the one blemish is a 14-8 loss to Grant-Deuel. It does seem like Hamlin does have the better defense.
Prediction: Hamlin’s slight edge in defense and with the game being in Hayti are the two keys for me, so I will go with the upset in this one.