Gaston and Lincoln Round 1 Playoff Picks
Game of the Week: 2AA Playoffs - #9 North Lincoln (7-4) @ #8 Lincolnton (8-3)
Where do I start? There are advantages and disadvantages to playing a conference foe this early in the playoffs. Some advantages are that the two teams are very familiar with each other and these two teams do not have to travel far at all to play each other. However, one of the advantages has a flip-side. You do not want your opponent being too familiar with your system.
Both teams have that issue. In fact, these two hooked up just last week. Lincolnton won 19-7. However, it is extremely hard to beat a good team twice and the odds are against Lincolnton. Don't be surprised if this game has a much different outcome than last week's conference finale.
My pick: North Lincoln 24 - Lincolnton 21
#16 East Rutherford (4-7) @ #1 East Lincoln (10-1)
East Lincoln has been on a roll eversince their 37-10 loss to Newton-Conover. The Mustangs have dominated their conference in lopsided wins over most of their conference foes. The only team that has given them a run for their money in the SP 2A/1A conference was North Lincoln and that was at the beginning of conference play. The Mustangs have outscored those conference foes by an average of 39-9.
The Cavaliers do not bring a solid record heading into this game. They are 4-7 and are 1-4 in their conference. That does not sound encouraging to the Cavalier faithful. The Mustangs should win big in this one.
My pick: East Lincoln 49 - East Rutherford 20
2A Playoffs - #10 Monroe (8-3) @ #7 Bessemer City (8-3)
This is one that one would expect for a second or their round match-up. Both teams come in with similar records. Bessemer City has their best season so far this side of Y2K and it's been years since the Yellow Jackets have had a solid season like this. However, Monroe is also having a solid season. The Red Hawks, however, lost three of their last five games including last week's 42-21 drubbing at Forest Hills.
Don't epect a big let-down from Monroe. This one could easily come down to the last tick of the clock.
My pick: Bessemer City 28 - Monroe 24
3AA Playoffs - #12 Marvin Ridge (6-5) @ #5 Forestview (8-3)
The Jaguars are hoping to make history. Not only are they looking to break as school record and get nine wins, but they have never won a playoff game in seven tries. In fact, they are the only school in the county to have never won a playoff game. A win over the visiting Marvin Ridge Mavericks would change that.
The Jaguars closed out the season in dominating fashion with a 40-14 win over East Gaston. The Jags led 33-0 at half-time. Forestview has outscored their last three opponents 86-27. The Mavericks are on a two-game losing streak, including a 49-0 beating from SPC Conference Champion, Anson County. However you may look at it, Marvin Ridge has been competitive in most of their games this year. The Jaguars should be able to get their first ever playoff win tonight.
My pick: Forestview 35 - Marvin Ridge 14
3A Playoffs - #15 South Rowan (5-6) @ #2 South Point (10-1)
Call this game the battle of the South. Call it the battle of the Raiders. Call it the battle of the Red and Black. On paper, however, this game does not have the billings of a battle. The Raiders of South Rowan lost two of their last three games and by large margins. South Point has not lost since the season opener at Clover and have won many of their games by large margins.
Both teams run the triple-option offense but South Point is more aversed and much more experienced. The Red Raiders also have one of the areas stingiest defenses.
The Red Raiders are more than likely to walk away away a big winner in this first round match-up.
My pick: South Point 52 - South Rowan 16
#14 Hunter Huss (6-5) @ #3 Tuscola (10-1)
The last time these two hooked up was in 2004 and in the first round of the playoffs. Hunter Huss lost 42-22 at Tuscola and this game may not look much different. Tuscola finished first in their conference with their only loss coming last week in a 49-20 blowout against T.C. Roberson. Hunter Huss finished fourth overall in the Big South 4A/3A, but got the conference's #3 3A spot.
The Huskies may give Tuscola a competitive game for a while, but do look for the Mountaineers to pull away. The Huskies have been very inconsistent this year and how close this game is depends on which Huss team shows up.
My pick: Tuscola 35 - Hunter Huss 20
4A Playoffs - #16 Ashbrook (4-7) @ #1 Mount Tabor (10-1)
This could be a repeat of last year. These two teams met in the third round of the playoffs last year. The Spartans won the match-up pretty convincingly by a score of 41-20. The Green Wave has struggled this year and finished fifth overall in their conference, but managed to at least get the conference's #2 4A spot. Can the Green Wave possibly muster up enough fire-power to keep this one close?
My pick: Mount Tabor 38 - Ashbrook 20
1AA Playoffs - #12 Swain County (5-6) @ #5 Cherryville (4-7)
How often has this been going on? The Ironmen, by virtue of being their conference's only 1A team gets an automatic playoff spot. The Ironmen even get to host a playoff game. Last year, that was not enough for Cherryville as they lost to East Surry 13-7. This match-up will likely be just as competitive. But do not consider this an upset if Cheryville loses. They are afterall, given this playoff spot automatically,
My pick: Cherryville 12 - Swain County 10