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Central MA Football Championships Preview

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

 

As the first season of the MIAA's new playoff system winds down, Central Massachusetts prepares for a quartet of championship games. All four championship games will take place Friday night with eight teams looking for the chance to showcase their skills before the rest of the state.

With that said, here is a look ahead at what to expect Friday night in the Central Massachusetts championship games in divisions 2, 4, 5 and 6.

Division 2: Leominster vs. St. John's (Shrewsbury) - Friday 7 PM
The Division 2 championship game features a rematch from all the way back in week one of the football season as Leominster and St. John's square off. The game features a great quarterback battle as St. John's Drew Smiley and Leominster's Neil O'Connor lead their respective teams.

Smiley has been on a tear recently, picking opposing team's defensive backfields apart with his great accuracy and rocket arm. O'Connor has used his athleticism to dominate his opponents all season.

As well as St. John's has been playing lately, the question still stands: Can Leominster be defeated. The unbeaten Blue Devils have been the most dominant team in Central Massachusetts and one of the best teams in the state.

Division 4: Doherty vs. Shepherd Hill - Friday 7 PM
The D4 battle in Central Massachusetts is a tale of two styles. Doherty has a high-flying, athletic team that uses its athleticism to overmatch opponents. Shepherd Hill, on the other hand, uses a tough, gritty, physical style to control the tempo and grind down teams before putting them away with a strong ground attack.

Doherty has been a favorite all year to make it to the Central Massachusetts championship game and is picked by many to go even further, but Shepherd Hill's style might be the one factor that can keep Doherty's offense off of the field. Even with the clashing styles, this should be one of the best games of the night.

Division 5: Bartlett vs. Northbridge - Friday 7 PM
In the most surprising matchup of the weekend, these two power teams face each other with a D5 CMass title in mind. Both teams have great offensive lines and even better backs, meaning both team love to run the ball.

Both teams notched somewhat surprising wins in the semifinals and will now showcase a battle between two of the best ball carriers in Central Massachusetts. For Bartlett, Alex Givens-Perry has been a force to be reasoned with all season. He is a bruising back with a ton of speed. This combination has made him one of the best running backs in the area. On the other side, Northbridge's quarterback Koby Schofer has been carrying his team to success, both literally and figuratively, all season. He is extremely athletic and has a ton of speed and elusiveness in the open field.

Division 6: Blackstone Valley Tech vs. Littleton
Both Blackstone Valley and Littleton have been on a war path through Division 6 to get to this game. Both teams have dominated the entire season and will face off in a battle of unbeaten teams.

With both teams showing little weakness, it will come down to who makes the one play that can swing the balance of power in D6.  

 

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