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Central Mass HS Football Playoff Preview

Monday, November 26, 2012


Shrewsbury quarterback Mike Coggeshall

It's playoff time for Central Mass football, and we let you know what to watch for in each of the region's six divisions. So, let's take a look at the top storylines, division by division. All semifinal games will be played this Tuesday, November 27th.

Division I

1. Shrewsbury vs 4. Leominster, 7:45 pm at Leominster
2. Wachusett vs 3. St. John's, 7:45 pm at Wachusett

Shrewsbury scored a last-second win over reigning champ Leominster earlier this year, and quarterback Mike Coggeshall and co. will have to recreate some of that magic to get by the Blue Devils again. Division I is as wide open as it has been in quite some time, with Leominster as the No. 4, an explosive St. John's at No. 3, and Wachusett, the only Division I team to beat Shrewsbury, sitting at No. 2.

Division II

1. Nashoba vs 4. Holy Name, 5:15 pm at Leominster
2. Doherty vs 3. Shepherd Hill, 7:45 pm at Foley Stadium

Nashoba running back John Ojukwu is back from injury, and that means the 1 vs 4 game will feature the region's two most explosive runners. Quron Wright is the all-time leading rusher in the history of Central Mass, but he will need some help if Holy Name is to pull off the upset. Doherty pulled out a close one over Shepherd Hill earlier this year, but beating the powerful Rams twice in one season will not be easy.

Division III

1. Auburn vs 4. Hudson, 5:15 at Wachusett
2. Groton-Dunstable vs 3. Tantasqua, 5:15 pm at Oakmont Regional

Hudson comes in at 5-6 and, on paper, looks to be overwhelmed against an Auburn team that has barely been challenged this year. Groton-Dunstable is coming off a huge Thanksgiving Day win over Tyngsborough, and has now won seven in a row. Tantasqua has shown some explosive potential on offense, but it would seem like a tall order for them to knock off the surging Crusaders.

Division IV

1. Northbridge vs 4. Millbury, 5:15 at Grafton
2. Grafton vs 3. Lunenburg, 7:45 pm at Grafton

Northbridge buried Millbury 48-0 earlier this month, and with the way quarterback Matt Phelan is playing for the Rams, it would be hard to see the Woolies reversing that outcome the second time around. Grafton seems like the one team that can challenge Northbridge in this division, and it gets a home game against an inconsistent Lunenburg team to start.

Division V

1. West Boylston vs 4. Narragansett, 7:45 pm at Oakmont Regional
2. Tyngsborough vs 3. Leicester, 7:45 pm at Lunenburg

Narragansett has the firepower to give offensive power West Boylston a game in the 1 vs 4 matchup, and looks to be much improved since its 28-14 loss to the Lions in early October. Tyngsborough is still hurting after coming out flat against Groton-Dunstable on Thanksgiving, but the Tigers will need to shake that off quickly if they want to knock off defending champ Leicester.

Division VI

1. Blackstone Valley Tech vs 4. Assabet, 5:15 pm at Foley Stadium
2. Bay Path vs 3. Littleton, 5:15 pm at Lunenberg

BVT is a one-point loss to Bay Path from being perfect this year, and revenge will no doubt be on the Beavers' minds if they get to face the Minutemen in the Division VI Super Bowl. First, though, they will have to get by a tough Assabet team for the second time this season, and Bay Path will have to dispose of a feisty Littleton team that has won games a variety of ways this season.


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