Valley Preps

Lock it in!: Picks and predictions for high school football this weekend

This week, we have quite a bit more to sift through. We’ve got at least one game on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, including a couple of rivalry games between Russell County-Central and Spencer-Carver.

I’ll do my best.

Harris County will get things started on the right foot with a win against Houston County.

Alright, I know that this seems like a less-than-bold pick on the surface. A team that went 3-7 last year loses to a team that played in the state quarterfinals. Fine. Here’s why it’s worth mentioning. The Tigers lost to Houston County 35-23 last year en route to an 0-4 start. I think we’ll see Harris County carry a little more swagger into the 2013 season, and it starts with a win on Thursday.

The Central running game will be challenged by the Russell County ground defense, but we will see a couple highlight-reel runs from Traveon Samuel and Ryan Humphrey.

The Warriors limited a talented offense in their scrimmage last week, and I think that has given them a lot of confidence. There will be times when Russell County can be extremely happy with how it plays against a very talented Red Devils offense. I have a hunch, however, that Samuel or Humphrey will be able to find a crease once or twice and drop a few jaws with their speed and athleticism.

Hardaway’s Justin Crawford chases two bills against Jordan.

Crawford said he thought he could go for 2,000 yards this season. That would require at least 200 yards per regular season game, though the Hawks are certainly in the conversation for the playoffs. I say the junior back takes a good stab at it in the first game of the season. Don’t forget, he averaged almost 175 yards per contest in five games last year.

Kendrick opens the season with a victory.

Kendrick won five games en route to a playoff berth last season. It lost each of its first three games, however, including a 25-6 misstep at Americus-Sumter. It will play there again this year, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Cherokees get the better of them this year.

Alright, those are my picks and I’m sticking to them. I’ll take a look back at how I did next week. For now, I’ll give myself 4-1, though the points are fairly arbitrary.

For a test run, last week wasn’t so bad on predictions for me. Alright, so I picked Carver in a close one over Central and didn’t connect on that one, but everything else was fairly close.

Pick 1: Carver sophomore quarterback Jawon Pass will show us in limited time why there are such high expectations in his inaugural season as the Tigers starter.

Bingo. Pass was 8 of 11 for 72 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown pass came moments after he left the game with cramps, and after the scoring strike he hobbled off the field for good. The bright lights weren’t too much for him, and that’s a great sign for the Carver offense.

Pick 2: The Carver defense will be seriously tested against Central.

No doubt. The Red Devils running game was very successful against the vaunted Carver defensive front early in the game. It’s something the Tigers will have to work on going forward.

Pick 3: Despite returning 0 yards rushing from last season, Calvary Christian won’t miss a beat on the ground.

And it didn’t. New starter Daulton Drew rushed for 142 yards and two scores. In all, Calvary crossed the goal line five times on the ground in a close 36-35 loss to Unity Christian.

Pick 4: Smiths Station shows its worth against Stanhope Elmore.

One that I’ll give myself half credit for. I was right, but I should have gone all the way. The Panthers beat Stanhope Elmore and showed why they are firmly in the race for a playoff spot.

Now, it’s your turn. Join in and give me some of your picks. Post them in the comments and follow me on Twitter @leprepsports.