North Side at Snider
Prediction: North Side wins 21-13
In the best matchup of week one, we’re picking an upset. North Side hasn’t beaten Snider since 2013, their last winning season. Expectations are much higher for the Legends than they’ve been in quite a while, with loads of players returning on both sides of the ball. They haven’t been particularly competitive in any of their recent losses to the Panthers, but that should change this year. North Side will have to handle a fearsome front 7 from Snider, featuring players like MLB Domanick Moon and OLB Isaiah Maxwell, but expect North Side QB Duce Taylor to still be able get the ball to his receivers. The real problem for Snider will be that they’re starting a new quarterback against a defense that features great pass defenders like FS Arieon McCarter (2 INT, 3 PD) and DB Jordan Turner (3 PD). Expect a tight, defensive battle in which experience, favoring the Legends, wins.
Wayne at Bishop Dwenger
Prediction: Dwenger wins 35-6
Wayne could make this game interesting. QB Aidan Meek threw for 1,140 yds and 7 TD as the Generals starter. However, it’s hard to envision him having time to throw, or his running back Shawn Collins having room to run against the Dwenger defense. The Saints are too strong in the trenches and will cause problems for Wayne on offense. The Saints also have too many good options at running back to run behind their incredible offensive line. Look for a big day from Saints running back Devon Tippmann, who had 2 touchdowns in this game a year ago.
Carroll at Bishop Luers
Prediction: Carroll wins 42-7
The Chargers offense will feast on a weak Luers defense. QB Jeff Becker made his mark in this game last year, completing 53% of his passes for 224 yds and 2 total touchdowns. Carroll’s speed will make it hard for the Knights to stay in this game. Carroll has a great pass defense that came up with 17 interceptions in 2019 and returns DB’s Cade Dinan, Hunter Mertz, and Tucker Steely who combined for 7 of those picks last year. We’ll go with Carroll to win big against Luers.
Northrop at Homestead
Prediction: Homestead wins 31-9
The Spartans, like Snider, will be forced to break in a new quarterback this year. However, they’ll have a much easier matchup. Northrop struggled to find any rhythm on offense last season and were outscored 612-485. The Bruins do return RB Damarius Cowen (490 yds, 6.1 yds/car, 4 TD), but if the Homestead defense can stop him, they’ll have no problem winning this game. Homestead’s defense led by linebackers Cole Etchison and Luke Palmer will be the difference as Sparty rolls.
Concordia at South Side
Prediction: Concordia wins 35-14
If all goes right, Concordia should win comfortably on the road. However, all didn’t go right for the Cadets last season because they committed 35 turnovers over 13 games. QB Brandon Davis (2,399 yds, 21 TD, 20 INT) and RB Amir Drew (1,371 yds, 18 TD, 11 Fum) will need to be difference makers early and keep possession of the ball. Otherwise, a solid running game led by RB Matt Morris (287 yds, 4.9 yds/car) will help South Side stay in the game. We’ll take the Cadets to run away with this game in the second half.