Rich's Picks -- Week 2 predictions
Fremont Ross (0-1 overall) at Sylvania Southview (1-0) *
Southview defeated Toledo Rogers 41-6 last week, but Rogers is a program rebuilding after an 0-10 season in 2014. The Cougars haven’t made the playoffs in four years but have some playmakers in quarterback Sam Stout and receiver/running back Jaren Mangham. It may be too early to call this a “must win” for Ross, but at the very least it’s a “must show improvement.” What kind of response the Little Giants have after getting thumped at home last week will be telling. Last year, when the Little Giants needed to show resolve, they had a well of resiliency they dipped into. They’re going to need to find it again. Southview 34, Ross 21
Norwalk St. Paul (1-0 overall) at St. Joseph Central Catholic (0-1) *
It’s hard to see this one going well for the Crimson Streaks. St. Paul is the defending Division VII state runner-up and coming off a 56-21 win over Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic in which the Flyers totaled 561 yards of offense. SJCC, on the other hand, is coming off a 37-6 loss to Mohawk. The Crimson Streaks will have a stiff test remaining competitive. St. Paul 35, SJCC 12
Huron (0-1) at Bellevue (0-1) *
Prior to the season this game looked worthy of Game of the Week designation. But Huron lost 20-3 to Sandusky last week and Bellevue lost 42-16 to Sandusky Perkins, leaving one team, picked to be among its league championship favorites, to start the season 0-2. Huron’s offense struggled badly moving the ball last week, with just 23 yards rushing, while Bellevue couldn’t stop the run, giving up 323 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. My preseason confidence in Bellevue has been shaken, but I’m not jumping the bandwagon yet. Bellevue 24, Huron 18
Clyde (1-0 overall) at Eastwood (0-1) *
Last week Clyde hit the road to face a talented team with playoff aspirations. I went against the Fliers and they made me regret it. This week, Clyde hits the road to face a talented team with playoff aspirations. I like to think I learn from my mistakes. Clyde 22, Eastwood 16
Lakota (1-0 overall) at Gibsonburg (1-0) *
The only game in the area that features two teams that won their season openers. Gibsonburg was as-advertised in its 34-13 win over Elmwood. The Golden Bears may not be as splashy as a year ago, but plenty of talent remains and its spread all over the field. Lakota, meanwhile, knocked off Arcadia 32-12 with a solid ground attack and a defense that remains tough to move. A year ago Gibsonburg won 49-12. While Lakota will close the gap, the Golden Bears are still deeper in more areas. Gibsonburg 33, Lakota 26
Western Reserve (0-1 overall) at Margaretta (1-0) *
As mentioned earlier, I took some flak from Noah Hilton for my “lack of faith” in the Polar Bears last week. While I still think the Polar Bears’ youth will catch up to them at some point, Margaretta has confidence as it faces a team it defeated 42-20 last year. Western Reserve is also coming off a 42-7 loss to Black River a week ago. Ok, Hilton, here is me putting my faith in you and the Polar Bears. Margaretta 32, Western Reserve 22
Genoa (0-1 overall) at Oak Harbor (0-1) *
Both Genoa and Oak Harbor are eager to leave Week 1 in the past. The Comets gave up 404 yards of offense in a 33-7 loss to Villa Angela-St. Joseph while Oak Harbor gave up 203 passing yards in its 36-0 loss to Ottawa-Glandorf. It’s a rivalry game, which means an underdog can surprise on a given year – particularly on its home field – but putting the teams’ recent track records against one another, it’s hard to go against the Comets. Genoa 28, Oak Harbor 14
Woodmore (0-1 overall) at Toledo Christian (0-1) at Toledo Bowsher High School *
It’s a rare game where Woodmore faces a team from a school smaller than itself but that’s the occasion the Wildcats will be in Saturday against Toledo Christian. Like Woodmore, Toledo Christian is not a team with a lot of depth after suffering heavy graduation losses from last year’s Division VII playoff team. Woodmore may not get a better chance this season to snap its 12-game losing streak. If the Wildcats weren’t coming off a 63-0 loss to Port Clinton last week or gave me reason to think they were on the cusp of a win, I’d pick them here. But I’ve got to see it first. Toledo Christian 34, Woodmore 29
Bonus game. College football: No. 20 Wisconsin at No. 3 Alabama *
As much as I’d love to see a Big Ten school knock off an SEC power like Alabama, and to hear the ensuing excuses from Nick Saban, these early-season SEC-Big Ten showdowns rarely go well for the northerners. Alabama 31, Wisconsin 17
Bonus game. College football: Northern Iowa at Iowa State *
The first weekend of the college football season is filled with cupcakes getting crushed so I picked a game at random and got a clash from the Hawkeye State. My sister lives in Waterloo, Iowa, about 15 minutes from the UNI campus. It’s as good a reason as any. Go Panthers. UNI 31, Iowa State 28.
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