High school football is great. It really is. The bands, the student sections, the generally nice weather, the Friday night lights.
I enjoy it all. Except, there is one thing: Most of the games...well, they kind of stink, don't they?
Seriously. How many close games per year do you really see? It sure feels like most of my teams are either blowing out the opposition, or getting blown out themselves. It's hard to find a middle ground.
Hononegah played two close games in a row. That's cool. They won't play any more until the playoffs.
Brodhead-Juda? Sure, they're an awesome team. But are their games fun to watch (unless you are a Brodhead fan, of course?) Not really, unless if you have a fetish for running second half clocks.
Those, of course, are the best-case scenarios. I won't go into it, but we've got some squads on the other end of the spectrum who go out each week and just get hammered. Football is a brutal sport.
How many honest-to-goodness close games are there going to be tonight in our area? My guess is...I don't know. One, maybe? Two? And hey, it'll still be great and all, and I love the fact that these kids are getting an opportunity to compete. But my goodness, the blowouts each week.
On to the picks...
• WAUTOMA at BRODHEAD-JUDA: Listen, I'm not going to spend much time dissecting this one. Wautoma, Hematoma, Glaucoma. It's Brodhead, and it ain't close. Playoff me, please.
BRODHEAD-JUDA 49, WAUTOMA 8
• BELVIDERE at HONONEGAH: Can the Indians get the offense going and thusly make me feel better about their playoff chances once they run into the next suburban team of 90 angry caucasians that have been lifting weights since the summer before their third grade year?
Love that Indians defense, but they've got to show more O if we are talking a big playoff push. And with the rest of Hononegah's schedule filled with the dregs of the NIC-10 (and believe me folks, there's a lot of dregs), that's the only question left.
HONONEGAH 42, BELVIDERE -3
• MADISON LA FOLLETTE at BELOIT MEMORIAL: I'll be headed to this one tonight, and I would love to be bold and predict a Purple Knights victory. But I just can't pull the trigger.
The Knights have the tendency to shoot themselves in the foot. A lot. If they can avoid some critical mistakes, maybe they can take down the Lancers. And man, would that be awesome.
LA FOLLETTE 42, BELOIT MEMORIAL 20
• BIG FOOT at WATERTOWN LUTHER PREP: The Chiefs still could qualify for a playoff berth, and a win tonight would go a long way. I think this could be a rare close game on tonight's slate, but I give the edge to Watertown.
WATERTOWN 34, BIG FOOT 28
• IOWA-GRANT at PARKVIEW-ALBANY. Let's just move on.
IOWA-GRANT 42, PARKVIEW-ALBANY 12
• WATERLOO (6-2) at CLINTON (4-3): The Cougars need to sweep their last two games, and it surely won't be easy.
This Waterloo team is pretty solid, while the Cougars are coming off a win over a Palmyra team that would lose to many JV squads.
Nobody thought Clinton would have four wins at this point in the season, and I don't think a lot of people expect tonight to be close. But if the Cougars can get their running game going, they could stay in this one against a really solid Waterloo team.
WATERLOO 28, CLINTON 20
• COLUMBUS at TURNER: This is just a really difficult matchup for Turner tonight. Columbus has been a machine this year, and unless Sean Fogel throws for 250-plus yards and Brent Hoppe has around 10 sacks, this might be a difficult night to be a Trojan.
COLUMBUS 42, TURNER 14
Have fun, stay safe!