Last week, Mike (8-2) and I (9-1) both missed the one-point South Caldwell win over Maiden, and Mike also took North Gaston to defeat Polk County (wrong). So two weeks in, I hold a slight edge over Mike (17-3, 16-4).
With 10 more games on the slate for tonight, how many will we differ on? There are several heavy favorites in tonight’s action, including North Lincoln and West Lincoln.
So here we go with Week 3.
East Lincoln at Ashbrook: MP: The Green Wave have gotten off to a rough start with one-sided losses in their first two games. Things do not figure to improve much at home against an East Lincoln team that smashed East Rowan a week ago. Mustangs look better than advertised … MP: East Lincoln 28, Ashbrook 15; DK: East Lincoln 24, Ashbrook 17
Lincolnton at North Gaston: DK: The Wolves have been knocking on the door of a win, but haven’t been able to get over the hump. The defense has been outstanding, but tonight they’ll have to produce some offense with a freshman QB in the absence of starter E.J. Manjarress … DK: Lincolnton 14, North Gaston 7; MP: Lincolnton 21, North Gaston 12
Cherryville at West Lincoln: MP: The Rebels are coming off an unusual early-season bye, but that only means they will be well-prepared and well-rested for the Ironmen … MP: West Lincoln 48, Cherryville 7; DK: West Lincoln 56, Cherryville 14
North Lincoln at West Caldwell: DK: The Knights bounced back last week with a dominating performance over East Rutherford. The question tonight is just how many points will they put up against a struggling West Caldwell team … DK: North Lincoln 59, West Caldwell 14; MP: North Lincoln 45, West Caldwell 7
Maiden at Bunker Hill: DK: A lot of high school football fans were a little surprised about the Blue Devils loss to South Caldwell a week ago, but that Spartan team was physical and played really hard. Don’t worry, Maiden will bounce back tonight … DK: Maiden 42, Bunker Hill 18; MP: Maiden 28, Bunker Hill 13
Newton-Conover at Hickory: MP: Hickory’s early season schedule has been brutal (Watauga and Hibriten), but Newton-Conover may not provide much of a break. The Red Devils had last week off after rolling Bunker Hill in their opener … MP: Newton-Conover 24, Hickory 16; DK: Newton-Conover 28, Hickory 21
Bandys at South Caldwell: DK: The Trojans get their toughest test to date with trip up to South Caldwell. Look for the Spartans to improve to 2-0 against the South Fork 2A … DK: South Caldwell 28, Bandys 20; MP: South Caldwell 22, Bandys 20
Crest at Burns: MP: Both teams boast explosive offenses that can score from anywhere, but the Chargers have an edge on defense. They cannot hope to stop Burns star Kujuan Pryor, but they may be able to slow him down … MP: Crest 35, Burns 22; DK: Crest 35, Burns 21
Clover at South Point: MP: This is more than a football game; it’s an annual community fundraiser marked by pageantry and events that “raise awareness of citizenship, patriotism and service,” according to SuperRaider.com. There will be flyovers and parachute landings and a hard-hitting football game between defensive-minded teams … MP: Clover 23, South Point 12; DK: Clover 27, South Point 14
Pisgah at Tuscola: DK: You know why we threw this game into our picks, right? Not only is this one of the biggest rivalries in the state, but tonight’s half-and-half jackpot could get up around $20k for the winner … DK: Pisgah 27, Tuscola 21; MP: Pisgah 27, Tuscola 17