Thursday, September 25, 2014

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 5 picks

The Poopster will try to regain some momentum in Week 5.
After a brief surge, the Poopster's momentum slowed last week with a pedestrian 5-3 mark. The orange guy knows he has to do a better job, or else his owner will start limiting the Fancy Feast. Here's his take on Week 5 of the Mercury-area football scene:

Friday's games

Spring-Ford (2-1, 2-2) at Pottsgrove (2-1, 2-2)
The Poopster salutes the veterans who will be honored prior to the game as part of Military Appreciation Night at Pennypacker Field, and believes the Rams will have a slight edge in the trench warfare. ... Spring-Ford 20-14.

Pottstown (1-1, 2-2) at Perkiomen Valley (3-0, 3-1)
While the Trojans' defense of late has gotten the Poopster's attention, he thinks it will be too tall an order for them to take down David Williams, Sean Sedgewick and the Vikings, who appear to be clicking on all cylinders. ... Perkiomen Valley 34-13.

Methacton (2-1, 2-2) at Upper Perkiomen (1-2, 1-3)
Both the Warriors (who snapped Pottsgrove's 25-game league winning streak) and Indians (who halted a nine-game losing streak) are coming off victories of note. The Poopster likes what he's seen lately from the green machine on both sides of the ball. ... Methacton 41-20.

Owen J. Roberts (1-1, 1-3) at Boyertown (1-2, 1-3)
The Wildcats are on their fourth quarterback of the season and the Poopster senses that Juice Siejk, Dalton Hughes and the Bears are sitting on a big performance. ... Boyertown 27-17.

Daniel Boone (0-1, 2-2) at Muhlenberg (1-0, 1-3)
The Poopster heard there was a lot of yellow laundry on the field at Brazinsky Stadium last week, which torpedoed any hope of the Blazers taking down unbeaten Conrad Weiser. As long as the whistles don't get too out of hand again, he's giving the nod to Jon Passifione, Darius Hinton and Boone. ... Daniel Boone 24-20.

Saturday's games

Phoenixville (0-3, 0-4) at Pope John Paul II (1-2, 1-3)
The Poopster has no clue about this one. While he wouldn't mind seeing the injury-riddled Phantoms notch a win for first-year coach Evan Breisblatt, he's leaning ever-so-slightly toward Matt Duff, Matt Mesaros and the Golden Panthers. ... Pope John Paul II 21-19.

Nativity (2-2) at Perkiomen School (2-1)
Though the Green Wave (which beat Bucktail 46-30 Tuesday) will be playing its second game in five days, the Poopster is going to grudgingly go with the guys from the coal region in a tight one against David Juechter, Josh Cruz and the Panthers. ...  Nativity 23-22.

Hill School (0-2) at Springside Chestnut Hill (4-0)
Sound the air raid sirens for this one, says the Poopster, who feels that vaunted QB Paul Dooley and the Hillers will have too much weaponry for the Rams in another shootout. ... Springside Chestnut Hill 36-27.

Last week's record: 5-3 (62.5 percent)
Overall record: 23-11 (67.6 percent)










Thursday, September 18, 2014

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 4 picks

The Poopster is starting to round into form.

After a rough couple of opening weeks forecasting the Mercury-area football action, the Poopster is starting to round back into form. The orange guy went 7-1 last week, but did fail to envision Perkiomen Valley's 20-7 win over Spring-Ford in the marquee game. Here are his thoughts about Week 4:

FRIDAY'S GAMES

Boyertown (1-1, 1-2) at Spring-Ford (1-1, 1-2)
Rams quarterbacks Brandon Leacraft and Stone Scarcelle found themselves under siege last week against sack-happy PV, but the Poopster sees the high-octane S-F offense getting back on track this week. ... Spring-Ford 38-7.

Perkiomen Valley (2-0, 2-1) at Owen J. Roberts (1-0, 1-2)
It will be a proud night in Bucktown, as OJR dedicates Henry J. Bernat Field at Wildcat Stadium in honoring one of the area's most renowned coaches. But the Poopster is afraid the new scoreboard will reflect a lot of points for Tim Mallon, Taiyir Wilson and the Vikings. ... Perkiomen Valley 42-13.

Pope John Paul II (1-1, 1-2) at Upper Perkiomen (0-2, 0-3)
Though the Poopster believes this the best chance for first-year coach Tom Hontz and the Indians to snap a nine-game losing streak dating back to last year and win at home for the first time in nearly three seasons, he is going to ride the PJP train for one more stop and come down on the side of the Johnnies in a tight one. ... Pope John Paul II 27-25.

Conrad Weiser (3-0) at Daniel Boone (2-1)
The Poopster thinks Nick Hughes, Jonathan Charles and the Blazers have a real shot to notch a watershed win for third-year coach Bill Parks in their Berks League Section 1 opener, but just can't pull the trigger and will go with the Scouts and coach Alan Moyer - his owner's old Lebanon Valley League baseball teammate. ... Conrad Weiser 34-24.

Perkiomen School (1-1) at George School (0-2)
The Panthers have won the past 13 meetings in this series, and the Poopster has a feeling that trend will continue, though it won't be a blowout. ... Perkiomen School 26-13.

SATURDAY'S GAMES

Pottsgrove (2-0, 2-1) at Methacton (1-1, 1-2)
The Poopster is well aware of how tough the Warriors have played the Falcons in recent years. That said, he's going to give the nod to coach Rick Pennypacker's crew against Methacton and dangerous offensive threat Louis Cotteta. ... Pottsgrove 28-21.

Phoenixville (0-2, 0-3) at Pottstown (0-1, 1-2)
The Phantoms showed marked improvement last week, when they came within a failed two-point conversion of beating Owen J. Roberts. The Poopster senses a knock-down, drag-out brawl with Zach Gallow, Matt Palubinsky and Phoenixville escaping with a W, perhaps on a Jose Rodriguez field goal ... Phoenixville 17-14.

Episcopal Academy (2-1) at Hill School (0-1)
In a game with much offensive weaponry on display, the Poopster says take the over and will lean towards the Churchmen. .... Episcopal Academy 37-28.

Last week's record: 7-1 (87.5 percent)
Overall record: 18-8 (69.2 percent)


Thursday, September 11, 2014

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 3 picks

The Poopster is looking forward to the Week 3 Mercury-area football action.

Though the Poopster showed an improved effort in going 5-2 last week, the orange guy still has a lot of work to do, much like several area football squads. Here's his take on Week 3 of the Mercury-area football action:

FRIDAY'S GAMES

Spring-Ford (1-0, 1-1) at Perkiomen Valley (1-0, 1-1)
This battle of neighboring rivals features two of the most creative offensive minds in the PAC-10 in Rams head coach Chad Brubaker and his Vikings counterpart Scott Reed. The Poopster feels the boys from Rofo have a few too many weapons for PV. ... Spring-Ford 33-21.

Methacton (0-1, 0-2) at Boyertown (1-0, 1-1)
The Poopster envisions a grind-it-out affair with the Conner Derrickson, Louis Cotteta and the Warriors springing a few big plays against the bigger Bears. .... Methacton 23-14.

Upper Perkiomen (0-1, 0-2) at Pottsgrove (1-0, 1-1)
The Falcons righted the ship in a big way in last week's league-opening 54-0 rout of Pope John Paul II, and the Poopster sees a similar score in store in this one. ... Pottsgrove 56-6.

Owen J. Roberts (0-0, 0-2) at Phoenixville (0-1, 0-2)
Somebody is going to get into the win column at the end of this one, and the Poopster has a feeling it will be the Wildcats behind their power running game. ... Owen J. Roberts 21-13.

Perkiomen School (1-0) at Tower Hill (Del.) Academy (1-0)
The Panthers didn't even get in a quarter and a half of work in their season-opening 28-0 win over Carson Long last week, something the Poopster senses could hurt them. ... Tower Hill 28-18.

Daniel Boone (1-1) at Twin Valley (0-2)
It's a sad state of affairs at the Poopster's owner's alma mater, with the Raiders having lost 23 straight. The Poopster is pretty confident that streak won't end tonight against the Blazers, who looked solid on both sides of the ball in last week's 32-3 win over Owen J. Roberts. ... Daniel Boone 43-13.

SATURDAY'S GAMES

Pottstown (0-0, 1-1) at Pope John Paul II (0-1, 0-2)
In a matchup that has the Poopster downright befuddled, he's going to flip the coin and predict the Golden Panthers will snap a nine-game losing streak dating back to last year. ... Pope John Paul II 21-20.

Germantown Academy (0-1-1) at Hill School (0-0)
The Poopster is eager to see how the Rams take to new coach Dave Rackovan's no-huddle attack, but is still going to give a slight edge to the Patriots, who are game-tested. ... Germantown Academy 32-26.

Last week's record: 5-2 (71.4 percent)
Overall record: 11-7 (61.1 percent)



Thursday, September 4, 2014

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 2 picks

The Poopster is looking to rebound from a rough Week 1.

The Poopster loves his PAC-10 football almost as much as the cans of Fancy Feast his owner feeds him, but after a pedestrian 6-5 picking effort in Week 1, even the orange guy realizes most of his favorite squads are in rebuilding (instead of reloading) modes this fall. Here's his take on the all the Week 2 Mercury-area high school gridiron action:

FRIDAY'S GAMES

Phoenixville (0-1) at Spring-Ford (0-1)
After the Phantoms allowed 54 points in a shutout loss Great Valley last week, the Poopster shudders to think what could happen in this one as the Rams look to bounce back from a Week 1 loss at State College. ... Spring-Ford 42-13.

Boyertown (0-1) at Upper Perkiomen (0-1)
Neither the Bears nor Indians scored in last week's openers, but the Poopster says Justin Siejk and the rest of first-year coach George Parkinson's crew will get off the schneid. ... Boyertown 27-15.

Pope John Paul II (0-1) at Pottsgrove (0-1)
The Falcons have won each of the last two meetings by identical 53-14 scores. Though the 'Grove suffered its worst defeat in 12 years in last week's 41-7 loss to Ben Franklin, the Poopster feels pretty confident coach Rick Pennypacker will rally the troops for the PAC-10 campaign. ... Pottsgrove 35-14.

Owen J. Roberts (0-1) at Daniel Boone (0-1)
This one is a head-scratcher for the Poopster. Even though Boone dealt OJR a 28-point beating last year, he's going to go against his owner and go with his brethren 'Cats. ... Owen J. Roberts 19-17.

Carson Long (0-0) at Perkiomen School (0-0)
The Poopster envisions Panthers running back Tom Aaron and friends putting up some good offensive numbers against a Warriors team that has won just once in the past five years. ... Perkiomen School 33-12.

SATURDAY'S GAMES

Perkiomen Valley (0-1) at Methacton (0-1)
While the Poopster prepares for another Saturday afternoon of fasting with his owner gone for the day, he sees a lot of points being put up in this one and the Vikings making the majority of the big plays. ... Perkiomen Valley 42-32.

Chichester (0-1) at Pottstown (0-1)
The Poopster has a bad feeling that Colin McAllister and the Eagles' defensive line will make it tough sledding for Gary Wise, Brandon Tinson, Bryant Wise and the Trojans. ... Chichester 26-14.

Last week: 6-5 (54.5 percent).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 1 picks

The Poopster is ready for some area football.
Like his owner -- who had a bout with Lyme Disease back in January -- the Poopster has lost a step or two in 2014. But with the Mercury-area high school football scene ready to rock, the orange guy is champing at the bit to dive into his gridiron picks the way he dives into a can of Fancy Feast. Here's his take on all the Week 1 action:

FRIDAY'S GAMES
Ben Franklin at Pottsgrove
The Falcons will christen Rick Pennypacker Field with a pregame ceremony, but the Poopster is worried they will have their hands full with QB Kevin Caldwell and the speedy Electrons. Still, he's going to give the nod to Patrick Finn, Mike Fowler and Co. .... Pottsgrove 27-20.

Spring-Ford at State College
The Poopster was a lot younger cat back in December of 2008, when Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker (then an assistant coach at Wilson) and his owner were both on the Memorial Field sideline for a cold and epic PIAA-AAAA semifinal. He feels Brubaker will have the troops ready and envisions a strong effort from the Rams' deep defensive line in a tight one. ... Spring-Ford 23-21.

Exeter at Boyertown
The Route 562 rivals haven't hooked up since 2001, when the Poopster wasn't far removed from being a kitten. He's afraid that monster lineman Michel Menet and the Eagles will make it a rough debut for first-year coach George Parkinson and the inexperienced Bears. ... Exeter 34-13.

Council Rock North at Perkiomen Valley
The Indians feature junior quarterback Brandon McIlwain, who is getting looks from some big-time schools. The Vikings, meanwhile, graduated a lot of the Poopster's favorite players and face a stern test. ... Council Rock North 35-20.

Conestoga at Owen J. Roberts
The Poopster is eager to see how the Wildcats' new 3-4 defensive scheme is going to fare. He really wanted to pick OJR until he heard they have had some injury problems on offense. ... Conestoga 21-14.

Upper Perkiomen vs. Quakertown (at Souderton)
Though the Indians have struggled mightily over the past two years (winning just one game), the Poopster feels they have a chance to slowly but surely turn the corner under first-year coach Tom Hontz. He's taking the Tribe in an upset special ... Upper Perkiomen 21-20.

Methacton at Bayard Rustin
The Warriors, who won seven of their final nine games last year and hung tough in a 14-6 opening-week loss to Rustin, are seeking their fourth straight winning season. But the Poopster is concerned star running back Terry Loper and the Golden Knights will be too much to handle on both sides of the ball. ... Rustin 41-21.

Daniel Boone at Cocalico
The Poopster liked what he saw over the second half of last season from Jon Passifione, Nick Hughes and the Blazers. He thinks they'll play the Eagles a lot tougher than last year's 49-14 loss, but will still be up against it. ... Cocalico 30-17.

SATURDAY'S GAMES
Sun Valley at Pottstown
No more lights at Pottstown's Grigg Memorial Field means a plethora of Saturday afternoon games for the Trojans, and subsequently not a lot of Saturday afternoon meals for the Poopster (while he holds down the fort with his owner out at area games). He senses Gary Wise, Brandon Tinson and the Trojans will be hungry as well -- for a win. ... Pottstown 27-26.

Great Valley at Phoenixville
The Phantoms, led by Zach Gallow and Matt Palubinsky, could be a pleasant surprise under first-year coach Evan Breisblatt in the opinion of the Poopster. But with line stalwart Dave Rosati out with a knee injury, they could find the sledding pretty tough against Penn State-bound Ryan Buchholz and the Patriots. ... Great Valley 28-15.

Pope John Paul II vs. Bishop McDevitt (at Cheltenham)
The Golden Panthers have won just twice in the past two seasons and have a new coach in Rory Graver. That said, the Poopster feels they have a good shot to come away with the W against a Lancers team that returns just five starters from a 2-7 team. ... Pope John Paul II 33-25.

Last year: 88-24 (78.6 percent).























Wednesday, November 27, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 14 picks

The Poopster would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

By Darryl Grumling
dgrumling@pottsmerc.com
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

Thursday's Thanksgiving Day games signify the end of the area football season, and like Spring-Ford, Phoenixville, Owen J. Roberts and Pottstown, the Poopster would like to wrap things up in successful fashion. Here's his take on this week's action:

THURSDAY'S GAMES

Spring-Ford (7-1, 9-3) at Phoenixville (4-4, 4-8)
The Rams' seniors are attempting to put the finishing touches on the winningest three-year span in program history, and the Poopster likes their chances ... Spring-Ford 47-13.

Owen J. Roberts (2-6, 2-9) at Pottstown (1-7, 1-10)
The Poopster has a feeling that Pottstown's Grigg Memorial Field might resemble more of a mosh pit with all of the rain over the past two days, which should be an advantage for Wyatt Scott and the Wildcats ... Owen J. Roberts 21-13.

FRIDAY'S GAMES

District 1-AAAA championship

Neshaminy (12-1) vs. North Penn (10-3)
This is a tough one for the Poopster to wrap his paws around. While he thinks Redskins and star running back D'Andre Pollard may be the better squad, he feels the Knights will somehow find a way to come out on top, perhaps on a late Matt Ammendola field goal ... North Penn 24-21.

PIAA-AAA quarterfinal

Academy Park (10-2) vs. Archbishop Wood (11-2)
Two weeks ago, the Poopster would have bet a case of Fancy Feast that Pottsgrove would be taking on the District 12 champs in this game, but the Falcons were upended 27-26 by the Knights in a 1-AAA semi. As if Academy Park wasn't already facing enough of an uphill battle, QB Brian Ingram went down with a collarbone injury last week ... Archbishop Wood 42-14.

Last week's record: 2-1 (66.7 percent)
Overall record: 85-23 (78.7 percent)











Thursday, November 21, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 13 picks

The Poopster fell on hard times last week, going 2-5.

By Darryl Grumling
dgrumling@pottsmerc.com
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

The postseason can be quite unforgiving, as the Poopster found out firsthand last week. After hitting at a nearly 90 percent strike rate (63-8) over the previous eight weeks, the orange guy came to earth with a thud louder than the one he makes when he jumps off his owner's couch, going 2-5. Nonetheless, he's back and rarin' to go as the District 1 tourney gets down to the nitty gritty. Here's his take on this week's action.

DISTRICT 1-AAAA SEMIFINALS

Perkiomen Valley (10-2) at North Penn (9-3)

The Poopster always gets a little conflicted when his owner (yours truly) and his owner's boss (Mercury sports editor Austin Hertzog) land on different sides of the aisle with their picks, which they did for this game. North Penn seems invincible of late, reeling off nine straight wins since an 0-3 start against state powers La Salle, Archbishop Wood and St. Joe's Prep. But Rasaan Stewart, Mark Bonomo, Clay Domine, Dakota Clanagan and Co. made believers out of the Poopster last week when they laid waste to C.B. West in the quarters. If PV can avoid turnovers, get its defense off the field in key situations, and continue to make big plays, they'll have a shot to take down the perennial District 1-AAAA giant Knights. If not, they could be in trouble. But the Poopster is going to throw caution to the win and say upset special, baby ... Perkiomen Valley 22-21.

Abington (10-2) at Neshaminy (11-1)

The Redskins erased a 14-7 deficit to Spring-Ford last week by scoring 29 unanswered points en route to a  56-27 quarterfinal win. They feature the leading rusher in District 1 in D'Andre Pollard (2,355 yards, 32 TDs), and the Poopster feels they will stay on the warpath ... Neshaminy 35-20.

DISTRICT 1-AAA CHAMPIONSHIP

Academy Park (9-2) vs. Glen Mills (9-3)
The No. 2 seed Battlin' Bulls defeated the No. 4 seed Knights 20-13 when they squared off in the regular season, but the Poopster thinks it might be a different story this time for 2,000-yard rusher Jerry Lanier and Academy Park, which took down PAC-10 champ Pottsgrove 27-26 in the semis ... Academy Park 25-19.

Last week's record: 2-5 (29.6 pct.)
Overall record: 83-22 (79.0 pct.)