There are so many storylines as we head into the state quarterfinal contests this week.
We sifted through each of the eight divisions and picked off some of the better matchups as well as a couple of intriguing non-playoff matchups.
Let’s start in Division 1, where two of the four contests have a bit of intrigue. BC High travels to St. John’s Prep in a rematch of a game played two weeks ago where St. John’s Prep rolled to a 34-6 victory. Following the game, the coaching staffs exchanged some less than savory pleasantries.
On the other side of the bracket, Springfield Central has been a thorn in Xaverian’s side in recent years. The Western Mass. juggernaut has taken out the Hawks in each of the last two playoffs and will be looking for a three-peat when the sides meet at the Hawk Bowl.
In a Div. 3 quarterfinal, Mansfield and Walpole are two of the more storied programs in the history of Massachusetts football. They will be meeting for the right to advance to the state semifinals.
Scituate and Holliston are nowhere near one another, but seem to have made a history of meeting in the postseason. Once again, these two will meet up in a Div. 5 quarterfinal contest.
Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli etched his name into the record books earlier in the season when he joined the exclusive 300-win. Now he leads his team into a quarterfinal contest against Newburyport, a mere two wins away from roaming the sideline at nearby Gillette Stadium.
The thought of Stoneham and Bellingham making the postseason seemed silly back in September when the Spartans started the season 0-4 and the Blackhawks struggled through three straight losses. Yet, both teams rebounded nicely to make the playoffs and win a road contest on the opening weekend to earn a quarterfinal meeting against each other Friday in Bellingham.
Carver has rolled through the competition with ease, putting up points at an impressive pace. Standing between the undefeated Crusaders and a berth in the semifinals is KIPP, a battle-tested squad which made it to the Div. 8 championship game a year ago.
There has certainly been much talk about the consolation games and the necessity of them. We do have two games which are certainly worthy of discussion.
Everett and Central Catholic are usually Div. 1 tournament staples and have met in several memorable postseason contests through the years. The two will meet Friday night in what should be a spirited contest.
History can be made in Wayland as Melrose coach Tim Morris seeks to become the 58th football coach in state history to earn 200 wins should his team prevail. The head coach since 1994, Morris enters the contest with an impressive 199-108-4 record.
If the prep school scene is your choice, there are three good contests on tab for Saturday. BB&N is looking to cement a NEPSAC bowl berth when it travels to Lawrence Academy to face a Spartan team coming off its first loss.
Belmont Hill would love nothing better than to end the regular season on a seven-game winning streak as it visits Governor’s Academy. Two of the best teams in the Evergreen meet up as Dexter Southfield visits Pingree.