NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

November 14, 2013

Pentucket's plan for Super Bowl run

Making the picks
Dan Guttenplan

---- — Pentucket football coach Steve Hayden could have an interesting decision to make after this weekend.

The Sachems (7-1) will meet Dual County Small champion Bedford Saturday afternoon in the Division 4 North championship. The winner will play in the Division 4 Super Bowl on Dec. 7 at Gillette Stadium.

If Pentucket wins, the Sachems will play their annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry game against Triton with nothing at stake, and then return to the field nine days later for the Super Bowl.

If Pentucket clinches a berth to the Super Bowl this weekend, will Hayden rest his starters against Triton? Or will he play everyone and risk injury?

I think Hayden plays everyone against Triton. First of all, that’s just the kind of guy Hayden is. Second, there’s nine days between games, so there’s plenty of time to rest. If Hayden rested his starters after Saturday’s game all the way until the Super Bowl, the starters would not hit the field again in a game situation for three weeks. That doesn’t sound like anything Hayden would orchestrate.

On to the picks.

Tonight’s games

Triton at Newburyport, 7

Triton coach Pat Sheehan is attempting to get his team back on track by resetting the team’s goal for the season. If the Vikings win out with wins over Newburyport and Pentucket, they can say they beat every team in the CAL Kinney Division at least once. Newburyport has been hit hard by the injury bug, so this game is there for the taking for Triton.

The pick: Triton 28, Newburyport 16

Winthrop at Amesbury, 7

The Indians allowed 448 rushing yards against North Reading last week, so you can bet they spent the week working on run defense in practice. If it makes them feel any better, they can rest assured that Winthrop was also scorched on the ground in a 42-6 loss to North Reading the previous week.

The pick: Amesbury 22, Winthrop 7

Tomorrow’s games

Bedford at Pentucket, 1:30

It just feels like Pentucket’s year, with four wins by 10 points or less. D.J. Engelke and Andrew Noyes have stepped up in the last month to lead the team’s rushing attack. It seems crazy that Jeff Porter had only 17 total yards last week, and the Sachems still won a playoff game. Porter was a lock for 100-plus yards in the opening month of the season.

The pick: Pentucket 20, Bedford 14

Georgetown at Greater Lawrence Tech, 2

Georgetown quarterback Pat Bjork accounted for over 300 total yards and three touchdowns last week. The Royals, winners of two straight, are making their case that they could have success with a Division 5 schedule.

The pick: Georgetown 27, Greater Lawrence Tech 20

Hamden Hill vs. Governor’s Academy, 1

This is the reward the Govs get after claiming at least a share of the Independent School League title for three years in a row.

The pick: Govs 30, Hamden Hill 10

Last week’s record: 3-2

Overall record: 29-14