Heads up kiddies. D’Juice is on the loose.
Courier sportswriter Dave Hanneman has been saddled with a plethora of nicknames during his years in the weekly Pigskin Picks. Coot. Codger. Grizzled veteran mostly.
Last week, courtesy of fellow sportswriter Michael Burwell, he picked up another: D’Juice.
How it came about is a mystery, but it seemed to fit after Hanneman’s performance in last week’s picks. After two straight weeks of dead-even records, Hanneman correctly predicted the winner in the two games he and Jamie “Bubba” Baker disagreed on — Mohawk’s Northern 10 win over Colonel Crawford and Ayersville’s victory over Bluffton.
Neither of our pigskin prognosticators did particularly well. Still, Hanneman’s 13-4 effort bettered Baker’s 11-6 mark and broke the tie that seemed to be lingering on. It’s a tie that will extend another week, too, considering for the first time this season — and with several pick’em games on the schedule — the gridiron gurus have agreed on all 19 games, right down the list.
For now, Hanneman will savor his lead. He’s 45-12 overall; Baker is 43-14.
D’Juice better not get too cocky or comfortable with his lead, though. He had an edge in last year’s picks, too, until Baker went on an amazing late-season run, going 37-1 in Weeks 7 and 8 to forge ahead and, ultimately, stake his claim to the Norm Nutman Trophy.
Another run like that and Bubba just might squeeze ‘ol D’Juice out of the Pigskin Picks title once again.
LAST WEEK: 13-4; OVERALL: 45-12
FINDLAY over Fremont Ross — Trojans got into the win column last week. Staying there is possible, but Fremont won’t be easy.
ARLINGTON over Cory-Rawson — Bubba and I both flunked the “simple mathematics” test last week. We didn’t factor Blaine Peterson into the equation, but I’m guessing the Red Devils will.
Leipsic over HOPEWELL-LOUDON — There’s a possibility of a Leipsic letdown after that key win over Liberty-Benton. But the Vikings’ defense could be the difference against a H-L squad that’s a bit banged up.
Liberty-Benton over VAN BUREN — Good matchup. Good rivalry. Eagles looking to rebound in a big way.
McComb over ARCADIA — Bubba and I both picked Arcadia last week. They lost 61-0. Shows what we know.
Pandora-Gilboa over NORTH BALTIMORE — P-G’s first road game of the season. But with a 3-0 start I’m guessing the Rockets will travel well.
Riverdale over VANLUE — Falcons have more “Loveridge” in this one. (Sorry about the pun.)
Carey over BUCYRUS — Blue Devils improve to 4-0 heading into next week’s pivotal N10 clash at Wynford.
MOHAWK over Warsaw River View — Bears are 0-3 against some mostly bigger schools. But I can’t see them driving all that way and getting their first ‘W’ against a very good 3-0 Mohawk team.
Edison over UPPER SANDUSKY — Tough pick. Upper is 0-2 against teams with a winning record, and Edison has won two straight.
Eastwood over ELMWOOD — No. 1-ranked Eastwood might take the Royals to the wood shed in this NBC battle of the Woods.
FOSTORIA over Otsego — Redmen are 3-0 against three opponents with a combined 1-8 record. This is an opportunity to come up with a statement win against a very good Otsego team.
DELPHOS JEFFERSON over Ada — Ada beat the Wildcats twice in 2013, once in the regular season, once in the playoffs. Since then, Jefferson has been very successful at containing the Bulldogs’ high-powered offense, outscoring Ada 105-7 over the past three seasons.
Columbus Grove over PAULDING — Bulldogs hungry to earn their first win of the season.
Convoy Crestview over BLUFFTON — Crestview’s Drew Kline triggers an offense that averages a league-leading 39.3 points a game.
PATRICK HENRY over Delta — After an 0-2 start, Patriots even it up at 2-2.
Ottawa-Glandorf over VAN WERT — Van Wert was 0-10 last season; O-G was 11-2 and reached the regional finals. This is no gimme, though, especially after Van Wert beat Wapakoneta and scored 34 points in a loss to St. Marys, the other two teams that shared the 2016 league title with O-G.
Lima Perry over HARDIN NORTHERN — This might end looking more like a basketball score. First one to 50 wins.
LAKOTA over Ridgedale — Let’s check common opponents: Ridgedale beat Ridgemont 12-7; Lakota beat Ridgemont 63-7. I’m convinced.
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
LAST WEEK: 11-6; OVERALL: 43-14
FINDLAY over Fremont Ross — Tough pick but I’m taking the Trojans at home to make it two straight wins.
ARLINGTON over Cory-Rawson — Leaving the door open for Blaine Peterson and his Cory-Rawson teammates to show me up again this week.
Leipsic over HOPEWELL-LOUDON — Kreais lost for awhile, Stickley possibly sidelined. Chieftains don’t have enough firepower for the Vikes.
Liberty-Benton over VAN BUREN — Taking the second-biggest BVC school in the battle of the conference’s big dogs.
McComb over ARCADIA — McComb fell behind quickly and stormed back for a win in Week 3. The Panthers won’t face the same dilemma this week.
Pandora-Gilboa over NORTH BALTIMORE — Pandora-Gilboa seems to be rolling. Beware Rockets, the athletic Tigers can score points in bunches.
Riverdale over VANLUE — Falcons take out some of their frustrations from last week’s close loss on the Wildcats this week.
Carey over BUCYRUS — A bit of a breather for the Blue Devils this week after last week’s emotional win over their rivals from the Wyandot County seat.
MOHAWK over Warsaw River View — A long bus ride to Sycamore will be an even longer bus ride home for the Bears after the Warriors roll to 4-0.
Edison over UPPER SANDUSKY — This isn’t the same Edison team that made the state semifinals last season but the Chargers are still solid.
Eastwood over ELMWOOD — Even the loss of standout Cade Boos in Week 1 against O-G hasn’t slowed down the Eagles.
FOSTORIA over Otsego — Good way to open NBC play. Taking the Redmen at home as they move to 4-0.
DELPHOS JEFFERSON over Ada — Don’t have a good feel for either team in this game just yet. Buckle up, it could be a wild ride in the NWC this season.
Columbus Grove over PAULDING — Another NWC toughie. With a young group, the Bulldogs are only going to get better as the season rolls on.
Convoy Crestview over BLUFFTON — Haven’t picked a Bluffton game right the past two weeks and I don’t have much confidence in this selection either.
PATRICK HENRY over Delta — Patriots better clean things up a bit as NWOAL play begins.
Ottawa-Glandorf over VAN WERT — Much-needed win for the banged up Titans last week. Score comparison says go with O-G.
Lima Perry over HARDIN NORTHERN — Taking Perry and betting the over in this one. They’ll be a bunch of points scored in Dola Friday night.
LAKOTA over Ridgedale — Raiders roll over a school on a ridge for the second straight week.
HOME TEAM IN CAPS