Here comes the comeback.
Sports editor Jamie Baker, four games back of Dave Hanneman in the weekly Pigskin Picks just two weeks ago, made his biggest move of the season last week. He picked right on the two games he and Hanneman disagreed on — wins by Toledo St. John’s over Findlay and Seneca East over Mohawk –and finds himself smack dab in the thick of a heated race for the 2017 Norm Nutman Trophy.
Neither of our fearless forecasters had a highly productive showing. But Baker’s 15-4 record — compared to Hanneman’s paltry 13-6 effort — has put a razor thin edge on the competition. Heading into Week 8, Baker owns a 103-28 record and sits just one back of Hanneman’s 104-27 mark.
Hanneman’s one-game lead might be none after this week, considering he and Baker have split on just one of this week’s 18 games. In the Western Buckeye League matchup between longtime rivals Ottawa-Glandorf and Kenton, Hanneman is going with the Titans and Baker is backing the Wildcats.
LAST WEEK: 13-6; OVERALL: 104-27
FINDLAY over Lima Senior — Last home game for a group of FHS seniors who weren’t expected to carve their names on a TRAC title, but who can still carve a bit of a niche for themselves.
RIVERDALE over Arcadia — If I use the Cory-Rawson game as a barometer, this one is an obvious pick.
LIBERTY-BENTON over Arlington — Arlington has won three of four after an 0-3 start. But none of those wins came against a team with the depth and firepower L-B has.
McComb over VAN BUREN — Panthers will need all the momentum they can generate heading into showdowns with Pandora-Gilboa in Week 9 and Liberty-Benton in Week 10.
LEIPSIC over North Baltimore — When I picked the Tigers to win, they lost. When I picked them to lose, they won. I coulda flipped a coin and done better.
Pandora-Gilboa over HOPEWELL-LOUDON — Rockets need to be careful, because if they get caught moping about last week’s loss, Hopewell-Loudon might jump up and give them another.
CORY-RAWSON over Vanlue — Wildcats have scored just one TD in the last four games. That won’t get it done against the Hornets.
UPPER SANDUSKY over Buckeye Central — Upper just beat a team (Bucyrus) that beat Buckeye Central, ergo ….
MOHAWK over Bucyrus — Mohawk beat Upper; Upper beat Bucyrus … I’m sensing an N10 trend here.
Fostoria over ELMWOOD — After back to back losses, I’m betting the Redmen bounce back big.
SPENCERVILLE over Bluffton — Bearcats started 0-2, but have been unstoppable since.
ADA over Paulding — Paulding allows the most points of any team in the NWC, obviously good news for Ada’s offense.
DELPHOS JEFFERSON over Columbus Grove — Jefferson looking to build some major mojo heading into showdown games with Convoy Crestview next week and Spencerville in Week 10.
Bryan over PATRICK HENRY — I give Bryan a slight edge based on results against common opponents. But the Patriots have played well at home, and a win here wouldn’t surprise me a bit.
Ottawa-Glandorf over KENTON — Huge test for an O-G defense against a Kenton team that has been putting up some big numbers lately.
Hardin Northern over RIDGEMONT — Ridgemont is allowing 53.9 points a game; Hardin Northern is giving up 52.7. Honestly, though, I think this will be decided by a key defensive stop or two.
LAKOTA over Willard — Lakota has the better record; Willard has played the tougher schedule. Toss-up, but going with the Raiders at home.
Carey over WEST MIDDLESEX, PA. — West Middlesex was outscored 184-7 in its first four games and started the season 0-6. But the Big Reds, who made the playoffs the past six years straight, beat Cochranton 42-8 last Friday and from what I gather they have a good running back/linebacker in 5-11, 195-pound junior named Clayton Parrish, who is a beast.
LAST WEEK: 15-4; OVERALL: 103-28
FINDLAY over Lima Senior — Final home game for the FHS seniors. They’ll go out winners, but it won’t be easy.
RIVERDALE over Arcadia — Aside from the 42-0 win over Vanlue, Arcadia has scored just one TD in five weeks. Riverdale rolls.
LIBERTY-BENTON over Arlington — Eagles came through in the clutch big last week against P-G. Can’t afford to stub their toe this week.
McComb over VAN BUREN — Panthers seem to be getting better every week. Should be interesting game with the McComb assistant coaches with Van Buren ties.
LEIPSIC over North Baltimore — Playoffs in play for both teams. Think Leipsic’s defense will be the difference in this one.
Pandora-Gilboa over HOPEWELL-LOUDON — A small stumble against a very good football team last week for P-G.
CORY-RAWSON over Vanlue — Hornets played pretty solid defense in the second half last week. Something to build on moving forward.
UPPER SANDUSKY over Buckeye Central — Good to see the Rams get on the winning side of the ledger last week. They’ll do it again this week against the Bucks.
MOHAWK over Bucyrus — Two straight tough losses for the Warriors. They’ll take their frustration out on the Redmen this week.
Fostoria over ELMWOOD — A fast start seems imperative to Fostoria’s success.
SPENCERVILLE over Bluffton — The Bearcats have won five straight and appear to be rolling right now.
ADA over Paulding — Ada is in just about a must-win situation from here on out to make the playoffs.
DELPHOS JEFFERSON over Columbus Grove — Last of a really tough stretch of games for the young Bulldogs.
Bryan over PATRICK HENRY — Up and down season for both teams. Bryan, though, has had a few more ups.
KENTON over Ottawa-Glandorf — Taking the Wildcats at home.
Hardin Northern over RIDGEMONT — A bit of a break in the schedule for the Polar Bears and it couldn’t come at a better time.
LAKOTA over Willard — Lakota played pretty well against perhaps the top team in the SBC River last week.
Carey over WEST MIDDLESEX, PA. — Long trip for a nonconference game. Just prep for two tough games to end the season for the Blue Devils.
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