Any game involving Reading and Woburn has a bit more interest here at 1 Arrow Drive in Woburn. It is the old Reading Chronicle vs. Woburn Times.
Yours truly has worked out of both offices, the old building at 531 Main Street in Reading for 13 years, and since 1997 here at the home office. (Note: I started at age 12.)
The papers merged in 1980 under one umbrella and we’ve trying to find a balance in coverage ever since.
Anyway ... Here are the games we care about.
Woburn at Reading, Friday, 7 p.m. — Last week we ran our streak to correctly picking the outcome of Woburn games to 12 in a row and 16 of the last 17. And if somehow the game at Arlington last week could have been called after three quarters, we would have nailed the 28-12 final score right on the nose.
Hollingsworth Field hasn’t been too kind to the Wu over the years, but the 2017 Tanners came to town and stunned 0-1-8-6-7 with a late 33-28 win.
The key to tonight will be which Reading team shows up, as our Brian Murphy so accurately noted in Thursday’s pregame story. Will it be the one that throttled Acton-Boxborough two weeks ago, or the one that seemed lost for a half against Belmont, or the one that surrendered a late lead to Lincoln-Sudbury?
The Wu, to its credit, doesn’t hurt itself. No turnovers in the first three games and just six penalties. That is some pretty clean play for early in the season.
The Rockets are the more explosive team with an air attack that can do some serious damage. But the Tanners could make Reading 14-year-old freshman QB James Murphy uncomfortable if they can use their size and strength up front to get in his face.
Woburn is not devoid of big-play capability as Dylan McLaughlin is emerging for the Tanners as a home-run threat.
Reading usually finds a way to win these type of games at home and if it can jump out early and have Woburn playing from behind that likely will be the path to victory for 0-1-8-6-7.
Reading 20, Woburn 16
Wakefield at Burlington, Friday, 4:30 p.m. — EEE concerns has made this an earlier start so many may be reading Bryan Brothers’ pre-game story in print after the fact.
The Devils have been very impressive offensively, but must tighten up on the other side of the football. Whoever made the Freedom schedule certainly will be building drama with Burly. Its season will come down to the final two Freedom games at Melrose (Oct. 18) then at home against Stoneham (Oct. 25).
I don’t think they slip up here or against a struggling Wilmington team next week. And I am sure there will be some interest in Devil Land on tonight’s Stoneham at Melrose game.
Note: There has been a 10 in the final score of two of the three Wakefield games, so not bucking that trend.
Burlington 28, Wakefield 10
Belmont at Winchester, Friday, 7 p.m. — The Sachems continue to be another good story as for the second year in a row they start 3-0. Tonight, they face an 0-2 Belmont team so put up an easy “W,” right?
It may not be that easy, just ask Reading which should have lost last week to Yann Kumin's bunch. The Marauders held the Rockets to 64 yards rushing and at times made freshman QB James Murphy look... well, like a freshman.
Still, Winchester should ride its powerful ground attack behind (Touchdown) Tommy Degnan and Jimmy Gibbons. Belmont will make Winchester work for it, but in the end the Sachems will pull away.
Winchester 27, Belmont 12
Last Week: 3-1. Season: 6-4.
(Steve Algeri's picks appear during the high school football season.)