Woburn finally plays a home game while Reading gets a visit from a former coach with his new team. Can the Sachems continue their unbeaten run with history? And can Burlington rebound from a “where-did-that-come-from loss?” last week against Wakefield.
Here are the games we care about.
Melrose at Woburn, Friday, 7 p.m. — Trying to find a positive angle for the Wu tonight in a very tough game against unbeaten Melrose, I asked coach Jack Belcher that perhaps Melrose was in a prime spot for a let down? He promptly shot that down and brought up how football is becoming a lot like basketball and the other sports whose success of their season is built around the tournament.
Old time Middlesex League devotees (hello, self) have a hard time wrapping our heads around that league play doesn’t matter, but the proof is there. How much does winning your division really matter in October to the sting you feel in November being eliminated from the playoffs?
Woburn is finally playing a home game after hopping on a bus for the past four weeks. I think motivation will play a part in tonight’s game. High school kids are high school kids and anything can happen. The Tanners will be up for this playing their first home game while Melrose may be a bit flat after pulling out a thrilling come-from-behind win against Stoneham last Friday at home.
Melrose 21, Woburn 13
Arlington at Reading, Friday, 7 p.m. — Arlington coach Rob DiLoreto hails from Everett but since moving to 0-1-8-6-7 he became as much of the fabric of the town as anyone. His coaching impact has been felt by hundreds of young athletes in the town as a Pop Warner coach, a youth baseball coach, and a varsity football assistant with five Super Bowls to boast about.
Hopefully he can get Arlington turned around but right now that program is struggling. The decline in Pop Warner is severely felt over there and the Spy Ponders are taking their lumps. In 2018 there were just two freshman players in the program.
Maybe Reading coach John Fiore can take it easy on Arlington tonight for old-time’s sake for his long-time, nine-year assistant.
Reading 32, Arlington 12
Winchester at Wakefield, Friday, 7 p.m. — I am sure Wakefield’s romp over a then undefeated Burlington team is not lost on Winchester coach Wally Dembowski and his now undefeated team will be on alert tonight at Landrigan Field.
Winchester is 4-0 for the first time since its unbeaten 11-0 Super Bowl-winning season of 1990.
Can the Sachems really continue to completely rely on their ground game? At some point it may come back to bite them. But I don’t think it is tonight
Winchester 21, Wakefield 14
Burlington at Wilmington, Friday, 7 p.m. — This is a Tom Brady vs. Daniel Jones-type matchup with Burlington senior QB Kyle Pena opposing Wilmington frosh signal-caller Jake McCauley.
Have to like Devil coach Dan MacKay's transparency when it comes to announcing who is injured on his team. I am getting so used to coaches (at all levels) treating that as top-secret documents.
I am going with the senior in a game the Red Devils really need before Melrose and Stoneham show up on the schedule.
Burlington 22, Wilmington 8
Last Week: 2-1. Season: 8-5.
(Steve Algeri's picks appear during the high school football season.)