beat pete: Can you 'Beat Pete' with high school football predictions for Week 5?
Perfection is something that seems to elude me at every turn. With a 9-2 record last week, I wasn’t necessarily close to perfection with my picks, but ever so close to going undefeated in the Beat Pete pick ‘em contest.
But Charles Curtis denied me that pleasure. I never trust a man with two first names, and Curtis has given me new reason to despise “la doubla-unos”, as I like to call them. Curtis was the only person to “Beat Pete” this week with a 10-1 picks record.
AnnArbor.com file photo
More intriguing than my inexplicable rivalry with “la doubla-unos” is the budding rivalry between the Pioneer and Skyline football teams. Friday’s matchup between the Ann Arbor schools will be just the third installment of the rivalry, and if past is prologue, Friday night will be a high-scoring affair.
The teams have combined to score more than 100 points in each of their first two meetings on the gridiron, including a 52-49 shootout last season in Pioneer coach Paul Test’s first year at the helm.
But if Test has anything to do with it, his team will buck that trend on Friday night.
“Though we won last year, I felt terrible after the game,” Test said. “I don’t like seeing track meets. To me, defense is the key to being good.”
Test said giving up 49 points to the Eagles last year motivated his defense to work over the summer. Through the first two weeks of the Southeastern Conference season, it appears that work paid off as Pioneer has given up just six points and no touchdowns in two straight wins. Even in defeat, the Pioneer defense was not the problem against Birmingham Brother Rice and Warren De La Salle.
"We don’t think any offense should score on us," Pioneer linebacker Bradley Koenig said after last week’s win over Saline. "And if they can’t score, then we can’t lose."
“It’s going to be a big challenge for our offense to move the ball,” Skyline coach Lee Arthur said. “We’re going to try to run our system and hope that we can be efficient and keep their offense off the field.”
Neither offense is equipped like last year’s teams. Former Pioneer running back Drake Johnson, who rushed for 394 yards and six touchdowns for Pioneer in last year’s win, is at Michigan now, and so is former Skyline quarterback Andrew Copp, who threw for a state-record 557 yards and seven touchdowns. So eclipsing the 100-point mark is not a trend likely to continue.
One that will, however, is Skyline’s inability to stop a power rushing attack. The Eagles allowed 467 yards on the ground against Monroe last week and 246 yards against Lincoln the week before, almost completely in the second half.
Pioneer may not have been able to punch the ball in against Saline, but the running backs did combine for 207 yards. If the backs can hold onto the ball this week, they should have no trouble getting through the holes Pioneer’s offensive line will create against an overmatched Skyline front.
The game leads off this week’s picks.
Beat Pete Winners
The following people "Beat Pete" last week:
People who have “Beat Pete” so far: This week: 1; Overall: 73.
Pete’s overall picks record: 36-7 (.837); Last week: 9-2 (.818).