Previews and predictions Bay Rivers football games Sept. 13 & 14

District football play in the Bay Rivers opens with a five-game slate this week. Below are our previews and predictions for this week.

LAFAYETTE (1-0) AT  BRUTON (1-0)

WHEN: Friday 7 p.m.

WHERE: Bruton High.

THE BUZZ: Both expect to pass better and more often than a year ago, but their offenses are more run-oriented than most in the run-happy Bay Rivers. Bruton returns a more experienced line than in recent seasons and netted more than 200 yards in a 14-6 win a week ago at Amelia. But power-oriented football games will almost always favor Lafayette, which ran for 311 yards, led by Jahlil Green’s 152, in a 16-13 opening win at Brunswick.

THE PICK: Lafayette 28-14.

 

POQUOSON (1-0) VS. TABB (0-1)

WHEN: Friday 7 p.m.

WHERE: Bailey Field.

THE BUZZ: After finishing 4-6 a year ago, Poquoson and Tabb return many of their key players for teams with hopes of Bay Rivers title contention and playoff appearances. Both played Denbigh close recently, Tabb in a 28-21 season-opening loss and Poquoson in a scrimmage loss, so there’s not a lot to separate these two.. If Poquoson has an edge, it might be that the Islanders have more depth at running back, while Tabb’s searches for its complement to Brent Hinson (103 yards vs. Denbigh).

THE PICK: Poquoson 21-20.

 

SMITHFIELD (1-0) VS. WARHILL (0-1)

WHEN: Friday 7 p.m.

WHERE: Wanner Stadium.

THE BUZZ: Despite losing eight starters, the Smithfield defense, terrific a year ago, was stellar in shutting out Southampton and scoring two of the touchdowns in a 35-0 win. Their task this week is mammoth, as they must slow Warhill’s Devonte Dedmon, who ran for 142 yards in a 21-13 season-opening loss at Churchland and will line up at QB, RB and WR. Smithfield got 103 rushing yards from Donald King at Southampton and better than 100 yards passing from rookie QB Devin Williams.

THE PICK: Smithfield 28-21.

 

YORK (0-1) AT NEW KENT (1-0)

WHEN: Friday 7 p.m.

WHERE: New Kent High.

THE BUZZ: New Kent entered this season with high hopes, but two way-star LB/WR Kevin Karaffa has been slowed by a deep thigh bruise and RB Trey Lee – 66 yards rushing and a TD in the first quarter of the season-opening loss at King William – broke his leg and is out for the season. Garrett Gatz flashed potential in his first game as York QB, passing for 152 yards and rushing for a TD, but the Falcons defense must avoid the big plays that led to a 31-26 loss at Churchland in the opener.

THE PICK: York 35-20.

 

JAMESTOWN (0-1) VS. GRAFTON (1-0)

WHEN: Saturday 7 p.m.

WHERE: Bailey Field at York High

THE BUZZ: Grafton comes in off of a fantastic defensive showing in a 13-0 win over Hopewell, in which the Clippers held the Blue Devils to less than 100 yards. The Clippers got a mistake-free performance from new QB Robbie Hiser, who ran for a 35-yard TD. The challenge for the Eagles inexperienced linemen will be putting the 55-7 loss to state power Dinwiddie behind them and opening holes for RB Stas Szczepanski and Daivon Turner, who combined for nearly 1,700 yards rushing in 2012.

THE PICK: Grafton 14-7.