It was a par week for the Prophet -- 70 percent accuracy.
Yes, your rage of a sage hit on seven of 10 high school football picks last week, lifting his overall average from .682 to .688 (22-10).
These days, 70 percent accuracy in anything is pretty good. A major league baseball player can command at least a $2 million a year contract just by getting a hit 30 percent of the time (3-for-10, .300 average). And a quarterback in the NFL who completes 70 percent of hispasses is having a great year.
With that in mind, let's discuss last week's slate, which came on the heels of a perfect 8-0 week.
Nearly everyone in the predicting business, including the Prophet, thought Severna Park would win at home over Old Mill. The Prophet had the Falcons by 24-14, but the Patriots pulled off a 17-14 victory.
Broadneck and St. Mary's were the other two teams to burn the Prophet,who had the Bruins losing to Arundel, 14-13, and the Saints losing to St. Paul's, 14-13. Broadneck outlasted Arundel, 14-7, while St. Mary's overcame a late 14-13 deficit to wipe out the Crusaders and the Prophet by 19-14.
Among his top hits last week, the Prophet accurately called for South River's first loss and another Northeast triumph, while the majority of local "would-be" Prophets went the other way.
The Prophet tabbed Linganore of Frederick County over South River, 10-3, and the visitors won by 14-7, while Northeast ran its record to 2-1, just as the Prophet said they would, over Mount Hebron of Howard County, 30-12. The sage had the Eagles by 14-7.
Here are the other Prophet "hot hits," with his pick in parentheses: Annapolis 33, North County 7 (Annapolis by 27-20); Glen Burnie 21, Chesapeake 14 indouble-overtime (Glen Burnie, 24-7); Wilde Lake 27, Southern 15 (Wilde Lake, 28-0); Meade 48, Queen Anne's 0 (Meade, 24-0); and Severn School 46, Archbishop Spalding 14 (Severn, 28-7).
Once again, the Prophet has a 10-game slate for you helmet-head fans, and he's spicing it up with a pair of "upsets."
Meade (2-1) at Old Mill (3-0),7:30 p.m. Friday, "Upset of the Week."
An anonymous male caller buzzed the 24-hour Sportsline last Friday night after Old Mill defeated Severna Park, 17-14, and uttered, "Yeah, Pat, this is just an Old Mill supporter letting you know what 17-14 spells R-E-S-P-C-T. Put that in the paper!"
The Prophet assumes the guy, who obviously didn'twin his elementary school's spelling bee, meant "RESPECT." But the Prophet wants the guy to know that he does respect the Old Mill football program and considers it one of the best in not only the county, but the state.
And because he picks them to lose doesn't mean he has no respect for them. It was the Prophet who was the first a year ago to tabthe Patriots as the team to win Class 4A Region IV, and they did.
With all due respect, the Pats are going to be upset and suffer their first loss tomorrow night to the Mustangs. The Prophet believes the Pats are ripe for the taking against a very good Meade team that will knock down the door to the playoff hopefuls' party this week.
Super soph Kenny Walker will scamper into the end zone with the game-winner, and Kevin Powell will make a couple crucial defensive plays to deal the Patriots their initial loss of 1991.
Meade 20, OldMill 17.
Arundel (0-3) at Glen Burnie (3-0), 7 p.m. Friday, "Co-upset of the Week."
Wouldn't you know that the Prophet would pick the Gophers to lose their first game of the season as well?
Yes, after this weekend, there will be no more unbeaten teams in Class 4A's black-and-blue circuit because the visiting Wildcats are overdueto knock off somebody.
Arundel, with running back Matt Henson, has to be one of the best 0-3 teams in the metro area and, if not for tough losses to North County and Broadneck, could very easily be 2-1.
The Prophet believes that Glen Burnie, a 19-14 winner over Arundela year ago, has the better team, but the better team doesn't always win.
So, going merely with a hunch (a dream in which a Wildcat chased a Gopher into a hole), the Prophet believes this is going to be one of those times when the best team doesn't win.
Arundel 17, GlenBurnie 16.
Annapolis (2-1) at Broadneck (1-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Visiting Panthers coach Roy Brown has been worried about thisgame since around 9:30 p.m. last Friday night. Right after his youngPanthers ran over North County, 33-7, Brown was voicing his concern over the next one, a visit to Cape St. Claire.
"I'm very uneasy about playing (Broadneck) because of the great rivalry between the two schools," he said, remembering last year's hard-fought 14-6 victory over the Bruins.
"They've had trouble scoring, but they're a lot better than their record indicates."
In the end, the Panthers have more ways to score and that will be the difference. Broadneck will hang in there with its great defense until the final period, when Annapolis will pull away.
The Prophet wouldn't be surprised to see the Bruins hold the lead at the half, but as the hour grows late, the Panthers will get it done.
Look for a great game from two-way senior lineman Demond Galloway and a couple big plays from the Panthers' poised sophomore quarterback, Juan Johnson.
This Annapolis team is forreal and the team to beat.
Annapolis 21, Broadneck 10.
Severna Park (1-2) at Chesapeake (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday.
The sage was tempted to pick Chesapeake to upset the Falcons in order to win back some friends in Lake Shore but came to his senses and realized that such a bold pick would be met with vengeance.
If the unanimously favored Falcons rolled, as most expect, the Cougar fans probably would blame it on the Prophet for getting Severna Park fired up after the loss to Old Mill.
Seriously, sports fans, the Cougars definitely have improved, and the Prophet believes they will give the Falcons a battle in the first half. But they just don't have the manpower to compete with that army of 65 in blue and gold that Coach Andy Borland runs out there.
After dropping to 1-2 last week, the best thing that could have happened to Borland's defending county champs was to hear that Glen Burnie had to go to double-OT to beat the Cougars. That effort assures the Falcons that they can't come into Lake Shore and justplay "patty cake."
The Falcons won't take the Cougars lightly because they need this win bad.
Severna Park 28, Chesapeake 17.
Queen Anne's (0-3) at North County (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday.
Watch the run-and-shoot get back into a groove with junior Eric Howard at the controls from the start this week.
After last week's embarrassing 33-7 loss at Annapolis, Knights coach Chuck Markiewicz found a silver lining, saying, "We found a quarterback who can throw the ball."
The coach was referring to Howard, who, although victimized by four interceptions, displayed a strong arm and poise under fire, which are assets every run-and-shoot quarterback needs.
North County is fortunate it gets a breather and a chance to get back on track this week against the winless Lions from the Eastern Shore.
If Howard pans out this week, we just might see Anthony Walker run a little more, with the pass setting up the run.
North County 28, Queen Anne's 7.
Dulaney (0-3) at Northeast (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday.
The Eagles of Coach Bart Rader are gaining confidence. Last week, in their 30-12 rout of Mount Hebron, they erupted for all their points in the first half.
This week, they entertain a winless Baltimore County team that has yet to score in three games. The visiting Lions have been blanked by C. Milton Wright, 43-0, by Eastern Vo-Tech, 34-0, and by Woodlawn, 20-0.
Despite the fact Dulaney has a huge line averaging about 215pounds a man, the Lions don't have the overall speed and quickness the Eagles do, and that shall be the difference as Northeast goes to 3-1.
Northeast 20, Dulaney 7.
Riverdale Baptist (1-2) at Southern (1-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday
After the way Buck Gardner's Bulldogs hung in there last week before bowing to Wilde Lake of Howard County, 27-15, how could the Prophet pick against the Dawgs?
Couple that with last year's 28-0 romp over Riverdale, and the fact that the visitors have been outscored this year by their foes, 67-48, and you have to pick Southern.
Southern 27, Riverdale Baptist 20.
Bladensburg (2-1) at South River (2-1), 7 p.m. Friday.
After dropping its opener to Lackey, 13-3, Bladensburg bounced back to hammer two Prince George's neighbors in Fairmont Heights, 34-0, and Surrattsville, 29-10. Punching the calculator, that comes to 69-23 in favor of Bladensburg.
South River's "explosive" offense has produced19 total points in three games, while the Hawks' defense has yieldedonly 17 points.
Bladensburg 7, South River 0.
Severn School (2-2) at Southwestern (2-0), 3:45 p.m. Friday.
This is a tough game to call in that the host team has been reminded by Coach Fred Kaiss, the ex-Brooklyn Park and Andover coach, of last year's 45-6 humiliation at the hands of the Admirals. At the same time, Severn has a lot of offensive weapons with sophomore quarterback Brad Fowler at the controls.
The edge goes to the Sabres in this MSA C Conference encounter because they are home and possess more team speed.
Southwestern 26, Severn 24.
Archbishop Spalding (0-3) vs. St. Mary's, 7 p.m. Saturday at Anne Arundel Community College.
It won't be as bad as last year's 50-6 shellacking, but the Saints will coast to 4-1.
St. Mary's 42, Spalding 6.
The Prophet to date
Right.... Wrong.... Pct.
22 ...... 10....... .688