After going 3-0 in week one, the Picker puts forth week 2 predictions

August 31, 2022

A perfect week to start the season! Yes siree! That’s how we like it! I told y’all the Wolfpack would maul the City Slickers, I told y’all Lee would be no match for Union and I told y’all Central would shellac Eastside! That brings my all-time pickin’ prognostication percentage to a whopping 83.3 percent. Not Cummins, not Robbins, not Colley, not Turner, none of ‘em could match my 420-84 all-time spread.

The games this week are toughies but when the going gets tough, the Fence Line Picker rises to the top of the heap with my pickin’ prowess!

GAME OF THE WEEK: Union at Richlands – The Blue Tornado ran all over the Blue Devils last week in a 27-14 triumph over Gate City. Dylan Brown ran the ball 29 times for 353 yards to lead Richlands to its second consecutive season-opening win. The Bears put up a fine rushing performance of their own to retain the Bucket. Senior Peyton Honeycutt gained 260 yards on just 17 carries while quarterback Reyshawn Anderson added 87 yards on the ground as Union ran for 413 yards as a team! Travis Turner’s boys have won five straight in this series, but traditionally these games are close. The key to this contest will be defensive line play! Whichever unit can get penetration and wrap up the opposition’s backs will have the upper hand in this one. Look for Bears’ senior defensive lineman Gabe Sneed to play a big role in this affair.

FENCE LINE PICKER says: Union 35 Richlands 27

Marion at Central – The Jack Ginn era for the Scarlet Hurricanes could not have gotten off to a better start as Marion shut out Smyth County rival Chilhowie 29-0 a week ago. Meanwhile, Jason Mullins’ second stint as the boss of the Warriors went splendidly too as Central took down county rival Eastside 41-7. Nate West sparked Central’s defensive squad last week with a pair of INTs as part of a performance that saw the Warriors force three Spartan turnovers. Speaking of turnovers, this Marion bunch forced eight turnovers last week. It ain’t rocket science to figure this one out – he who hangs on to the pigskin shall be victorious. I have more faith in Braeden Church, Alec Gent and company holding on to the ball on their home turf!

FENCE LINE PICKER says: Central 28 Marion 22

Ridgeview at Grundy – He-A-Wave, She-A-Wave, following Friday they’ll be a bunch of beaten Golden Waves from Buchanan County! This Wolfpack squad ain’t playing around; last week, DeWayne Stanley’s bunch faced a stiffer test from Mother Nature than they did John I. Burton in giving the veteran coach his first win as the head man! Brandon Beavers caught two TDs and scored another on a fake punt while Ridgeview held Norton to just 17 yards of total offense, ouch! Grundy lost its season opener to Patrick Henry and they’ll face a similar tale this week. How many points will Stanley’s crew score? Someone better check the bulbs in the scoreboard before this one gets started.

FENCE LINE PICKER says: Ridgeview 56 Grundy 12

Lee at Eastside (Thursday) – These two have to be chomping at the bit to get back on the field after their performances in the season opener. Lee jumped out early at Union and was in the game until a failed fourth down try and a turnover deep in their own territory spelled disaster. Eastside struggled on offense as well with Eli McCoy providing the only points for the Spartans last week. One of these two will have to figure it out on defense and if the preseason is any indication that appears it just might be the Generals.

FENCE LINE PICKER Says: Lee 28 Eastside 16

Burton at Chilhowie – Chilhowie has controlled this series since it began on a yearly basis in 2013. The Warriors are 9-3 against the City Slickers all-time with one of the Raiders’ wins coming in the team’s magical 1972 campaign. As I said earlier, turnovers plagued Chilhowie in the season opener and the Raiders played just one half of football due to lightning. History is on the side of the Warriors here and Burton’s lack of recent success is starting to grow worrisome.

FENCE LINE PICKER Says: Chilhowie 21 Burton 12