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    10 games to watch in Week 6 of high school football season

    Need ham MA 10/05/18 Needham High Tyler Reed finds a seam in Braintree High defense enroute to a long touchdown run during first half action at Needham High. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: 06schneedham reporter:
    Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
    Needham running back Tyler Reed, here finding a seam in Braintree’s defense, will attempt to do the same in Friday night’s game at Milton High.

    Here are the must-see matchups for Week 6, plus our predictions:

     Leaders of the MVC Large

    Central Catholic (3-2, 2-0) is not the power it has been in years’ past. But the Raiders are still the reigning champions of the Merrimack Valley Conference’s Large division. Methuen (4-1, 3-0) hosts the Raiders Friday night in a tilt that will almost assuredly decide the MVC Large winner in 2018. Pick: CENTRAL CATHOLIC

     Bay State shootout?

    In recent weeks, no team has been able to hang with Needham (5-0, 2-0). The Rockets have outscored opponents, 136-28, since edging Natick in Week 1, but now face a Milton team (4-1, 2-0) that averages 36.6 points per game to lead all D4 programs. The host Wildcats will look to spoil Needham’s hopes for a Bay State Herget title and the top seed in the D1 South state tournament. Pick: NEEDHAM

     Can Attleboro stop Mansfield?

    Mansfield (4-1, 3-0) has handled business within the Hockomock League, defeating Franklin and King Philip at home and winning a key road game at Taunton last Friday. This week the Hornets host a formidable league foe in Attleboro (4-1, 2-1), which allows just seven points per game and is hitting its stride offensively behind senior back Justin Cote. Pick: ATTLEBORO


     NEC battle

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    Both Gloucester (5-0) and Marblehead (5-0) are perennially strong on defense, but this season, the Northeastern Conference division leaders are lighting up the scoreboard. Host Gloucester (NEC North) leads D4 North with a 15.6 power rating, but Marblehead (NEC South) is right behind at 15.4 and has only allowed a total of 19 points through five games. Pick: MARBLEHEAD

     Deciding Division 8

    Saturday afternoon, Bishop Feehan (2-3) hosts Coyle & Cassidy (4-1) in an Eastern Athletic Conference showdown. If Coyle wins and Pope John (5-0, 2-0) defeats St. John Paul II (5-0, 3-0) in their Catholic Central Small showdown Saturday night, Coyle could earn the top seed in the D8 South tourney. Picks: BISHOP FEEHAN, POPE JOHN

     Can Falmouth keep rolling?


    Falmouth fullback Jake Murphy ran over defending D5 champion Dennis-Yarmouth for 301 yards and four touchdowns last week.. Will the senior continue to lead the 4-0 Clippers at home against a tough nonconference foe in Hanover (4-1)? Pick: FALMOUTH

     Unstoppable Scarlet Knights

    Coming off its first loss, Dracut (3-1, 2-0) hosts a North Andover (5-0, 2-0) team that has been unstoppable in pursuit of another MVC Small title. The Scarlet Knights are averaging 35 points per game, yielding just 9.6, and lead all Division 2 teams with a 16.8 power rating. They’ll look to solidify their position as the top seed in the D2 North tournament. Pick: NORTH ANDOVER

     Rebound on the road?

    After being dealt consecutive heartbreaking losses at home to conference foes Xaverian and St. John’s Prep, Catholic Memorial (3-2) ventures outside the Catholic Conference to face Division 3 mainstay Billerica (2-2) on the road Friday. Pick: CATHOLIC MEMORIAL


     Eagles host Eagles

    The BC High Eagles (2-3, 0-0) are looking to preserve their playoff hopes by winning one of their final two road games, but the schedule does them no favors. This Saturday, they’ll visit the fifth-ranked St. John’s Prep Eagles (4-1, 1-0) in a Catholic Conference showdown. Pick: ST. JOHN’S PREP

     Immovable defense?

    St. Sebastian’s (3-0) dominated ISL co-leader Buckingham, Brownee & Nichols in a 23-3 victory last Friday, the only points the Arrows have yielded this season. They’ll take that immovable defense on the road Saturday to face a high-flying Governor’s Academy offense that produced 91 points the first two weeks. Pick: ST. SEBASTIAN’S

    Nate Weitzer can be reached at nweitzer7@gmail.com.