Justin Sokeland’s top football picks
New Albany at Providence
Providence will unveil its new synthetic turf on Gene Sartini Field.
• Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
New Albany won last year’s game 28-0 as Tuwan Payton ran for 220 yards and two touchdowns Providence punted 12 times and could not take advantage of two interceptions by safety Ben Hauber. The series is tied 23-23.
“We will have to play disciplined football to beat Providence.” — New Albany coach Charlie Fields
“Right now our offense is ahead of last year. We’ve gone back to what we do best, which is run the football.” — Providence coach Larry Denison
• The pick: New Albany 21-18
Jeffersonville at Evansville Bosse
The Red Devils haven’t won a road game in Evansville since the 1998 sectional.
• Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Jeffersonville won a shootout last season, 60-48, in the first meeting between the programs. Bosse, winless in 2012, went on to win seven games. The Red Devils have never won a game on synthetic turf (0-5) in their history.
Jeffersonville is only 19-54 all-time against Evansville teams.
Bosse matches up with our athleticism. It’s probably the most athletic team we’ll see. We’ll be evenly matched.” — Jeffersonville coach Lonnie Oldham
• The pick: Bosse 28-21
Louisville Male at Floyd Central
• Kickoff: 7 p.m.
The Highlanders will christen the new synthetic turf in Ron Weigleb Stadium.
• Male is ranked No. 2 in Kentucky’s Class 6-A and No. 19 nationally by Scout.com.
Male won last year’s game 62-16 and has won three of the four games in the series. Gaige Klingsmith scored the two touchdowns for the Highlanders.
The game was originally scheduled at Male but was moved because Male’s new Bermuda grass field is not ready for play.
“They are as good as they’ve been since they won a state championship. I put them in the same category as Carmel and Ben Davis in Indiana.” — Floyd Central coach Brian Glesing
• The pick: Male 42-14
Charlestown at Madison
• Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Darin Ward will make his coaching debut with the Pirates.
Madison won last year’s game 24-7 as Mitchell Sandlin ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns. The Pirates have won five straight times at Madison, winning by an average of 36 points per game while averaging 53.7 points per game over the last three visits.
The Cubs’ last non-losing season was a 5-5 mark in 1998.
“We must come out and be sound and disciplined in all three phases of the game” — Charlestown coach Darin Ward
• The pick: Charlestown 28-14
Springs Valley at Silver Creek
• Kickoff: 8 p.m.
The Dragons are looking to start the Jason Hawkins coaching era with a victory.
Silver Creek won last year’s opener with the Blackhawks 46-30 as Bobby Haines scored three TDs and Brad Graham added two scores. Justin Scheller will make his coaching debut with the Blackhawks.
Silver Creek won more games last year (4) than it won its first two seasons (3) as a varsity program.
“We look forward to getting on the field and improving from last week.” — Silver Creek coach Jason Hawkins
• The pick: Silver Creek 35-7
Brownstown at Paoli
• Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Two defending sectional champions will collide in the season opener.
Brownstown is ranked No. 6 in 3-A and Paoli is ranked No.9 in 2-A.
The teams are meeting for the first time since the 2010 sectional. The Braves won the title game 45-6.
Brownstown’s Reed May ranks 12th among active coaches with 208 career wins.
• The pick: Brownstown 20-18
Home team in caps
BLOOMINGTON SOUTH 28, Bedford NL 14
COLUMBUS EAST 49, Bloomington North 7
Franklin 42, SEYMOUR 7
BATESVILLE 42, Jennings County 7
Clarksville 21, TRINITY LUTHERAN 20
SOUTHRIDGE 28, Corydon 14
WEST WASHINGTON 35, Eastern Pekin 14
SALEM 28, Mitchell 7
North Harrison 35, CRAWFORD COUNTY 0
PERRY CENTRAL 21, Tell City 12