By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — Let’s see if Scott Clodfelter can do it again.
Every year, the Troy Daily News asks Miami County football coaches to predict the Super Bowl winner — a tradition that dates back decades. While coaches are only required to select a winner and don’t have to give a predicted final score, many often do.
Last year, Clodfelter, Bethel’s coach, predicted the New England Patriots would beat the Atlanta Falcons by a final score of 34-28. After falling behind 28-3, the Patriots came roaring back to win in overtime by the exact score Clodfelter predicted.
This year, Clodfelter is taking the Philadelphia Eagles over the Patriots, 27-24. Let’s see if he can do it again. Here are the predictions for Sunday’s game:
Matt Burgbacher (Troy)
“I’m picking Philadelphia, and here’s why: Most people don’t know hardly anyone on their roster. When I ask the kids to name three players on Philadelphia’s roster, most of them can’t name one — and if they can, it’s Carson Wentz, their starting quarterback who won’t even be playing in the game because he’s injured. When I ask them to name three players on the Patriots’ roster, then can all name about 10.
“I always go for the underdog. I like to compare the Eagles to our team here at Troy. How many times did we go up against guys the last two years who had bigger names and bigger recruits than us? The Eagles play hard and with great intensity — they play as a true team. And that’s not taking anything away from the Patriots, because every football team in the country — from pee wee to high school to college to the pros — is modeling themselves after what Bill Belichick has done in New England.”
Joel Derge (Tippecanoe)
“I like the Patriots to win 27-21 this year. The Patriots are an organization that puts the team first and ‘ME’ second. Tom Brady is an amazing leader and I see him going 25 for 37 and 285 yards and two TDs and getting another Super Bowl MVP.”
Bill Nees (Piqua)
“I pick New England. That have a big play offense and experienced leadership.”
Max Current (Miami East)
“I can’t remember if it was (Michael) Strahan or (Howie) Long that said it, but it has stuck with me. The Patriots have another gear they can play at that nobody else has. They are the Marion Local of the NFL.”
Bret Pearce (Milton-Union)
“It’s so hard to pick against Tom Brady, as much as I want someone new to win it. I’ll be rooting for the Eagles, but if I had to bet any significant amount of money, it would have to be on (Bill) Belichick and Brady.”
Ryan Jones (Troy Christian)
“I predict the Patriots will win, 31-27. The Eagles broke a lot of tendencies in the NFC Championship game against the Vikings, allowing them to move the all. It’s hard to do that two games in a row. The Eagles’ pass rush will give them a good chance, but in the end, Brady is the best at getting the ball out to the right receiver before the rush gets to him.”
Scott Clodfelter (Bethel)
“I’m going with the Eagles 27, Patriots 24. The reason is, I think the Eagles have an outstanding front four and will get to Brady without having to blitz. The Eagles also have a chip on their shoulder, which most think is not a factor. I disagree and think that will play a role as well.”
Ty Cates (Covington)
“The Patriots. Their staff makes the best in game adjustments and they have the best quarterback in the NFL. Also, they are proven winners and continue to persevere through adversity finding ways to win so it’s tough to go against them.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong