Leo Kelley is so close to a fourth Ada Evening News Prediction Race title, he can taste it.

Kelley takes a two-game leading in the final week of the 2006 contest as he tries to hold off full-time guest James Myers down the home stretch.

Kelley stands at 92-46 (66.7%) while Myers is next at 90-48 (65.2%).

Due to inclement weather that covered the state last week, two games off the Week 14 list won’t be played until this weekend — Jenks versus Enid for the Class 6A state title and Vian versus Davis in a highly anticipated Class 2A semifinal game. That gives each of us a chance at a feat never accomplished in the history of AEN football prediction races — a perfect 12-0 week!

Those two playoff contests won’t factor into the race for the 2006 title since Kelley and Myers agreed that Vian and Jenks would be the winners. And both contenders went an identical 5-3 in the eight other games.

Which brings me to the Week 15 slate. Kelley and Myers disagree on five picks and thanks to his two-game bulge, the eldest predictor needs to win just two of the five to capture the crown. Should Myers win four of the five, he would win his first prediction championship.

"Everyone knows Myers will once again fold like a tent in a rainstorm," Kelley said. "In fact, they are engraving my name on the trophy even as we speak."

Myers knows he is now a longshot.

"That Leo Kelley is squirelly," Myers said. "But my lawyers are examining this race closely and depending on how things go this week, we could be looking at a recount."

The battle for third place is a dandy as only two games separates the Beasley boys from sports writer Bob Forrest and myself. The Beasleys stand at 83-55 (60.2%) after an impresive 7-1 showing, Forrest is 82-56 (59.4%) and another lackluster performance from the sports editor moved his overall mark to 81-57 (58.7%).

The guest still reside in the cellar at 77-61 (55.8%) but Week 15 contestant Larry Johnston hopes to change that.

Johnston is the former Roff boys basketball coach who has since moved to Washington where his Warriors are ranked No. 3 in Class 2A entering the 2006-07 season.

Of course Johnston hasn’t even had the chance to play a game yet thanks to the Warriors impressive run through the Class 2A football playoffs that ended with a loss to powerhouse Okeene last week (a game that some guy named Jeff Cali was the ONLY one to correctly predict and you have to take your victories where you can get them when you're 11 games out. I'm better than that.)

Here’s hoping a champion isn’t decided until Sunday’s NFL slate with the key games being Philadelphia at Washington and the New York Giants at Carolina.

Another game with championship implications is St. John Fisher’s battle with Mount Union in the NCAA Division III semifinals (Kelley has Union, Myers has Fisher). The Cardinals manhandled my boys from Rowan 31-0 last week, but I don’t like their chances against mighty Mount Union, which enters the game riding a 21-game win streak. Mount Union can also boast of eight national championships. The Purple Raiders defeated Wisconsin Whitewater 35-28 to win the 2005 national crown.

Good luck guys. And better luck next year Caliites. I know, I know. You've heard that before ... over and over and over and over and over.

Surely 2007 will be the year of the Cali!

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