After failed election bid, Chick’s Picks eyes up a Class 6A upset

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 3:58 PM


As Election Day approached, Chick’s Picks pondered the idea of running for office. Her dream of being elected Head Prognosticator of District 7 seemed well within reach after her countless years of experience. The problem, however, was that she had waited too long to run a campaign. So, she called upon her go-to problem solver for help.

“Boss, I’ve decided this is the year when I can claim my seat as Head Prognosticator of District 7. And I need your help to make it happen,” Chick’s Picks pleaded.

“First of all,” The Boss ranted, “it’s two days before the election. Therefore, it’s too late to get on the ballot. Secondly, and most importantly, Head Prognosticator is not a real position!”

Chick’s Picks didn’t give up there, though. “But Boss, if we as a society can write in Mickey Mouse on the ballot, then why can’t we write in Chick’s Picks?” the prognosticator questioned.

“Come on Chick’s Picks, that’s not how this works,” The Boss bellowed. “Now, scram. I have playoff prep work to take care of.”

Dejected, Chick’s Picks knew she needed to rally if there was any hope of her achieving her political dream. Relentlessly calling on friends and family, Chick’s Picks all but begged for their write-in votes.

When Tuesday evening came around, Chick’s Picks anxiously observed the election results. Needless to say, her last-ditch effort was too little too late. Though this was not her year in the polls, Chick’s Picks knows she’s still the No. 1 high school football prognosticator in town.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 26-4 (87%) record, bringing her season total to 523-141 (79%). Here are this week’s big games:

CLASS 6A

No. 3 North Allegheny Tigers (10-1) at No. 2 Pine-Richland Rams (9-1)

These two familiar Class 6A foes face off Friday night with a trip to the WPIAL championship on the line. The Rams will host the Tigers for the second time in three weeks. Pine-Richland rolled over North Allegheny in that Week 9 matchup, 42-14. Since then, the Rams enjoyed a bye week while the Tigers knocked off Canon-McMillan, 48-7, in the quarterfinals. The Rams boast one of the top passers in the WPIAL in Cole Spencer, who is approaching 2,500 passing yards this season and has thrown for 29 touchdowns. Spencer’s key target, Eli Jochem, has 967 receiving yards and 13 scores. Ben Petschke heads the Tigers’ balanced offensive attack with 1,113 passing yards and 14 touchdowns. Percise Colon leads the running game with 1,032 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Chick’s Picks predicts that odds are against the Rams to defeat the Tigers twice in one season. … North Allegheny over Pine-Richland.

CLASS 5A

No. 5 Peters Township Indians (10-1) vs. No. 4 Moon Tigers (9-2)

The Indians take on the Tigers at West Allegheny on Friday night in Class 5A quarterfinal action. Moon rolled over Franklin Regional, 35-7, in last week’s first round, while Peters Township routed Mars, 47-6. Peters Township quarterback Logan Pfeuffer ranks among the best in the WPIAL, passing for 1,865 yards and 21 touchdowns. Running back Ryan Magiske provides another dimension to the Indians’ offense, rushing for 1,207 yards and 15 scores. Moon is led by dual-threat quarterback Dante Clay, who has thrown for 787 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for a team-best 653 yards and eight touchdowns. When these two Allegheny Eight Conference rivals met in Week 6, the Tigers handed the Indians their first and only loss of the season, 21-13. Since then, Peters Township has gone 4-0, outscoring opponents 158-27. The Indians’ defense has been tops in Class 5A, allowing only 93 points all season. Chick’s Picks predicts revenge for the Indians. … Peters Township over Moon.

CLASS 4A

No. 4 Blackhawk Cougars (7-4) vs. No. 1 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (11-0)

Top-ranked TJ faces off against Blackhawk in a Class 4A semifinal Friday night at Chartiers Valley. The Jaguars rolled over Montour in last week’s quarterfinals, 49-7, while the Cougars knocked off Greensburg Salem, 36-7. TJ’s dynamic offense, averaging more than 48 points per game, is led by quarterback Shane Stump, who has passed for 1,955 yards and 28 touchdowns. Dylan Mallozzi heads the ground attack, rushing for 1,108 yards and 17 scores. Blackhawk running back Marques Watson-Trent has rushed for 1,222 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Cougars will face their toughest test, however, against the top defense in the WPIAL. The Jaguars have allowed only 40 points all season and recorded five shutouts. When these two met in last year’s WPIAL semifinals, TJ ran away with a 47-7 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts a similar result in this year’s version. … TJ over Blackhawk.

CLASS 3A

No. 6 South Park Eagles (5-5) vs. No. 2 Aliquippa Quips (10-1)

The Eagles look to continue their Cinderella playoff run when they take on the Quips in a Class 3A semifinal Friday night at North Hills. South Park pulled an upset over No. 3 North Catholic last week, 32-27, while Aliquippa stopped Elizabeth Forward, 27-7. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Quips, quarterback Vaughn Morris captains an offense that has averaged more than 40 points per game — more than double that of the Eagles. Morris has thrown for 1,029 yards and 16 touchdowns. Running back Antonio Quinn has 1,075 rushing yards and 13 scores. South Park is led by Rudy Mihoces, behind his 1,114 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. The Eagles have been outscored by opponents, 269-199, this season. These two familiar Tri-County West foes met in Week 7, and the Quips blanked the Eagles, 29-0. Chick’s Picks predicts a victory for the defending WPIAL and PIAA champs in this one. … Aliquippa over South Park.

CLASS 2A

No. 6 McGuffey Highlanders (9-2) vs. No. 14 Riverside Panthers (7-3)

McGuffey meets Riverside in a Class 2A quarterfinal at Montour on Friday night. The Highlanders are coming off of a 54-23 first-round victory over South Side, while the Panthers upset No. 3 Burgettstown, 42-35. The Whipkey brothers are an integral part of a McGuffey offense that averages nearly 36 points per game. Quarterback Marshall Whipkey has thrown for 1,036 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for another 585 yards and 12 scores. McKinley Whipkey leads the Highlanders in rushing with 782 yards and nine touchdowns. Riverside boasts one of the top passers in the WPIAL in Ben Hughes, who has thrown for 1,930 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Panthers can also get it done on the ground behind Hunter Nulph, who has rushed for 1,176 yards and 12 scores. McGuffey’s two losses this season came to Class 2A’s top two teams — Washington and Avonworth. Chick’s Picks predicts that a strong regular season schedule will pay off for the Highlanders. … McGuffey over Riverside.

CLASS A

No. 3 Sto-Rox Vikings (10-1) vs. No. 2 West Greene Pioneers (10-1)

The Vikings take on the Pioneers in a Class A semifinal showdown at Trinity on Friday night. In last week’s quarterfinals, Sto-Rox shut down highly touted Jeannette, 15-6, while West Greene blanked Greensburg Central Catholic, 36-0. This matchup features two of the WPIAL’s top offensive powerhouses in the Vikings’ Eric Wilson and the Pioneers’ Ben Jackson. Wilson has passed for 2,736 yards and 25 touchdowns. Jackson, the new owner of the WPIAL regular season touchdown record, has racked up 2,923 rushing yards and 49 scores. The Pioneers’ only loss this season came to top-ranked Clairton, 49-7, in Week 7. West Greene will face a tough test this week, however, against a Sto-Rox defense that is holding opponents to less only 8.7 points per game. Chick’s Picks knew this one could go either way, so she went to the crystal ball for a prediction. … Sto-Rox over West Greene.

CLASS 6A

Central Catholic over Mt. Lebanon

CLASS 5A

Gateway over Bethel Park

Penn-Trafford over Upper St. Clair

Penn Hills over McKeesport

CLASS 4A

South Fayette over Belle Vernon

CLASS 3A

Central Valley over Derry

CLASS 2A

Avonworth over New Brighton

Washington over Freedom

Brentwood over Neshannock

CLASS A

Clairton over Cornell

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