Alexa, show me Chick’s Picks’ predictions for the 2nd week of the WPIAL football playoffs

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Thursday, November 10, 2022 | 12:43 AM


We have reached the time of year when a bit of confusion begins to set in for Chick’s Picks. Between daylight savings time ending and the Highway to Heinz getting a new corporate sponsor and also running through Norwin, Chick’s Picks finds these days utterly challenging.

Over the last few years, since the Highway to Heinz was redirected through Norwin, Chick’s Picks is always proactive in executing a test run to ensure that she has the route down pat. After all, how could she and her trusty crystal ball be expected to correctly navigate to multiple championship sites AND make accurate predictions?

This season, Chick’s Picks decided she would seek some outside help. So, she buckled her trusty crystal ball into the passenger seat and prepared for the test run. Chick’s Picks then called on her other reliable resource, Alexa, and asked her to plan the route. The crystal ball made it very clear, in no uncertain terms, that it was highly offended by her prognosticating boss seeking assistance of any kind from another device.

Realizing she had made a critical mistake, Chick’s Picks apologized profusely to her trusty crystal ball. Despite her best efforts, the damage had been done. The crystal ball had gone dark. It seems as though Chick’s Picks will be on her own for this week’s predictions. Unless, of course, Alexa can help with that, too.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 19-8 (70%) record, bringing her season total to 454-142 (76%).

Class 6A

3-Central Catholic Vikings (6-4) vs. 2-Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils (5-5)

The Blue Devils host the Vikings in a Class 6A semifinal showdown Friday night. Both of these teams are looking to start the postseason fresh after wrapping up regular season play Oct. 28. … David Shields captains the Mt. Lebanon offense, throwing for 969 yards and seven touchdowns on the year. Central boasts one of the WPIAL’s top passers in Payton Wehner, who has thrown for 2,171 yards and 14 touchdowns. Wehner’s favorite targets have been Vernon Settles and Peter Gonzales, who have combined for more than 1,200 yards this season. … The Blue Devils’ defense is allowing only 13.2 points per game – 10 points fewer per game than the Vikings. When these two met in Week 3, Mt. Lebanon edged Central, 17-16. The Vikings have not defeated the Blue Devils since the 2020 WPIAL semifinals, 35-0. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Vikings reverse the trend in this one. … Central Catholic over Mt. Lebanon

Class 5A

5-Upper St. Clair Panthers (9-2) vs. 1-Bethel Park Black Hawks (10-1)

Upper St. Clair will meet Bethel Park at Canon-McMillan on Friday night in a Class 5A semifinal battle. The Panthers advanced from the quarterfinals last week with a 24-21 victory over Gateway, while the Black Hawks edged North Hills, 19-17. … Jamaal Brown, Upper St. Clair’s leading rusher, had racked up 1,336 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. Bethel Park’s balanced offensive attack is led by Tanner Pfeuffer, who has thrown for 1,349 yards and 14 touchdowns. Austin Caye heads up the Black Hawks’ running game with 775 yards and five scores. … When these two met in a Week 6 Allegheny Six Conference matchup, Bethel Park came away with a 27-14 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Black Hawks will punch their ticket to the title game with another win over their conference foe in this one. … Bethel Park over Upper St. Clair

Class 4A

5-McKeesport Tigers (10-1) vs. 4-Armstrong River Hawks (10-1)

The River Hawks welcome the Tigers for a Class 4A quarterfinal showdown Friday night. Armstrong is coming off of a 39-7 first-round rout of Blackhawk last week, while McKeesport blanked Mars, 43-0. … The River Hawks boast the WPIAL’s top passer in Cadin Olsen, who has thrown for 2,998 yards and 40 touchdowns. Receiver Ian Olsen has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark and found paydirt 10 times on the year. Alex Patton leads the Armstrong running game with 940 yards and five scores. McKeesport quarterback Jahmil Perryman has thrown for 419 yards but leads the Tigers in rushing with 1,089 yards and 18 touchdowns. Division I prospect Bobbie Boyd is approaching 1,000 rushing yards and has found the end zone 12 times this season. … The River Hawks are averaging 40.5 points per game but will face a tall task against a stingy Tigers’ defense that is allowing only 6.4 points per game. Chick’s Picks predicts that defense will help the Tigers pull the upset and advance to the semifinal round. … Armstrong over McKeesport

Class 3A

5-West Mifflin Titans (6-5) vs. 4-Freeport Yellowjackets (9-1)

Freeport plays host to West Mifflin in Class 3A quarterfinal action Friday night. The Yellowjackets opened the postseason with a first-round bye, while the Titans rolled over Southmoreland, 54-28. … Freeport’s balanced offense is captained by quarterback Gavin Croney, who has thrown for 842 yards and 11 touchdowns. West Mifflin is led by quarterback Shai Newby, who has thrown for 1,360 yards and 15 touchdowns. TyJier Williams has been a key target for Newby with 727 yards and eight scores. Chick’s Picks predicts that a tough regular season schedule puts the Titans in prime position for a postseason upset. … West Mifflin over Freeport

Class 2A

12-Washington Little Prexies (7-4) vs. 4-Neshannock Lancers (10-1)

The Little Prexies hit the road to take on the Lancers in a Class 2A quarterfinal matchup Friday night. Washington is coming off of a 49-21 first-round upset of No. 5 Serra Catholic last week, while Neshannock routed Burrell, 48-6. … The Little Prexies are led by Eddie Lewis, who has rushed for 803 yards and 12 touchdowns. Washington’s high-powered offense is averaging 42.5 points per game. The Lancers feature a 1,000-yard passer in Jonny Huff, who also happens to be one of the top rushers in the WPIAL with 1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns. … Neshannock’s only loss this season came to No. 2 Beaver Falls, 22-0, in Week 4. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Little Prexies’ Cinderella story isn’t over just yet. … Washington over Neshannock

Class A

5-South Side Rams (10-1) vs. 4-Mapletown Maples (11-0)

The Maples will meet the Rams in Waynesburg for a Class A quarterfinal showdown Friday night. Mapletown opened the postseason with a 41-28 victory over Leechburg, while South Side rolled over California 34-3. … The Maples boast the WPIAL’s leading rusher in Landan Stevenson, who has tallied 2,321 yards and 45 touchdowns on the year. Stevenson will face a stingy Rams defense that has allowed only 91 points in 11 games. … On the other side of the ball, South Side is led by versatile quarterback Brody Almashy, who has thrown for 917 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for another 547 yards and 13 scores. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Rams’ defense will put a stop to the Maples’ perfect season. … South Side over Mapletown

Class 6A

North Allegheny over Canon-McMillan

Class 5A

Pine-Richland over Woodland Hills

Class 4A

Thomas Jefferson over Latrobe

Central Valley over Laurel Highlands

Aliquippa over Montour

Class 3A

Belle Vernon over East Allegheny

Elizabeth Forward over Shady Side Academy

Avonworth over Beaver

Class 2A

Steel Valley over McGuffey

Sto-Rox over Keystone Oaks

Beaver Falls over Ligonier Valley

Class A

Fort Cherry over Rochester

Laurel over Union

Bishop Canevin over Clairton

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