Celebrate those touchdowns, and these Week 8 Westmoreland County picks from The Birdie

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022 | 5:00 PM


Last week: 9-2 (81.8%)

Season: 75-20 (78.9%)

With so many local players scoring multiple touchdowns last week, the Birdie was caught on a company security camera dancing on desks and repeatedly spiking a football off the floor.

A few personal items were broken, a computer screen was cracked, and there were newspapers everywhere.

His ink-stained fingerprints were found on a football he left behind.

“So, I get a little excited when someone scores,” Birdie said, shrugging his shoulders and grinning. “That Southmoreland receiver scored six times, while that freshman at Monessen found paydirt five times, and stud from Belle Vernon had five TDs with the Pitt coach Patty Narduzzi on the sidelines watching.”

(The Birdie is withholding names just in case Name, Image, Likeness kicks in before this column prints. His legal team advised against using actual names.)

While he is against NIL, he will save that topic for a future column.

“Hey, if these kids are going to get paid one of these days like the pros do, let them celebrate like the pros do. Ya with me?” he said.

The Birdie thinks teams should be able to do the group celebrations like NFL teams. He also thinks teams should have bye weeks but, again, that is for another time.

“Imagine the social media sizzle you’d get with those, the clicks,” he said, crossing his arms, tilting his head and leaning back in a tough guy pose. “That is pure TikTok gold. The Trib might even put you on Standout.

“Let these kids have some fun. An Ickey Shuffle here or a Griddy there won’t hurt anyone. Just remember, no props. And no rubber chickens.”

Norwin (1-7, 0-3) at Gateway (6-2, 3-1): Gateway will hit on short passes, and a few deep ones, and slice through the Knights’ porous defense. Gateway, 45-7

Plum (3-5, 1-3) at Hempfield (5-3, 1-2): Injuries stunted Hempfield. The Spartans are not the same team that started 5-0. “Hempfield is like those murder hornets,” Birdie said. “Scary when you first heard of them, but not as much of a threat now.” Plum, 27-20

McKeesport (8-0, 4-0) at Latrobe (5-3, 3-2): While McKeesport has clinched a playoff spot, Latrobe still is trying to earn one of its own. The Wildcats will have to keep trying. McKeesport, 32-14

Elizabeth Forward (8-0, 3-0) at Greensburg Salem (3-5, 0-3): The Interstate title is going to come down to Elizabeth Forward against Belle Vernon in the last conference game. The Warriors will tune up with a win at Offutt. Elizabeth Forward, 44-6

South Allegheny (1-7, 0-3) at Mt. Pleasant (4-4, 1-2): The Birdie thinks Mt. Pleasant still has plenty left in the tank. Look for multiple 100-yard rushers in this one. Mt. Pleasant, 37-7

Southmoreland (4-4, 1-2) at Belle Vernon (5-2, 3-0): Some might say Southmoreland has overachieved based on what it had coming back. Belle Vernon, though, is living up to expectations — and then some. Belle Vernon, 50-30

Burrell (5-3, 2-3) at Derry (0-8, 0-5): Burrell has thrown the ball in recent games, which goes against its game plan. Derry will allow the Bucs to ground and pound again. Burrell, 36-20

Ligonier Valley (5-3, 3-2) at Imani Christian (4-4, 2-3): Old-school Ligonier Valley against new-wave Imani. Do styles offset or does one rule the day? Ligonier Valley by 3 yards and a few clouds of dust. Ligonier Valley, 32-26

Yough (2-6, 1-4) at Steel Valley (7-0, 5-0): Yough has struggled against teams with speed and the Cougars wil have to chase the Ironmen around the yard this week. Steel Valley, 40-6

Springdale (0-8, 0-4) at Jeannette (2-6, 2-2): A few weeks ago, Jeannette scored 60 points against Frazier. It won’t get 60 this week, but it will score some points. Jeannette, 28-12

Monessen (5-3, 4-1) at Mapletown (8-0, 5-0): Monessen has fared well against good defenses, but that trend will not continue this week against the stifling Maples. The Birdie is now hungry for pancakes and syrup. Mapletown, 35-13

Franklin Regional (5-2) at North Hills (3-5): Franklin Regional has taken care of business in conference games, but the Indians will present a challenge outside of the Big East. North Hills, 16-14

Penn-Trafford (5-3) at North Allegheny (7-1): With injuries mounting and a running game seemingly missing, Penn-Trafford will have trouble in Wexford. North Allegheny, 28-14

Greensburg Central Catholic (6-2, 4-0) at Riverview (3-5, 1-3): GCC is used to playing on Saturdays (and Thursdays) by now. No problems for the Centurions in Oakmont. GCC, 38-8

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