Chicks Picks – 11/10/2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | 12:01 PM

Welcome to Week 11 of the high school football season. Between Election Day and preparations for the quarterfinals, it has certainly been a busy week for Chick’s Picks. She is, however, already settling into her new role—as Head Western Pennsylvania Scholastic Prognosticator, that is.  After a few years away from the political circuit, Chick’s Picks decided to, once again, test the waters.  Her decision was primarily based on her tremendous success this season, as well as her unparalleled leadership among the clairvoyant community.

Chick’s Picks hired a high profile campaign manager, knowing that her competitors would likely not play fair.  Sure enough, the manager was able to fend off a number of attempts to destroy her campaign, including one donor offering to make a sizable donation, in exchange for Chick’s Picks predicting a certain team to win it all.  Although flattered by the thought that her predicting abilities could carry that much weight, Chick’s Picks maintained a clean campaign, garnering successful results.

Now, at the most critical time of the year for pigskin prognosticators, Chick’s Picks can hone back in on the Highway to Heinz.  Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 34-6 (85%) record, upping her season total to 523-125 (81%).  Follow Chick’s Picks on the Highway to Heinz @ChicksPicksMSA.  Here are this week’s big games:

#4 Penn-Trafford (10-0) vs. #5 Gateway (8-2) at Hempfield

The Warriors meet the Gators once again this season; but this time, with playoff life on the line.  Penn-Trafford opened up the postseason by shutting out Bethel Park, 21-0, while Gateway blasted Shaler, 52-13.  The Warrior win marked their first postseason victory since 1999.  The Gators, on the other hand, have been perennial playoff contenders.  When these two met in Week 4, the Warriors upset the Gators, 16-14, on a last-second field goal.  Since then, Penn-Trafford has remained undefeated and captured the Foothills Conference title.  Gateway has gone (5-1), with its only loss coming to Central Catholic, 13-7.  The Gators recorded four shutouts, and have outscored those six opponents 258-26.  The Warriors will again rely on the legs of RB Manny Simpson, who has amassed 1,557 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year.  Chick’s Picks knows how difficult it is to beat a great team twice in one season; so, for that reason, she likes the Gators.
Gateway over Penn-Trafford

#4 West Mifflin (9-1) vs. #5 Montour (8-2) at Baldwin

West Mifflin and Montour will meet at Baldwin Friday night in quarterfinal play.  In the opening round, the Titans edged Mars, 21-8.  The Spartans showed that they are in postseason form, knocking Chartiers Valley, 55-20.  These two met in the first round of last year’s playoffs.  The result was a 21-13 Montour win.  This season features a much more potent West Mifflin squad led by RB Shamar Greene, who has rushed for 1,330 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year.  The Spartans are fully loaded offensively.  QB Dylan Buechel has thrown for 1,799 yards and 31 touchdowns–including 19 TD passes in his last five games.  WRs Darrin Massey and Devin Wilson have combined for nearly 1,300 yards and 25 touchdowns.  RB Julian Durden has been a force in the backfield, with 1,392 yards and 23 touchdowns.  These two met in last year’s first round, when Montour shut down West Mifflin, 21-13, en route to Heinz Field before falling to Central Valley.  Chick’s Picks thinks the postseason chemistry of the Spartans will carry them past the Titans, and onto the semifinals.
Montour over West Mifflin

#13 Ellwood City (7-3) vs. #5 Greensburg Central Catholic (9-1) at Valley

The Centurions face the upstart Wolverines Friday night at Valley, with a semifinal spot on the line.  Last week, both Greensburg Central Catholic and Ellwood City eliminated Allegheny Conference opponents.  The Centurions routed Ford City, 24-3, as the Wolverines upset Freeport, 33-26.  The win marked Ellwood City’s first postseason victory since 1987.  Greensburg Central Catholic is making its ninth consecutive playoff appearance.  The Wolverines rely heavily on RB Kyle Crawford, who leads the team with more than 1,000 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.  The Centurions can get it done on the ground or in the air.  QB Bobbie Noble has 935 passing yards and 11 touchdowns.  RB Jordan McCrae has rushed for 1,123 yards and a team-high 17 touchdowns.  Greensburg Central Catholic also boasts a solid defense, allowing only 98 points all season–less than half of Ellwood City’s 223.  Chick’s Picks has liked the Wolverines as a dark horse since the brackets were released, but thinks the Centurions’ big-game experience will pay off here.
Greensburg Central Catholic over Ellwood City

#3 Bishop Canevin (10-0) vs. #11 Fort Cherry (7-3) at Chartiers-Houston

Bishop Canevin takes on upset-minded Fort Cherry at Chartiers-Houston in this quarterfinal matchup Friday night.  The Crusaders were nearly haunted by Chartiers-Houston last week, before emerging with a  27-23 victory.  The Rangers, on the other hand, shocked #6 Beth-Center with a 33-14 win.  Prior to last week’s win, Fort Cherry suffered a first round playoff loss in each of the past five years.  QB Tanner Garry did it all for the Rangers last week, throwing for 246 yards and three touchdowns, and rushing for another 203 yards and two touchdowns.  Garry also threw in a defensive interception, for good measure.  QB Kevin Mechas has been impressive for the Crusaders, with his 1,100-plus passing yards.  RB Casey McCaffrey surpassed the 1,000-yard mark against Char-Houston last week, and racked up his 27th touchdown.  Bishop Canevin’s defense is allowing only 7.5 points per game–less than half of Fort Cherry’s 18.2.  These two most recently met in last year’s first round, where Fort Cherry fell, 24-16.  Chick’s Picks likes the Crusaders to make it two in a row.
Bishop Canevin over Fort Cherry


North Allegheny over Seneca Valley

Pittsburgh Central Catholic over Mount Lebanon

Upper St. Clair over Erie McDowell


Central Valley over Ringgold

Hopewell over Franklin Regional

Knoch over Thomas Jefferson


Aliquippa over Washington

Jeannette over Shady Side Academy

Seton-LaSalle over South Fayette


Clairton over Springdale

Rochester over Avonworth

Sto-Rox over Brentwood


University Prep over Perry

Brashear over Allderdice

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