Chicks Picks – 10/06/2011

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Thursday, October 6, 2011 | 1:50 PM


Welcome to Week 6 of the high school football season. Chick’s Picks fields numerous invitations each month requesting that she make a celebrity guest appearance at various events, from pep rallies to town festivals.  Although time does not permit Chick’s Picks to attend all of these events, a recently received invite was one she could simply not pass up.

This highly anticipated event, a co-ed alumni (of sorts) softball tournament, will take place on Saturday.  Chick’s Picks spent the week hitting the gym hard in preparation for her first appearance on the diamond in over a decade.  Amid her arduous training regime, Chick’s Picks began to flash back to the painful memories of her last experience on the softball field.

It was a sunny spring afternoon when Chick’s Picks took the field alongside her teammates, oblivious to what the upcoming inning would bring.  Then, before she could even react, Chick’s Picks felt the wrath of a line drive—to the face.  At the end of the day, Chick’s Picks was left with nothing but two black eyes and a broken nose, just a week before the prom.

Chick’s Picks will try to overcome her scarred memories enough to make this week’s predictions, and maybe even turn in all-star performances both on and off the field this weekend.  After a career low in Week 4, Chick’s Picks rallied last week to finish with an impressive 59-8 (87%) record, bringing her season total to 267-71 (79%).  Here are this week’s big games:

CLASS AAAA

#7 McKeesport (4-1) at #4 Penn-Trafford (5-0)

The undefeated Warriors host the Tigers in this highly anticipated Foothills Conference clash Friday night.  Penn-Trafford is coming off of a 39-0 rout of Connellsville last week.  McKeesport rebounded with a 39-6 thumping of Latrobe, after taking an unexpected loss to Seneca Valley the previous week.  It has been quite some time since the good people of Penn-Trafford have been this excited about Warrior football.  The last time Penn-Trafford won five games in a season was 2006.  McKeesport, on the other hand, has been a perennial power in Class AAAA for countless years.  This season has been somewhat of a changing of the guard for the Tigers, who have moved away from the running game that they relied so heavily on in the past.  McKeesport QB Eddie Stockett has been successful so far.  His 1,055 passing yards have earned him the top spot among all WPIAL quarterbacks.  Big things are expected of the Warriors, especially after knocking off Gateway in Week 4, 16-14.  They are led by RB Manny Simpson, who has rushed for 926 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year.  Chick’s Picks hopes the Warriors can prove her wrong, but she’s not a believer just yet.

McKeesport over Penn-Trafford

CLASS AAA

#1 Central Valley (5-0) at #2 Montour (4-1)

Central Valley meets Montour in a rematch of last year’s WPIAL title game.  The Warriors come into this week’s game with a perfect record, after blasting Moon last week, 51-20.  The Spartans edged New Castle, 35-25.  Montour’s only loss this season came to Hopewell in Week 2, 22-19.  Central Valley and Montour spread the wealth between passing and running attacks.  Warriors QB Curtis Lewis and RB Aaron Law have each surpassed the 400-yard mark on the year.  Spartans QB Dylan Buechel’s 761 passing yards are good enough to rank him 10th among all WPIAL quarterbacks.  RB Julian Durden has amassed 836 yards already this season, putting him at #7 overall, and lifting him above 4,000 career yards.  Statistically, Central Valley and Montour are very similar, with each scoring an average of 39 points per game and allowing around 16.  Last year, Montour claimed the regular season meeting, 12-7, but Central Valley won the bigger of the two, 24-7 in the WPIAL championship.  Chick’s Picks knows that memory is still fresh in the minds of the Spartans.

Montour over Central Valley.

CLASS AA

#1 Aliquippa (5-0) at #7 Ellwood City (4-1)

Aliquippa travels to Ellwood City to take on an up-and coming Midwestern Conference rival in the Wolverines.  Last week, the Quips won big, 41-6, over New Brighton.  The Wolverines were also dominant in their 38-7 rout of Mohawk.  The defending WPIAL runners-up are looking even more dominant so far this season, as evident in their 27-0 shutout of Beaver Falls in Week 2.  QB Mikal Hall is ranked eighth in the WPIAL with 775 yards.  Aliquippa’s defense has allowed just 55 points so far this season.  Ellwood City has risen to be yet another contender in the already strong Midwestern Conference.  The Wolverines’ only loss this season came to a then-ranked #6 Beaver in Week 4, 24-7.  Kyle Crawford has been the lifeblood for Ellwood City, rushing for 611 yards and an impressive 15 touchdowns.  Although the Wolverines have undoubtedly shown significant improvement this season, one must look deep in the history books to find the last time they were able to knock off Aliquippa.  Still, Ellwood City could be on pace for a spot in the postseason, and regular season experience against Midwestern Conference rivals will be priceless.  Chick’s Picks leans toward the Quips in this one.

Aliquippa over Ellwood City.

CLASS A

#9 Monessen (4-1) at #5 Beth-Center (5-0)

The Greyhounds travel to Fredricktown to face the Bulldogs Friday night in a Tri-County South showdown.  Monessen will look to recover from an unexpected loss to North Catholic last week, 18-0.  It was the first time the Greyhounds had been shut out since 2009.  Prior to the loss, Monessen boasted one of the top defenses in the WPIAL, having allowed only 13 points in four games.  In sloppy conditions at North Catholic, the Greyhounds fumbled six times and QB Chavas Rawlins threw two interceptions.  Rawlins finished the game despite breaking a knuckle, and is not expected to miss any action this week.  Beth-Center, last week, booted #10 California from the MSA Sports Top 10 rankings after a 39-2 win.  The Bulldogs are led by QB Sal Faieta, who has passed for 546 yards and 11 touchdowns so far this season.  Monessen handed Beth-Center its only conference loss last season, 20-6.  The Bulldogs, in fact, have not bested the Greyhounds since 2008.  Monessen rallied last season after suffering a one point loss to North Catholic, and advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals.  Chick’s Picks thinks history will repeat itself.

Monessen over Beth-Center.

 

CLASS AAAA

Big East Conference

Penn Hills over Altoona

Pittsburgh Central Catholic over Plum

Woodland Hills over Fox Chapel

Foothills Conference

Connellsville over Norwin

Gateway over Hempfield

Great Southern Conference

Bethel Park over Canon-McMillan

Mount Lebanon over Baldwin

Upper St. Clair over Peters Township

Northern Seven Conference

North Hills over Butler

Seneca Valley over Pine-Richland

Erie-McDowell over Shaler

CLASS AAA

Big Eight Conference

Thomas Jefferson over Chartiers Valley

Belle Vernon over South Park

Trinity over Elizabeth Forward

West Mifflin over McGuffey

Greater Allegheny Conference

Knoch over Indiana

Mars over Highlands

Valley over Kittanning

Keystone Conference

Hollidaysburg over Albert Gallatin

Franklin Regional over Uniontown

Greensburg Salem over Derry

Ringgold over Laurel Highlands

Parkway Conference

Blackhawk over Ambridge

West Allegheny over Moon

Hopewell over New Castle

CLASS AA

Allegheny Conference

Freeport over Apollo-Ridge

Burrell over Shady Side Academy

Summit Academy over Ford City

Deer Lakes over West Shamokin

Century Conference

Burgettstown over Quaker Valley

Seton-LaSalle over South Allegheny

Keystone Oaks over South Fayette

Steel Valley over Washington

Interstate Conference

Greensburg Central Catholic over Brownsville

Charleroi over Waynesburg

Mount Pleasant over East Allegheny

Jeannette over Yough

Midwestern Conference

Beaver over Mohawk

Beaver Falls over Freedom

Laurel over New Brighton

CLASS A

Big Seven Conference

Sto-Rox over South Side

Union over Neshannock

Rochester over Western Beaver

Cornell over Shenango

Black Hills Conference

Carlynton over Avella

Brentwood over Chartiers-Houston

Clairton over Bentworth

Fort Cherry over Serra Catholic

Eastern Conference

Northgate over Leechburg

North Catholic over Avonworth

Riverview over OLSH

Bishop Canevin over Wilkinsburg

Tri-County South Conference

Jefferson-Morgan over Carmichaels

Mapletown over Frazier

California over West Greene

WPIAL/CITY LEAGUE NON-CONFERENCE

Latrobe over Hampton

North Allegheny over Kiski Area

Riverside over Southmoreland

Springdale over Geibel 

Mercyhurst Prep over Oliver

PITTSBURGH CITY LEAGUE

Brashear over Carrick

Westinghouse over Langley

Perry over Allderdice

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