Chicks Picks – 10/13/2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011 | 12:01 PM

Welcome to Week 7 of the high school football season. As we make the turn to the final three weeks of the season, so begins what has been dubbed by the MSA Sports Network as the Stretch Run.  Each year, it is the responsibility of Chick’s Picks to coordinate a team-building activity for the staff at The Network, in order to promote unity and focus as we head into this crucial part of the season.  This year, Chick’s Picks decided to bring in world-famous yoga instructor, Gilles, to lead the staff in an early morning session.

Gilles gave a brief background of the principles of yoga, since, surprisingly, most of the staff was unfamiliar with the exercise.  An expert in his field, Gilles suggested that his students first concentrate on the downward-facing dog, since this pose is known to relieve fatigue, rejuvenate the body, calm the mind, and lift spirits.  The instructor went on to show his students the proper pose formation.

Some of the staff inadvertently tested the patience of the renowned instructor, however.  Gilles repeatedly told illustrious broadcaster Sam Hall and Network Headquarters Friday night captain Mike Azadian how to correct their positioning, but to no avail.  Hall and Azadian finally realized the error of their ways.  All along, they thought Gilles had called the pose downward-facing Don, as a tribute to Network founder Don Rebel.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 51-16 (76%) record, bringing her season total to 318-87 (79%).  Here are this week’s big games:


#1 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (6-0) at #7 Gateway (5-1)

The Vikings head to Monroeville to meet the Gators in this non-conference showdown of Top 10 rivals Friday night.  Central Catholic maintained its perfect record with a 60-6 rout of Plum last week.  Gateway recorded its second consecutive shutout, 36-0 over Hempfield, despite a sluggish start.  This marks the Vikings’ second visit to Antimarino Stadium this season.  Central Catholic defeated Archbishop Wood of the Philadelphia Catholic League at the Gateway Kickoff Classic.  The Vikings and the Gators come into this week’s meeting with the two top defenses in Class AAAA, allowing 56 and 43 points, respectively.  These two met twice last season, in Week 7 and again in the WPIAL quarterfinals.  Central Catholic won both meetings, outscoring the Gators 31-7.  Chick’s Picks likes the Vikings to make it three in a row.
Central Catholic over Gateway.


#8 Hopewell (4-2) at #1 Central Valley (6-0)

Central Valley hosts Hopewell in a key Parkway Conference matchup Friday night.  The defending champ Warriors proved last week that they have their eyes on the prize once again, after silencing Montour, 27-16.  The Vikings, however, gave up a fourth-quarter lead and fell to New Castle, 32-28.  This marked the second consecutive loss for Hopewell, who played without the services of WPIAL career leading rusher Rushel Shell.  Shell, who suffered a mild concussion, is scheduled to play against Central Valley–just after announcing his college choice before ESPN television cameras.  The Warriors are sitting comfortably atop the rugged Parkway Conference.  The Vikings, however, are in a must-win situation with a (2-2) conference record, tied with Montour and New Castle.  Hopewell won last year’s meeting, 26-22.  Chick’s Picks thinks the Warriors will turn the cameras their way.
Central Valley over Hopewell.


#9 Mount Pleasant (4-2) at #4 Jeannette (6-0)

McKee Stadium is the site for this Interstate Conference showdown Friday night.  The host Jayhawks are coming off of a 49-13 romp of Yough.  The Vikings put away East Allegheny, 20-9.  Mount Pleasant’s two losses this season have both come to ranked opponents in Ellwood City and Greensburg Central Catholic.  QB Ryan Gumbrita and RB Paul Caletri steer the Viking offense, offering a solid blend of pass and run attack that will likely pose the greatest test for the Jayhawks so far this season.  The high-powered Jeannette offense, averaging 44.5 points per game, doubles that of Mount Pleasant, and is led by QB Demetrious Cox, WR/RB Shavonta Craft, and RB Jordan Edmunds.  Cox, highly touted recruit with over 20 D-1 offers, is the team’s rushing leader, with 507 yards and 10 touchdowns.  Edmunds is making a huge impact in this, his junior year, with a team-leading 11 touchdowns.  Since moving to Class AA in 2008, Mount Pleasant has gone (1-2) against Jeannette.  Chick’s Picks knows the Vikings will slow down the Jayhawks, but not enough to prevail.
Jeannette over Mount Pleasant.



#7 Avonworth (5-1) at #5 Beth-Center (6-0)

Avonworth takes on Beth-Center in Class A non-conference action Friday night.  The Antelopes edged North Catholic last week, 9-0, while Beth-Center routed a declining Monessen team, 46-0.  Avonworth’s only loss this season came early on in Week 1 to Bishop Canevin, 33-6.  Since then, the Antelopes have gone (5-0), and have not allowed a point since September 16.  Their performance places them comfortably in second place in the Eastern Conference.  Beth-Center sits high atop the Tri-County South Conference.  The potent offense of the Bulldogs has produced 281 points so far this season, and places them second behind only Clairton in Class A.  Sal Faieta heads up the Bulldog attack, and ranks among the Top 10 Class A quarterbacks with his 546 passing yards and 11 touchdowns.  The Antelopes rely on the legs of RB Ricky Lawniczak, who has rushed for 507 yards and seven touchdowns on the year.  When these two met last season, Avonworth came out on top, 28-20.  Chick’s Picks thinks this could be a precursor to the postseason, and likes the Bulldogs every time.
Beth-Center over Avonworth.


Big East Conference

Penn Hills over Fox Chapel

Altoona over Plum

Woodland Hills over Kiski Area

Foothills Conference

Connellsville over Hempfield

McKeesport over Norwin

Penn-Trafford over Latrobe

Great Southern Conference

Upper St. Clair over Canon-McMillan

Mount Lebanon over Bethel Park

Peters Township over Baldwin

Northern Seven Conference

North Hills over Erie McDowell

North Allegheny over Pine-Richland

Shaler over Seneca Valley


Big Eight Conference

West Mifflin over Belle Vernon

Chartiers Valley over McGuffey

South Park over Elizabeth Forward

Thomas Jefferson over Trinity

Greater Allegheny Conference

Highlands over Valley

Indiana over Hampton

Knoch over Kittanning

Keystone Conference

Ringgold over Derry

Franklin Regional over Laurel Highlands

Greensburg Salem over Hollidaysburg

Uniontown over Albert Gallatin

Parkway Conference

Moon over Ambridge

Montour over Blackhawk

West Allegheny over New Castle


Allegheny Conference

Ford City over West Shamokin

Freeport over Deer Lakes

Shady Side Academy over Apollo-Ridge

Summit Academy over Burrell

Century Conference

Seton-LaSalle over Burgettstown

Steel Valley over Keystone Oaks

South Fayette over South Allegheny

Washington over Quaker Valley

Interstate Conference

East Allegheny over Brownsville

Charleroi over Southmoreland

Waynesburg over Yough

Midwestern Conference

Aliquippa over Beaver

Beaver Falls over New Brighton

Ellwood City over Laurel

Riverside over Freedom


Big Seven Conference

Rochester over Cornell

Union over Shenango

Sto-Rox over Western Beaver

Neshannock over South Side

Black Hills Conference

Clairton over Brentwood

Chartiers-Houston over Carlynton

Fort Cherry over Bentworth

Serra Catholic over Avella

Eastern Conference

Bishop Canevin over Leechburg

North Catholic over OLSH

Northgate over Riverview

Tri-County South Conference

California over Jefferson-Morgan

Frazier over Carmichaels

Monessen over West Greene

Mapletown over Geibel


Brashear over Oliver

Langley over Carrick

University Prep over Allderdice


Mars over Butler

Greensburg Central Catholic over Mohawk

Perry over Erie East

Morgantown (WV) over Westinghouse

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