Chick’s Picks aims to reverse the curse in Week 5
Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 8:27 PM
After more than two decades of successful WPIAL prognosticating, it comes as no surprise when Chick’s Picks is contacted with various opportunities to increase her fame.
This week, Chick’s Picks received a call from a well-known video game manufacturer who offered her a spot on the front cover of its game. When the video game company representative reviewed the list of perks and benefits that she would receive upon agreeing to their offer, Chick’s Picks knew it was an opportunity she could not pass up.
Once the contract was signed making her latest endorsement official, Chick’s Picks rushed into The Boss’s office to brag about her accomplishment. His reaction was not as she expected, however.
“Wait a minute,” The Boss chuckled. “You actually signed on to be on the cover? Not one of your best decisions, Chick’s Picks.”
The Boss went on to describe to Chick’s Picks all of the top athletes who have been cursed by being on the cover of the game. Panic began to set in on her.
“Good luck,” The Boss said. “Hope the curse doesn’t hit you, too, or you’ll be looking for a new place to prognosticate.”
Chick’s Picks can only hope that her trusty crystal ball does not fail her now.
Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 50-15 (77%) record, bringing her season total to 240-72 (77%). Here are this week’s big games:
No. 1 Pine-Richland Rams at No. 3 Central Catholic Vikings (4-1)
The Rams take on the Vikings in a Quad County Conference showdown at Carnegie Mellon University on Friday night. Last week, Pine-Richland blanked Norwin, 46-0, while Central Catholic rolled over Bethel Park, 45-14. This week’s matchup features two of the top defenses in Class 6A, with the Rams allowing only 30 points in five games and the Vikings only 53. That stingy Central Catholic defense will have to contend with one of the top passers in the WPIAL this week. Pine-Richland’s Cole Spencer surpassed the 1,100-yard mark and has thrown for 14 scores. Edward Tillman leads the Vikings with 525 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Central’s only loss this season came to North Allegheny, 11-10. When these two met last season, the Rams rolled over the Vikings, 42-21. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Rams will face a struggle in this, their toughest test of the season. … Central Catholic over Pine-Richland.
Moon Tigers (4-1) at No. 5 Bethel Park Black Hawks (3-1)
The Black Hawks host the Tigers in an Allegheny Conference battle Friday night. Bethel Park picked up its first loss of the season last week, 45-14, to Central Catholic, while Moon rolled over Chartiers Valley, 49-18. Quarterback Anthony Chiccitt heads the Black Hawks offense, throwing for 423 yards and five touchdowns. Versatile Tigers quarterback Dante Clay has 588 passing yards and leads his squad in rushing with 410 yards. Both Bethel Park and Moon are outscoring opponents by an average of nine points per game. When these two met last year, the Black Hawks topped the Tigers, 28-14. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Black Hawks will stay among the ranked in Class 5A after this one. … Bethel Park over Moon.
No. 2 South Fayette Lions (4-1) at Blackhawk Cougars (3-2)
South Fayette takes on Blackhawk in Northwest Eight Conference action Friday night. The Lions are coming off of a 49-14 win over Hopewell last week, while the Cougars topped Montour, 29-21. Quarterback Namen Alemada leads a South Fayette offense that is averaging 40.6 points per game. Alemada has passed for 1,161 yards and 14 touchdowns. Blackhawk relies on a strong running game led by Marques Watson-Trent, who has 687 rushing yards and 11 scores. When these two met last season, the Lions blanked the Cougars, 21-0. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Cougars will have a difficult time stopping the high-powered Lions’ offensive machine. … South Fayette over Blackhawk.
Deer Lakes Lancers (3-2) at Burrell Buccaneers (3-2)
Deer Lakes battles Burrell in a key Big East Conference matchup Friday night. Last week, The Lancers edged Mount Pleasant, 29-26, while the Buccaneers rolled over Yough, 40-6. Deer Lakes started the season 0-2 but has since gone 3-0 and outscored opponents, 125-69. This week’s matchup features two of the top passers in the WPIAL. Lancers quarterback Aris Hasley has thrown for 1,415 yards and 17 touchdowns. Alex Arledge leads the Buccaneers with 1,162 passing yards and 13 scores. When these two met last season, Deer Lakes knocked off Burrell, 34-21. Chick’s Picks predicts another Lancers victory in this one. … Deer Lakes over Burrell.
No. 3 McGuffey Highlanders (5-0) at Southmoreland Scotties (5-0)
Southmoreland plays host to Interstate Conference rival McGuffey in a battle of undefeateds Friday night. The Scotties are coming off of a 62-21 rout of Brownsville last week, while the Highlanders cruised over Beth-Center, 46-14. Veteran quarterback Marshall Whipkey leads McGuffey with 589 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, along with seven rushing scores. Younger brother McKinley Whipkey heads up the Highlanders ground game with 242 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Southmoreland quarterback Zach Cernuto ranks among the best in the WPIAL with 1,006 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. Cernuto’s favorite target, Riley Comforti, has been on the receiving end of 607 yards and eight scores. Colt Harper brings another dimension to the Scotties with 471 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. When these two met last season, the Highlanders rolled to a 56-28 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Scotties continue their Cinderella season in this one. … Southmoreland over McGuffey.
Our Lady of Sacred Heart Chargers (4-1) at Laurel Spartans (4-1)
The Chargers square off against the Spartans in Big Seven Conference action Friday night. Last week, OLSH had the night off after a Bishop Canevin forfeit, while Laurel fell to Clairton for its first loss of the season, 33-7. Jay Pearson leads the Chargers with 442 passing yards and five touchdowns, along with a team-best 227 rushing yards and three scores. The Spartans boast a slew of backfield standouts, including Dan Blank, Dom Wade, Luke McCoy and Cameron Smith, who have combined for 825 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Laurel’s stingy defense recorded four consecutive shutouts, not allowing a point until last week’s meeting with Clairton. When these two met last season, the Chargers cruised to a 56-13 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts revenge for the Spartans. … Laurel over OLSH.
Quad County Conference
Norwin over Butler
Mt. Lebanon over Hempfield
North Allegheny over Seneca Valley
Peters Township over Canon-McMillan
Allegheny Eight Conference
Chartiers Valley over Baldwin
West Allegheny over Woodland Hills
Big East Conference
McKeesport over Latrobe
Penn-Trafford over Plum
Kiski over Hampton
Penn Hills over Armstrong
Mars over Shaler
Upper St. Clair over Fox Chapel
Gateway over North Hills
Big Eight Conference
Belle Vernon over Greensburg Salem
West Mifflin over Laurel Highlands
Trinity over Indiana
Northwest Eight Conference
Highlands over Ambridge
Knoch over Montour
Beaver over Ringgold
Thomas Jefferson over Connellsville
Big East Conference
Derry over Elizabeth Forward
Freeport over Yough
North Catholic over Mt. Pleasant
Tri-County West Conference
Aliquippa over Hopewell
Central Valley over Waynesburg
Keystone Oaks over Quaker Valley
New Castle over South Park
Beaver Falls over Uniontown
Avonworth over Summit Academy
Charleroi over Beth-Center
Washington over Frazier
Shenango over Mohawk
Neshannock over New Brighton
Western Beaver over Ellwood City
Three Rivers Conference
Brentwood over South Side
Seton LaSalle over Fort Cherry
Burgettstown over Serra Catholic
Riverside over Carlynton
East Allegheny over Carmichaels
Freedom over Valley
South Allegheny over Steel Valley
Big Seven Conference
Union over Bishop Canevin
Cornell over Rochester
Sto-Rox over Northgate
Clairton over Leechburg
Greensburg Central Catholic over Springdale
Riverview over Imani Christian
Tri-County South Conference
West Greene over Avella
California over Jefferson-Morgan
Chartiers-Houston over Mapletown
Monessen over Bentworth
Jeannette over Brownsville
Albert Gallatin over Allegany (Md.)
Perry over Allderdice
Westinghouse over Brashear
Newbury (Ohio) over Carrick
Steubenville (Ohio) over University Prep