Chick’s Picks aims to reverse the curse in Week 5

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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:

CLASS 6A

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.

CLASS 5A

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.

CLASS 4A

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.

CLASS 3A

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.

CLASS 2A

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.

CLASS A

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.

CLASS 6A

Quad County Conference

Norwin over Butler

Mt. Lebanon over Hempfield

North Allegheny over Seneca Valley

Nonconference

Peters Township over Canon-McMillan

CLASS 5A

Allegheny Eight Conference

Chartiers Valley over Baldwin

West Allegheny over Woodland Hills

Big East Conference

McKeesport over Latrobe

Penn-Trafford over Plum

Northern Conference

Kiski over Hampton

Penn Hills over Armstrong

Mars over Shaler

Nonconference

Upper St. Clair over Fox Chapel

Gateway over North Hills

CLASS 4A

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

Nonconference

Beaver over Ringgold

Thomas Jefferson over Connellsville

CLASS 3A

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

Nonconference

New Castle over South Park

Beaver Falls over Uniontown

CLASS 2A

Allegheny Conference

Avonworth over Summit Academy

Interstate Conference

Charleroi over Beth-Center

Washington over Frazier

Midwestern Conference

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

Nonconference

Riverside over Carlynton

East Allegheny over Carmichaels

Freedom over Valley

South Allegheny over Steel Valley

CLASS A

Big Seven Conference

Union over Bishop Canevin

Cornell over Rochester

Sto-Rox over Northgate

Eastern Conference

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

Nonconference

Jeannette over Brownsville

INDEPENDENT

Albert Gallatin over Allegany (Md.)

CITY LEAGUE

Perry over Allderdice

Westinghouse over Brashear

Nonconference

Newbury (Ohio) over Carrick

Steubenville (Ohio) over University Prep

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