Chicks Picks for Week Eight

Thursday, October 20, 2016 | 10:44 AM

Welcome to Week 8 of the high school football season. The Stretch Run is upon us.  It’s that magical time of year when postseason positions are secured, and the sheep are separated from the goats.

Speaking of sheep and goats – each year during the Stretch Run, Chick’s Picks organizes a group fitness activity for the entire MSA Sports crew.  Chick’s Picks believes this team-building exercise plays a crucial role in getting the gang ready for the playoffs.  This year, Chick’s Picks selected Animal Flow as the group activity of choice – a new fitness craze which teaches animal movement training.

As expected, Chick’s Picks was met with plenty of resistance from her MSA Sports cohorts.  Tunes changed, however, when Animal Flow instructor Ronaldo showed up.  Ronaldo captivated the crew by explaining how Animal Flow would help improve their strength, flexibility, and mental toughness.  Shortly thereafter, Ronaldo had the entire group channeling their inner animal, performing movements such as, Bear, Monkey, and Frogger.

The Boss pulled Chick’s Picks aside after class and shared his rave reviews.  “Chick’s Picks, thank you.  Since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a bear.  You gave me that opportunity,” The Boss said.

Touched by The Boss’s rare heartfelt thanks, Chick’s Picks was confident that Animal Flow was just what the MSA Sports crew needed to get prepared for the postseason.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 54-11 (83%) record, upping her season total to 355-96 (79%).  Here are this week’s big games:

#7 Norwin (5-3) at #1 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (7-1)

The top-ranked Vikings host the Knights in a Class 6-A non-conference matchup Friday night.  Last week, Central Catholic routed Altoona, 62-0, while Norwin edged Butler, 35-28.  The Vikings boast the highest scoring offense in Class 6-A, as well as the top-ranked defense – averaging 47 points per game while allowing fewer than 15.  That defense will face one of the top quarterbacks in the WPIAL in the Knights’ Brock Dieter, who has thrown for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns on the year.  Central Catholic’s only loss this season came in Week 1 to St. John’s College (DC), 35-14.  Chick’s Picks does not predict another loss for the Vikings any time soon.
Central Catholic over Norwin.

#1 West Allegheny (7-0) at #2 Woodland Hills (7-1)

West Allegheny heads to the Wolvarena to take on Woodland Hills in an Allegheny Nine Conference showdown Friday night.  The Indians knocked off Hampton last week, 38-3, while the Wolverines escaped Moon, 31-27.  West Allegheny quarterback Nick Ross has thrown for 1,153 yards and six touchdowns so far this season.  Woodland Hills running back Ja’Juan Hill has ten touchdowns on the year.  The Indians’ defense is the best in Class 5-A, having allowed only 33 points in seven games.  The Wolverines’ only loss this season came to Penn-Trafford, 26-7, in Week 4.  Chick’s Picks predicts that the Indians will remain perfect in this one.
West Allegheny over Woodland Hills.

#6 West Mifflin (6-1) at #5 Belle Vernon (6-1)

The Leopards play host to the Titans in Big Nine Conference action Friday night.  Both Belle Vernon and West Mifflin picked up their first losses of the season last week.  The Leopards fell to Thomas Jefferson, 56-0, while the Titans were knocked off by Ringgold, 29-26.  Belle Vernon’s Nick Hall has rushed for 629 yards and eight touchdowns on the year.  West Mifflin running back Howard Reid has racked up 846 yards and 16 touchdowns.  The Titans’ defense is allowing only 8.4 points per game – half that of the Leopards.  Chick’s Picks predicts that defense will win this game.
West Mifflin over Belle Vernon.

#9 Apollo-Ridge (5-3) at #8 Valley (5-2)

Apollo-Ridge takes on Valley in an Allegheny Conference showdown between two Vikings Friday night.  Last week, Apollo-Ridge fell to Keystone Oaks, 49-21, while Valley topped Burrell, 38-20.  Quarterback Kyle Fitzroy has thrown for 1,049 yards and 11 touchdowns for Apollo-Ridge.  Chase Balla leads Valley with 11 touchdowns on the year.  Valley has been outscored by opponents, 194-211, so far this season.  Chick’s Picks predicts an upset in this one.
Apollo-Ridge over Valley.

#8 Serra Catholic (5-3) at #1 Steel Valley (7-0)

The top-ranked Ironmen look to remain perfect when they play host to the Eagles in Three Rivers Conference action Friday night.  Steel Valley is coming off of a 66-0 rout of East Allegheny last week, while Serra Catholic blanked Carlynton, 12-0.  Eagles’ running back Khalil Smith ranks among the best in the WPIAL, racking up 1,202 yards and 13 touchdowns already this season.  DeWayne Murray leads the Ironmen with 922 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the year.  Steel Valley boasts the best offense and defense in Class 2-A, outscoring opponents 388-52 in seven games.  Chick’s Picks predicts that the Ironmen will come out unblemished once again.
Steel Valley over Serra Catholic.

#4 Fort Cherry (7-0) at #7 Carmichaels (6-1)

Carmichaels hosts Fort Cherry in a Tri-County South Conference showdown Friday night.  Last week, the Rangers routed Mapletown, 48-8, while the Mighty Mikes blanked Jefferson-Morgan, 46-0.  Fort Cherry quarterback Ryhan Culberson leads his squad in passing and rushing, picking up 536 yards through the air, and another 734 yards on the ground.  Carmichaels also shows versatility at the quarterback spot with Jonathan Christopher, who has thrown for 661 yards and rushed for another 379 yards.  Chick’s Picks predicts that the Rangers will narrowly escape with the win in this one.
Fort Cherry over Carmichaels.


Northern Seven Conference

Pine-Richland over Butler

Seneca Valley over Shaler

Southeastern Conference

Bethel Park over Altoona

Peters Township over Canon-McMillan


North Allegheny over Hempfield

Mount Lebanon over Penn Hills


Allegheny Nine Conference

Fox Chapel over Chartiers Valley

Moon over Baldwin

Upper St. Clair over Hampton

Big East Conference

Armstrong over Connellsville

McKeesport over Gateway

Plum over Latrobe

Penn-Trafford over Kiski Area


Franklin Regional over North Hills


Big Nine Conference

Uniontown over Albert Gallatin

Trinity over Greensburg Salem

Thomas Jefferson over Laurel Highlands

Northwest Nine Conference

Blackhawk over Montour

Mars over Indiana

Knoch over Ambridge

South Fayette over Highlands


New Castle over Ringgold


Allegheny Conference

Keystone Oaks over Freeport

Deer Lakes over Shady Side Academy

Beaver Valley Conference

Aliquippa over Central Valley

Beaver Falls over Hopewell

Interstate Conference

Elizabeth Forward over South Park

Yough over Southmoreland

Derry over Waynesburg


Beaver over Mount Pleasant

Seton-LaSalle over Quaker Valley


Century Conference

Washington over Burgettstown

Beth-Center over Charleroi

Frazier over Bentworth

Midwestern Athletic Conference

Laurel over New Brighton

Neshannock over Freedom

Cardinal Weurl North Catholic over South Side Beaver

Three Rivers Conference

Brentwood over Carlynton

Avonworth over South Allegheny


East Allegheny over Burrell

Riverside over Ellwood City

Chartiers-Houston over McGuffey

Mohawk over Vincentian Academy


Big Seven Conference

Rochester over Union

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart over Shenango

Sto-Rox over Cornell

Northgate over Summit Academy

Tri-County South Conference

California over Jefferson-Morgan

Monessen over Avella

Eastern Conference

Clairton over Riverview

Bishop Canevin over Greensburg Central Catholic

Springdale over Imani Christian


Jeannette over Mapletown

West Greene over Western Beaver

Leechburg over Brownsville


Westinghouse over Carrick

Perry over Allderdice

University Prep over Brashear

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