Chicks Picks for Week Nine
Thursday, October 27, 2016 | 3:20 PM
Welcome to Week 9 of the high school football season. As regular season play wraps up, Chick’s Picks knew that she needed to check in on The Boss at MSA Sports World Headquarters. For quite some time, Chick’s Picks had been aware of the overtime put in by The Boss this time of year. However, what she witnessed when she walked into World Headquarters was still a shock.
There he was, The Boss, pecking away at his keyboard relentlessly with his two index fingers. Moments later, when The Boss finally realized that he had a visitor, Chick’s Picks noticed his tired, bloodshot eyes, unkempt hair, and disorder throughout his office.
“Boss, what’s wrong? Are you ok?” Chick’s Picks asked. The Boss smirked, and replied, “Am I ok? It’s the Stretch Run, Chick’s Picks. How can anyone be ok amidst so many playoff clinchings, tiebreakers, and wild cards? Wait, let’s not forget good ol’ Gardner Points. Other than that, I’m fine.”
Though she was 16 years into her prognosticating career, it was in that moment that Chick’s Picks gained a whole new respect for The Boss. There he was, a mad scientist of sorts, working diligently to deliver every possible playoff scenario to his loyal MSA Sports fans. One way or another, The Boss was always an inspiration to his team, motivating Chick’s Picks to get home to her trusty crystal ball and make the best predictions of any prognosticator in town.
Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 51-13 (80%) record, bringing her season total to 406-109 (79%). Here are this week’s big games:
#2 North Allegheny (7-2) at #3 Pine-Richland (6-3)
Pine-Richland plays host to North Allegheny in a Northern Seven Conference showdown Friday night. The Rams are coming off of a 28-13 win over Butler, while the Tigers rolled over Hempfield, 42-7. Both teams have already clinched playoff spots. Pine-Richland has battled back after losing star quarterback Phil Jurkovec earlier this season to a thumb injury. Max DeVinney has filled in nicely, passing for 852 yards and 12 touchdowns. North Allegheny’s versatile quarterback Ethan Maenza has thrown for 838 yards and nine touchdowns, and also leads the Tigers in rushing with 915 yards and 15 touchdowns. Chick’s Picks likes the Tigers on the road in this one.
North Allegheny over Pine-Richland.
#6 Franklin Regional (6-2) at #7 Gateway (6-3)
Franklin Regional travels down Route 22 to take on Gateway in Big East Conference action Friday night. Last week, the Panthers topped North Hills, 35-20, while the Gators fell to McKeesport, 34-19. Franklin Regional can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Gators, or a loss and some help along the way. Gateway has already secured a spot. The Panthers’ went (0-2) to start the season, but have won six straight since then, outscoring opponents 202-82. Quarterback Simon Behr has thrown for 876 yards and rushed for a team-best 669. The Gators’ offense is averaging nearly 34 points per game. Jaquan Brisker leads Gateway with 10 touchdowns on the year. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Gators will pull the upset in this one.
Gateway over Franklin Regional.
#9 New Castle (5-4) at #8 Blackhawk (5-3)
The Cougars host the Red Hurricane in a Northwest Nine Conference win-and-get-in showdown Friday night. Blackhawk looks to rebound after falling to Montour last week, 38-14. New Castle picked up its fourth loss of the year last week, 41-27, to Ringgold. Cougars’ quarterback Michael Savilisky has passed for 764 yards on the year. Marcus Hooker and Geno Stone have combined for 23 touchdowns for the Red Hurricane so far this season. Chick’s Picks likes the Cougars to hold off the Red Hurricane at home.
Blackhawk over New Castle.
#2 Beaver Falls (7-1) at #1 Beaver (7-1)
A Beaver Valley Conference playoff spot is on the line Friday night when the Tigers take on the Bobcats. Beaver Falls is coming off of a 34-21 victory over Hopewell last week, while Beaver rolled over Mount Pleasant, 27-6. The Tigers’ only loss this season came to Aliquippa in Week 1, 44-13. The Bobcats’ only blemish came in Week 5 at the hands of Central Valley, 42-35. The Beaver Falls backfield duo of Neshaud Akins and Malik Shepherd have combined for 1,141 yards and 16 touchdowns on the year. Beaver quarterback Darius Wise has thrown for 741 yards and eight touchdowns, and also leads the Bobcats in rushing with 1,363 yards and 24 touchdowns – ranking him fifth in the WPIAL. Chick’s Picks predicts that the top-ranked Bobcats will earn their ranking in this one.
Beaver over Beaver Falls.
#8 Chartiers-Houston (6-3) at #9 Frazier (5-4)
Frazier hosts Chartiers-Houston in a Century Conference showdown Friday night. Last week, the Commodores knocked off Bentworth, 46-21. The Buccaneers recorded their second consecutive loss, falling to McGuffey, 20-14. Playoff spots have already been secured by both teams. Frazier quarterback Chris Pierce has thrown for 1,460 yards and 12 touchdowns so far this season. Chartiers-Houston quarterback TJ Johnson is close behind, passing for 1,240 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Commodores’ offense is averaging 25 points per game – five more than the Buccaneers. Chicks’ Picks predicts that the Commodores will make it three in a row for the Buccaneers.
Frazier over Chartiers-Houston.
#8 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (6-2) at #9 Sto-Rox (6-3)
The Chargers take on the Vikings in a Big Seven Conference battle Friday night. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is coming off of a 60-24 win over Shenango, while Sto-Rox edged Cornell, 8-0. Both the Chargers and the Vikings have already secured their spots in the postseason. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart boasts one of the top quarterbacks in the WPIAL in Tyler Bradley, who has passed for 1,823 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year. Brady Doubt captains the Sto-Rox offense, passing for 1,156 yards and nine touchdowns so far this season. The Chargers are averaging more than 40 points per game. The Vikings have been outscored by opponents, 220-222. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Chargers will continue their roll right into the postseason.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart over Sto-Rox.
Northern Seven Conference
Central Catholic over Penn Hills
North Allegheny over Pine-Richland
Hempfield over Norwin
Mt. Lebanon over Bethel Park
Seneca Valley over Altoona
Canon-McMillan over Butler
Peters Township over Shaler
Allegheny Nine Conference
Chartiers Valley over Baldwin
North Hills over Hampton
West Allegheny over Moon
Woodland Hills over Upper St. Clair
Big East Conference
Gateway over Franklin Regional
Armstrong over Kiski Area
Latrobe over Connellsville
McKeesport over Penn-Trafford
Fox Chapel over Plum
Big Nine Conference
Greensburg Salem over Uniontown
Laurel Highlands over Albert Gallatin
Thomas Jefferson over West Mifflin
Ringgold over Trinity
Northwest Nine Conference
Highlands over Indiana
Mars over Knoch
South Fayette over Montour
Blackhawk over New Castle
Belle Vernon over Ambridge
Deer Lakes over Burrell
Keystone Oaks over Seton-LaSalle
Freeport over Valley
Beaver Valley Conference
Beaver over Beaver Falls
Aliquippa over Hopewell
Quaker Valley over Ellwood City
Derry over McGuffey
Mount Pleasant over Southmoreland
South Park over Yough
Central Valley over Shady Side Academy
South Side over Waynesburg
Washington over Beth-Center
Charleroi over Brownsville
Frazier over Chartiers-Houston
Midwestern Atheltic Conference
Cardinal Weurl North Catholic over Freedom
Neshannock over Mohawk
Riverside over New Brighton
Three Rivers Conference
East Allegheny over Serra Catholic
Steel Valley over Brentwood
Avonworth over Vincentian Academy
Apollo-Ridge over South Allegheny
Laurel over Carlynton
Elizabeth Forward over Burgettstown
Bentworth over Riverview
Big Seven Conference
Northgate over Cornell
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart over Sto-Rox
Union over Shenango
Rochester over Western Beaver
Clairton over Jeannette
Imani Christian over Leechburg
Springdale over Greensburg Central Catholic
Tri-County South Conference
California over West Greene
Fort Cherry over Jefferson-Morgan
Mapletown over Monessen
Summit Academy over Avella
Carmichaels over Bishop Canevin
PITTSBURGH CITY LEAGUE SEMIFINALS
University Prep over Perry
Westinghouse over Brashear
More Football• High school sports scores, summaries for Nov. 28, 2020
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• PIAA Class 5A football championship breakdown: Pine-Richland vs. Cathedral Prep