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

Southeastern Conference

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


Allegheny Conference

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

Interstate Conference

Derry over McGuffey

Mount Pleasant over Southmoreland

South Park over Yough


Central Valley over Shady Side Academy

South Side Beaver over Waynesburg


Century Conference

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

Eastern Conference

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


University Prep over Perry

Westinghouse over Brashear

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