Chicks Picks for Week Thirteen

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | 6:23 PM

Welcome to Week 13 of the high school football season. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, Chick’s Picks took some time to reflect on all that she is thankful for this holiday season.

Chick’s Picks is thankful for her trusty crystal ball.  Without it, she would surely not be half the talented prognosticator that she is today.

Chick’s Picks is thankful for The Fumbler and H.S. Picks.  These rival prognosticators keep Chick’s Picks’ competitive spirit alive every season.

Chick’s Picks is thankful for the WPIAL and its coaches and players.  After all, these are the folks that keep her and her crystal ball in business.

Chick’s Picks is thankful for the entire MSA Sports Network crew.  Though she was not able to spend as much time at World Headquarters as she would have liked this season, Chick’s Picks could not be more proud of this team, providing the best WPIAL football coverage year in and year out.

Chick’s Picks is especially thankful for The Boss.  Anyone who believes in her prognosticating abilities for nearly two decades deserves some sort of special recognition, right?

Most importantly, Chick’s Picks is thankful for Thanksgiving – for all of the delicious food, and all of the friends, family, and loved ones with which we share.  Chick’s Picks wishes a very Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season to all!

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 7-1 (88%) record, upping her season total to 507-130 (80%).  Here are this week’s championship games:

#1 Steel Valley (12-0) vs. #3 Neshannock (12-1)

The Ironmen take on the Lancers for WPIAL gold at Robert Morris University this Saturday evening.  Steel Valley advanced to the Class 2-A title game with postseason wins over Beth-Center, Laurel, and RiversideNeshannock knocked off Serra Catholic and Cardinal Weurl North Catholic before upsetting Washington in the semifinals.  Ironmen running back DeWayne Murray has rushed for 1,688 yards and 38 touchdowns this season.  The Lancers boast do-it-all quarterback Frank Antuono, who has thrown for 2,114 yards and 24 touchdowns, and rushed for another 853 yards and 16 touchdowns.  Sean Doran has also rushed for 1,105 yards and 14 touchdowns for Neshannock.  Steel Valley has three WPIAL championships under its belt, with the last coming in 1989.  Neshannock will be making its first WPIAL title game appearance in school history.  The Ironmen are averaging 55 points per game this season.  The Lancers are averaging only 40 on the year, but 53 in their three postseason games.  Chick’s Picks knows the Lancers are hot right now, but predicts that the Ironmen will outlast for WPIAL gold.
Steel Valley over Neshannock.

#1 Clairton (12-0) vs. #3 Jeannette (12-1)

Clairton faces Jeannette in a battle for Class 1-A gold Saturday at Robert Morris University.  The Bears and the Jayhawks are no strangers to one another, having already met this season in Week 10 when Clairton came away with a 32-13 victory – Jeannette’s only loss of the season.  These two also squared off in last year’s WPIAL championship, where the Bears blanked the Jayhawks, 40-0.  Clairton posted playoff victories over Avella, Fort Cherry, and Northgate to advance to the title game.  Jeannette knocked off Shenango, Springdale, and Rochester for another shot at WPIAL gold.  Highly touted Bears back Lamont Wade is nearing the 2,000-yard mark on the year, despite missing part of the post season with a knee injury.  Dual-threat quarterback Noah Hamlin has passed for 972 yards and gained another 707 yards on the ground.  Clairton’s defense has allowed only 86 points all season.  The Jayhawks are led by quarterback Gio Vonne Sanders, who has thrown for 1,480 yards on the year.  Running back Kareem Hall has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark.  Jeannette’s defense has allowed only 97 points this season and recorded seven shutouts – including six straight during the regular season.  Clairton boasts a 38-game winning streak against WPIAL opponents.  The Bears own 12 WPIAL titles, and are seeking their third consecutive championship this weekend.  Jeannette has claimed seven WPIAL titles, with the most recent coming in 2007.  Chick’s Picks remembered that Lamont Wade missed part of the previous meeting between these two due to his knee injury, so she predicts that a healthy Wade this time around guarantees title number 13 for the Bears.
Clairton over Jeannette.

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