Chick’s Picks gets chilled for stretch run of high school football regular season
Thursday, October 11, 2018 | 5:09 PM
Welcome to Week 7 of the high school football season.
As the end of the regular season approaches, our team here at the TribLive High School Sports Network begins to prepare for the stretch run. While some have dubbed these last three weeks of the regular season as the “Stretch Run” with regards to a final push for the postseason, Chick’s Picks always sees this as an opportunity to get her mind, and her crystal ball, ready for the playoffs.
One tradition Chick’s Picks likes to uphold each year during the stretch run is to seek out new trends in health and fitness. This year, she chose to explore cryotherapy.
Chick’s Picks had been reading the hype for several months — countless celebrities and athletes were partaking in this cutting-edge technique which uses cold liquid nitrogen to sooth the body and provide the user with a renewed sense of energy. Though Chick’s Picks strongly dislikes the cold, she thought this sounded like exactly what she needed after a hard day of prognosticating. So, she had her agent put the wheels in motion.
After her predictions for this week were in the books, Chick’s Picks and her trusty crystal ball headed to the cryotherapy chamber that her agent had arranged for. Although the session only lasted a few minutes, that was more than enough for the legendary prognosticator. The freezing temperatures were too much for the crystal ball, as well, shattering it to pieces. Not only was Chick’s Picks cold after the session, but she had also lost her most trusted prognosticating tool. So, off to the repair shop she went in hopes of having her crystal ball back by her side for the postseason.
Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 51-13 (80 percent) record last week, upping her season total to 328-111 (75 percent). Here are this week’s big games:
No. 5 Mt. Lebanon (3-4) at No. 1 Pine-Richland (6-1)
The Rams host the Blue Devils in Class 6A action Friday night. Pine-Richland is coming off of a 38-7 win over Canon-McMillan last week, while Mt. Lebanon fell to Upper St. Clair, 28-7. Luke Meckler has 12 touchdowns for the Rams, the highest scoring offense in the WPIAL. Blue Devils’ quarterback Seth Morgan has thrown for 1,235 yards and rushed for a team-high 403 yards. Despite Morgan ranking among the best in the WPIAL, Mt. Lebanon has been outscored by opponents 166-156. Chick’s Picks does not foresee things getting much easier for the Blue Devils against the top-ranked Rams. … Pine-Richland over Mt. Lebanon.
Baldwin (4-3) at Bethel Park (4-2)
Baldwin faces Bethel Park in an Allegheny Eight Conference showdown Friday night. Last week, the Highlanders lost to West Allegheny, 29-26, while the Black Hawks rolled over Chartiers Valley, 49-21. Baldwin is led by quarterback Mason Stahl, who has thrown for 1,130 yards and 15 touchdowns. Bethel Park boasts a dynamic backfield trio in Luke Surunis, Jehvonn Lewis and Sean McGowan, who have combined for more than 1,300 yards and 24 touchdowns. Chick’s Picks predicts a narrow victory for the home team in this one. … Bethel Park over Baldwin.
No. 3 Belle Vernon (5-1) at No. 5 West Mifflin (4-3)
Belle Vernon takes on West Mifflin in a Big Eight Conference battle between Top 5 teams Friday night. The Leopards blanked Trinity last week 54-0, while the Titans rolled over Greensburg Salem, 42-28. Belle Vernon’s only loss this season came to Thomas Jefferson, 36-14, in Week 1. Running games will be on display, with both teams featuring running backs ranked among the best in the WPIAL. Belle Vernon’s Mason Pascoe has rushed for 1,076 yards and 14 touchdowns. West Mifflin’s Parrish Parker has racked up 1,045 yards and 18 scores. The Leopards’ offense is averaging nearly 20 points per game more than the Titans. Chick’s Picks predicts win No. 6 for the Leopards in this one. … Belle Vernon over West Mifflin.
No. 2 Derry (6-1) at Yough (3-4)
Derry heads to Cougar Mountain to take on Yough in Big East Conference action Friday night. Last week, the Trojans rolled over Uniontown, 53-20. The Cougars were routed by Aliquippa, 54-20 — their second consecutive loss. Derry’s only loss this season came to Elizabeth Forward, 25-22, in Week 5. Yough boasts the top rusher in the WPIAL in Dustin Shoaf, who has 1,439 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Cougars will face a solid defense in the Trojans, who are allowing only 12 points per game. Yough is battling for the fourth playoff spot in the Big East Conference. Chick’s Picks knows a win in this one would be too tall a task for the Cougars. … Derry over Yough.
East Allegheny (5-2) at Avonworth (6-1)
The Antelopes host the Wildcats in an Allegheny Conference showdown Friday night. Last week, Avonworth knocked off Seton-LaSalle, 30-13, while East Allegheny topped Beth-Center, 37-20. Antelopes’ quarterback Derek Johncour, ranked No. 3 in the WPIAL, has thrown for 1,838 yards and 20 touchdowns. Versatile Wildcats quarterback Daniel Kasmier has a team-high eight rushing touchdowns. Avonworth’s only loss this season came to No. 2 Steel Valley. The Ironmen and Class A No. 1 Jeannette also handed East Allegheny a loss. Chick’s Picks predicts home-field advantage will go a long way in a close victory for the Antelopes in this one. … Avonworth over East Allegheny.
Greensburg Central Catholic (5-2) at No. 1 Jeannette (7-0)
Jeannette hosts rival Greensburg Central Catholic in an Eastern Conference battle Friday night. The Jayhawks are coming off of a big win over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart last week, 28-13, while the Centurions rolled over Mapletown, 43-6. Jeannette quarterback Seth Howard has passed for 895 yards and 12 touchdowns, and rushed for 395 yards and another seven scores. Greensburg Central Catholic quarterback Max Pisula is approaching the 1,000-yard mark, and has thrown for 14 touchdowns. The Jayhawks’ defense has allowed only 44 points in seven games. The Centurions’ two losses this season have come to No. 2 Clairton and No. 3 Imani Christian. Chick’s Picks predicts loss No. 3. … Jeannette over Greensburg Central Catholic.
Here’s a look at the rest of the Week 7 games:
Canon-McMillan over Norwin
Central Catholic over Butler
North Allegheny over Hempfield
Seneca Valley over Woodland Hills
Allegheny Eight Conference
Upper St. Clair over Moon
Peters Township over Chartiers Valley
Big East Conference
Gateway over Albert Gallatin
Franklin Regional over Connellsville
Latrobe over Plum
North Hills over Armstrong
Mars over Fox Chapel
Penn Hills over Shaler
McKeesport over Kiski Area
West Allegheny over Hampton
Big Eight Conference
Greensburg Salem over Ringgold
Thomas Jefferson over Laurel Highlands
Northwest Eight Conference
Montour over Ambridge
South Fayette over Highlands
Knoch over New Castle
Blackhawk over Indiana
Penn-Trafford over Trinity
Big East Conference
Freeport over Burrell
Derry over Yough
Elizabeth Forward over Mt. Pleasant
North Catholic over Uniontown
Tri-County West Conference
Aliquippa over South Park
Beaver Falls over Waynesburg
Central Valley over Hopewell
Beaver over Quaker Valley
Keystone Oaks over Deer Lakes
Steel Valley over Apollo-Ridge
Valley over Summit Academy
Frazier over Brownsville
McGuffey over Charleroi
Washington over Beth-Center
Riverside over Ellwood City
Western Beaver over New Brighton
Freedom over Neshannock
Three Rivers Conference
Brentwood over Carlynton
South Allegheny over Serra Catholic
South Side Beaver over Seton LaSalle
Burgettstown over Mohawk
Shady Side Academy over Fort Cherry
Southmoreland over Shenango
Union over Carmichaels
Big Seven Conference
Laurel over Cornell
Rochester over Northgate
Sto-Rox over Bishop Canevin
Imani Christian over Leechburg
Springdale over Riverview
Tri-County South Conference
Chartiers-Houston over Avella
California over Bentworth
Monessen over Mapletown
Clairton over West Greene
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart over Jefferson-Morgan
Perry over Westinghouse
Brashear over Allderdice
Bridgeport (W.Va.) over Carrick (forfeit)
Sharon over University Prep