Chick’s Picks gets lost in fantasy world but back in time for Week 3 high school football

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Thursday, September 16, 2021 | 1:37 PM


Welcome to Week 3.

Chick’s Picks loves this time of year, and not just for the high school football or the pumpkin spice everything. She is an avid fan of fantasy football, partaking in two highly competitive leagues this year.

As the season kicked off this past weekend, Chick’s Picks was surprised — and a bit suspect — when she saw that her opponent was The Boss. How could it be that such a colossal showdown was taking place in the opening week of the season?

Nonetheless, Chick’s Picks did what any proper team owner would do, and wished her opponent the best of luck. The Boss promptly responded, “I never beat you. You’ve got my number.” The Boss’s response triggered even more suspicion in Chick’s Picks, as he has never been known for his warm and fuzzy responses, or for going down without a fight.

Chick’s Picks put her best lineup in play, and anxiously followed her team’s performance. After Thursday night’s game, Chick’s Picks was leading The Boss, 0 to minus-3, and couldn’t have felt more confident going into the remainder of the weekend. That is, until one of her top running backs went down with a season-ending knee injury early on.

The Boss took full advantage and poured it on from there, surely laughing the whole way to his 124.38-101.06 victory. There’s always the playoffs, Boss. There’s always the playoffs.

Chick’s Picks is hoping this week’s prognosticating performance is a little more successful than her fantasy football performance. Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 46-18 record (72%), bringing her season total to 130-53 (71%). Here are this week’s big games:

WPIAL Class 6A

No. 5 Canon-McMillan Big Macs (2-1) at No. 2 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils (3-0)

Mt. Lebanon welcomes Canon-McMillan to open Class 6A play Friday night. The Big Macs picked up their second win of the season last week, 34-27 over Bethel Park. The Blue Devils remained perfect with a 31-0 rout of Peters Township. Canon-Mac was handed its only loss of the season by that same Indians squad, 29-7, in Week 1. Veteran quarterback Joey Daniels captains the Mt. Lebanon offense, throwing for 451 yards and six touchdowns on the year. Senior running back Alex Tecza balances the Blue Devils backfield with nearly 400 rushing yards and three scores. Ryan Angott leads the Big Macs with five touchdowns so far this season. Both Canon-Mac and Mt. Lebanon are averaging around 30 points per game. The Blue Devils’ defense ranks atop Class 6A, allowing only 13 points in three games. When these two met last season, Canon-Mac handed Mt. Lebanon a 24-17 loss. Chick’s Picks predicts a favorable outcome for the Blue Devils this time around…Mt. Lebanon over Canon-McMillan.

WPIAL Class 5A

No. 5 Peters Township Indians (2-1) at No. 3 Penn-Trafford Warriors (2-1)

The Indians travel to Westmoreland County to take on the Warriors in a nonconference battle between Top 5 teams Friday night. Peters Township is coming off of a 31-0 blanking at the hands of Mt. Lebanon last week. Penn-Trafford is also looking to rebound after falling to Class 4A Belle Vernon, 27-7. Indians’ quarterback Sam Miller has passed for 333 yards and two touchdowns on the year. Versatile Warriors quarterback Carter Green has thrown for 246 yards and rushed for another 256. Cade Yacamelli leads the Penn-Trafford ground attack with 373 rushing yards and six scores. When these two met last season, Peters Township handed Penn-Trafford its only loss of the regular season, 24-21. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Warriors get their revenge this time around…Penn-Trafford over Peters Township.

WPIAL Class 4A

Armstrong River Hawks (2-1) at No. 5 Hampton Talbots (3-0)

Greater Allegheny Conference action kicks off Friday night when the Talbots host the River Hawks. Last week, Hampton remained perfect with a 41-38 victory over Shaler. Armstrong dropped out of the Top 5 rankings after falling to McKeesport, 24-14. Senior running back Christian Liberto has helped the Talbots to a 3-0 start with 378 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Armstrong boasts the WPIAL’s leading passer in Cadin Olsen, who has thrown for 703 yards and 10 touchdowns, in addition to leading the River Hawks in rushing with 94 yards and a score. When these two met last season, the Talbots blanked the River Hawks, 17-0. Chick’s Picks predicts that another year of experience will pay off for the River Hawks in this one…Armstrong over Hampton.

WPIAL Class 3A

Steel Valley Ironmen (2A) (2-0) at No. 4 Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles (2-1)

Steel Valley jumps up a classification to take on Keystone Oaks in a nonconference battle Friday night. The Ironmen come in to this week’s contest with a perfect 2-0 record after opening their season with an upset of Class A perennial power Clairton, 14-12, followed by a rout of East Allegheny, 34-0. The Golden Eagles were edged by Chartiers Valley last week, 35-34, for their first loss of the season. Steel Valley’s ground attack is led by senior running back Nijhay Burt and junior quarterback Cruce Brookins, who have combined for 474 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Keystone Oaks has found success on the ground and in the air. Nick Buckley ranks as one of the WPIAL’s top passers, throwing for 646 yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Kevin Drew has racked up 372 rushing yards and seven scores. Steel Valley’s defense has allowed only 12 points in its first two games. Chick’s Picks predicts that the stingy defense will lead the upset-minded Ironmen to victory…Steel Valley over Keystone Oaks.

WPIAL Class 2A

Beaver Falls Tigers (0-2) at No. 4 Laurel Spartans (3-0)

Beaver Falls looks to right the ship as it takes on No. 4 Laurel in a Midwestern Athletic Conference showdown Friday night. The Tigers got off to a sluggish start this season, falling to Class 4A foes Blackhawk and Aliquippa in Weeks Zero and 1. Beaver Falls then got an unexpected bye week after a covid-related postponement canceled last week’s matchup against OLSH. The Spartans maintained their perfect record, rolling over Ambridge, 35-6, last week. Tigers junior quarterback Jaren Brickner has thrown for 426 yards and four scores, and leads his squad in rushing with 73 yards. Veteran back Luke McCoy heads the Spartans’ backfield with 470 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Beaver Falls has been outscored by its first two opponents, 70-45. Laurel is averaging more than 37 points per game, while holding opponents to 8.3. Chick’s Picks predicts that a tough nonconference schedule early on this season will help the Tigers get back to their winning ways in this one…Beaver Falls over Laurel.

WPIAL Class A

Bishop Canevin Crusaders (3-0) at No. 3 Springdale Dynamos (3-0)

The Dynamos host the Crusaders in a battle of Eastern Conference unbeatens Friday night. Springdale improved to 3-0 by rolling over Summit Academy last week, 40-14. Bishop Canevin topped Northgate, 27-8. Experienced junior receiver Lesae Lacks leads the Crusaders with 215 yards and three scores. Bishop Canevin’s backfield trio of Xavier Nelson, Keshawn Harris and Marquis Carter have combined for 350 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Legend Ausk leads his Dynamos with 279 passing yards and five touchdowns in his senior season. Fellow Springdale senior Logan Dexter has rushed for 333 yards and six touchdowns. Bishop Canevin boasts one of the top defenses in the WPIAL, allowing only eight points in three games. When these two met last season, the Dynamos came away with a 40-20 win. Chick’s Picks predicts a closer contest this time around, but with the same result…Springdale over Bishop Canevin.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Western Pennsylvania Week 3 slate:

WPIAL Class 6A

Seneca Valley over Hempfield

North Allegheny over Baldwin

Central Catholic over Norwin

WPIAL Class 5A

Nonconference

South Fayette over Chartiers Valley

Kiski Area over Connellsville

Franklin Regional over Fox Chapel

Gateway over Bethel Park

Latrobe over Mt. Pleasant

Moon over North Hills

West Allegheny over Shaler

Upper St. Clair over Pine-Richland

Woodland Hills over Penn Hills

WPIAL Class 4A

Big Eight Conference

Belle Vernon over West Mifflin

Laurel Highlands over Ringgold

Thomas Jefferson over Trinity

Greater Allegheny Conference

Greensburg Salem over Knoch

Highlands over Mars

Indiana over Plum

Nonconference

Canisius (N.Y.) over McKeesport

Central Valley over Blackhawk

New Castle over Summit Academy

WPIAL Class 3A

Allegheny Seven Conference

East Allegheny over Burrell

Deer Lakes over Derry

North Catholic over Valley

Interstate Conference

Elizabeth Forward over Brownsville

Southmoreland over South Allegheny

South Park over Yough

Nonconference

Aliquippa over Ambridge

Hopewell over Montour

WPIAL Class 2A

Century Conference

Chartiers-Houston over Beth-Center

McGuffey over Charleroi

Washington over Waynesburg

Midwestern Athletic Conference

Neshannock over Mohawk

New Brighton over Ellwood City

Freedom over Riverside

Nonconference

Sto-Rox over Avonworth

South Side over Carrick

Ligonier Valley over Frazier

Freeport vs. Apollo-Ridge, canceled

Brentwood over Quaker Valley

Serra Catholic over Seton LaSalle

Shady Side Academy over Carlynton

Beaver over Western Beaver

WPIAL Class A

Big Seven Conference

Cornell over Northgate

Our Lady of Sacred Heart over Burgettstown

Rochester over Union

Fort Cherry over Shenango

Eastern Conference

Greensburg Central Catholic over Imani Christian

Clairton over Leechburg

Jeannette over Riverview

Tri-County South Conference

Avella over Jefferson-Morgan

California over West Greene

Carmichaels over Mapletown

Monessen over Bentworth

City League

Westinghouse over Allderdice

Nonconference

Erie over Brashear

Independent

Albert Gallatin over Uniontown

District 10

McDowell over Butler

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