Chick’s Picks wants to get moving in right direction

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Thursday, September 17, 2020 | 5:16 PM


Welcome to Week 2 of the high school football season.

There are not many things in life that Chick’s Picks enjoys less than moving. Moving here, moving there, moving anywhere. So, this time, deciding to splurge, Chick’s Picks hired a few pros to assist with this undertaking.

As the hired hands were getting started, one of them said, “Hey, I know you. You’re that football picker.”

This statement had Chick’s Picks frozen in her tracks, knowing, at this point, that the rest of this conversation could go either way.

The fellow continued, “Yeah, I remember you. You picked against my son’s team in the championship game last year — and they lost.”

At that moment, Chick’s Picks realized where this conversation was headed. As a tenured prognosticator, she had been down this road many times before. This proud parent had found a direct correlation with Chick’s Picks’ prediction and his son’s title game loss. So, Chick’s Picks tiptoed around the rest of the conversation, deciding that this run-in had made her dislike moving even more.

Later that afternoon while getting settled into her new home, Chick’s Picks unpacked the box containing her trusty crystal ball. Much to her dismay, her precious prognosticating tool had been damaged in transit. She couldn’t help but make a correlation of her own after she recalled seeing the football dad mover with said box in hand earlier that day.

Chick’s Picks hurried her crystal ball to her most trusted repair man. Though, in a fleeting thought, she wondered if this damage was a blessing in disguise after last week’s performance. To be continued…

Week 1, like the rest of the year 2020, proved to be rough on Chick’s Picks, as she finished with a dismal 35-19 (65%) record. Here are this week’s big games:

WPIAL Class 6A

No. 4 Mt. Lebanon (0-0) at Canon-McMillan (0-1, 0-1)

The Big Macs host the Blue Devils in a Class 6A conference matchup Friday night. Canon-Mac looks to rebound after dropping its first game of the season last week to top-ranked Central Catholic, 45-17. Despite the loss, running back Ryan Angott picked up 111 rushing yards in his season debut. Angott led the Big Macs’ ground attack last season, as well, rushing for 896 yards. Mt. Lebanon is still waiting for its first official snap of the season, after last week’s game against Baldwin was canceled because of covid-19 related concerns. Coach Bob Palko is in his second year at the helm for the Blue Devils. Though Lebo may look young on paper, they should not be taken lightly, returning 14 juniors who earned letters last season. When these two met last year, Mt. Lebanon came away with a 49-21 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts a mark in the win column for the Blue Devils in this one…Mt. Lebanon over Canon-McMillan.

WPIAL Class 5A nonconference

No. 1 Pine-Richland (1-0) at No. 4 Upper St. Clair (1-0)

Upper St. Clair will welcome top-ranked Pine-Richland in a nonconference showdown Friday night. The Panthers are coming off of a 34-7 win over Bethel Park last week, while the Rams cruised to a 53-7 victory over Fox Chapel. Ethan Dahlem led Upper St. Clair with 160 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Ethan Hiester added 93 rushing yards and one score. Pine-Richland’s dynamic offense was on display once again. Veteran QB Cole Spencer threw for 338 yards and five touchdowns. His favorite target, Eli Jochem, amassed 200 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Tristen Taylor led the ground attack with 104 yards and one score. Chick’s Picks predicts the Panthers may have what it takes to slow down the many weapons of the Rams, but not enough to stop them…Pine-Richland over Upper St. Clair.

WPIAL Class 4A

West Mifflin (0-1, 0-1) at No. 4 Belle Vernon (1-0, 1-0)

The Titans look to rebound against the Leopards this Friday night in a Big Eight Conference matchup after being blanked by TJ last week, 52-0. West Mifflin will look to tight end Nahki Johnson, a Pitt recruit, for an offensive spark this week. Belle Vernon picked up its first win in a 20-0 decision over McKeesport. Three different Leopards players found the end zone in last week’s victory, including Dane Anden, Logan Cunningham and Devin Whitlock. When these two met last season, Belle Vernon rolled to an easy 40-7 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts a similar outcome this time around…Belle Vernon over West Mifflin.

WPIAL Class 3A/2A nonconference

Sto-Rox (0-1) at 2A No. 5 Avonworth (1-0)

Avonworth hosts to Sto-Rox in a nonconference, across-the-river rivalry game Friday night. The Antelopes blanked Quaker Valley last week, 35-0. Avonworth showed versatility offensively in the win, with Nate Harper passing for 109 yards and Ian Syam rushing for 127 yards and three scores. Sto-Rox unexpectedly canceled is scheduled game against Carlynton last Friday night, just a few short hours before kickoff, resulting in a forfeit. The Vikings will be playing their first game in Class 2A after moving up from Class A. Graduation has plagued this Sto-Rox team that advanced to the WPIAL title game a season ago, but the Vikings have high hopes for a few youngsters that already have some valuable experience under their belts, including Zay Davis, Terry Booth and Jaymont Green-Miller. Chick’s Picks predicts the Antelopes’ Class 2A welcoming committee won’t take it easy on the Vikings…Avonworth over Sto-Rox.

WPIAL Class 2A

Freedom (0-1, 0-1) at Riverside (0-1, 0-1)

The Bulldogs hit the road to take on the Panthers in Midwestern Conference action Friday night. Freedom looks for its first win of the season after falling to New Brighton, 24-6, last week. Damian Grunnagle had the lone score for the Bulldogs. Quarterback Cole Beck had a team-best 35 rushing yards. Riverside also seeks its first victory after a lopsided 47-14 loss to Beaver Falls last week. The Panthers were led by Brady Barton’s 68 rushing yards and Calvin Hughes’ two touchdowns. When these two met last season, Freedom edged Riverside, 31-30. Chick’s Picks predicts that the home team gets revenge this time around…Riverside over Freedom.

WPIAL Class A

No. 4 Burgettstown (1-0, 1-0) at No. 5 Our Lady of Sacred Heart (1-0, 1-0)

OLSH hosts Burgettstown in a Big Seven Conference battle between top five teams Friday night. Last week, the Chargers knocked off Cornell, 34-26, while the Blue Devils held off Fort Cherry, 27-22. Shane Kemper led Burgettstown with three touchdowns on the night. OLSH quarterback Nehemiah Azeem threw for 168 yards and one touchdown. Stephen Greer got the ground game going for the Chargers, rushing for 189 yards and a score. Chick’s Picks knows the Blue Devils are newcomers to Class A since dropping from Class 2A, but the Chargers are not to be taken lightly…OLSH over Burgettstown.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Week 2 slate:

WPIAL Class 6A

Central Catholic over Norwin

Seneca Valley over Hempfield

WPIAL Class 5A

Nonconference

Franklin Regional over Fox Chapel

Gateway over Bethel Park

Moon over North Hills

Peters Township over Penn-Trafford

West Allegheny over Shaler

Woodland Hills over Penn Hills

WPIAL Class 4A

Big Eight Conference

Laurel Highlands over Ringgold

Thomas Jefferson over Trinity

Greater Allegheny Conference

Armstrong over Hampton

Greensburg Salem over Knoch

Mars over Highlands

Plum over Indiana

Nonconference

Aliquippa over Ambridge

Beaver over Western Beaver

Chartiers Valley over South Fayette

McKeesport over New Castle

Montour over Hopewell

WPIAL Class 3A

Allegheny Conference

Derry over Deer Lakes

East Allegheny over Burrell

North Catholic over Valley

Interstate Conference

Elizabeth Forward over Brownsville

Southmoreland over South Allegheny

South Park over Yough

Nonconference

Blackhawk over Central Valley

Brentwood over Quaker Valley

Freeport over Apollo-Ridge

Latrobe over Mt. Pleasant

WPIAL Class 2A

Century Conference

Beth-Center over Chartiers-Houston

McGuffey over Charleroi

Washington over Waynesburg

Midwestern Conference

Beaver Falls over Laurel

Neshannock over Mohawk

New Brighton over Ellwood City

Three Rivers Conference

Carlynton over South Side

Nonconference

Keystone Oaks over Steel Valley

Ligonier Valley over Frazier

Seton LaSalle over Serra Catholic

WPIAL Class A

Big Seven Conference

Cornell over Northgate

Rochester over Union

Shenango over Fort Cherry

Eastern Conference

Bishop Canevin over Springdale

Clairton over Leechburg

Greensburg Central Catholic over Imani Christian

Jeannette over Riverview

Tri-County South Conference

Avella over Jefferson-Morgan

Carmichaels over Mapletown

Monessen over Bentworth

Independent

McDowell over Butler

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