Chick’s Picks makes predictions better than she makes field goals

Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 8:02 PM

After yet another exciting week of football, Chick’s Picks was checking out some of the highlights from last Friday night’s games.

She happened to catch a clip of Western Beaver kicker Cynthia Begley nailing an extra point for the Golden Beavers. While she was extremely impressed, Begley’s kick made Chick’s Picks reflect on the time she herself tried out to be the kicker for her high school squad.

Once a standout on the local soccer team at age 8, Chick’s Picks just knew she would be a natural on the football field a decade later. Inspired, Chick’s Picks attended all of the grueling summer workouts and did not miss a moment of training camp.

When the time came for Chick’s Picks to take the field for her official tryout, she was brimming with confidence. She stepped up … kicked … and missed the ball altogether. Chick’s Picks was stunned to say the least. Never before had her exceptional level of athleticism let her down.

Needless to say, the embarrassment was too much for her to bounce back from. Chick’s Picks decided, at that point, that it might be best to stick with prognosticating.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 43-9 (83%) record, bringing her season total to 256-82 (76%). Here are this week’s big games:


No. 2 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils (3-2, 3-2) at No. 4 Seneca Valley Raiders (4-1, 4-1)

The Raiders play host to the Blue Devils in a critical Class 6A matchup Friday night. Seneca Valley held off Baldwin last week, 19-16, while Mt. Lebanon rolled over Norwin, 48-14. … The Raiders have relied on a solid running game to help them to a (4-1) record. Nolan Dworek and Ethan West have combined for over 700 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the year. Defense has also been key for Seneca Valley, having allowed only 69 points all season. … Mt. Lebanon’s balanced offensive attack is led by Joey Daniels, who has thrown for 853 yards and 13 touchdowns. … The Blue Devils claimed victory over the Raiders twice last season, including the WPIAL quarterfinals. Seneca Valley’s only loss this season came to No. 3 Central Catholic, 33-7. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Raiders will pull off the upset special in this one. … Seneca Valley over Mt. Lebanon


Upper St. Clair Panthers (4-2, 3-1) at No. 5 South Fayette Lions (4-2, 3-1)

Upper St. Clair takes on South Fayette on Friday night in Allegheny Six Conference action. The Panthers are coming off of a 42-35 victory over Moon last week, while the Lions knocked off West Allegheny, 38-14. … This week’s matchup features two of the top passers in the WPIAL. Upper St. Clair’s Ethan Dahlem has thrown for 1,273 yards and 11 touchdowns. Dahlem also leads the Panthers in rushing with 326 yards. South Fayette’s Naman Alemada has passed for 1,288 yards and 12 touchdowns. … The Lions’ defense is allowing only 12.3 points per game — less than half that of the Panthers at 29.2 points per game. When these two met last season in a nonconference matchup, Upper St. Clair came away with a 27-13 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts an outcome in favor of the Lions this time around. … South Fayette over Upper St. Clair


McKeesport Tigers (5-1, 4-1) at No. 1 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (5-0, 5-0)

The Tigers face the tall task of taking on the top-ranked Jaguars in a Big East Conference battle Friday night. Last week, McKeesport claimed victory over Laurel Highlands, 35-20, while TJ blanked Ringgold, 41-0. … Terrance Glenn leads the Tigers with 570 rushing yards and six touchdowns. The Jaguars will try to keep Glenn in check with their solid defense, which ranks the best in Class 4A, allowing only 35 points in five games. … Jake Pugh leads the TJ offense, passing for 789 yards and 13 touchdowns. McKeesport’s only loss this season came to Belle Vernon, 20-0. TJ defeated that same Belle Vernon squad, 42-21. Chick’s Picks predicts a close contest, but one in which the Jaguars remain perfect. … TJ over McKeesport


No. 5 Mt. Pleasant Vikings (4-2, 4-1) at South Park Eagles (3-3, 3-2)

South Park hosts Mt. Pleasant in an Interstate Conference showdown Friday night. The Eagles look to rebound after falling to South Allegheny last week, 14-7, marking their third consecutive loss. The Vikings picked up a loss last week, as well, 16-14 to Elizabeth Forward. … South Park’s balanced offensive attack is led by Harper Conroy, who has thrown for 621 yards and four touchdowns. Adam Johnson leads the Eagles with 376 rushing yards and five scores. … Mt. Pleasant relies on the ground attack behind Aaron Alakson and Pete Billey, who have combined for 714 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. … South Park has been outscored by its opponents, 111-132, this season. The Eagles can shake up the playoff seedings in the Interstate Conference with a win. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Vikings will make sure that does not happen. … Mt. Pleasant over South Park


Frazier Commodores (4-2, 4-1) at No. 5 Washington Little Prexies (4-2, 4-1)

The Commodores take on the Little Prexies in a Century Conference battle Friday night. Last week, Frazier blanked Beth-Center, 39-0, while Washington routed Charleroi, 39-0. … Kenny Fine has been a key to the Commodores’ success, racking up 163 receiving yards, 590 rushing yards and a team-best 11 touchdowns. The Little Prexies are led by Mike Allen’s 557 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Tayshawn Levy has rushed for 240 yards to go along with his team-high 130 receiving yards. … Frazier and Washington are tied for second place in the Century Conference. The Little Prexies are averaging 31 points per game, while allowing only 11.3. The Commodores are outscoring opponents 23.2-16.2. When these two met last season, Washington rolled to a 64-7 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts a better performance by the Commodores this time around, but not enough to hold off the Little Prexies. … Washington over Frazier


No. 5 Springdale Dynamos (5-1, 5-1) at No. 1 Clairton Bears (5-0, 5-0)

Top-ranked Clairton plays host to Springdale in an Eastern Conference showdown Friday night. The Bears remained perfect last week with a 57-18 win over Greensburg Central Catholic. The Dynamos picked up their fifth win of the season, 55-8, over Imani Christian. … Clairton features a balanced offense, led by Jonte Sanders’ 764 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. Dontae Sanders ranks among the best backs in the WPIAL, rushing for 972 yards and 16 scores. Springdale quarterback Legend Ausk has made a name for himself this season, throwing for 800 yards and 11 touchdowns. Logan Dexter, Ausk’s favorite target, leads the Dynamos with 403 receiving yards, 473 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. … Clairton’s defense ranks atop Class A, allowing only 60 points all season. Springdale was very impressive in its only loss this season, when it fell to No. 3 Jeannette, 36-28, in Week 5. When these two met last season, the Bears routed the Dynamos, 43-7. Chick’s Picks predicts a better performance by the much-improved Dynamos, but not quite enough to knock off the perennial power Bears. … Clairton over Springdale

Here’s a look at the rest of the Week 7 slate:


Central Catholic over Baldwin

Canon-McMillan over Norwin


Allegheny Six Conference

Moon over Bethel Park

Peters Township over West Allegheny

Big East Conference

Gateway over Connellsville

Penn-Trafford over Franklin Regional

Woodland Hills over Latrobe

Northeast Conference

North Hills over Fox Chapel

Penn Hills over Shaler

Pine-Richland over Kiski Area


Big Eight Conference

Trinity over Laurel Highlands

West Mifflin over Ringgold

Greater Allegheny Conference

Plum over Armstrong

Highlands over Greensburg Salem

Hampton over Knoch

Mars over Indiana

Parkway Conference

Aliquippa over Blackhawk

Montour over Beaver

Chartiers Valley over New Castle


Allegheny Seven Conference

North Catholic over Freeport

East Allegheny over Valley

Interstate Conference

Elizabeth Forward over Southmoreland

Yough over Brownsville

Northwestern Six Conference

Keystone Oaks over Hopewell


South Allegheny over Deer Lakes


Allegheny Conference

Apollo-Ridge over Steel Valley

Ligonier Valley over Shady Side Academy

Century Conference

McGuffey over Beth-Center

Chartiers-Houston over Waynesburg

Midwestern Conference

Laurel over Ellwood City

Freedom over Mohawk

Beaver Falls over Neshannock

New Brighton over Riverside

Three Rivers Conference

Sto-Rox over Brentwood

Western Beaver over Carlynton

South Side over Seton LaSalle


Big Seven Conference

Union over Burgettstown

Fort Cherry over Cornell

OLSH over Northgate

Shenango over Rochester

Eastern Conference

Bishop Canevin over Riverview

Jeannette over Greensburg Central Catholic

Leechburg over Imani Christian

Tri-County South Conference

Bentworth over Mapletown

Carmichaels over Avella

West Greene over Jefferson-Morgan


Westinghouse over Carrick

Brashear over University Prep

Allderdice over Perry


Albert Gallatin over Charleroi

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