Chicks Picks – Week 12 – 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Welcome to Week 12 of the high school football season. As Thanksgiving approaches and the WPIAL championships near, it was time for Chick's Picks to get back into the kitchen and bake her famous football cookies for the MSA Sports crew. Since Chick's Picks still has yet to confidently find her way around the kitchen, she had plenty of time to reflect on the upcoming holidays and everything she has been thankful for this football season.

First on her list of things to be thankful for was Chick's Picks' brilliant prognosticating abilities. After all, were it not for her special skill, Chick's Picks would not have the opportunity to showcase her talent around the WPIAL. She even felt a hint of gratitude for The Fumbler, who gives her just enough competition each week to keep her on her toes.

This led Chick's Picks to think of the bigger picture, aside from just her own qualities to appreciate. Chick's Picks realized how thankful she is for her pals at the MSA Sports Network that put in hard work year round to provide the best coverage of high school sports. Most importantly, though, Chick's Picks is thankful for the student-athletes that give it their all each week and make it possible for everyone at the MSA Sports Network to do something they love in providing coverage of scholastic sports.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Chick's Picks finished last week with a 15-3 (83%) record, bringing her season total to 402-117 (78%). Here are this week's semifinals:


#1 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (11-0) vs. #5 North Allegheny (10-1) at Fox Chapel

The undefeated Vikings take on the Tigers for a chance to advance to the big dance at Heinz Field next week. Pittsburgh Central Catholic maintained its perfect record last week with a 10-0 shutout of Gateway. North Allegheny secured its semifinal spot with a 23-13 win over Bethel Park. The Vikings and the Tigers last crossed paths in the 2001 semifinals, when Pittsburgh Central Catholic came out on top, 38-14. Despite a solid defense that has allowed less than eight points per game this season, the Vikings will be challenged by the elusive Tigers' RB Alex Papson, who surpassed the 2,000-yard mark in last week's win. Chick's Picks knows Papson has run all over his opponents this season, but thinks it might be the Vikings who could slow him down.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic over North Allegheny.

#7 Woodland Hills (8-3) vs. #3 North Hills (10-1) at Pine-Richland

The Wolverines escaped the quarterfinals with a 29-22 overtime win over Mount Lebanon last week, while the Indians edged Upper St. Clair, 16-14. Friday night's meeting between these two will mark the second of the season. The first matchup, in Week 2, resulted in a 7-0 North Hills victory. Although being a preseason favorite to repeat for WPIAL gold, Woodland Hills went (1-3) through the first four weeks of the season. Since then, however, the Wolverines have gone (7-0) and have outscored opponents 258-50. North Hills' only loss this season came to WPIAL newcomer Erie McDowell, 19-14. Chick's Picks knows the Indians claimed the ‘W' the first time around, but thinks chances are slim that the Wolverines let it happen again.
Woodland Hills over North Hills.


#1 Montour (11-0) vs. #4 Mars (10-1) at Chartiers Valley

The top-ranked Spartans square off against the Planets in Class AAA semifinal action Friday night. Montour stopped Indiana last week, 36-14, while Mars crushed West Allegheny, 29-3. This week's meeting will be a battle of the backfield, featuring two premier running backs in Montour's Julian Durden and Mars' Austin Miele. Durden, a transfer from North Catholic, has amassed over 1,700 yards already this season. Miele is approaching 1,300 yards on the year. The Spartans have already experienced tremendous success this season, after finishing (5-5) last year and falling to Franklin Regional in the first round of the playoffs. Chick's Picks thinks the Spartans will put the icing on the cake of their perfect season and shut down the Planets for a shot at WPIAL gold.
Montour over Mars.

#2 Thomas Jefferson (10-1) vs. #14 Central Valley (8-3) at North Allegheny

Thomas Jefferson takes on Central Valley in the other half of the Class AAA semifinal bracket. The Jaguars, who are making their 13th consecutive semifinal appearance, tripped up Hopewell last week, 38-28. The Warriors, who are making their semifinal debut in their first year, shut out Knoch last week, 16-0. Despite three losses on the year, Central Valley has stepped up late in the season, especially on the defensive side of the ball. So far in the postseason, the Warriors have upset #2-seeeded and previously undefeated Ringgold, and a Knoch team that featured one of the highest-powered offenses in the WPIAL. Although this year's Thomas Jefferson squad may not be as flashy as years past, the big-game postseason experience could surely pay off for the Jags. Chick's Picks thinks the Warriors may grow out of the glass slipper this week.
Thomas Jefferson over Central Valley.


#1 Aliquippa (11-0) vs. #4 Ford City (11-0) at Seneca Valley

The Quips and the Sabers meet in a battle of the undefeated Friday night. Aliquippa is coming off a 34-0 rout of Beaver, while Ford City knocked off Seton-LaSalle, 35-21. The Quips are looking to get back to Heinz Field and avenge last season's title game loss to Greensburg Central Catholic. The Sabers have likely silenced many doubters who questioned the strength of Allegheny Conference teams heading in to the postseason. Last year, Ford City fell just short of the playoffs and finished with a (6-3) record. On paper, the Quips and the Sabers are mirror images of each other, with both scoring 378 points this season. Defenses of these two are similar, as well, as both are allowing around only seven points per game. Chick's Picks respects the Sabers' ability to make a statement this postseason, but knows it still won't be enough to stop the perennial power Quips.
Aliquippa over Ford City.

#7 Beaver Falls (10-1) vs. #3 South Fayette (11-0) at West Allegheny

Beaver Falls and South Fayette square off in the second Class AA semifinal at West Allegheny. In last week's quarterfinals, the Tigers shut out Keystone Oaks, 28-0, while the Lions routed Freeport, 47-13. The only loss for Beaver Falls this season came in Week 2 to Aliquippa–the same team that ended their season last year in the WPIAL semifinals. South Fayette also fell to Aliquippa last year, one round earlier, in the quarterfinals. Lions QB Christian Brumbaugh undoubtedly has high hopes for the remainder of his senior season. The elusive passer has thrown for nearly 2,362 yards and 30 touchdowns this season, qualifying him as the best in the WPIAL. The Beaver Falls defense has been solid for the most part, allowing less than 12 points per game, but will face a high-powered South Fayette offense that scores more than 40. Chick's Picks knows the Tigers are a perennial power in the postseason, but thinks Brumbaugh will lead his Lions to the promised land.
South Fayette over Beaver Falls.


#1 Clairton (11-0) vs. #5 Springdale (10-1) at Yough

The defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Bears will meet the die-hard Dynamos at Cougar Mountain Friday night. Clairton is coming off yet another shut out, 47-0 over Bishop Canevin. The win marked the eighth shut out of the year for the Bears, who have not allowed a point since Week 8. Springdale won big over Monessen last week, 30-6. The Dynamos amassed over 340 yards on the ground against the Greyhounds, and will likely bring the same game plan this week to try to slow things down against the Bears. Clairton has been nearly perfect on both sides of the ball this season, outscoring opponents by a jaw-dropping 572-19. Chick's Picks has always been a fan of the Dynamos' spirit, but doesn't know of anyone that can slow down the steamroller that is the Bears.
Clairton over Springdale.

#2 Rochester (11-0) vs. #3 Avonworth (10-1) at Ambridge

Undefeated Rochester will take on Avonworth at Ambridge Friday night to finalize the other half of the Class A title game. The Rams maintained their perfect record with a 35-0 rout of Beth-Center last week, while the Antelopes advanced with a 17-3 win over North Catholic. Both Rochester and Avonworth boast impressive defenses, with each allowing less than eight points per game. The Rams have recorded six shut outs on the year, while the Antelopes follow close behind with five. Rochester and Avonworth both fell victim to Clairton last season, losing to the Bears in the finals and quarterfinals, respectively. Chick's Picks knows this one could easily go either way, but thinks will be the final piece of the puzzle for a rematch of last year's title game.
Rochester over Avonworth.


Perry over Brashear

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