Chicks Picks – Week 3

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Thursday, September 17, 2015 | 1:45 PM


Welcome to Week 3 of the high school football season.

After a long night at MSA Sports World Headquarters last Friday, Chick’s Picks arrived home to find a neighborhood gathering outside her house.  Questioning the purpose of this late-night assembly, Chick’s Picks quickly realized that the man of the house, Mr. Picks, was behind it.

“Chick’s Picks – I was introducing myself to some of our new neighbors, and in conversation, I made sure to ask them if they had heard of THE Chick’s Picks.  When they said yes, I proceeded to tell them that you lived here.  So, they wanted to see you for themselves,” Mr. Picks said.

While Chick’s Picks is typically flattered by her fans, she was taken aback by the large crowd at such a late hour.  Thankfully, they were pleased with her predictions—for the most part.  One neighbor, though, stepped forward wearing a Plum Mustangs t-shirt.  He said, “Hey, you didn’t pick us to win tonight.”

Chick’s Picks anxiously explained, “Sometimes my crystal ball doesn’t always show a clear winner.  In those cases, I often pick against those teams on the fence, knowing that my prediction will likely motivate said team to pull through for the win—just like your Mustangs did tonight against North Hills.”

The fan quickly steadied, realizing that an anti-prediction isn’t always a bad prediction.  Now, if only Chick’s Picks could get the rest of her non-fans on the same boat, the WPIAL would be a much happier place for prognosticators.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 50-14 (78%) record, upping her season total to 96-34 (74%).  Here are this week’s big games:

CLASS AAAA
#4 McKeesport (2-0) at #3 Penn-Trafford (2-0)

The Foothills Conference will be on fire Friday night in Penn Township as the Warriors host the Tigers.  Penn-Trafford is coming off of a big 62-14 win over Connellsville, while McKeesport blanked Altoona, 42-0.  Senior quarterback Brett Laffoon leads the Warriors, passing for 393 yards and four touchdowns so far this season.  The Tigers boast one of the top running backs in the WPIAL in Khaleke Hudson, who has rushed for 256 yards and eight touchdowns in just two games.  When these two met last season, Penn-Trafford stunned McKeesport, shutting out the Tigers, 28-0, on their home turf.  Chick’s Picks predicts that the Warriors will make it two in a row for their home crowd.
Penn-Trafford over McKeesport.

CLASS AAA
#6 Gateway (2-0) at #9 Hampton (2-0)

Gateway hits the road to Hampton to take on the Talbots in a Greater Allegheny Conference matchup Friday night.  Gateway, last week, shutout Perry, 49-0, while Hampton edged Indiana, 32-27.  The Gators and Talbots both come into this week’s meeting with a perfect record.  Gateway appears to be on the right track to rebound this season after last year’s disappointing (4-6) record.  The Gators and Talbots are both averaging nearly 40 points per game.  Defensively, however, Gateway has the upper hand.  The Gators have allowed only 10 points so far this season, while the Talbots have allowed 69.  When these two met last season, the Talbots strolled to a 37-13 victory.  Chick’s Picks thinks the Gators have settled into Class AAA, and will bring home the win this time around.
Gateway over Hampton.

CLASS AA
#3 Beaver Falls (2-0) at Beaver (2-0)

Beaver Falls gets back into Midwestern Conference play this week as they take on Beaver.  Last week, the Tigers shutout Southmoreland, 39-0, while Beaver edged Quaker Valley, 21-20.  The Beaver Falls defense has been solid thus far, allowing just one touchdown in two games.  Offensively, the Tigers can go to the air or the ground.  Quarterback Adam Brady has passed for 190 yards and two touchdowns.  The backfield duo of Malik Shepherd and Torian Leak has combined for over 300 yards.  Beaver will rely on the legs of Darius Wise, who has racked up 261 rushing yards and three touchdowns.  When these two met last season, Beaver blanked Beaver Falls, 35-0.  Chick’s Picks predicts that the Tigers will get revenge this time around.
Beaver Falls over Beaver.

CLASS A
#4 Greensburg Central Catholic (2-0) at #1 Clairton (2-0)

The Bears play host to the Centurions Friday night in an Eastern Conference showdown.  Clairton has continue to roll this season, knocking off Wilkinsburg last week, 72-6.  Greensburg Central Catholic topped Beth-Center, 32-20, to remain perfect.  The Bears have found success in both their passing game and their ground game so far this season.  Quarterback Aaron Matthews has thrown for 433 yards and five touchdowns.  Running backs Harrison Dreher and Lamont Wade have tallied nearly 500 yards and nine touchdowns.  The Centurions are led by quarterback Tommy Pellis, who has recovered nicely from last season’s injury, passing for 251 yards and six touchdowns so far this season.  When these two met last season, Clairton blanked Greensburg Central Catholic, 74-0.  The Bears are averaging 72 points per game this season.  Chick’s Picks predicts much of the same this time around.
Clairton over Greensburg Central Catholic.

CLASS AAAA:

Foothills Conference

Latrobe over Connellsville

Hempfield over Kiski Area

Plum over Altoona

Northern Eight Conference

Central Catholic over North Allegheny

North Hills over Butler

Pine-Richland over Fox Chapel

Southeastern Conference

Mount Lebanon over Baldwin

Upper St. Clair over Bethel Park

Peters Township over Canon-McMillan

AAAA Non-Conference

Penn Hills over Central Valley

Norwin over Seneca Valley

Woodland Hills over Shaler

CLASS AAA:

Big 10 Conference

West Mifflin over Albert Gallatin

Ringgold over Yough

Thomas Jefferson over Laurel Highlands

Elizabeth Forward over Trinity

Belle Vernon over Uniontown

Greater Allegheny Conference

Hollidaysburg over Greensburg Salem

Armstrong over Indiana

Mars over Franklin Regional

Parkway Conference

Montour over Chartiers Valley

West Allegheny over Hopewell

Moon over Ambridge

New Castle over Blackhawk

AAA Non-Conference

Knoch over Carrick

CLASS AA:

Allegheny Conference

Freeport over Apollo-Ridge

Valley over Shady Side Academy

Highlands over West Shamokin

Burrell over Summit Academy

Century Conference

Keystone Oaks over East Allegheny

Seton-LaSalle over Carlynton

South Fayette over South Park

Steel Valley over Sto-Rox

Interstate Conference

Charleroi over Derry

Mount Pleasant over Burgettstown

Brownsville over Southmoreland

Washington over Waynesburg

Midwestern Athletic Conference

Aliquippa over Ellwood City

Laurel over Freedom

New Brighton over Quaker Valley

AA Non-Conference

McGuffey over Mohawk

Deer Lakes over South Allegheny

CLASS A:

Big Seven Conference

Riverside over Neshannock

Shenango over Rochester

Union over Vincentian Academy

Black Hills Conference

Bishop Canevin over Northgate

Avonworth over Brentwood

Cardinal Weurl North Catholic over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Eastern Conference

Jeannette over Leechburg

Monessen over Serra Catholic

Springdale over Wilkinsburg

Tri-County South Conference

Jefferson-Morgan over Avella

Beth-Center over California

Frazier over Bentworth

Mapletown over West Greene

A Non-Conference

Carmichaels over Riverview

South Side over Fort Cherry

Chartiers-Houston over Western Beaver

PITTSBURGH CITY LEAGUE

Brashear over University Prep

Allderdice over Perry

Wheeling Central Catholic (WV) over Westinghouse

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