Chicks Picks – Week 3
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:
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
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
Mount Lebanon over Baldwin
Upper St. Clair over Bethel Park
Peters Township over Canon-McMillan
Penn Hills over Central Valley
Norwin over Seneca Valley
Woodland Hills over Shaler
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
Montour over Chartiers Valley
West Allegheny over Hopewell
Moon over Ambridge
New Castle over Blackhawk
Knoch over Carrick
Freeport over Apollo-Ridge
Valley over Shady Side Academy
Highlands over West Shamokin
Burrell over Summit Academy
Keystone Oaks over East Allegheny
Seton-LaSalle over Carlynton
South Fayette over South Park
Steel Valley over Sto-Rox
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
McGuffey over Mohawk
Deer Lakes over South Allegheny
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
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
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
More Football• Uniontown hires Jeffries as football coach
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• Preston Zandier joins list of Thomas Jefferson Big 33 players
• Connellsville football promotes assistant Bill Maczko to head coach
• Franklin Regional hires Getsy as football coach, Louisy as boys soccer coach