Chicks Picks – Week Eight – 2014

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 | 4:35 PM


Welcome to Week 8 of the high school football season. The Stretch Run continues this week as we near the end of the regular season.  Each year at this time, Chick’s Picks likes to celebrate the Stretch Run by seeking out the latest fitness trend and planning a group activity involving it with all of Team MSA.  This year, her activity of choice was Aerial Yoga.

Aerial Yoga is a new way to practice traditional yoga, which involves the use of fabric hammocks suspended from the ceiling.  Participants use the hammocks to explore fluid, floating poses, rather than classic mat yoga poses.

As is the tradition every year, Chick’s Picks coordinated a session for Team MSA.  All members showed up, some more confident than others.  Sam Hall shouted across the room, “Hey Chicksy, I fly in a helicopter every morning.  Do you think I’m intimidated by a little aerial yoga?”  The Boss chimed in, “Chick’s, this may be your worst idea yet.  Despite my age, I’m still rather athletic.  Yet, most of us have no business hanging upside down from the ceiling.”

Chick’s Picks chuckled at the peanut gallery as the instructor began the class.  It wasn’t long before fearless Sam ended up like a mummy, wrapped up in his hammock, and The Boss lost his spectacles while dangling upside down by one leg.

One hour later, Team MSA touched back down to the ground, with minds clear and refreshed, ready for the remainder of the season.  Another successful Team MSA Stretch Run teambuilding was in the books.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 54-11 (83%) record, upping her season total to 351-105 (77%).  Here are this week’s big games:

CLASS AAAA
#4 Pine-Richland (7-0) at #1 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (7-0)

Highmark Stadium will heat up Friday night when Central Catholic plays host to Pine-Richland in a battle for first at least a share of the Northern Eight Conference title.  Last week, the Vikings recorded their fourth shutout of the year with a 45-0 rout of Seneca Valley, while the Rams rolled over Butler 48-10.  This matchup pits Class AAAA’s top offense against its top defense.  Pine-Richland is averaging over 46 points per game behind Ben DiNucci—the WPIAL’s top-ranked quarterback.  DiNucci has thrown for 1,915 yards and 23 touchdowns on the year.  Central Catholic’s stingy defense has allowed only 24 points all season.  When these two met last season, the Vikings came away with a 49-14 victory.  Chick’s Picks predicts a closer contest this time around, yet the same result.
Central Catholic over Pine-Richland.

CLASS AAA
#3 Thomas Jefferson (7-0) at #7 Franklin Regional (5-2)

Two Top 10 teams meet in Murrysville Friday night as Franklin Regional hosts undefeated Thomas Jefferson in non-conference play.  The Jaguars come into this week’s contest with the top-ranked offense and defense in Class AAA, outscoring opponents 345-50.  RB Austin Kemp’s 1,462 yards is a WPIAL best, and his 32 touchdowns are more than the Panthers’ team combined.  Franklin Regional is led by QB Santino Birty and RB Brett Zanotto, who have racked up over 1,400 yards so far this season.  Chick’s Picks may not predict a win for the Panthers, but plenty of big game experience to carry into the postseason is in store, for sure.
Thomas Jefferson over Franklin Regional. 

CLASS AA
#1 South Fayette (7-0) at #3 Seton-LaSalle (7-0)

The highly anticipated Century Conference showdown has arrived.  South Fayette travels to Chartiers Valley to take on Seton-LaSalle for at least a share of the conference title.  The Rebels and Lions boast the top two defenses in Class AA, both allowing less than 10 points per game.  This matchup also features two of the WPIAL’s top quarterbacks.  Seton-LaSalle’s Tyler Perone has thrown for 1,344 yards and 19 touchdowns so far this season.  South Fayette’s Brett Brumbaugh broke the WPIAL record for career passing yards earlier this season, and has now thrown for 1,537 yards and 20 touchdowns.  The Rebels have not defeated the Lions since 2011.  Since then, South Fayette has gone (3-0) against Seton-LaSalle, including a 31-7 win in the WPIAL quarterfinals last year.  Chick’s Picks foresees the Lions claiming a fourth straight victory.
South Fayette over Seton-LaSalle.

CLASS A
#7 Greensburg Central Catholic (5-2) at #10 Springdale (4-3)

The Dynamos host the Centurions in an Eastern Conference showdown with many parts of the playoff picture still to be determined.  Last week, Greensburg Central Catholic rolled over Wilkinsburg, 42-8, while Springdale topped Jefferson-Morgan, 38-8.  The Centurions have found success in the air and on the ground this season.  Quarterback Tommy Pellis has thrown for 564 yards and two touchdowns.  The backfield duo of Brian Pevarnik and Sam Nowicki has combined for 951 yards and 18 touchdowns.  The Dynamos are led by RB Austin Kline’s 538 yards and nine touchdowns.  Chick’s Picks likes the previous Class AA big game experience to carry the Centurions in this one.
Greensburg Central Catholic over Springdale.

CLASS AAAA

Foothills Conference

Hempfield over Altoona

Connellsville over Kiski Area

McKeesport over Norwin

Penn-Trafford over Plum

Northern Eight Conference

Fox Chapel over Butler

Central Catholic over Pine-Richland

North Hills over Shaler

Southeastern Conference

Baldwin over Canon-McMillan

Bethel Park over Peters Township

Woodland Hills over Mt. Lebanon

AAAA Non-Conference

Montour over Upper St. Clair

North Allegheny over Latrobe

Penn Hills over Seneca Valley

CLASS AAA

Big Nine Conference

Uniontown over Albert Gallatin

Belle Vernon over Laurel Highlands

Ringgold over Elizabeth Forward

West Mifflin over Trinity

Greater Allegheny Conference

Hampton over Greensburg Salem

Mars over Hollidaysburg

Indiana over Knoch

Gateway over Yough

Parkway Conference

Ambridge over Blackhawk

Central Valley over Hopewell

New Castle over Chartiers Valley

West Allegheny over Moon

AAA Non-Conference

Thomas Jefferson over Franklin Regional

CLASS AA

Allegheny Conference

Apollo-Ridge over Deer Lakes

Freeport over Burrell

Highlands over Valley

Kittanning over Shady Side Academy

Ford City over West Shamokin

Century Conference

South Allegheny over Carlynton

Quaker Valley over East Allegheny

South Fayette over Seton-LaSalle

Steel Valley over South Park

Keystone Oaks over Sto-Rox

Interstate Conference

Brownsville over Charleroi

Derry Area over Burgettstown

Washington over Southmoreland

McGuffey over Waynesburg

Midwestern Athletic Conference

Ellwood City over Laurel

Mohawk over Summit Academy

Beaver over Freedom

Beaver Falls over New Brighton

AA Non-Conference

Aliquippa over Mount Pleasant

CLASS A

Big Seven Conference

Rochester over Vincentian Academy

Shenango over Riverside

Union over Western Beaver

Black Hills Conference

Brentwood over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Fort Cherry over Northgate

Cardinal Weurl North Catholic over Bishop Canevin

Eastern Conference

Clairton over Monessen

Greensburg Central Catholic over Springdale

Leechburg over Serra Catholic

Riverview over Wilkinsburg

Tri-County South Conference

Mapletown over California

Carmichaels over Avella

Frazier over West Greene

Beth-Center over Jefferson-Morgan

A Non-Conference

Neshannock over Chartiers-Houston

Jeannette over Bentworth

Avonworth over South Side

CITY LEAGUE Non-Conference

Brashear over Perry

Wheeling Central Catholic over Westinghouse

Wheeling Park over Carrick

Allderdice over Linsly School

Steubenville over University Prep

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