Chicks Picks – Week Eight – 2017
By: Don Rebel
Thursday, October 19, 2017 | 6:28 PM
Welcome to Week 8 of the high school football season. Late Wednesday night, Chick’s Picks was sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying some TV. Suddenly, out of the blue, a Twitter war broke out among local prognosticators. Although Chick’s Picks had done nothing but mind her own business, one of her rivals called her out – challenging that his winning prediction percentage was higher than both hers and The Fumbler’s.
Chick’s Picks was shocked, to say the least. This particular rival was not always a rival. He is extremely well-versed in all things WPIAL. In recent years, this rival has taken up prognosticating as more of a hobby, rather that an all-out career like Chick’s Picks. Regardless, this rival is good, and has earned the respect of Chick’s Picks – all the more reason why she was taken aback by his Twitter trash talking.
Fearless, Chick’s Picks invited the rival to post his statistics so that the world could in fact see who fared as the WPIAL’s best prognosticator. Much to her dismay, Chick’s Picks found herself at the bottom of the barrel, behind both the rival and The Fumbler. A seasoned professional, though, Chick’s Picks congratulated the rival and got back to work on this week’s predictions.
Moments later, another Twitter alert came across her phone. The rival posted a video of a bird running away from an explosion, with the caption “Shots fired.” Chick’s Picks got the rival’s message loud and clear – he was out to take down Chick’s Picks and become the WPIAL’s top prognosticator. Chick’s Picks guessed it was time for The Boss to bring in some extra security for her and the crystal ball.
Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 51-13 (80%) record, upping her season total to 356-93 (79%). Here are this week’s big games:
#3 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (6-2) at #7 Norwin (4-4)
Central Catholic travels to Norwin to take on the Knights in Class 6A non-conference action Friday night. The Vikings are coming off of a 59-14 victory over Altoona last week, while Norwin edged Butler, 7-6. Central is led by veteran quarterback Troy Fisher, who has thrown for 613 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Norwin quarterback Jack Salopek has 1,331 passing yards and seven touchdowns on the year. The Vikings are averaging 32 points per game – more than double that of the Knights at 15.8 points per game. Chick’s Picks likes the Vikings for win number seven.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic over Norwin.
#6 Woodland Hills (5-3) at #5 West Allegheny (6-1)
The Indians host the Wolverines in an Allegheny Nine Conference showdown Friday night. Last week, West Allegheny knocked off Hampton, 24-14. The Indians’ only loss this season came to Upper St. Clair, 21-20. Woodland Hills picked up its fourth consecutive victory last week, 34-14 over Moon, after losing three of its first four games of the season. Both the Wolverines and the Indians sit behind Upper St. Clair in Allegheny Nine Conference standings. Woodland Hills is allowing 17.6 points per game. West Allegheny is averaging more than 33 points per game. Chick’s Picks likes the Indians with the home field victory.
West Allegheny over Woodland Hills.
#10 Highlands (4-3) at #2 South Fayette (8-0)
Highlands hits the road to face South Fayette in Northwest Nine Conference action Friday night. The Golden Rams routed Blackhawk last week, 49-12, while the Lions rolled over Indiana, 62-14. This week’s matchup features two of the top quarterbacks in the WPIAL. Seth Cohen has thrown for 1,561 yards and 19 touchdowns for Highlands this season. Drew Saxton has led South Fayette with 1,634 passing yards and 20 touchdowns. The Lions have allowed only 80 points all season. Highlands has alternated wins and losses each week all season. Chick’s Picks thinks this is evidence enough that the Golden Rams are due for a loss this week.
South Fayette over Highlands.
#10 Keystone Oaks (5-2) at #7 Freeport (5-2)
Freeport plays host to Keystone Oaks in an Allegheny Conference showdown Friday night. The Yellow Jackets look to rebound after being shut out by Seton-LaSalle last week, 21-0. The Golden Eagles rolled over Apollo-Ridge, 35-13. Freeport quarterback Austin Romanchak has thrown for 448 yards and four touchdowns, and also leads his team in rushing with 544 yards and 13 touchdowns. Keystone Oaks splits time in the air and on the ground. Quarterback Logan Shrubb has 1,165 passing yards to go along with running back Michael Daure’s 882 rushing yards. Chick’s Picks likes the Golden Eagles to hand the Yellow Jackets their second consecutive loss.
Keystone Oaks over Freeport.
#2 Washington (7-0) at #6 Burgettstown (6-1)
Washington looks to protect its top spot in the Century Conference when it takes on Burgettstown Friday night. The Little Prexies remained perfect last week with a 54-14 win over Chartiers-Houston, while the Blue Devils were victims of a huge upset by Charleroi, 37-14. Washington boasts a 1,000-yard passer and rusher in quarterback Zach Swartz and running back Nick Welsh. Swartz has thrown for 1,009 yard sand 14 touchdowns on the year. Welsh, ranked among the top five backs in the WPIAL, has racked up 1,181 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. The Little Prexies lead Class 2A in defense, allowing only 7.4 points per game. The Blue Devils are a close second at 9.7 points per game. Burgettstown’s dual threat quarterback Ryan Lounder has been a standout this season, but struggled with a swarming Charleroi defense last week. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Little Prexies will remain perfect in this one.
Washington over Burgettstown.
#9 West Greene (6-2) at #10 Western Beaver (6-2)
The Golden Beavers play host to the Pioneers in a Class A non-conference matchup of Top 10 teams Friday night. Western Beaver rolled over Northgate last week, 47-12, while West Greene routed Monessen, 48-16. Golden Beavers quarterback has passed for 381 yards on the year, but leads his team in rushing with 707 yards and 15 touchdowns. Pioneers’ running back Benjamin Jackson ranks fourth in the WPIAL with 1,210 yards and 12 touchdowns. West Greene is averaging more than 36 points per game and allowing only 16. Chick’s Picks likes the Pioneers to pick up win number seven.
West Greene over Western Beaver.
Northern Seven Conference
Pine-Richland over Butler
Seneca Valley over Shaler
Bethel Park over Altoona
Peters Township over Canon-McMillan
North Allegheny over Hempfield
Mount Lebanon over Penn Hills
Allegheny Nine Conference
Moon over Baldwin
Fox Chapel over Chartiers Valley
Upper St. Clair over Hampton
Big East Conference
Armstrong over Connellsville
Penn-Trafford over Kiski Area
McKeesport over Gateway
Plum over Latrobe
North Hills over Franklin Regional
Big Nine Conference
Belle Vernon over West Mifflin
Thomas Jefferson over Laurel Highlands
Trinity over Greensburg Salem
Albert Gallatin over Uniontown
Northwest Nine Conference
Knoch over Ambridge
Mars over Indiana
Montour over Blackhawk
New Castle over Ringgold
Shady Side Academy over Deer Lakes
Apollo-Ridge over Valley
Beaver Valley Conference
Hopewell over Beaver Falls
Aliquippa over Central Valley
Derry over Waynesburg
Elizabeth Forward over South Park
Yough over Southmoreland
Chartiers-Houston over McGuffey
East Allegheny over Burrell
Beaver over Mount Pleasant
Quaker Valley over Seton-LaSalle
Riverside over Ellwood City
Frazier over Bentworth
Charleroi over Beth-Center
Cardinal Weurl North Catholic over South Side Beaver
Freedom over Neshannock
New Brighton over Laurel
Three Rivers Conference
Avonworth over South Allegheny
Brentwood over Carlynton
Steel Valley over Serra Catholic
Brownsville over Leechburg
Big Seven Conference
Sto-Rox over Cornell
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart over Shenango
Rochester over Union
Summit Academy over Northgate
Bishop Canevin over Greensburg Central Catholic
Clairton over Riverview
Imani Christian over Springdale
Tri-County South Conference
Monessen over Avella
California over Jefferson-Morgan
Fort Cherry over Carmichaels
Jeannette over Mapletown
Allderdice over Perry
Westinghouse over Carrick
Wheeling Central Catholic (WV) over University Prep
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.