Chicks Picks – Week Four

Monday, September 25, 2017 | 7:17 PM

Welcome to Week 4 of the high school football season. While working on this week’s predictions and researching some of the top players in the WPIAL, Chick’s Picks started thinking back to her basketball playing days many moons ago.  Recalling some of the most talented players from her day, Chick’s Picks wondered, where are they now? One in particular came to mind – a teammate, also named Melissa, who happened to be one of the best.  Chick’s Picks knew exactly what that Melissa was up to these days, though.  She’s been busy passing along her incredible athletic abilities to her son, Jeannette’s star quarterback Robert Kennedy. Chick’s Picks admittedly felt a bit old after realizing that her former star teammate now had a star of her own.  However, she was also very proud to see that athletic tradition carrying on across the generations in her hometown. Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 44-20 (69%) record, bringing her season total to 138-53 (72%).  Here are this week’s big games: CLASS 6-A #1 Pine-Richland (4-0) at #3 Bethel Park (3-0) Bethel Park plays host to top-ranked Pine-Richland in non-conference action Friday night.  The Black Hawks are coming off of a 27-7 victory over Norwin last week, while the Rams rolled over Penn Hills, 43-6.  Bethel Park boasts the top defense in Class 6A, allowing less than 10 points per game.  It will have its hands full, however, facing the top quarterback in the WPIAL in Pine-Richland’s Phil Jurkovec.  The veteran passer has already thrown for 1,117 yards this season.  Chick’s Picks predicts that the Black Hawks defense will slow down the powerful Rams, but it won’t be enough to stop them. Pine-Richland over Bethel Park. CLASS 5-A #3 McKeesport (2-1) at #8 Plum (2-2) McKeesport hits the road to take on Plum in a Big East Conference showdown Friday night.  Last week, the Tigers routed Connellsville, 60-7.  The Mustangs climbed into the Top 10 rankings after upsetting Franklin Regional, 33-7.  That same Franklin Regional squad was responsible for McKeesport’s only loss of the season, 13-7, in Week 1.  McKeesport is averaging nearly 30 points per game.  Plum is averaging only 11, and has been outscored by opponents, (42-87), so far this season.  The running game came alive for the Mustangs in last week’s win, with Dakota Sunday picking up 81 rushing yards and four touchdowns.  Despite the surge, Chick’s Picks likes the experienced Tigers in this one. McKeesport over Plum. CLASS 4-A #9 Greensburg-Salem (2-2) at #3 Belle Vernon (3-0) The Leopards host the Golden Lions in a Big Nine Conference battle Friday night.  Belle Vernon edged Ringgold last week, 17-14.  Greensburg Salem looks to rebound after being blanked by Thomas Jefferson, 48-0.  The Leopards have allowed only 22 points in three games.  The Golden Lions have been outscored (101-119) in their four games this season.  Quarterback Jacob Hoyle leads a balanced Greensburg Salem attack with 372 passing yards and 316 rushing yards.  Chick’s Picks likes the Leopards to remain perfect in this one. Belle Vernon over Greensburg-Salem. CLASS 3-A #4 Quaker Valley (4-0) at #2 Central Valley (3-1) Central Valley welcomes Quaker Valley in a Beaver Valley Conference showdown Friday night.  The Warriors are coming off of a big 52-28 non-conference win over Cardinal Weurl North Catholic.  The Quakers maintained their unblemished record with a huge upset of #4 Beaver, 45-21.  Central Valley quarterback Nico Battisti has racked up 642 passing yards and 218 rushing yards so far this season.  Quaker Valley is led by quarterback Ricky Guss, who has thrown for 653 yards and nine touchdowns, and rushed for a team-best 437 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Chick’s Picks likes the Quakers to continue their run. Quaker Valley over Central Valley. CLASS 2-A #10 Neshannock (2-2) at #3 East Allegheny (2-1) The Lancers take on the Wildcats in non-conference action Friday night.  Neshannock hung on to it’s #10 ranking with a win over New Brighton last week, 49-21, while East Allegheny had a bye week.  Lancers’ quarterback Jared Staph has racked up 472 passing yards and five touchdowns, and is also one of his squad’s leading rushers with 170 yards on the year.  Neshannock, though, has been outscored by opponents, (90-102), so far this season.  East Allegheny is averaging 31 points per game, while allowing only 20.3.  Chick’s Picks predicts a Wildcats victory in this one. East Allegheny over Neshannock.  CLASS 1-A #2 Jeannette (4-0) at #4 Imani Christian (3-1) Imani Christian plays host to Jeannette in an Eastern Conference showdown on Saturday.  The Saints look to rebound after dropping their first game of the season last week, 41-26, to California.  The Jayhawks posted their second shutout of the year, 43-0, over Riverview.  This matchup features two of the top quarterbacks in the WPIAL.  Imani Christian’s Tawan Wesley has already surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season.  Wesley’s favorite targets include Sam Fairley, Rahmon Hart, and Ray Jackson, who have combined for over 1,000 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns.  Jeannette’s versatile quarterback Robert Kennedy has thrown for 516 yards and 12 touchdowns, and also leads the Jayhawks in rushing with 318 yards and six touchdowns.  The Saints are averaging 53 points per game.  The Jayhawks have allowed only 32 points in four games.  Chick’s Picks sides with defense in this one. Jeannette over Imani Christian. CLASS 6-A Northern Seven Conference North Allegheny over Butler Central Catholic over Seneca Valley Penn Hills over Shaler Southeastern Conference Norwin over Canon-McMillan Peters Township over Hempfield Mt. Lebanon over Altoona CLASS 5-A Allegheny Nine Conference West Allegheny over Baldwin North Hills over Moon Upper St. Clair over Fox Chapel Woodland Hills over Chartiers Valley Big East Conference Franklin Regional over Armstrong Kiski Area over Connellsville Penn-Trafford over Latrobe Non-Conference Gateway over Hampton CLASS 4-A Big Nine Conference Ringgold over Laurel Highlands Thomas Jefferson over Albert Gallatin West Mifflin over Uniontown Northwest Nine Conference Mars over Highlands New Castle over Indiana Montour over Ambridge South Fayette over Knoch Non-Conference Trinity over Blackhawk CLASS 3-A Allegheny Conference Apollo-Ridge over Burrell Freeport over Shady Side Academy Valley over Deer Lakes Beaver Valley Conference Aliquippa over Ellwood City Interstate Conference South Park over Derry Area McGuffey over Elizabeth Forward Waynesburg Central over Yough Non-Conference Beaver Falls over Southmoreland Beaver over Keystone Oaks CLASS 2-A Century Conference Beth-Center over Bentworth Burgettstown over Chartiers-Houston Washington over Frazier Midwestern Athletic Conference Cardinal Weurl North Catholic over New Brighton Freedom over Laurel Riverside over South Side Three Rivers Conference Brentwood over Avonworth Steel Valley over South Allegheny Non-Conference Mount Pleasant over Brownsville Hopewell over Mohawk Seton LaSalle over Serra Catholic CLASS 1-A Big Seven Conference Rochester over Cornell Northgate over Sto-Rox Our Lady of the Sacred Heart over Summit Academy Union over Western Beaver Eastern Conference Springdale over Leechburg Bishop Canevin over Riverview Tri-County South Conference Carmichaels over Avella California over Mapletown West Greene over Jefferson-Morgan Non-Conference Charleroi over Greensburg Central Catholic For Cherry over Shenango Clairton over Monessen CITY LEAGUE Allderdice over Carrick Non-Conference Brashear over Hollidaysburg Westinghouse over Hickory Brooke (WV) over Perry Steubenville (OH) over University Prep

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