Chick’s Picks winning the popular vote with her prognostication prowess
Thursday, November 8, 2018 | 4:48 PM
Welcome to Week 11 of the high school football season.
Chick’s Picks is glad the midterm elections are in the books. Campaigning during the season requires the utmost dedication and organization. Chick’s Picks needed to remain focused on her weekly predictions, while ensuring she was a shoe-in for re-election — a tall task for even the most skilled prognosticator.
Somewhere around the midway point of the regular season, things started to get a bit foggy in Chick’s Picks’ crystal ball. The Boss began to hassle his star prognosticator.
“Chick’s Picks, maybe you should hang up this campaign. Your picks are in the gutter lately. Why is it so important to win the popular vote anyway? Let your prognosticating speak for itself,” The Boss said.
Though she hated to admit it, Chick’s Picks thought for a moment that The Boss may be right. It was, however, a very brief moment. Then she remembered that winning this election would do wonders for her ego and give her the boost she needed to continue her prognostication domination for another two-year term.
As Chick’s Picks watched the results roll in, she patted herself — and her crystal ball — on the back. It was another hard-fought, unopposed victory for the WPIAL’s top prognosticator.
Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 25-5 (83 percent) record, upping her season total to 512-140 (79 percent). Here are this week’s big games:
No. 6 Mt. Lebanon (6-5) at No. 2 Pine-Richland (8-2)
The defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Rams host the Blue Devils in a Class 6A semifinal Friday night. Pine-Richland earned a bye in last week’s quarterfinals, while Mt. Lebanon edged Canon-McMillan, 38-31. The Rams boast a 1,000-yard passer and rusher in Cole Spencer and Luke Meckler. Blue Devils’ quarterback Seth Morgan has thrown for 2,098 yards and also has rushed for a team-high 551 yards. Mt. Lebanon has been outscored by opponents this season, 269-274. When these two met in Week 7, Pine-Richland walked away with a 42-24 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts a similar outcome this time around. … Pine-Richland over Mt. Lebanon.
No. 6 Penn-Trafford (9-2) vs. No. 3 Peters Township (9-2)
The Warriors take on the Indians in a Class 5A quarterfinal showdown Friday night at West Mifflin. Penn-Trafford rolled over its first-round opponent, North Hills, 42-7, while Peters Township knocked off Armstrong, 35-7. The Warriors have found success in both their passing and running attacks. Quarterback Gabe Dunlap has thrown for 1,202 yards and 14 touchdowns. Caleb Lisbon has 1,145 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. Indians’ quarterback Logan Pfeuffer has 1,748 passing yards and 20 touchdowns. Ryan Magiske is approaching 1,000 rushing yards and has 19 scores for the Indians. Penn-Trafford advanced to last year’s WPIAL title game before falling to Gateway. Chick’s Picks predicts the Warriors’ postseason experience will carry them in this one. … Penn-Trafford over Peters Township.
No. 3 Belle Vernon (9-1) vs. No. 2 South Fayette (10-1)
The Leopards and the Lions face off in a Class 4A semifinal at Ringgold Friday night. In last week’s quarterfinals, Belle Vernon knocked off Beaver, 49-11, while South Fayette routed Greensburg Salem, 42-6. Leopards’ running back Mason Pascoe has racked up 1,500 yards so far this season. The Lions boast one of the best quarterbacks in the WPIAL in Jamie Diven, who has thrown for more than 2,400 yards. Belle Vernon’s only loss this season came to top-ranked Thomas Jefferson. South Fayette’s only defeat was at the hands of Class 5A Upper St. Clair, 34-33. Both squads are averaging more than 40 points per game, while allowing only 10. Both squads also lost in last year’s semifinals. Chick’s Picks predicts the Lions will secure their spot in this year’s title game. … South Fayette over Belle Vernon.
No. 3 North Catholic (10-1) vs. No. 2 Derry (10-1)
A battle between two Trojans is set for this Class 3A semifinal at Hempfield Friday night. In last week’s quarterfinals, North Catholic edged Quaker Valley, 31-24, while Derry blanked Central Valley, 46-0. Central Valley had upset top-ranked Aliquippa one week prior. North Catholic quarterback Zack Rocco has thrown for 1,721 yards and 24 touchdowns, and rushed for a team-best 10 scores. Derry’s Justin Flack heads up the ground attack with 1,165 yards and an impressive 32 touchdowns on the year. North Catholic’s defense allows only nine points per game. When these two met earlier this season in Big East Conference play, Derry handed North Catholic its only loss of the season, 27-0. Chick’s Picks predicts the Westmoreland County Trojans will punch their ticket to Heinz Field. … Derry over North Catholic.
No. 5 Mohawk (9-2) vs. No. 4 Charleroi (9-1)
Mohawk meets Charleroi in a Class 2A quarterfinal at Moon Friday night. The Warriors are coming off of a 48-0 rout of Seton LaSalle in the first round, while the Cougars knocked off Riverside, 35-21. Mohawk’s balanced offensive attack is led by quarterback Nick Wheeler, who has thrown for 1,715 yards and 22 touchdowns. Brayden Cameron has 1,473 rushing yards and 16 scores. Geno Pellegrini captains Charleroi’s offense, passing for 1,920 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Cougars also boast a 1,000-yard rusher in Braden Milhalcin. The Pellegrini-led offense is averaging nearly 50 points per game — 20 points more per game than the Warriors. Chick’s Picks predicts the Cougars will secure their spot in the semifinals. … Charleroi over Mohawk.
No. 3 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (10-1) vs. No. 2 Clairton (9-1)
The Chargers take on the Bears in a Class A semifinal showdown at Dormont Stadium Friday night. In last week’s quarterfinals, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart dominated Imani Christian, 60-6, while Clairton held off California, 27-17. The Chargers are led by one of the top quarterbacks in the WPIAL in Tyler Bradley, who has thrown for 2,899 yards and 40 touchdowns. Brendan Parsons heads up the Bears’ offensive attack, throwing for 1,263 yards and 17 touchdowns. OLSH’s only loss this season came to top-ranked Jeannette, 28-13, in Week 6. That same Jeannette team also handed Clairton its only defeat, 21-6, in Week 9. The Chargers have outscored opponents 479-74, and are averaging 14 points more per game than the Bears. Chick’s Picks predicts an upset in this one. … OLSH over Clairton.
Here’s a look at the rest of this week’s games:
North Allegheny over Seneca Valley
West Allegheny over Woodland Hills
Gateway over Franklin Regional
McKeesport over Penn Hills
Thomas Jefferson over Blackhawk
Aliquippa over Beaver Falls
Shady Side Academy over South Side Beaver
Washington over Steel Valley
Burgettstown over Freedom
Jeannette over Rochester