For 2nd straight December, The Birdie labors over a Westmoreland County state final pick

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Thursday, December 8, 2022 | 6:01 AM


Last week: 0-1

Season: 106-29 (78.5%)

This is the last Birdie column of the season, and the gridiron guru is getting emotional.

Or are those crocodile tears?

“Look, I admit I’m glad another season is coming to an end so I can take some vacation time. … I need it,” Birdie said. “I am not used to working into December and picking state playoff games. Now, I get two state finals in a row? It must be close to Christmas. But all good things come to an end.”

He plans to go out on top.

“I am already pumped for next season, but let me tell you, I am going to pour everything I’ve got into this last pick,” he said. “Belle Vernon and I are going out with a bang.”

Like last year, Westmoreland’s prep football expert picked against a local team in the PIAA semifinals and got burned.

Penn-Trafford forgave him after his championship pick.

Belle Vernon,” he said. “I have two words for you. … You’re welcome.”

Belle Vernon will play for its first state title Saturday, and the Birdie is going all in on the Leopards, following last year’s state-playoff script.

“So, I was a little off last week,” he said. “It’s like tattoo regret; I will live with it,” Birdie said. “I admit, I keep selling that defense short and I need to trust it more as a unit. I want everyone to remember that I picked the exact score of the 5A state final last year — Penn-Trafford 17, Imhotep 14 — and I am feeling lucky again, so watch out. Get ready to take this one to the bank.”

• Belle Vernon (11-2) vs. Neumann-Goretti (11-3): The Birdie hears Belle Vernon is still going to Hershey to eat some chocolate during their trip east. He thinks the Leopards will bring him back some sweets and the state title.

Look for the rushing attack to spark the offense and pressure from the linebackers to spring the defense. A key turnover will boost one team and haunt the other.

Belle Vernon, 24-14

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