Grab a rake and check out Chick’s Picks’ WPIAL playoff predictions

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Thursday, November 3, 2022 | 9:01 AM


Halloween is one of Chick’s Picks’ favorite holidays. Each year, she embraces the Halloween spirit by dressing up as one of her most beloved WPIAL mascots. This year, Chick’s Picks chose to be one of the Mapletown Maples.

Since fall foliage seemed to be at its peak around the WPIAL this week, Chick’s Picks thought this would be the perfect costume. As a famous local celebrity, it is often challenging for Chick’s Picks to fly under the radar in public. Her Maple disguise allowed her to blend in perfectly with the foliage.

Chick’s Picks even fooled the Mapletown coaching staff. As the Maples were on their way to a 64-17 rout of West Greene, the coaches were looking to clear the bench. Chick’s Picks was inadvertently put into the game for a special teams play, along with the other Maples, late in the game. The opportunity to step foot on the field was further confirmation that Chick’s Picks had chosen the best Halloween costume yet.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 47-14 (77%) record, bringing her season total to 435-134 (76%).

Class 5A

5-Upper St. Clair Panthers (8-2) at 4-Gateway Gators (7-3)

Upper St. Clair takes on Gateway in a Class 5A quarterfinal showdown Friday night. Last week, the Panthers finished the regular season with a 35-0 rout of South Fayette, while the Gators fell to Class 6A Central Catholic 27-14. … Upper St. Clair quarterback Julian Dahlem has thrown for 954 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jamaal Brown leads the Panthers’ ground attack with 1,138 yards and 13 scores. Gateway boasts one of the top passers in the WPIAL in Division I prospect Brad Birch, who has thrown for 1,829 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year. … The Panthers have allowed only 11.5 points per game – nearly one touchdown less per game than the Gators. Still, Chick’s Picks predicts a postseason victory for the home team in this one. … Gateway over Upper St. Clair

Class 4A

9-Hampton Talbots (5-5) at 8-Montour Spartans (6-4)

The Spartans play host to the Talbots in WPIAL Class 4A first-round action Friday night. Montour wrapped up the regular season by edging West Allegheny, 21-20, while Hampton held off Highlands, 19-7. … The Spartans are led by quarterback Jake Wolfe, who has thrown for 1,337 yards and 15 touchdowns on the year. Daniel Batch has been Wolfe’s favorite target with 556 receiving yards and eight scores. The Talbots’ balanced offensive attack is led by Joey Mayer, who has thrown for 973 yards and 15 touchdowns. Benny Haselrig has been on the receiving end of 803 yards and 11 scores. Brock Borgo has rushed for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. … Hampton is averaging 28.5 points per game – one touchdown more per game than Montour. Chick’s Picks predicts a first-round upset for the Talbots in this one. … Hampton over Montour

Class 3A

10-Deer Lakes Lancers (4-6) at 7-Beaver Bobcats (7-3)

The Bobcats welcome the Lancers in a WPIAL Class 3A first-round showdown Friday night. Last week, Beaver rolled over Hopewell, 48-13, while Deer Lakes recorded its third consecutive loss, 42-10, to Freeport. … Beaver quarterback Isaac Pupi has thrown for 828 yards and 15 touchdowns. Liam Gibson heads the running game with 775 yards and 11 scores. Deer Lakes is led by Derek Burk’s 1,278 passing yards and nine touchdowns. … The Bobcats have outscored opponents 296-162. The Lancers have been outscored 155-223 this season. Last year, Beaver finished at 7-3 after falling to Laurel Highlands, 28-27, in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. Deer Lakes finished at 4-6 and did not advance to the postseason. Chick’s Picks predicts an early exit for the Lancers this time around. … Beaver over Deer Lakes

Class 2A

11-Apollo-Ridge Vikings (6-4) at 6-Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles (8-2)

Keystone Oaks hosts Apollo-Ridge in a WPIAL Class 2A first-round battle Friday night. The Golden Eagles finished the regular season with a 35-0 rout of Brentwood, while the Vikings held off Burrell, 28-14. … The Golden Eagles feature quarterback Nick Buckley, who has thrown for 1,143 yards and 10 touchdowns. Shawn Reick has racked up 776 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. The Vikings have gotten it done in the air and on the ground this season. Gage Johnson has thrown for 916 yards and seven touchdowns. Jacob Mull has been Johnson’s favorite target with 807 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Nick Curci leads the running game with 1,437 rushing yards and eight scores. … Apollo-Ridge is allowing 28 points per game. Keystone Oaks is allowing only 16 points per game. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Golden Eagles punch their ticket to the quarterfinals in this one. … Keystone Oaks over Apollo-Ridge

Class A

10-Union Scotties (7-3) at 7-Burgettstown Blue Devils (6-3)

The Scotties hit the road to take on the Blue Devils in Class A first-round action Friday night. Last week, Union rolled over Summit Academy, 44-8, while Burgettstown fell to Fort Cherry, 48-34. … Scotties quarterback Braylon Thomas has thrown for more than 500 yards on the year. Blue Devils’ quarterback Sondre Lunde has passed for 709 yards and eight touchdowns. Brodie Kuzior and Rudy Brown have combined for 1,117 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. … Union is allowing only 17 points per game – four points less per game than the Blue Devils. When these two met last season, Burgettstown held on for a narrow 12-8 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts an upset for the visitors in this one …Union over Burgettstown

Class 5A

Bethel Park over North Hills

Woodland Hills over Franklin Regionals

Pine-Richland over Penn-Trafford

Class 4A

McKeesport over Mars

West Allegheny over Laurel Highlands

Armstrong over Blackhawk

Highlands over Latrobe

Class 3A

Shady Side Academy over South Park

East Allegheny over Mount Pleasant

West Mifflin over Southmoreland

Class 2A

Serra Catholic over Washington

Ligonier Valley over Western Beaver

McGuffey over Mohawk

Sto-Rox over Riverside

Neshannock over Burrell

Class A

South Side over California

Laurel over Carmichaels

OLSH over Clairton

Bishop Canevin over Jeannette

Monessen over Fort Cherry

Greensburg Central Catholic over Rochester

Mapletown over Leechburg

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