It’s beginning to look a lot like Week 6 for Chick’s Picks
Thursday, October 3, 2019 | 4:28 PM
Chick’s Picks headed to her local home improvement store this week to pick up some polish for her trusty crystal ball. Upon entering the store, much to her surprise, Chick’s Picks realized that it had already begun to look a lot like Christmas in there. Trees, lights, and decor abounded.
Outside, a steamy, early October afternoon saw temperatures soaring into the 80s. So, Chick’s Picks had a difficult time making sense of the winter scene she saw inside.
“Could it be a time warp?” Chick’s Picks wondered. Perhaps this was set up as sabotage by a rival prognosticator in order to derail Chick’s Picks’ successful season by forcing her to skip ahead to the end of the year.
Panicked, Chick’s Picks headed for the nearest register to make payment on her polish and hopefully seek assistance from the cashier on the apparent Christmas conundrum she was facing.
While waiting in line, though, Chick’s Picks caught a glimpse of the parking lot filled with Pittsburghers dressed in their finest summertime attire. Relieved, Chick’s Picks realized that this was not a case of prognosticator sabotage after all, but simply another example of a retailer that seemed to have forgotten about a few holidays between now and Christmas. In the meantime, Chick’s Picks hopes to keep her impressive performance going this season.
Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 52-11 (83%) record, bringing her season total to 292-83 (78%). Here are this week’s big games:
No. 5 Seneca Valley Raiders (2-4) at Hempfield Spartans (2-4)
The Spartans host the Raiders in Quad County Conference action Friday night. Last week, Hempfield dropped its third straight, losing to Mt. Lebanon, 31-17, while Seneca Valley fell to North Allegheny, 40-7. Blake Remaley leads the Spartans with 993 passing yards and nine touchdowns. Remaley’s favorite target, Nathan Roby, has a team-best 373 receiving yards, 520 rushing yards, and eight touchdowns. Gabe Lawson heads up the Raiders offense, throwing for 711 yards and five scores. When these two met last season, Seneca Valley blanked Hempfield, 18-0. Chick’s Picks predicts solid play against stiff competition this season will pay off for the Raiders in this one. … Seneca Valley over Hempfield.
Franklin Regional Panthers (3-1) at No. 3 Gateway Gators (5-1)
Big East Conference play heats up Friday night when Franklin Regional takes on Gateway. While the Panthers had the night off last Friday, the Gators rolled over North Hills, 40-7. Zach Gordon leads Franklin Regional with 507 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Gateway boasts the highest-scoring offense in Class 5A with 235 points in six games. Quarterback Bryson Venanzio is approaching 1,000 passing yards. Division 1 prospect Derrick Davis has a team-high 241 receiving yards to go along with his 838 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. The Panthers’ only loss this season came to Shaler, 28-17. The Gators’ only blemish was a 28-7 loss to Penn-Trafford in Week 1. When these two met twice last season, Gateway went 2-0 and outscored the Panthers, 98-3. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Panthers will have their hands full with the high-powered Gators’ offense. … Gateway over Franklin Regional.
No. 5 Knoch Knights (5-1) at No. 2 South Fayette Lions (5-1)
South Fayette hosts Knoch in a Northwest Eight Conference battle of top teams Friday night. Last week, the Lions rolled over Blackhawk, 34-14, while the Knights picked up their first loss of the season, 14-7, to Montour. Naman Alemada has taken over the quarterback position nicely for South Fayette, throwing for 1,527 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Lions’ receiving trio of Joey Audia, Charley Rossi and Ryan McGuire have combined for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Knoch’s Matt Goodlin has racked up 921 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. The Lions are averaging 39.5 points per game — more than two touchdowns more per game than the Knights. However, Knoch’s stingy defense has allowed only 47 points in six games. When these two met last season, South Fayette came away with a 35-14 victory. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Lions will pass a tough test in this one. … South Fayette over Knoch.
No. 5 Elizabeth Forward Raiders (4-1) at No. 3 North Catholic Trojans (4-1)
Elizabeth Forward squares off against North Catholic in a Big East Conference showdown Friday night. The Warriors are coming off of their first loss of the season last week — a 26-17 setback to Derry. The Trojans routed Mt. Pleasant, 42-28. North Catholic’s only loss this season came to Central Valley, 35-14. Versatile Elizabeth Forward quarterback Nico Mrvos leads his squad in passing and rushing yards this season. North Catholic’s Zack Rocco has thrown for 1,094 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Warriors’ defense has allowed only 78 points in five games. When these two met last season, North Catholic blanked Elizabeth Forward, 27-0. Chick’s Picks predicts that early season strength of schedule will pay dividends for the Trojans in this one. … North Catholic over Elizabeth Forward.
New Brighton Lions (5-1) at No. 4 Freedom Bulldogs (6-0)
The undefeated Bulldogs host the Lions in a Midwestern Conference matchup Friday night. Last week, Freedom edged Valley, 14-10, while New Brighton topped Neshannock, 31-18. Lions quarterback Jackson Hall has exceeded the 1,000-yard mark. His favorite target, Jacob Francona has 567 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. The Bulldogs’ backfield took a hit when running back Max Ujhazy suffered a broken collarbone earlier this season. Brett Boyd and Josh Pail have combined for nearly 700 rushing yards and nine scores on the year. New Brighton and Freedom both boast stingy defenses, allowing less than two touchdowns per game. When these two met last season, the Bulldogs edged the Lions, 16-14. Chick’s Picks predicts revenge for the Lions this time around. … New Brighton over Freedom.
California Trojans (4-2) at No. 4 West Greene Pioneers (6-0)
The Pioneers look to remain perfect then they welcome the Trojans in a Tri-County South Conference showdown Friday night. Last week, West Greene blanked Avella, 55-0. California rebounded with a 69-21 victory over Jefferson-Morgan after dropping two straight non-conference games to Laurel and Washington. The Pioneers are the WPIAL’s highest-scoring team so far this season, posting 339 points in six games. Ben Jackson leads the WPIAL in rushing and scoring with 1,575 yards and 29 touchdowns. The Trojans’ versatile Cochise Ryan has thrown for 497 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for a team-best 533 yards and 12 scores. When these two met last season, California knocked off West Greene, 24-14. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Trojans will be the toughest test to date for the Pioneers. … California over West Greene.
Pine-Richland over Canon McMillan
Central Catholic over Norwin
North Allegheny over Butler
Allegheny Eight Conference
Baldwin over West Allegheny
Bethel Park over Chartiers Valley
Peters Township over Moon
Big East Conference
Penn-Trafford over Latrobe
Shaler over Armstrong
Penn Hills over Hampton
Mars over North Hills
Fox Chapel over Connellsville
Mt. Lebanon over Upper St. Clair
Weir (WV) over Plum
Woodland Hills over Kiski
McKeesport over Indiana
Big Eight Conference
Belle Vernon over Trinity
Ringgold over Laurel Highlands
West Mifflin over Greensburg Salem
Northwest Eight Conference
New Castle over Blackhawk
Montour over Highlands
Beaver over Ambridge
Big East Conference
Burrell over Mt. Pleasant
Deer Lakes over Freeport
Derry over Uniontown
Tri-County West Conference
Beaver Falls over Keystone Oaks
South Park over Hopewell
Waynesburg over Quaker Valley
Thomas Jefferson over Central Valley
Aliquippa over Yough
Apollo-Ridge over Valley
Shady Side Academy over Summit Academy
Charleroi over Southmoreland
McGuffey over Brownsville
Washington over Carmichaels
Riverside over Mohawk
Shenango over Ellwood City
Three Rivers Conference
Brentwood over Serra Catholic
Burgettstown over Carlynton
South Allegheny over South Side
Avonworth over Seton-LaSalle
East Allegheny over Beth-Center
Leechburg over Frazier
Neshannock over Fort Cherry
Western Beaver over Steel Valley
Big Seven Conference
Sto-Rox over Rochester
Laurel over Union
Cornell over Bishop Canevin
Clairton over Imani Christian
Tri-County South Conference
Avella over Bentworth
Chartiers-Houston over Monessen
Greensburg Central Catholic over Mapletown
Springdale over Northgate
Jefferson-Morgan over Riverview
Jeannette over OLSH
Albert Gallatin over University (WV)
University Prep over Brashear
Perry over Carrick
Hickory over Westinghouse
Linsly School (WV) over Allderdice