It’s no time for Chick’s Picks to duck out of her football responsibilities

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Thursday, October 17, 2019 | 4:36 PM


As a prominent local celebrity, Chick’s Picks often gets invited to high-profile events in the city. This week, she attended an event at Heinz Field, where she had an opportunity to meet Steelers quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges.

The conversation quickly moved to the topic of duck calling — Duck’s other passion besides football. Duck was happy to enlighten Chick’s Picks on the basic skills of duck calling. Chick’s Picks opened up about her desire for learning to lure waterfowl, but confessed that she had never been able to master the art.

Hearing this, Duck, without hesitation, invited Chick’s Picks along for his upcoming family trip to Saskatchewan — a week-long duck hunting adventure.

Chick’s Picks thought, “What better way to learn than from an expert?”

Reality quickly set in, though. Chick’s Picks thanked Duck for his generous offer but reminded him that she could not miss a moment during this pivotal point of the high school football season, so taking a trip right now was not an option.

Duck understood, and appreciated her dedication to prognosticating. Learning the art of duck calling will have to wait. In the meantime, however, Chick’s Picks and her crystal ball will be working hard on this week’s predictions.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 46-19 (71%) record, bringing her season total to 394-117 (77%). Here are this week’s big games:

CLASS 6A

No. 3 Pine-Richland Rams (7-1) at No. 5 Seneca Valley Raiders (3-5)

These Quad County Conference rivals meet Friday night in a rematch of last year’s WPIAL Class 6A championship. Seneca Valley looks to rebound after last week’s upset at the hands of Woodland Hills, 36-7. Pine-Richland blanked Mt. Lebanon, 41-0. The Raiders will have a tall task in slowing down Class 6A’s highest scoring offense. Quarterback Cole Spencer’s 1,759 passing yards and 22 touchdowns lead a Rams offense that is averaging more than 40 points per game. Pine-Richland’s defense also ranks best in the classification, having allowed only 66 points in eight games. Seneca Valley is led by veteran quarterback Gabe Lawson, who has thrown for 964 yards on the year. These two met twice last season, with the Rams finding victory in both outings — 21-7 during the regular season and 34-7 in the title game. Pine-Richland has already secured a spot in the postseason, while Seneca Valley’s hopes still hang in the balance. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Raiders will have to wait one more week to punch their ticket to the playoffs. … Pine-Richland over Seneca Valley.

CLASS 5A

Peters Township Indians (7-1) at No. 4 Bethel Park Black Hawks (5-2)

Peters Township takes on Bethel Park in an Allegheny Conference showdown Friday night. The Indians are coming off of a 43-14 rout of Chartiers Valley last week, while the Black Hawks fell short to Baldwin, 31-28. Quarterback Logan Pfeuffer has racked up 1,398 passing yards and 18 touchdowns for Peters Township. Ryan Magiske adds another dimension for the Indians, rushing for 869 yards and nine scores. Bethel Park’s dynamic backfield duo of Sean McGowan and Jehvonn Lewis has combined for 1,049 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Peters Township boasts the top defense in Class 5A, allowing only 10 points per game. The Indians’ only loss this season came to Moon, 21-13, in Week 6. When these two met last season, Peters Township blanked Bethel Park, 35-0. Chick’s Picks predicts a closer contest this time around, but the same result. … Peters Township over Bethel Park.

CLASS 4A

No. 5 New Castle Red Hurricane (5-3) at Highlands Golden Rams (2-6)

Highlands plays host to the Red Hurricane in a Northwest Eight Conference battle Friday night. The Golden Rams look to get things back on track after nearly upsetting South Fayette last week, 21-18. The Red Hurricane picked up its fifth win, knocking off Knoch, 34-7. Highlands quarterback Chandler Thimmons has thrown for 970 yards and seven scores. Brock White has 711 rushing yards for the Golden Rams, and has found paydirt six times. New Castle fancies a multi-dimensional offense of its own. Michael Wells is approaching 1,000 passing yards. Demetris McKnight has rushed for 895 yards and a team-high 14 touchdowns. When these two met last season, the Red Hurricane topped the Golden Rams, 38-14. Neither team has secured a playoff spot. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Red Hurricane will lock it up in this one. … New Castle over Highlands.

CLASS 3A

South Park Eagles (3-4) at No. 2 Central Valley Warriors (7-1)

The Eagles take on the Warriors in Tri-County West Conference action Friday night. South Park is coming off of a 29-0 loss to Aliquippa last week, while Central Valley rolled over Hopewell, 63-28. The Eagles rely on a solid running attack, led by Rudy Mihoces and Nathan May, who have combined for 1,160 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year. Ameer Dudley leads a versatile Warriors attack, throwing for 712 yards and nine touchdowns. Jaylen Guy has racked up 632 rushing yards for Central Valley, along with seven scores. South Park has been outscored by opponents, 180-119, this season. Central Valley has outscored opponents, 307-103. When these two met last season, the Warriors rolled to a 31-7 victory. Central Valley has already clinched a playoff spot. South Park can get in with a win. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Eagles’ postseason hopes will be delayed another week. … Central Valley over South Park.

CLASS 2A

Western Beaver Golden Beavers (6-2) at Neshannock Lancers (6-2)

Neshannock hosts Western Beaver in a Midwestern Conference matchup Friday night. Last week, the Lancers knocked off Freedom, 49-21, while the Golden Beavers topped New Brighton, 21-13. Neither Neshannock nor Western Beaver has clinched a playoff spot. The Lancers’ impressive running attack is led by Braden Gennock’s 1,007 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Golden Beavers’ backfield is headed up by Cam Irvine, who has rushed for 578 yards and 13 scores. Neshannock’s offense is averaging nearly 37 points per game, while Western Beaver is scoring only 21 per contest. When these two met last season, the Golden Beavers edged the Lancers, 20-19. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Lancers get revenge, and a playoff spot, this time around. … Neshannock over Western Beaver.

CLASS A

Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers (6-2) at California Trojans (5-3)

The Buccaneers take on the Trojans in a Tri-County South Conference showdown Friday night. Chartiers-Houston blanked Avella last week, 40-0, while California rolled over Bentworth, 67-34. Quarterback Anthony Lento captains the Buccaneers offense, throwing for 680 yards on the year. Lento’s favorite target, Tyler Blumen, has 327 receiving yards and a team-best six touchdowns. The Trojans’ dual-threat quarterback, Cochise Ryan, has passed for 614 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 733 yards and 16 scores. When these two met last season, California shut out Chartiers-Houston, 56-0. This time around, it’s win and get in. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Trojans will punch their ticket to the postseason in this one. … California over Chartiers-Houston.

CLASS 6A

Central Catholic over Canon-McMillan

Hempfield over Butler

Mt. Lebanon over Norwin

Nonconference

North Allegheny over West Allegheny

CLASS 5A

Allegheny Eight Conference

Moon over Woodland Hills

Upper St. Clair over Chartiers Valley

Big East Conference

Gateway over Connellsville

McKeesport over Franklin Regional

Northern Conference

Fox Chapel over Armstrong

Mars over Kiski Area

North Hills over Shaler

Nonconference

Penn Hills over Baldwin

Belle Vernon over Plum

Latrobe over Midd-West

Penn-Trafford over Hampton

CLASS 4A

Big Eight Conference

Laurel Highlands over Indiana

West Mifflin over Ringgold

Thomas Jefferson over Greensburg Salem

Northwest Eight Conference

South Fayette over Ambridge

Montour over Beaver

Nonconference

Blackhawk over Beaver Falls

Knoch over Trinity

CLASS 3A

Big East Conference

Derry over Deer Lakes

Freeport over Mt. Pleasant

North Catholic over Yough

Elizabeth Forward over Uniontown

Tri-County West Conference

Aliquippa over Keystone Oaks

Hopewell over Quaker Valley

Nonconference

Burrell over Waynesburg

CLASS 2A

Allegheny Conference

Shady Side Academy over East Allegheny

Steel Valley over Summit Academy

Century Conference

Charleroi over Brownsville

Carmichaels over Frazier

Washington over Southmoreland

Midwestern Conference

Mohawk over Ellwood City

New Brighton over Shenango

Three Rivers Conference

Burgettstown over Brentwood

South Side over Fort Cherry

Serra Catholic over Seton-LaSalle

South Allegheny over Carlynton

Nonconference

Freedom over Apollo-Ridge

Beth-Center over Imani Christian

Avonworth over McGuffey

Riverside over Valley

CLASS A

Big Seven Conference

Sto-Rox over Laurel

OLSH over Union

Northgate over Bishop Canevin

Eastern Conference

Clairton over Springdale

Jeannette over Riverview

Tri-County South Conference

West Greene over Jefferson-Morgan

Mapletown over Avella

Nonconference

Leechburg over Bentworth

Cornell over Greensburg Central Catholic

Monessen over Rochester

INDEPENDENT

Spring Mills (W.Va.) over Albert Gallatin

CITY LEAGUE

University Prep over Perry

Westinghouse over Allderdice

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