It’s no time for Chick’s Picks to duck out of her football responsibilities
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Central Catholic over Canon-McMillan
Hempfield over Butler
Mt. Lebanon over Norwin
North Allegheny over West Allegheny
Allegheny Eight Conference
Moon over Woodland Hills
Upper St. Clair over Chartiers Valley
Big East Conference
Gateway over Connellsville
McKeesport over Franklin Regional
Fox Chapel over Armstrong
Mars over Kiski Area
North Hills over Shaler
Penn Hills over Baldwin
Belle Vernon over Plum
Latrobe over Midd-West
Penn-Trafford over Hampton
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
Blackhawk over Beaver Falls
Knoch over Trinity
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
Burrell over Waynesburg
Shady Side Academy over East Allegheny
Steel Valley over Summit Academy
Charleroi over Brownsville
Carmichaels over Frazier
Washington over Southmoreland
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
Freedom over Apollo-Ridge
Beth-Center over Imani Christian
Avonworth over McGuffey
Riverside over Valley
Big Seven Conference
Sto-Rox over Laurel
OLSH over Union
Northgate over Bishop Canevin
Clairton over Springdale
Jeannette over Riverview
Tri-County South Conference
West Greene over Jefferson-Morgan
Mapletown over Avella
Leechburg over Bentworth
Cornell over Greensburg Central Catholic
Monessen over Rochester
Spring Mills (W.Va.) over Albert Gallatin
University Prep over Perry
Westinghouse over Allderdice