No matter who the Acrisure Pigeons favor, Chick’s Picks has your WPIAL title predictions

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022 | 9:01 AM


By now you have probably become familiar with the new gang in town — the Acrisure Pigeons. The avian group invaded Acrisure Stadium a few weeks ago as the Steelers took on the Saints. When the Steelers pulled off a rare victory that day, the Pigeons were credited with bringing our hometown team good luck.

The Pigeons became overnight celebrities, much like Chick’s Picks, thanks to their contribution to Steelers Nation. They even have their own Twitter account. So, with four WPIAL championships slated to take place at this very same venue on Friday, Chick’s Picks couldn’t help but wonder, what if the Acrisure Pigeons make their triumphant return?

With not one but essentially eight home teams taking the big stage on Friday, how will the Pigeons decide who to pass their good luck on to? What if the Pigeons bring along their turkey friends who survived Thanksgiving and spoil the good luck for all? These were just a few of the philosophical questions that Chick’s Picks found herself riddled with as she prepared for Championship Friday.

Nonetheless, Chick’s Picks is thankful for yet another successful season of Friday night lights in the books. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and best of luck to the coaches and players this Championship Friday.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 6-4 (60%) record, bringing her season total to 474-152 (76%).

Class 4A championship

2-Central Valley Warriors (11-1) vs. 1-Aliquippa Quips (11-0)

The top-ranked Quips take on the Warriors for WPIAL Class 4A gold in the Saturday finale at Acrisure Stadium. In last week’s semifinals, Aliquippa rolled over McKeesport, 42-7, while Central Valley blanked Thomas Jefferson, 19-0. … Quarterback Quentin Goode captains the Quips offense, throwing for 1,656 yards and 18 touchdowns on the year. Tiqwai Hayes leads the Aliquippa running game with 1,660 yards and 26 scores. Antwon Johnson leads the Warriors’ offensive attack with 1,315 passing yards and 16 touchdowns. Central Valley is also strong on the ground behind Bret FitzSimmons’ 1,722 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. … Both teams are averaging more than 41 points per game while allowing less than 10. When these two met in Week 9, Aliquippa held off Central Valley, 35-24. The Quips have won 18 WPIAL titles — more than any other team — and are the defending Class 4A champs. The Warriors have claimed WPIAL gold five times, including the last three straight in Class 3A. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Class 4A experience will help the Quips bring home title No. 19. … Aliquippa over Central Valley

Class 3A championship

2-Avonworth Antelopes (11-1) vs. 1-Belle Vernon Leopards (9-2)

The top two seeds battle for WPIAL Class 3A gold Friday afternoon at Acrisure Stadium. Avonworth advanced to the title game with a 35-0 rout of Shady Side Academy in last week’s semifinals, while Belle Vernon blanked Freeport 42-0. … The Leopards boast a high-powered offense that averages 39.1 points per game, led by Division I prospect Quinton Martin’s 1,070 rushing yards, 352 receiving yards, and 26 touchdowns. The Antelopes are led by quarterback Nate Harper, who has thrown for 1,303 yards and 18 scores on the year. Luke Hilyard makes the Avonworth running game a factor with his 1,374 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. … Both teams boast stingy defenses, allowing nine points per game. Avonworth has won WPIAL gold twice, with the most recent coming in 2019. Belle Vernon claimed its first and only title in 1995. Avonworth’s only loss this season came to Class 4A finalist Central Valley. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Antelopes pull the upset and claim WPIAL gold for the third time. … Avonworth over Belle Vernon

Class 2A championship

2-Beaver Falls Tigers (11-1) vs. 1-Steel Valley Ironmen (11-0)

Beaver Falls faces off against Steel Valley for the WPIAL Class 2A championship Friday afternoon at Acrisure Stadium. In last week’s semifinals, the Tigers rolled over Sto-Rox, 54-16, while the Ironmen knocked off Neshannock, 32-7. … Beaver Falls quarterback Jaren Brickner has thrown for 1,783 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 653 yards and 16 scores. The Tigers also feature a 1,000-yard receiver in Trey Singleton, who has also found the end zone 18 times this season. Steel Valley boasts a dual-threat quarterback of its own in Cruce Brookins, who has thrown for 709 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for a team-best 1,456 yards and 30 scores on the year. … The Ironmen are averaging 45 points per game while allowing only seven. Beaver Falls’ only loss this season came to Class 3A Beaver. These teams hold 10 WPIAL championships between them. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Ironmen will remain perfect and hoist their first WPIAL championship trophy since 2018. … Steel Valley over Beaver Falls

Class A championship

10-Union Scotties (10-3) vs. 1-Bishop Canevin Crusaders (12-1)

The Cinderella Scotties take on the top-ranked Crusaders for WPIAL Class A gold to kick off Championship Friday at Acrisure Stadium. Union advanced to the title game by edging Rochester, 18-16, in last week’s semifinals. Bishop Canevin cruised to a 49-21 victory over South Side Beaver. … The Scotties boast dual-threat quarterback Braylon Thomas, who has thrown for 981 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for a team-leading 1,168 yards and 15 scores. The Crusaders have scored 544 points against their 13 opponents. This high-powered offense is led by not one but two quarterbacks in Kole Olszewski and Jason Cross, who have combined for 2,630 passing yards and 34 touchdowns on the year. Xavier Nelson has been a primary target in the Bishop Canevin receiving corps with 1,230 yards and 22 touchdowns. Marquis Carter has given the running game dimension with 1,545 yards and 11 scores. … Union is allowing 17 points per game — nearly twice that of Bishop Canevin. The Scotties are seeking their first WPIAL title since 1959. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Crusaders will claim their second consecutive WPIAL championship in this one. … Bishop Canevin over Union

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