The Birdie keeps his seat on Southmoreland bandwagon

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | 5:17 PM


Last week: 12-1 (92.3)

Season: 64-12 (84.2)

The Birdie arrived late to Southmoreland last week so he didn’t get a red and black pom pom. The first 500 people through the gates received one to wave at the game.

“I showed them,” Birdie said. “I made my own tuft of fan feathers. Shredded up some of those little red bags your newspaper comes in and a black Hefty garbage bag, glued them strips to the handle of the putter I snapped in half last week and boom, MacGyver pom pom.”

The Birdie doesn’t play favorites, but he never walks away from a good tale.

The Scotties were his lone loss last week (12-1), but he isn’t giving up on them yet.

“Yeah, yeah, you got me,” he said. “I am still behind the Fighting Scots. I know they got beat last week, but they’re not done yet.

“The last time I was in Alverton this much, I was lost and had to stop for directions.”

A softy for an underdog or rags-to-riches story, Westmoreland’s prognosticator of pigskin has been utterly impressed by Southmoreland, which is having its best season in 40 years.

“I’m still keeping my professionalism and objectivity, though,” said the Birdie, wearing a “Beam Me Up Scotties” T-shirt as he watches Zach Cernuto-to-Riley Comforti highlights on Hudl. He recently attempted a Highland Fling in the lunchroom. “If there’s a good story, I’m there. Ask Derry a couple of years ago. Ask Charlie or Mike, they’ll tell you.”

With the regular season more than halfway finished, the Birdie set down his pom pom to make some other observations.

• “Class A is down. Not what it used to be. But that means more teams with a chance at the title. OK, more teams with a chance to finish second to Jeannette.”

• “The Massillon loss made Penn-Trafford better. Better, that is, without their top running back. Warriors sharpened their new lineup against a powerhouse.”

• “Southmoreland’s conference, the Century, Interstate, or whatever you want to call it, is the Big 12 of the WPIAL. Does anyone stop anyone?”

• “Greensburg Central has the chutzpah to call some gadgety plays. It’s one way to distribute the ball to all those playmakers. This team’s dangerous because it’s well coached.”

• “Norwin’s goats eat up more yardage than the Knights’ rushers. Just sayin.”

• “Wearing football pants during heat week should not matter. You want players to adjust to the hot weather in full gear, right? How about no hitting shields during heat week? Now, you’re discouraging contact.”

• “With that running game, Greensburg Salem should switch to the triple-option.”

• “Feed those linemen. They’ve earned supper. I told you in March we had the best hogs in the WPIAL right here.”

Now for his Week 6 picks.

Friday

Seneca Valley (2-4, 2-3) at Hempfield (2-4, 1-4)

Seneca Valley was thumped by North Allegheny, while Hempfield stayed with Mt. Lebanon for a good while. The Spartans are running out of chances. Seneca Valley, 34-24

Central Catholic (5-1, 3-1) at Norwin (2-4, 1-3)

Norwin won’t be able to pass the way it did against Butler. The Vikings took it to Pine-Richland last week. Central Catholic, 42-7

Franklin Regional (3-1, 2-0) at Gateway (5-1, 2-1)

After a week off, Franklin Regional will be reintroduced to the neighboring Gators, who will win with big run plays. Gateway, 28-14

Penn-Trafford (5-1, 4-0) at Latrobe (2-4, 1-3)

After a slow start, Penn-Trafford throttled Plum and could do the same thing to Latrobe if the Wildcats aren’t ready early. Penn-Trafford, 38-13

Belle Vernon (4-1, 3-1) at Trinity (2-3, 2-3)

Belle Vernon can score with the best of them, but the Leopards don’t get enough credit for their defense, which is allowing 11.4 points per game. Belle Vernon, 35-6

West Mifflin (4-2, 3-0) at Greensburg Salem (2-4, 2-1)

Greensburg Salem should be able to run the ball, but the Titans will run it better — and downhill. West Mifflin, 28-7

Burrell (4-2, 3-2) at Mt. Pleasant (2-4, 1-3)

Exciting plays have followed Mt. Pleasant all season and they will lead the Vikings to a vital win at home. Mt. Pleasant, 36-30

Derry (4-2, 3-1) at Uniontown (0-6, 0-4)

It’s a long road trip, but Derry will work with short fields and roll. Derry, 38-0

Charleroi (4-1, 3-1) at Southmoreland (5-1, 4-1)

Coming off their first loss, Southmoreland will give its quarterback more time and rebound. Southmoreland, 39-28

Monessen (2-4, 2-2) at Chartiers-Houston (4-2, 3-1)

Monessen is beginning to pick up some steam offensively. Last week’s 60-point output is proof. Monessen, 28-21

Greensburg C.C. (5-1) at Mapletown (1-5)

GCC will use a lengthy road trip as a tune-up for No. 1 Jeannette. GCC, 41-6

Yough (1-5) at Aliquippa (6-0)

The Quips will score early and often against the Cougars. Aliquippa, 49-7

Marion Center (5-1, 5-1) at Ligonier Valley (6-0, 6-0)

Ligonier Valley rarely gets tested at home, but the Rams will use their big-play running game to avoid entanglements this week. Ligonier Valley, 38-13

Saturday

Jeannette (6-0) at OLSH (5-1)

This was a much better matchup last year, but it will be the same result. Jeannette doesn’t like Saturday games, but it will get the job done. Jeannette, 33-13

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