The Birdie plays up Belle Vernon’s chances in WPIAL championship game

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 | 12:01 PM

Last week: 1-0 (100%)

Season: 105-28 (78.9%)

The Birdie wants to set something straight about Belle Vernon on the eve of the WPIAL Class 3A championship.

“They’re not playing down,” Westmoreland’s prep football professor said, shaking his head. “You Leopard fans need to realize the opposite is true: The team is where it belongs. They didn’t play up.”

The Birdie thinks the Leopards have a solid shot at winning their first WPIAL football title since 1995, “Which, by the way, was a 3A title,” he said, holding up three fingers. “You should be supporting your team, not criticizing them for playing where they belong. Belle Vernon has 3A enrollment, just like Avonworth. Would you ‘pay up’ to a higher tax bracket just for prestige? I didn’t think so.

“Enjoy it, don’t downplay it.”

While he thinks Avonworth will give the Leopards a game, he likes big plays on the defensive side to set Belle Vernon apart at Acrisure Stadium.

• Avonworth (11-1) vs. Belle Vernon (9-2): The Antelopes will hit some sizable pass plays, but they’ll slip up by giving the Leopards a short field one time too many. Belle Vernon will eventually secure the secondary and force Avonworth onto misfires. The Leopards will validate their No. 1 seed.

“They won’t play down to the competition,” the Birdie quipped as he turned out the lights in the office. “Hail Mighty Birdie.” Belle Vernon, 31-20


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