There’s nothing sweet about Belle Vernon’s matchup in the state finals, The Birdie says

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Wednesday, December 6, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Last week: 1-0 (100%)

Season: 109-28 (79.6%)

The nostalgic Birdie, long off his diet and primed for Christmas cookie season, filled his yellow belly with chocolate after Belle Vernon won last week.

He couldn’t help himself. It was habit.

Mama Birdie was making peanut butter blossoms — “kiss cookies” as she calls them — and he was over for a visit.

He forced her to make an impromptu shopping trip, which she was not too pleased about, after he polished off a bag of Hershey’s Kisses.

The candy made him think of Hersheypark Stadium, where he has fond memories of following Jeannette in past years and Belle Vernon last season.

Belle Vernon will play Northwestern Lehigh for the state title Saturday, but the game will be at Cumberland Valley in Mechanicsburg, not in Hershey.

“I don’t get excited to go to Mechanicsburg, even if the PIAA offices are there,” Birdie said. “Big whoop. It doesn’t smell like chocolate when I get out of the Chevette.

“I ate so much chocolate thinking about Hershey. I may have even swallowed a wrapper or two. I know for sure I ate some of those little white tags that hang out of the top of the Kiss.”

Research shows the tags are called plumes.

“Well, aren’t you special for knowing that?” Birdie said. “Research also shows Northern Lehigh is called the Tigers. Yes, they are big cats — and they bite. Belle Vernon is in trouble.”

Lehigh averages over 350 yards and more than 40 points a game.

“They have almost 100 touchdowns,” Birdie said. “They move the ball. They also have 40 sacks and 25 interceptions, give or take a couple. This team brings it.”

Northwestern Lehigh (15-0) vs. Belle Vernon (12-1): The Birdie thinks Belle Vernon will get down early and have to play from behind. The Leopards could set the tone with some big plays, but the Tigers will present a stiff challenge with their defense. Remember, Belle Vernon needed a goal-line stand last year to win the state title by a score of 9-8. There will be more scoring this time, but Northwestern Lehigh will do just a little more of it. Northwestern Lehigh 16, Belle Vernon 14

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