Warm up with some A-K Valley Week 5 picks from The Birdie

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | 6:51 PM

Last week: 12-1

Season: 49-8 (86.0%)

When high school football fans make their way to their local stadium Friday night, they might be experiencing their first real cold weather game of the season. Lows could be approaching the upper 30s.

This does not please The Birdie, of course. He would fly south for the winter right about now if he didn’t like football so much.

He remembered one time he took extreme measures to stay warm at a football game.

“In the days before the internet, we used to take helpful household hints wherever we could get them,” Birdie explained. “I read in a newspaper column that one way to keep your feet warm in the winter is to put Cayenne pepper in your socks. So I loaded up my tiny Birdie socks with pepper, pulled on my boots and went to the game.

“Didn’t work at all. My feet were freezing the whole game. Stupid Heloise.

“Stopped at a restaurant for some grub on the way home from the game. As I’m sitting there, I start noticing a strange sensation. I was sitting next to the heater. The warm air reacted with the pepper in my boots, and before I knew it, my feet felt like they were on fire. Went screaming out into the parking lot like a maniac.”

The moral of the story? If you want helpful household hints, don’t ask The Birdie. If you want football picks, well, he did go 12-1 last week.

On to his Week 5 predictions:

Mars (4-1) at Highlands (5-0): The Golden Rams have passed every test through the first half of the season. Now they’re facing the Eric Kasperowicz exam. The Birdie will do some math here. Mars’ lone loss is to Blackhawk. Highlands beat Blackhawk, 23-0. Highlands, 21-20

Apollo-Ridge (3-2) at Steel Valley (4-0): The Vikings took care of business at Derry last week, but this is a different level. Steel Valley, 30-10

Burrell (4-1) at Imani Christian (2-3): Here’s a fun matchup: the vaunted Bucs ground game against freshman phenom running back David Davis. Burrell must avoid the big play. Burrell, 28-21

Fox Chapel (0-5) at North Hills (1-4): North Hills got it going with an OT shocker over Penn Hills last week. North Hills, 26-13

Frazier (0-5) at Leechburg (3-2): Last week, the Blue Devils just missed out on the win over Clairton that they so desperately want. Frazier will pay the price for their disappointment. Leechburg, 40-6

Freeport (4-1) at Shady Side Academy (1-3): Yellowjackets need to focus with showdown with East Allegheny looming next week. Freeport, 30-10

Indiana (2-3) at Kiski Area (0-5): The Cavaliers got their offense going a little bit last week and have a shot at breaking into the win column this week. Indiana, 20-19

Knoch (0-5) at Deer Lakes (2-3): Lancers can play some defense, building confidence with a shutout win over Southmoreland last week. Deer Lakes, 14-6

Plum (3-2) at Franklin Regional (2-2): Neighboring schools both coming off heartbreaking losses last week. Franklin Regional, 24-20

Springdale (0-5) at Union (3-2): A tough road trip for the Dynamos. Union, 35-14

Valley (1-4) at East Allegheny (4-1): Big win for the Vikings last week, erasing that zero in the win column. This is a tough trip, though. East Allegheny, 34-12

Jeannette (1-4) at Riverview (2-3): After being an underdog against the Jayhawks for so many years, the Raiders find themselves in a toss-up on Saturday afternoon. Jeannette, 21-20

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