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Chick’s Picks questions if her talent of prognostication has faded

October 6, 2018

Welcome to Week 6 of the high school football season.

Chick’s Picks has been in the prognosticating business long enough to know that you cannot please everyone. Regardless of who she picks each week, Chick’s Picks has accepted the fact someone will disagree. Sometimes, however, the source of the criticism still surprises her.

Earlier this week, Chick’s Picks caught wind that an old college pal strongly disagreed with one of her predictions. He even went so far as to elaborate on why he felt Chick’s Picks was so far off the mark with her prediction. Unable to sit back and take this harsh criticism, Chick’s Picks called out her old pal on his remarks.

He did not back down, however. In fact, he teamed up with another college buddy to really put the hammer down on Chick’s Picks and her crystal ball. As it turned out, they were right.

Chick’s Picks began to question her abilities and wondered if her talent had run its course now, in her old age. She quickly squashed that thought, though, remembering that someone as gifted as her does not simply lose talent with age. Chick’s Picks has not yet ruled out bringing on her old pals as consultants for the remainder of the season, though.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 51-12 (81 percent) record, upping her season total to 277-98 (74 percent). Here are this week’s big games:

CLASS 6A

No. 1 Pine-Richland (5-1) at Canon-McMillan (2-3)

Canon-McMillan welcomes top-ranked Pine-Richland in a Class 6A showdown Friday night. Last week, the Big Macs handed Class 5A No. 3 Peters Township its first loss, 35-26. The Rams rolled over Central Catholic, 42-21. Canon-Mac’s balanced offensive attack is led by quarterback Jon Quinque, who has thrown for 755 yards and six touchdowns. Josh O’Hare has picked up 704 yards on the ground, along with seven touchdowns. Pine-Richland’s Luke Meckler has rushed for 440 yards and nine touchdowns, including four last week against Central Catholic. The Rams are averaging 40 points per game. The Big Macs have been outscored by opponents, 159-105. Chick’s Picks predicts the Rams will remain perfect in this one. ... Pine-Richland over Canon-McMillan.

CLASS 5A

No. 1 Gateway (6-0) at Franklin Regional (5-0)

Franklin Regional hosts Gateway in a Big East Conference battle of undefeateds Friday night. The Panthers are coming off of a 65-0 shutout of Albert Gallatin last week, while the Gators recorded their third shutout of the season with a 45-0 win over North Hills. Franklin Regional is led by quarterback Adam Rudzinski, who has thrown for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns. Gateway boasts the top offense and defense in Class 5A, posting nearly 46 points per game while allowing less than six. Gators’ quarterback Brendan Majocha has 1,126 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. Chick’s Picks predicts the Gators will hand the Panthers their first loss of the season. ... Gateway over Franklin Regional.

CLASS 4A

Greensburg Salem (2-4) at No. 5 West Mifflin (3-3)

Greensburg Salem visits West Mifflin in Big Eight Conference action Friday night. Last week, the Golden Lions were dealt their fourth loss of the season, 48-14, to Belle Vernon, while the Titans rolled over Laurel Highlands, 48-13. Versatile Greensburg Salem quarterback Trent Patrick has thrown for eight touchdowns and rushed for another five scores. West Mifflin’s Parrish Parker has rushed for 862 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Golden Lions have been outscored by opponents, 162-186. The Titans have been strong on defense, allowing only 10 points per game. Chick’s Picks predicts a home team win in this one. ... West Mifflin over Greensburg Salem.

CLASS 3A

No. 4 North Catholic (5-1) at No. 2 Elizabeth Forward (5-0)

The Warriors host the Trojans in a Big East Conference battle between Top 5 teams Friday night. North Catholic rolled over Mt. Pleasant last week, 49-7, while Elizabeth Forward upset No. 2 Derry, 25-22. The Trojans’ only loss this season came to that same Derry squad, 27-0. Quarterback Zach Rocco is approaching 1,000 passing yards for North Catholic, and has thrown 13 touchdown passes. Quarterback Zachary Benedek leads Elizabeth Forward with eight scores. Chick’s Picks predicts that back-to-back weeks of tough tests will take a toll on the Warriors. ... North Catholic over Elizabeth Forward.

CLASS 2A

Southmoreland (3-3) at No. 4 Charleroi (4-1)

Century Conference rivals Southmoreland and Charleroi take the field Friday night. Last week, the Scotties dropped to .500 with a 56-28 loss to McGuffey. The Cougars picked up their first loss of the season, falling just short to Beth-Center, 28-27. Southmoreland boasts one of the top passers in the WPIAL in Zach Cernuto, who has thrown for 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year. Charleroi quarterback Geno Pellegrini has passed for 812 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for another 456 yards and seven touchdowns. The Cougars’ defense has allowed only 82 points in five games -- less than half that of the Scotties. Chick’s Picks predicts a win for the home team in this one. ... Charleroi over Southmoreland.

CLASS A

No. 2 Imani Christian (5-1) at No. 3 Clairton (5-0)

The Bears host the Saints in an Eastern Conference showdown Friday night. Clairton remained perfect last week with a 36-0 rout of Leechburg, while Imani Christian rolled over Riverview, 54-0. The Bears are led by quarterback Brendan Parsons, who has thrown for 459 yards and six touchdowns. Saints quarterback Israel Reed ranks as one of the best in the WPIAL, passing for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns. Imani Christian’s high-powered offense is averaging 42 points. It will be tested this week, however, facing a stingy Clairton defense that has allowed only 12 points all season -- the best in Class A. When these two met last season, the Saints handed the Bears their only conference loss of the season, 18-6. Chick’s Picks predicts that revenge is on the agenda in this one. ... Clairton over Imani Christian.

CLASS 6A

North Allegheny over Butler

Seneca Valley over Hempfield

Central Catholic over Norwin

Nonconference

Upper St. Clair over Mt. Lebanon

CLASS 5A

Allegheny Eight Conference

Bethel Park over Chartiers Valley

Peters Township over Moon

West Allegheny over Baldwin

Big East Conference

Penn-Trafford over Latrobe

Plum over Albert Gallatin

Northern Conference

Mars over North Hills

Penn Hills over Hampton

Armstrong over Shaler

Nonconference

Fox Chapel over Connellsville

Woodland Hills over Kiski Area

CLASS 4A

Big Eight Conference

Laurel Highlands over Ringgold

Belle Vernon over Trinity

Northwest Eight Conference

Beaver over Ambridge

Highlands over Montour

Blackhawk over New Castle

South Fayette over Knoch

Nonconference

Thomas Jefferson over Central Valley

McKeesport over Indiana

CLASS 3A

Big East Conference

Deer Lakes over Freeport

Burrell over Mt. Pleasant

Derry over Uniontown

Tri-County West Conference

Beaver Falls over Keystone Oaks

Quaker Valley over Waynesburg

South Park over Hopewell

Nonconference

Aliquippa over Yough

CLASS 2A

Allegheny Conference

Apollo-Ridge over Valley

Shady Side Academy over Summit Academy

Century Conference

McGuffey over Brownsville

Washington over Carmichaels

Midwestern Conference

Ellwood City over Shenango

Freedom over New Brighton

Mohawk over Riverside

Three Rivers Conference

Brentwood over Serra Catholic

Burgettstown over Carlynton

South Side Beaver over South Allegheny

Nonconference

Beth-Center over East Allegheny

Avonworth over Seton LaSalle

Steel Valley over Western Beaver

Neshannock over Fort Cherry

CLASS A

Big Seven Conference

Cornell over Bishop Canevin

Union over Laurel

Sto-Rox over Rochester

Tri-County South Conference

Bentworth over Avella

Monessen over Chartiers-Houston

West Greene over California

Nonconference

Springdale over Northgate

Frazier over Leechburg

Jefferson-Morgan over Riverview

Greensburg Central Catholic over Mapletown

Jeannette over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

CITY LEAGUE

Allderdice over Carrick (forfeit)

Brashear over University Prep

Nonconference

Howland (Ohio) over Perry

Westinghouse over Hickory

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