Chick’s Picks questions if her talent of prognostication has faded
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
North Allegheny over Butler
Seneca Valley over Hempfield
Central Catholic over Norwin
Upper St. Clair over Mt. Lebanon
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
Mars over North Hills
Penn Hills over Hampton
Armstrong over Shaler
Fox Chapel over Connellsville
Woodland Hills over Kiski Area
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
Thomas Jefferson over Central Valley
McKeesport over Indiana
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
Aliquippa over Yough
Apollo-Ridge over Valley
Shady Side Academy over Summit Academy
McGuffey over Brownsville
Washington over Carmichaels
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
Beth-Center over East Allegheny
Avonworth over Seton LaSalle
Steel Valley over Western Beaver
Neshannock over Fort Cherry
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
Springdale over Northgate
Frazier over Leechburg
Jefferson-Morgan over Riverview
Greensburg Central Catholic over Mapletown
Jeannette over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
Allderdice over Carrick (forfeit)
Brashear over University Prep
Howland (Ohio) over Perry
Westinghouse over Hickory