Chicks Picks - Week 12

Picks from the Chick for 11/15
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Welcome to Week 12. We have reached the final stop on the Highway to Heinz.  Keeping with tradition, Chick’s Picks stopped by her favorite uptown pizza shop, as she does each football season at this time.  After placing her usual order for the college special, Chick’s Picks sat down to ponder her predictions over the delicious meal.

Something caught her eye from across the way.  Sure enough, it was The Fumbler—dining over the same meal, pondering his own picks.  Chick’s Picks confronted her rival prognosticator, demanding an explanation.

The Fumbler said, “Sorry, Chick’s Picks.  I know that this is your tradition.  But your predictions have so far exceeded mine this season, I thought that trying this out for myself would bring me some late season luck.”  At that moment, Chick’s Picks thought, “Who could blame the guy?”

Realizing that she had officially dethroned The Fumbler as the WPIAL’s top prognosticator, Chick’s Picks patted him on the back and commended him for his efforts.  The two went on to chat about this week’s semifinal predictions, while enjoying their college specials together.  Who knew that these two bitter adversaries could, in fact, live happily ever after?

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 12-4 (75%) record, bringing her season total to 517-121 (81%).

Agree with her picks?  Disagree?  Chick’s Picks wants to hear from you!  Be sure to follow her on Twitter @ChicksPicksMSA.  Don’t forget to tweet your scores to us @MSASports

WPIAL CLASS AAAA SEMIFINALS:

#1 Upper St. Clair (11-0) vs. #4 Woodland Hills (9-2)
The Panthers are making Baldwin their home away from home, playing their second straight playoff game there Friday night.  Last week, Upper St. Clair knocked off defending champ North Allegheny, 41-23, while Woodland Hills defeated Seneca Valley, 28-14.  The Panthers continued their balanced attack, as five different players found the end zone.  The Wolverines boast a 1,000-yard rusher in Miles Sanders.  These two met in Week 1, with Upper St. Clair winning, 16-10.  Woodland Hills dropped its next game, as well, but since have gone (9-0), and shown tremendous improvement.  Chick’s Picks likes the Wolverines this time around.
Woodland Hills over Upper St. Clair

#2 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (11-0) vs. #6 Penn-Trafford (8-3)
The upstart Warriors will take on the Vikings Friday night at West Mifflin.  Many counted Penn-Trafford out after an unexpected loss to Kiski Area in Week 7.  Since then, however, the Warriors have knocked off Gateway, Hempfield, Penn Hills, and McKeesport.  The Vikings survived the quarterfinals with a 27-21 win over Gateway.  Still, Central Catholic’s defense has been unbreakable, allowing only 5.3 points per game.  A huge question mark lingers for Penn-Trafford this week in Devin Austin.  The team’s leading rusher left last week’s game in the second half with an injury.  Chick’s Picks thinks that, regardless of Austin’s status, the Vikings will punch their ticket to Heinz Field.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic over Penn-Trafford

WPIAL CLASS AAA SEMIFINALS:

#1 West Allegheny (11-0) vs. #4 Franklin Regional (10-1)
The defending champion Indians will face the Panthers Friday night at North Allegheny.  In last week’s quarterfinals, West Allegheny routed Indiana, 18-7.  Franklin Regional handled West Mifflin and the WPIAL’s top RB, 14-12.  The Indians and the Panthers boast solid defenses, both allowing less than ten points per game.  Franklin Regional’s dual-threat QB Charan Singh has passed for 700 yards, and leads the team in rushing with another 700 yards and nine touchdowns.  The Panthers’ only loss this season came to Highlands in Week 3.  Since then, they have gone a perfect (7-0).  Chick’s Picks thinks that streak comes to an end this week.
West Allegheny over Franklin Regional

#2 Thomas Jefferson (11-0) vs. #3 Central Valley (10-1)
Thomas Jefferson and Central Valley will meet Friday night at Chartiers Valley to fight for a spot at Heinz Field next week.  The Jaguars topped Highlands last week, 23-14, while Central Valley knocked off Mars, 35-21.  Jordan Whitehead did it all for the Warriors in the win, scoring three different ways—receiving, rushing, and returning a kickoff.  Thomas Jefferson’s Chase Winovich and Austin Kemp create a running attack feared by most opponents.  The duo has combined for nearly 2,000 yards and 32 touchdowns.  Central Valley’s only loss came narrowly to defending champ West Allegheny, 13-7, in Week 5.  Chick’s Picks likes the Warriors with the upset in this one.
Central Valley over Thomas Jefferson

WPIAL CLASS AA SEMIFINALS:

#1 Aliquippa (11-0) vs. #12 Beaver (8-3)
Familiar Midwestern Conference foes will meet for the second time this season this Friday at Ambridge.  In the previous meeting, Aliquippa walked away with an easy 50-13 victory.  The Quips are coming off of a 43-26 win over Quaker Valley.  The Bobcats upset Mount Pleasant, 21-7.  Aliquippa’s backfield tandem of Dravon Henry and Terry Swanson have dominated this season, rushing for over 2,400 yards and 42 touchdowns.  Beaver QB Alex Rowse ranks among the best in the WPIAL, passing for 2,665 yards and 40 touchdowns.  Chick’s Picks likes the Quips to make their sixth straight WPIAL title game appearance.
Aliquippa over Beaver

#2 South Fayette (11-0) vs. #6 Beaver Falls (9-2)
South Fayette faces Beaver Falls in another Class AA semifinal at Montour Friday night.  Last week, the Lions knocked off Seton-LaSalle, 31-7, while the Tigers pummeled Yough, 43-7.  Both display similar offenses, each with a quarterback and a running back capable of big things.  Beaver Falls QB Dan Stratton has thrown for nearly 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns.  RB Damian Rawl has over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns.  South Fayette QB Brett Brumbaugh is approaching the 2,600-yard mark, including a 463-yard record-setting performance last week.  RB Grant Fetchet surpassed 1,000 yards and has 19 touchdowns.  These two met in last year’s quarterfinals, where South Fayette walked away with a 35-21 victory.  Chick’s Picks predicts a repeat performance.
South Fayette over Beaver Falls

WPIAL CLASS A SEMIFINALS:

#1 Sto-Rox (11-0) vs. #4 Clairton (10-1)
Clairton will make its eighth consecutive semifinal appearance Friday night, taking on top-ranked Sto-Rox at Chartiers-Houston.  The Vikings are coming off of a 42-20 quarterfinal victory over Apollo-Ridge.  The Bears topped Fort Cherry, 52-35.  These two met in last year’s WPIAL Class A championship, where Clairton crushed Sto-Rox, 58-21—and the Vikings have not forgotten.  This year’s edition features the WPIAL career passing leader in Sto-Rox QB Lenny Williams, who has racked up 2,354 yards and 34 touchdowns this season.  The Bears are short on the usual key position players, but not on heart.  Still, Chick’s Picks likes the Vikings to get revenge this time around.
Sto-Rox over Clairton

#2 Cardinal Weurl North Catholic (11-0) vs. #6 Neshannock (9-2)
The Trojans take on the Lancers for the second time this season Friday night at Mars.  In last week’s quarterfinals, North Catholic edged Avonworth, 14-7, while Neshannock won big over Monessen, 35-6.  The Lancers have continued to roll behind QB Ernie Burkes and RB Eli Owens.  Burkes has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, both in the air and on the ground this season.  Owens is approaching 1,500 yards and has 13 touchdowns.  In the previous Week 8 meeting, North Catholic came out on top, 21-14.  The Trojans still suffered a great loss, despite the win.  QB Adam Sharlow—after scoring all three TDs for North Catholic—went down with an injury, and has not played since.  PJ Fulmore has been exceptional, transitioning into the QB role to replace Sharlow.  Chick’s Picks, though, thinks the Lancers will be too much for the Sharlow-less Trojans.
Neshannock over Cardinal Weurl North Catholic

Comments

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 5:40pm

In AAA, I like your West Allegheny over Franklin Regional selection, as FR only scored 14 against a small West Mifflin team, while giving up over 220 yds to Jimmy Wheeler.  WA should shut down FR and win by 3 TDS.  Let's say 35-14 or more.

However, I'm siding with Thomas Jefferson over Central Valley here due to their offensive & defensive lines, plus their ability to not give up the big plays (at least to date).  CV has pretty much lived off big plays all season, as well as the play-offs thus far. Aside from 1-2 long runs, 1-2 long passes, plus punt & kick-off returns, CV has really not done much of a sustained offensing game against either Belle Vernon or Mars.  Take away a 75-yd run vs Mars, and CV had under 100 yds rushing.  That will not get it done against that TJ defense.  I'm sure TJ knows the dangers of CV's special teams, so it will be punting out of bounds every time, forcing CV to move the ball against their defense.  I just don't think CV and grind out an 80-yd drive on 10-12 plays.  I'm thinking Thomas Jefferson 27-14, 27-17, somethng like that.

My only other difference in our selections is Upper St. Clair over Woody Hills.  I'll give USC about a 70% chance of going to Heinz Field next week.

In Single-A, That Sto-Rox - Clairton game is a coin flip.  I say the winner escapes by 2 pts.

We'll see tonight.

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 1:33am
Still not tired of picking against North Catholic huh?  How is that working for you?
Sat, 11/16/2013 - 9:16pm

If you're talking to me, I really don't follow Class A much. but nice to see N/C win a big one.  Wait until they finish that new high school and jump to AAAA in 2-3 years!  N/C will keep all those North Hills players currently going to Central!  PCC needs to enjoy it while it lasts.

Regardless......Should be 4 GREAT match-ups at Heinz Field!  Also nice to see come newbies down there too.

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