With trade deadline in rear view, Chick’s Picks makes predictions for first round football playoffs


Through:


Thursday, November 4, 2021 | 3:16 p.m.


Welcome to week 10.

The days leading up to the trade deadline are always a frantic time for high school football tipsters across the country. While Chick’s Picks feels safe in his position as the TribLive High School Sports Network’s top tipster, you never know what kind of deals agents might be up to behind the scenes.

As the 4 p.m. deadline approached Tuesday, Chick’s Picks couldn’t help but wonder if she had done everything right this season to secure her spot. Were his correct selection percentages higher or lower than normal? Did she insult or criticize The Boss more or less than usual? What if it was exchanged for a cold climate? Neither Chick’s Picks nor his crystal ball would do well in this environment.

Fortunately, 4 p.m. came and went without incident. A relieved Chick’s Picks decided it was the perfect start to November – the month of national gratitude – and remembered how grateful she was to have been able to tip for The Boss for another season.

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 47-13 (78%) record, bringing their season tally to 458-148 (76%). Here are the big games of this week:

WPIAL CLASS 6A

Big Mac Canon-McMillan # 5 (4-6) and # 4 North Allegheny Tigers (6-4)

North Allegheny welcomes familiar foe Canon-McMillan to the Class 6A quarterfinal on Friday night. The Tigers ended the regular season with a loss to Seneca Valley, 17-12. The Big Macs lost their fourth in a row after losing to Central Catholic, 54-14. Logan Kushner leads the Tigers, passing for 968 yards and 11 touchdowns during the year. The Big Macs will lean on the arm of Mike Evans, who threw for 1,383 yards and 12 touchdowns. Ryan Angott leads the Canon-Mac rushing attack with 780 rushing yards and 10 TDs. The Tigers score one more touchdown per game than the Big Macs. When the two met just a few weeks ago at a conference, North Allegheny topped Canon-Mac, 36-14. Chick’s Picks predicts the Tigers will end the Big Mac season this time around …North Allegheny finished Canon-McMillan.

WPIAL CLASS 5A

No.12 Franklin Regional Panthers (3-7) vs. No.5 Penn Hills Indians (6-3)

The Panthers start the playoffs on the road when they face the Indians in a Class 5A first-round game on Friday night. Franklin Regional ended the regular season on a low note last week after suffering a 56-9 loss to Gateway. Penn Hills earned their sixth victory, 42-22 over Kiski Area. Quarterback Connor Donnelly is the Panthers’ offensive captain, throwing for 822 yards and seven touchdowns this season. The Indians boast about having double-threat quarterback Julian Duggar, who has 1,209 passing yards and 17 touchdowns, as well as a team record of 423 rushing yards and seven scores. Penn Hills’ only losses this season have been against Central Catholic (6A) and 5A class competitors Gateway and Pine-Richland. Franklin Regional has been dominated by its opponents this season, 219-289. Chick’s Picks predicts the Indians will clinch their ticket to the quarter-finals with a win in this one …Penn Hills on Franklin Regional.

WPIAL CLASS 4A

No. 9 New Castle Red Hurricanes (6-4) to No. 8 Highlands Golden Rams (7-3)

Highlands host New Castle in a class 4A first round showdown on Friday night. The Golden Rams came off a 33-13 victory over Knoch to end the regular season last week, while the Red Hurricanes were routed by Aliquippa, 63-6. Highlands will be looking to slow down New Castle double-threat quarterback Christopher Hood, who threw for 883 yards and rushed for a team-record 646 yards and nine touchdowns. The Golden Rams’ powerful offense is led by 1,000-yard passer Chandler Thimmons. Running back Luke Bombalski ranks among the best in the WPIAL this season with 1,226 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Highlands are averaging 30.2 points per game. The Red Hurricanes are allowing 25.2 points per game, almost 10 points more per game than the Golden Rams. Chick’s Picks predicts the Red Hurricanes won’t have what it takes to slow down the Golden Rams’ powerful attack …Highlands on New Castle.

WPIAL CLASS 3A

No. 11 Burrell Buccaneers (3-7) to No. 6 Mt. Pleasant Vikings (5-4)

The Buccaneers hit the road to take on the Vikings in a Class 3A first round clash on Friday night. Burrell closed the conference game with a 19-14 victory over Valley last week, while Mt. Pleasant fell to South Allegheny, 21-7. The Buccaneers are one of the best running backs in the WPIAL at Caden DiCaprio, who has 1,286 yards and 14 touchdowns in his senior season. Robbie LaBuda and Aaron Alakson rushed 1,270 rushing yards for the Vikings and found dirt 17 times in the year. Burrell’s opponents overtook the Bucs, outscoring them 354-158. When these two met in week zero, Mt. Pleasant routed Burrell, 40-7. Chick’s Picks predicts the Buccaneers will start and end their season with losses to the Vikings …Mount. Pleasant on Burrell.

WPIAL CLASS 2A

No. 9 Ligonier Valley Rams (8-2) to No. 8 South Side Rams (7-3)

Ligonier Valley makes the long trip to the South Side in a Class 2A first-turn battle between two Rams on Friday night. Last week, the Ligonier Valley ended its regular season with a 48-22 victory over Apollo-Ridge, while the South Side edged Western Beaver, 27-7. Broderick Schreyer and Haden Sierocky have both spent time as Ligonier Valley quarterbacks this season, accumulating 1,062 yards and 16 touchdowns. Nick Beitel leads Ligonier Valley on the ground with 813 yards and nine touchdowns. Quarterback Brody Almashy leads the South Side’s balanced offensive offense, throwing for 508 yards and four scores. Parker Statler has 721 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns for the South Side. Ligonier Valley is averaging 31.3 points per game, almost one more touchdown per game than South Side. Chick’s Picks predicts Ligonier Valley will advance to the quarter-finals in this… his first playoff appearance since returning to WPIAL…Ligonier Valley on the south side.

WPIAL CLASS A

No.11 Shenango Wildcats (3-6) vs. No.6 Carmichaels Mighty Mikes (8-2)

The Mighty Mikes host the Wildcats for a first-round Class A face-off on Friday night. Carmichaels knocked out Jefferson-Morgan to wrap up the conference game last week, 40-6, while Shenango fell to Union, 16-6. It was the Wildcats’ second straight loss after losing to Rochester in Week 8. Two-threat quarterback Trenton Carter leads the Mighty Mikes, throwing for 1,149 yards and 16 touchdowns, and rushing for. 1,213 extra yards and 20 scores. The Wildcats rely on the running game, with CJ Miller and Hunter Lively combining for 1,240 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Shenango was dominated by his opponents, 156-198. Carmichaels’ powerful offense ranks at the top of Class A, averaging 40 points per game. Chick’s Picks predicts the Mighty Mikes will clinch their ticket to the quarterfinals with a win over the Wildcats in this one…Carmichaels more Shenango.

Here’s a look at the rest of this week’s games:

CLASS WPIAL 5A

First round

Upper St. Clair on Fox Chapel

Woodland Hills on Bethel Park

North Hills in Peters Township

WPIAL CLASS 4A

First round

Thomas Jefferson on Indiana

Armstrong on Montour

Hampton on Plum

Beaver on Laurel Highlands

WPIAL CLASS 3A

First round

Freeport on Ambridge

East Allegheny on Southmoreland

Keystone Oaks on South Allegheny

WPIAL CLASS 2A

First round

Steel Valley on Beth-Center

Catholic Serra on Neshannock

Chartiers-Houston on Mohawk

Washington vs. New Brighton

Laurel on McGuffey

The beaver falls on the western beaver

Sto-Rox on Shady Side Academy

WPIAL CLASS A

First round

Rochester on Mapletown

Cornell on Monessen

Bishop Canevin on Burgettstown

Leechburg on California

Greensburg Central Catholic on OLSH

West Greene on Springdale

PIAA regional semi-finals

Preparation of the cathedral on Brashear

University preparation on DuBois

Westinghouse on Chestnut Ridge

Tags: Burrell, Canon-McMillan, Carmichaels, Franklin Regional, Highlands, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant, New Castle, North Allegheny, Penn Hills, Shenango, South Side

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