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Halloween takes a bite out of H.S. Picks

The first week of the high school playoffs went so-so for H.S. Picks, the Tribune-Review’s high school football prognosticator.

Picks got bit, not by a Halloween vampire, but from a couple upsets.

He missed on seven of 40 games.

Beth-Center and Frazier from the Tri-County South Conference dropped games along with Beaver, McGuffey and Penn Hills.

Halloween still turned out to be a lot of fun. Picks handed out candy to all the kids in his neighborhood, and he didn’t scare anyone except the neighbor’s dog.

Picks worked extra hard studying this week’s matchups. Hopefully, he says bite-free.

Let’s see who Picks likes:

North Allegheny vs. Penn-Trafford

Two high-scoring teams will collide in the Class AAAA quarterfinals at Fox Chapel. Both use balanced offensive attacks, so this game will be decided by the team who plays better defense. A lot of people are thinking NA will pull off an upset, but not Picks.

Penn-Trafford, 24-21.

Franklin Regional vs. West Allegheny

West Allegheny edged Franklin Regional in the 2013 semifinals. This could be a similar type of game; look for a similar result. Franklin Regional will need to play a complete game if it wants to pull off the upset of the two-time defending champion Indians.

West Allegheny, 24-14.

Mt. Pleasant vs. Aliquippa

These teams met in Week 8 of the regular season at the Pit in Aliquippa. The Quips pulled away in the second half for an easy win. This might be a little closer but likely will be the same result.

Aliquippa, 42-21.

Jeannette vs. Neshannock

Jeannette outscored Brentwood, 43-0, in the second half of last week’s first-round playoff game to erase a 19-7 deficit at halftime. A quicker start is important this week for Jeannette, which must find a way to slow down Neshannock running back Eli Owens. Picks likes the Jayhawks’ quickness against the unbeaten Lancers.

Jeannette, 28-27.

Moshannon Valley at Blairsville

These teams met in the opening round of the District 6 playoffs in 2002, 2012 and 2013. Blairsville won all three and will prevail again behind QB Scott Thompson and RB Deion Robinson.

Blairsville 34-14.

Picks also likes:

Quad-A: Pine-Richland 27, Altoona 14; McKeesport 24, Plum 17; Central Catholic 24, Woodland Hills 22.

Class AAA: Central Valley 35, Indiana 14; Ringgold 21, Hampton 17; Thomas Jefferson 27, Mars 21.

Class AA: South Fayette 42, South Park 14; Highlands 28, Seton-La Salle 20; Washington 34, Apollo-Ridge 33.

Class A: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 38, South Side Beaver 14; Avonworth 26, Riverside 14; Clairton 45, Shenango 13.

District 6: Bishop Guilfoyle 36, Williamsburg 10; Portage 17, Homer-Center 14; Bellwood-Antis 21, Penns Manor 14; Somerset 33, Punxsutawney 14.


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