Through:

Thursday 25 November 2021 | 11:01 am


Welcome to week 13.

Chick’s Picks doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that our last stop on the highway to Heinz coincides with Thanksgiving. After all, Chick’s Picks has plenty to be thankful for this season, including:

The birdie: Chick’s Picks is grateful to The Birdie for sharing the TribLive High School Sports Network forecaster spotlight.

Her crystal ball: Chick’s Picks is thankful for its most prized forecasting tool. How could she be so successful without it?

Friends: Chick’s Picks is grateful to her college friends who played an integral role in developing her love of high school soccer many, many years ago—especially a friend who currently coaches his squad in the Texas Class 6A playoffs. (Go Cougars.)

The entire crew of TribLive High School Sports Network: Chick’s Picks is thankful for the team that delivers the best high school football coverage.

Chick’s Picks is thankful for fan-filled stands, Friday night lights, and marching bands—all those things that brought a sense of normalcy to this high school football season. Happy Thanksgiving!

Chick’s Picks finished last week with an 8-5 (62%) record, bringing her season tally to 507-169 (75%). Here are this week’s championship games:

WPIAL Class 5A

No. 1 Moon Tigers (12-0) vs. No. 2 Penn Trafford Warriors (10-2)

The Tigers will face the Warriors in the Class 5A Championship game at Heinz Field on Saturday night. Moon advanced to the title match with a 21-13 quarterfinal win over No. 9 Woodland Hills and a 14-9 semifinal win over No. 5 Penn Hills. Penn-Trafford rolled No. 10 Fox Chapel, 42-14, in the quarterfinals, then knocked out No. 3 Pine-Richland, 24-6, in last week’s semifinals. … Moon is led by quarterback Tyler McGowan, who has thrown 1,212 yards and eight touchdowns this year. Dylan Sleva has rushed 754 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Tigers. Penn-Trafford has also found success both in the air and on the ground. Carter Green has thrown 1023 yards and nine touchdowns. Cade Yacamelli has amassed 1,498 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. … Moon has been perfect this season after finishing last season with a 4-3 record, not in the playoffs. Both the Tigers and Warriors average about 30 points per game, while the opponents have only 12 points per game. Moon’s only WPIAL title came in 1998. Penn-Trafford is still looking for his first. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Warriors will get their name in the record book this time around. … Penn-Trafford over the moon

WPIAL Class 4A

No. 1 Belle Vernon Leopards (10-0) vs. No. 2 Aliquippa Quips (10-1)

The top two Class 4A seeds will compete for WPIAL gold at Heinz Field on Saturday afternoon. Belle Vernon’s playoff journey included a 45-20 defeat of No. 9 New Castle in the quarter-finals, followed by a 21-7 semi-final win over No. 5 TJ. Aliquippa advanced to the title match after knocking out No. 10 Laurel Highlands 36-0 in the quarter-finals, then knocking out No. 3 McKeesport 27-21 in the semi-finals. Belle Vernon seeks revenge for losing last year’s semifinal 33-25 against Aliquippa. … The Leopards boast of dual-threat quarterback Devin Whitlock, who has 1,052 passing yards and nine touchdowns and 1,181 rushing yards and 22 scores. Quinton Martin shares running game duties with Whitlock and has racked up 898 yards and 12 touchdowns this year. However, Belle Vernon’s powerful attack will be tested against Aliquippa’s miserly defense who only allows 9.7 points per game. The Quips, on the other side of the ball, are led by quarterback Quentin Goode’s 1,529 passing yards and 15 touchdowns. Tiqwai Hayes rushed for 1,378 yards and 15 scores for Aliquippa. … The Quips’ only defeat this season came for the top Class 3A team – Central Valley. Belle Vernon has one WPIAL title from 1995. Aliquippa has won WPIAL gold 17 times in two classifications, the most recent being in 2018. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Quips in this class will add Class 4A gold to their collection. … aliquippa about Belle Vernon

WPIAL Class 3A

No. 1 Central Valley Warriors (12-0) vs. No. 2 Northern Catholic Trojans (12-0)

Central Valley takes on North Catholic on Saturday afternoon in an unbeaten battle for WPIAL Class 3A gold at Heinz Field. The defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Warriors have not allowed a point in the postseason, beating No. 9 East Allegheny, 41-0, in the quarter-finals and No. 4 Elizabeth Forward, 51-0, in the semi-finals . The Trojans defeated No. 7 Keystone Oaks 48-41 in the quarter-finals, before beating No. 3 Avonworth 7-0 in last week’s semi-finals. … Antwon Johnson is the captain of the Central Valley offense, throwing 956 yards and 13 touchdowns a year. Landon Alexander leads the Warriors’ running offense with 1,709 rushing yards and 25 scores. Veteran Northern Catholic quarterback Joey Prentice has thrown in 1,582 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. The versatile Kyle Tipinski has rushed 514 yards and seven touchdowns and was on the receiving end for 457 yards and nine scores. … Central Valley’s offense averages 47.7 points per game — a touchdown more per game than Northern Catholic. Both the Warriors and the Trojans have a stingy defense, with Central Valley allowing 6.3 points per game and Northern Catholic just 7.7. Central Valley has four WPIAL titles, including each from the last two years. North Catholic is aiming for its second championship. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Warriors will take home No. 5 for the three-peat. … Central Valley about Northern Catholic

WPIAL Class 2A

No. 5 Beaver Falls Tigers (9-3) vs. No. 6 Serra Catholic Eagles (13-1)

The Tigers and Eagles will compete for WPIAL Class 2A gold at Heinz Field on Friday afternoon. Beaver Falls made its way down the highway to Heinz with wins over No. 12 Western Beaver, 42-8, No. 13 New Brighton, 40-0 and No. 1 Steel Valley, 21-8. Serra Catholic advanced with a 61-21 win over No. 11 Neshannock, a 6-0 shutout of No. 3 Laurel and a 13-12 lead over No. 2 Sto-Rox. … The Tigers are led by one of the WPIAL’s top passers in Jaren Brickner, who threw for 2,467 yards and 24 touchdowns. Isaiah Aeschbacher was Brickner’s favorite target, with 783 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Defending WPIAL champion Beaver Falls started this season 0-3 with losses to Blackhawk, Aliquippa and Laurel before winning a run of nine games. Serra Catholic quarterback Max Rocco passed for 1,750 yards and 24 touchdowns. … The Eagles’ lone loss this season came in the final week of the regular season, 28-7 for Steel Valley. Last season, the Eagles advanced to the semifinals before going down to Sto-Rox, 49-38. Beaver Falls has an average of 35.4 points per game – one more touchdown per game than Serra Catholic. The Eagles’ solid defense allows only 8.8 points per game. Beaver Falls has won WPIAL gold five times. Serra Catholic is looking for his third WPIAL title and first since 2007. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Tigers will pay off in this game. … Beaver Falls over Serra Catholic

WPIAL Class A

no. 9 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers (9-3) vs. no. 3 Bishop Canevin Crusaders (12-1)

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart heads to Heinz Field as the lowest seed remaining to battle Bishop Canevin for WPIAL Class A golden Friday afternoon. The Chargers advanced to the title game with setbacks from No. 8 Greensburg Central Catholic, 28-8, No. 1 Clairton, 29-15 and No. 5 Rochester, 14-13. The Crusaders’ post-season journey includes victories over No. 14 Burgettstown, 49-6, No. 11 Shenango, 42-14 and No. 2 Cornell, 24-7. … Quarterback Nehemiah Azeem leads the OLSH offense, passing for 1,730 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year. Stephen Greer is rushed for 626 yards and four touchdowns. Bishop Canevin is led by quarterback Jason Cross, who has 1,386 yards and 16 touchdowns and an additional 473 yards and nine scores. Marquis Carter leads the Crusaders running game with 518 yards and five scores. … The Crusaders’ only defeat this season came to No. 1 Clairton, 28-18, in Week 5. The Chargers narrowly beat their opponents by five points per game. The Crusaders score an average of 34.2 points per game and only allow 6.9 points. Last season, OLSH advanced to the WPIAL quarter-finals before falling to Clairton, 54-20. Bishop Canevin finished last season with a 5-3 record and missed the postseason. The Chargers claimed WPIAL gold once, in 2017. The Crusaders won their first and only title in 1990. Chick’s Picks predicts the Crusaders will end their three-decade drought in this one. … Bishop Canevin about OLSH

PIAA Class 6A

Quarter-finals

Mount Lebanon above McDowell

Tags: Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, Belle Vernon, Bishop Canevin, Central Valley, Moon, Mount lebanon, Northern Catholic, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Penn-Trafford, Serra Catholic

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