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Short Picks 2014

Bill Shortencarrier, former head football coach at Cambria Heights and high school football guru, is back again for the 2014 football season.

Short will make his predictions on selected games throughout the state every week.  He is a Pennsylvania Football News tradition and we are always glad to have Short back for another high school football season.

 Sit back and enjoy the prognostications of the number one guy in the state!

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
2014 Short Picks – Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8
Week 9Week 10 Week 11Week 12
Week 13Week 14Week 15Week 16

Short Picks – Week 16

And then there were two. Who will emerge as champions between the two teams from each of the four classifications will be decided sometime Friday and Saturday as action resumes in the Pa. Football Championships at Hershey Park. The weather forecast looks just about perfect as of this writing and hopefully the long range forecast holds for the weekend. Last week’s “Short Picks” had seven correct and just one miss as Dunmore won by two points over my pick of Wyomissing. I also apologize for my error in placing Brett Brumbaugh in the Pine-Richland huddle. I have him back with South Fayette. Finally, a special congratulations to the WPIAL for placing four teams in the finals!

In the AA game, the Dunmore Bucks opened the season with a loss but rebounded by running the table with 14 straight wins. Bucks’ defense face a stiff challenge this week from a South Fayette team with a 15-0 record and top rated QB Brett Brumbaugh. South Fayette also has a pretty good running game with feature back Hunter Hayes. The Lions seek a second state title to go along with the 2013 hardware. Lots of offense this time around for both teams, but the Lions have a bit more with the one-two punch of Brumbaugh and Hayes...South Fayette.

Bishop Guilfoyle plays in the Eastern Pa. side of the bracket while residing in District 6. So I would consider their game with the Clariton Bears to be a strictly Western Pa. clash. Both the Bears and the Marauders have identical 15-0 records. The Marauders defense has been a nightmare for opponents all season and if you couple that defense with the explosive offense you get a recipe for a 15-0 season. Meanwhile ‘Da Bears averaged over 60 points per game coming into the playoffs and looking at Clairton’s playoff wins the average has not come down by much. This game might hinge on one huge offensive effort resulting in a long TD pass or run. Or the final score might be the result of a defensive score like maybe a interception, or maybe a special teams touchdown. Look for big numbers on the scoreboard with the winner in maybe an OT thriller being…‘Da Bears.

As Jordan Whitehead goes, so goes the Central Valley Warriors. So far this season Jordan has been outstanding on both sides of the ball as well as on Special teams thus the reason for the Warriors’ 15-0 record. The Warriors face what I think might be the best team of the eight teams playing this weekend in Hershey when they take the field against the Archbishop Wood Vikings. I would think Central Valley is a huge underdog after Wood racked up 60points last week. A win by the Warriors would be a monumental upset. Archbishop Wood is seeking its third state title in the past four years having also gained a runner-up in 2012. Wood’s lineup is loaded with D-1 players with two committed to Penn State. It might be a long shot from happening, but I love big underdogs, so upset special…nope, can’t bring myself to call it…Archbishop Wood.

Two quality quarterbacks, Ben DeNucci of Pine-Richland and Jack Clements of St. Joe’s Prep square off for another David and Goliath matchup with Pine-Richland being the David. St. Joe’s record of 10-3 included losses to teams from outside the state of Pennsylvania. The Rams will need a yeoman effort if they expect to pull out a victory aganinst the overly talented Prep Hawks…St. Joe’s Prep.

In closing for the year, I would like to wish all the PFN contributors a Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year. Likewise to all the players, coaches and fans from across the state. And finally a special thanks to Mike Smoll for all the insight he has provided to me for many of the teams in the eastern part of the state.