Friday Football Picks

Here it is football season and it’s time to haul out the old crystal ball and dust it off and get ready to make our picks for the high school, college and pro football games each week. We will continue with the same format as seasons past with guests picking against The Daily Herald Sports department. A few of us have changed our seats, John Harlow, now the Editor of the paper, Kerry Naylor and Bob Miller, now the Sports Editor will match picks with a different guest picker each week. We also bring on board The Daily Herald General Manager Chris Lash, who becomes the fourth amigo of our team who will pick every week.
John Harlow and Bob Miller finished in a deat heat last year with identical 82-38 records, with Kerry Naylor following just one game back, after a mad dash to nearly overtake the leaders in the last few weeks, with an 81-29 mark, followed closely by the guest pickers, who were a combined 80-30. Harlow also won in 2000 and so is the two-time defending champ, while Miller won the top spot in 1999.
For the opening week of the season, Our guest picker will be Jim Bonsell. There isn’t anybody who knows about the rivalry between Tyrone and Bellwood-Antis any more than Bonsell, who is the present mayor of Belwood and who raised his family in the Bellwood-Antis School District yet, graduated from Tyrone High School and was a member of the Golden Eagles State Championship football team in 1940,
Bellwood-Antis at Tyrone: The annual battle between the two backyard rivals is here again. Friends and workmates who have been bragging, arguing and discussing the football season in general and the Tyrone-Bellwood game in particular for the past six months or more, will have the chance to watch the game and then start all over again.
The B-A junior varsity was undefeated last year, allowing just one TD to be scored against them. The Blue Devils have arguably two of the best running backs in thie region in Adam Plummer and Cory Daly. Tyrone has probably more speed team-wide than any team the Eagles will play this year, except Bellwood-Antis. As long as Tyler Mertiff is on either side of the line of scrmmage, Tyrone will be extremely interesting to watch and he has some fleet-footed backs and receivers who can catch the football and do a lot more with it after the catch.
In the Harrisburg Patriot-News preseason poll, Tyrone is listed Honorable Mention in Class-AA and Bellwood-Antis is listed as No, 10 in Single-A.
We see it or hear it told every year, but this season, the game actually could go right down to the final seconds to determine the outcome.
The Picks: Miller: Bellwood-Antis 21-20, John Harlow: Tyrone 21-17, Kerry Naylor: Tyrone 18-0, Chris Lash: Tyrone 21-17, Jim Bonsell: Bellwood-Antis 13-12.
Hollidaysburg at Altoona: The Mountain Lions enter the year on the Honorable Mention list in the Patriot-News poll and are coming off back-to-back District championships for coach Phil Riccio. One of the biggest area rivalries that does not involve Tyrone and Bellwood-Antis, Hollidaysburg always gives Altoona fits. With the game in Altoona, the Mountain Lions should have the edge.
The Picks: Miller: Altoona, John Harlow: Altoona, Kerry Naylor: Altoona, Chris Lash: Altoona, Jim Bonsell: Hollidaysburg.
Bishop Guilfoyle at West Branch: Bishop Guilfoyle is once again pushing Bellwood-Antis for the ICC Division I title and has some BIG football players. and good skill people. West Branch is the defending champ in ICC Division II and the home team in this early season struggle between two of the ICC powers. Last year, the only ICC loss for either school was against Bellwood-Antis.
The Picks: Miller: West Branch, John Harlow: West Branch, Kerry Naylor: West Branch, Chris Lash: Bishop Guilfoyle, Jim Bonsell: Bishop Guilfoyle.
Philipsburg-Osceola at Lewistown: Perennially this is considered a battle for last or next to last in the Big Eight Conference. Lewistown has had high hopes in the last couple of years and improvement has been shown, but when you get down to facts, the Panthers haven’t had a winning season since Gerald Ford was the US president. Philipsburg-Osceola has been down in recent years, but seem to be a little better this year.
The Picks: Miller: Philipsburg-Osceola, John Harlow: Lewistown, Kerry Naylor: Lewistown, Chris Lash: Lewistown, Jim Bonsell: Philipsburg-Osceola.
Huntingdon at Laurel Highlands: This is a new opponent for the Barcats and a long way to travel for a football game. Huntingdon has a lot left from last season’s AAA District champion plus some young talent that only needs experience.
The Picks: Miller: Huntingdon, John Harlow: Huntingdon, Kerry Naylor: Huntingdon, Chris Lash: Huntingdon, Jim Bonsell: Huntingdon.
Williamsburg at Claysburg-Kimmel: A battle between two small Blair County schools that compete in the ICC Division III Conference. The Blue Pirates have a new coach this year with the retirement of long-time head coach Dave Baker with Glen Kagerise is ushering a new era at Willaimasburg. Claysburg-Kimmel should have their usually reliable rushing offense for coach Jeff Lingenfelter.
The Picks: Miller: Claysburg-Kimmel, John Harlow: Claysburg-Kimmel, Kerry Naylor: Claysburg-Kimmel, Chris Lash: Williamsburg, Jim Bonsell: Claysburg-Kimmel.
Penns Valley at Bellefonte: Penns Valley was awfully young last year and took their lumps. This year, the Rams are still pretty young, but have gained a lot of experience. Much was expected of Bellefonte last year and with the exception of graduated QB Stewart Sampsell not much was heard. This year the Red Raiders must start all over again, but do have experience at several positions.
The Picks: Miller: Bellefonte, John Harlow: Bellefonte, Kerry Naylor: Bellefonte, Chris Lash: Bellefonte, Jim Bonsell: Bellefonte.
Maryland at Notre Dame: A new coach under the Golden Dome in Tyrone Willingham, the Irish haven’t seriuosly challenged for a national title or even finished in the top 10 since 1993, longest drought in the school’s history. Maryland defends its ACC title with eight starters back from an offense that was the league’s best in scoring points.
The Picks: Miller: Maryland, John Harlow: Maryland, Kerry Naylor: Notre Dame, Chris Lash: Notre Dame, Jim Bonsell: Notre Dame.
University of Central Florida at Penn State: JoPa always talks up the opposition in these games where it seems like the Nittany Lions should walk all over the opposition. This time, Paterno may not be just talking up the other team for the good of the media. UCF has a quarterback who is on pace to break Dante Culpepper’s records and some teammates to help out.
The Picks: Miller: Penn State 35-7, John Harlow Penn State 45-21, Kerry Naylor: Penn State 45-0, Chris Lash: Penn State 41-10, Jim Bonsell: Penn State 21-13.
Ohio University at Pitt: Tyrone’s Doug Roseberry has worked his way up to the third team with lots of skill, luck and hard work for Pitt. With the game at home, look for him (#20) to be on the sidelines. Pitt head coach Walt Harris actually knows who his starting quarterback wil be, something, coach Harris hasn’t been too sure of over the past couiple of seasons. Ohio U uses a 3-4 look on defense, which since the Panthers don’t see very much, could present an immediate challenge for new offensive coordinator Tom DeRuyter.
The Picks: Miller: Pitt 27-10, John Harlow: Pitt 56-7, Kerry Naylor: Pitt 21-10, Chris Lash: Pitt 26-14, Jim Bonsell: Pitt 14-6.
We would like to extend a very grateful Thank You to Jim Bonsell for taking the time to make the picks this week. We hope you enjoy the Tyrone vs. Bellwood-Antis game.