Daily Herald Football Picks

After four weeks, the guest pickers moved just a little closer to the pack as Sports Editor Bob Miller and first-year picker Daily Herald General Manager Chris Lash led the way by going 9-1 last week. Everybody was close behind with John Harlow, Kerry Naylor and guest picker Troy Beaver all going 8-2 as everybody had a pretty good week.
For the season, the Guests still hold the lead with a 33-7 mark, followed by Bob Miller with 30-10, Chris Lash and Kerry Naylor with 28-12 and John Harlow 26-14.
Our guest picker for this week is Rich DeLeo, well-known PA announcer for the Altoona Curve and Sports Editor of Forever Broadcasting and morning radio personality.
Bald Eagle Area at Tyrone: We have two programs here going in different directions. After a couple tough losses at the start, the Golden Eagles have put it together. A rejuvenated rushing attack has contributed nicely. With all the pressure no longer on him, Tyler Mertiff can now go about being the glue that holds the team without having a target on his back on every play on either side of the line of scrimmage. BEA has been on a downhill slide since coach Gawen Stoker left and can’t seem to get off. The Bald Eagles have been able to put the ball in the endzone, so this could be a high-scoring affair.
The Picks: Miller Tyrone 35-14, John Harlow Tyrone 27-20, Kerry Naylor Tyrone 35-6, Chris Lash Tyrone 28-10, Rich DeLeo Tyrone 42-7.
West Branch at Bellwood-Antis: Blue Devils have gotten back in stride after being knocked off the track in game two by Bishop Guilfoyle. The offense is back and the defense has allowed six points in the last two games. West Branch is 2-2 and their two losses are to undefeated Bishop Guilfoyle and Northern Bedford. Both are 4-0, BG is listed No. seven in the Patriot-News poll and as a Team to Watch in the PFN poll, while Northern is Honorable Mention in the Patriot-News and a Team to Watch in the PFN.
The Picks: Miller Bellwood-Antis 34-14, John Harlow Bellwood-Antis 47-0, Kerry Naylor Bellwood-Antis 45-0, Chris Lash Bellwood-Antis 40-7, Rich DeLeo Bellwood-Antis 35-12.
Clearfield at Bellefonte: Clearfield bashed future Tyrone opponent Punxsutawney 42-0 to knock the Chucks from the ranks of the undefeated. Bellefonte started out with two wins and looked good at times in close losses to Huntingdon and Tyrone.
The Picks: Miller Bellefonte, John Harlow Bellefonte, Kerry Naylor Bellefonte, Chris Lash Bellefonte, Rich DeLeo Bellefonte.
Philipsburg-Osceola at Indian Valley: Indian Valley has played just one Big 8 foe so far, but is 4-0, listed Honorable Mention and a Team to Watch in the polls and tied for the top spot in Class-AAA with Huntingdon in District standings with 420 points. Philipsburg-Osceola has a new coach and new system that has not yet translated to points or wins. P-O is 1-3 with only 14 points scored.
The Picks: Miller Indian Valley, John Harlow Indian Valley, Kerry Naylor Indian Valley, Chris Lash Indian Valley, Rich DeLeo Indian Valley.
Southern Huntingdon at Penns Valley: Two ICC teams play an intersectional game. Penns Valley is currently tied with BG for the Section I lead, while Southern Huntingdon hasn’t played any Section II games so far. Both are 3-1 overall, winning three in a row after losing their first game. Juniata Valley has been a common opponent for both. Southern Huntingdon defeated Valley 33-9 in week three, while Penns Valley knocked off the Hornets 14-3 last week.
The Picks: Miller Southern Huntingdon, John Harlow Southern Huntingdon, Kerry Naylor Penns Valley, Chris Lash Penns Valley, Rich DeLeo Penns Valley.
Chestnut Ridge at Everett: Two of Everett’s (0-3) three losses are to BG and Northern Bedford, while Ridge (2-2, counting a forfeit win over Johnstown Votech) lost to Northern Bedford and Penns Valley before edging Tussey Mountain last week 23-22.
The Picks: Miller Everett, John Harlow Everett, Kerry Naylor Everett, Chris Lash Chestnut Ridge, Rich DeLeo Everett.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina: A tough pick, at best, give the possible advantage to the home team
The Picks: Miller North Carolina, John Harlow North Carolina, Kerry Naylor North Carolina, Chris Lash North Carolina, Rich DeLeo Georgia Tech.
Toledo at Pitt: Pitt coach Walt Harris has a serious case of the nerves this week. The Panthers have been winning (3-1) on a lot of defense and just enough offense. Toledo, the defending Mid-American Conference champ, is averaging 435 yards a game and has had no trouble scoring averaging 41 plus points this season. Toledo has won 26 of their last 30 games, including wins over Penn State, Minnesota and Marshall (twice). Pitt has played only one quality team (Texas A & M) this year and that is that represents their one loss.
The Picks: Miller Pitt 27-24, John Harlow Pitt 17-14, Kerry Naylor 24-17, Chris Lash Pitt 24-21, Rich DeLeo Toledo 20-14.
Iowa at Penn State: Everybody knows the 3-0 start for the Nittany Lions is nice, but the REAL season starts Saturday when Penn State opens Big 10 competition. PSU hasn’t finished higher than third since 1997 in the conference. This year the Big 10 seems to be a little watered down, which should help Penn State, who appear to be ready to step up and fill the void. Zack Mills, Michael Robinson and all the Johnsons give the Lions an offense they haven’t had in years and the defense seems to be the “old Nittany Lion ‘D’” that struck fear into the hearts of their opponents. Iowa should be a good test to begin the Big 10 schedule with. Iowa (3-1) leads the conference in scoring offense, rushing offense and rushing defense, but the wins have come against non-conference foes, Akron, Miami of Ohio and Utah State.
The Picks: Miller Penn State 35-17, John Harlow Penn State 24-10, Kerry Naylor Penn State 33-12, Chris Lash Penn State 31-24, Rich DeLeo Penn State 33-16.
Cleveland at Steelers: In a reversal of usual roles, Cleveland is at the top of the AFC North Division, while everyone is beginning to wonder when the Steelers will win a game. The once-proud defense, tops in the NFL last year has been riddled by everybody the Steelers have played. Now is the time to get things going. Of 26 teams to start the season 0-2 since 1999, only one, New England last year qualified for the playoffs.
The Picks: Miller Steelers 27-24, John Harlow 3-2, Kerry Naylor Steelers 35-34, Chris Lash 24-21, Rich DeLeo Cleveland 20-17.
We would like to thank Rich DeLeo for taking the time to help us this week. Turn your radio to WFBG-1290 in the morning to hear more of Rich, then next year get out to Blair County Ballpark and take in a Curve game anmd listen to Rich on the PA microphone.
Enjoy the games.

Daily Herald Football Picks

Week Two put a crimp on our collective picking gurus. Nobody did a very good job. Bob Miller, John Harlow, Kerry Naylor and our guest picker George Sample all tied at 6-4, while Chris Lash was one step behind that group with a 5-5 mark. The guests continue to lead the Herald pickers with a combined 15-5 mark after the opening two weeks of the season followed by Bob Miller 14-6, Kerry Naylor 13-7 with John Harlow and Chris Lash tied for the bottom spot with a 12-8 record.
We all vow to do better this week, but you can never tell what will happen in high school, college football and pro football, especially with local rivalries and such.
Who would have guessed that after two weeks, the two local schools would have a combined 1-3 record? Will Tyrone and Bellwood-Antis start to turn their seasons around this week. Both are home and Tyrone celebrates Homecoming so the advantage should go to the home team with the number of fans these two teams always generate.
This week our guest picker is Scott Franco, younger brother of Tyrone head coach John Franco and currently Sports Editor of the Lewistown Sentinel.
Lewistown at Tyrone: Tyrone is 0-2 for the second year in a row, but these kind of starts occur under John Franco about as often as it snows on the Fourth of July. Lewistown, with a new offensive scheme (see Kerry Naylor’s preview on this page), is 1-1 after a win over Bald Eagle Area. Very few people will remember the last time the Panthers defeated Tyrone (1993). Lewistown’s loss was a 7-0 opening day encounter to Philipsburg-Osceola.
The Picks: Miller Tyrone 20-7, John Harlow Tyrone 27-20, Kerry Naylor Tyrone 35-14, Chris Lash Tyrone 24-10, Scott Franco Tyrone 27-20.
Mount Union at Bellwood-Antis: The Blue Devils played as if they had just been introduced to the game of football for the first time in last week’s game against Bishop Guilfoyle. If they can remember this week then there is still hope for Friday. Injuries have hindered the Blue Devils each week. First it was Coy Daly then last week, it was Adam Plummer. Neither was serious enough to sideline anybody for more than the current game, but just enough to throw the offense and defense off kilter for that week. When was the last time Bellwood-Antis went six straight quarters without scoring?
The Picks: Miller Bellwood-Antis 27-17, John Harlow Bellwood-Antis 17-14, Kerry Naylor Bellwood-Antis 22-7, Chris Lash Bellwood-Antis 28-7, Scott Franco Bellwood-Antis 35-21.
Huntingdon at Bellefonte: Huntingdon is just too much for District Six opponents and should be heard from in the interdistricts before the playoffs are over. Red Raiders are young with little experience, and that is not good against the Bearcats.
The Picks: Miller Huntingdon, John Harlow Huntingdon, Kerry Naylor Huntingdon, Chris Lash Huntingdon, Scott Franco Huntingdon.
Pius X at Sharpsville: Back-breaking start of the season for Pius X couldn’t be much tougher than Mt. Carmel, Sharon and now Sharpsville. Both teams are 1-1. This is kind of a coin-toss game where you pick the winner by flipping a coin and hope it doesn’t stand on end.
The Picks: Miller Pius X, John Harlow Sharpsville, Kerry Naylor Pius X, Chris Lash Pius X, Scott Franco Pius X.
Glendale at Williamsburg: Two 0-2 teams, somebody will get victory number one. New coach at Williamsburg Glen Kagarise is attempting to get a new start for the Blue Pirates while John Kutz at Glendale is trying to improve the Vikings program. Another tossup for teams who combined for one win last year, a Williamsburg triumph over Glendale.
The Picks: Miller Williamsburg, John Harlow Williamsburg, Kerry Naylor Williamsburg, Chris Lash Glendale, Scott Franco Glendale.
Moshannon Valley at Claysburg-Kimmel: A pair of 2-0 teams meet. Claysburg lost most of their offensive skill people from a 7-3 slate last year, while Mo Valley returns 17 letterwinners, including nine starters on defense Members of different divisions of the ICC, only bragging rights are involved here, but this could be an early version of a Class-A district playoff game in November.
The Picks: Miller Moshannon Valley, John Harlow Claysburg-Kimmel, Kerry Naylor Claysburg-Kimmel, Chris Lash Claysburg-Kimmel, Scott Franco Moshannon Valley.
Miami at Temple: Philadelphia is a long way from Florida, but the Hurricanes will try to blow into Philly with Heisman Trophy candidate QB Ken Dorsey and emerge with a Big East Conference victory. Miami handed cross-state rival Florida an ugly loss (41-18) last week. Will the home-field advantage save Temple? Miami is in the easiest portion of a tough schedule with games against Temple, Boston College and Connecticut in the next three weeks.
The Picks: Miller Miami, John Harlow Miami, Kerry Naylor Miami, Chris Lash Miami, Scott Franco Miami.
Pitt at UAB: After a tough loss to Texas A &M in which the Panthers came within two extra points of a huge upset, Pitt travels to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for this week’s game. UAB is 1-1 this season. Walt Harris would enjoy a mistake-free contest from his Panthers and for quarterback Rod Rutherford to continue the rhythm he finally found in the second half of the Texas A & M game after a miserable start.
The Picks: Miller Pitt 27-20, John Harlow Pitt 20-10, Kerry Naylor Pitt 24-13, Chris Lash Pitt 17-14, Scott Franco 23-17.
Nebraska at Penn State: Joe Paterno is always wary of night games, although JoPa says this one might be alright because the temperature should be cooled down by gametime. Will the weather or the Penn State defense be able to cool down the Nebraska? Nebraska is working with new quarterback Jammal Lord, a work-in-progress to lead the Cornhuskers to the glory years again in place of departed Heisman winner Eric Crouch, who seemed to do everything but sell tickets and play in the band at halftime. The question might be how long can the Nittany Lions stay in the game. The offense will get a better test than offered by Central Florida, and the defense will face a different challenge than given by UCF’s pass-happy offensive attack
The Picks: Miller Nebraska 31-20, John Harlow Nebraska 63-10, Kerry Naylor Penn State 20-17, Chris Lash Nebraska 34-20, Scott Franco Penn State 28-23.
Oakland at Steelers: This is not the Oakland Athletics, but Rich Gannon will do the pitching for the Raiders. Although they are graybeards, Jerry Rice and Tim Brown can still beat you. The Steelers have often gotten beat in their opener, but last week’s game was more humiliating than most of the previous opening losses. Especially when so much is expected of the Steelers in 2002. Can the defense handle Oakland after being riddled by New England and Tom Brady and company?
The Picks: Miller Steelers 26-23, John Harlow Raiders 27-14, Kerry Naylor Steelers 24-13, Chris Lash Steelers 21-20, Scott Franco Raiders 21-10.
We thank Scott Franco for taking the time out to be our guest picker this week.
For more from Scott Franco, check out www.lewistownsentinel.com