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Daily Herald Football Picks

For the second straight week, we had a perfect card. This week, it was newcomer Jim Cushion who went 10-0 to move into a tie for the top spot with me. I slipped on the Bellwood-Antis massacre, and on the Lewistown win over Bald Eagle Area for an 8-2 mark. Cushion and the old Sports Editor share the overall lead with 27-3 marks after the first three weeks of the season. Christina Pryor matched my 8-2, missing on the same two games, while Kerry Webster (9-1) continued his steady efficiency, missing only on the Chestnut Ridge win over Central. Kerry Naylor went 7-3 to join Webster and Pryor in a three-way tie with 25-5 overall records. Guest picker Dan Sprankle rounded out the panel with a 6-4 mark. Overall the guests are 21-9. Thanks Dan Sprankle for your input!
This week, our guest picker is Eleanor Feltenberger. Eleanor has been a guest on our panel for several years, and has picked over 80 percent correct, doing nothing to diminish that with a 9-1 mark during the fourth week in 2006. Good luck Eleanor!
Tyrone at Bald Eagle Area: If this game seems like a mismatch, it is only because on paper, that’s what it is. Undefeated Tyrone has given up just a field goal on defense in 12 quarters thus far, while BEA (0-3) has yet to taste a win, and that includes losing to Lewistown last week. Don’t look for Johnny Franco this week, but he could play a few downs. Look for the Golden Eagles from Tyrone to actually start looking good in the first half this time.
The picks: Miller Tyrone 34-0, Kerry Webster Tyrone 42-10, Kerry Naylor Tyrone 23-8, Christina Pryor Tyrone 35-0, Jim Cushion Tyrone 31-0, Eleanor Feltenberger Tyrone 21-10.
Bellwood-Antis at Central: Blue Devils were pounded, pummeled and (throw in your own description of the carnage here) by Philipsburg-Osceola. Hopefully, B-A while not as good as they looked at Lewistown, is not as bad as they looked against the Mounties. Central is looking for their first win of ‘07 and will be up for this one with three close games at halftime so far.
The picks: Miller Bellwood-Antis 20-14, Kerry Webster Bellwood-Antis 14-7, Kerry Naylor Bellwood-Antis 28-14, Christina Pryor Bellwood-Antis 13-6, Jim Cushion Bellwood-Antis 23-14, Eleanor Feltenberger Bellwood-Antis 28-6.
Penns Valley at Lewistown: Rams (2-1) lost their first game of the year to Tyrone, but still have a defense that has given up only 10 points. However, the Penns Valley offense has only scored 20 points. Lewistown (1-2) must pass to win. Can they complete enough to win, not just stay close for a half like they did against Bellwood-Antis?
The picks; Miller Penns Valley, Kerry Webster Penns Valley, Kerry Naylor Penns Valley, Christina Pryor Penns Valley, Jim Cushion Penns Valley, Eleanor Feltenberger Penns Valley.
Southern Huntingdon at Juniata Valley: This game has meant huge playoff potential the last few years, why should 2007 be different. Although they had to replace practically all their skill people, Rockets have done it with defense (8.7 points a game) and just enough on the offense (13 points/game) to once again be 3-0 and a tie with Homer Center for the top rating in Single-A. Valley (2-1) has most of their squad back, but ran into a toughie, opening their season against Northern Bedford. Hornets are averaging 27 points a game on offense. Something has to give.
The picks: Miller Southern Huntingdon, Kerry Webster Southern Huntingdon, Kerry Naylor Juniata Valley, Christina Southern Huntingdon, Jim Cushion Southern Huntingdon, Eleanor Feltenberger Southern Huntingdon.
State College at Altoona: Another hard pick. Both lost for the first time last week. Altoona, in double overtime to undefeated Cumberland Valley, while State College was upset by a previously winless Central Dauphin. Lack of strong tackling and mistakes were very evident as CD won 17-14. Penalties (nine for 95 yards) cost Altoona dearly, none more so than on a fourth-and nine when they apparently stopped Valley, but given another chance, they marched for the tying score and went on to win in the second OT.
The picks: Miller Altoona, Kerry Webster Altoona, Kerry Naylor Altoona, Christina Pryor Altoona, Jim Cushion Altoona, Eleanor Feltenberger State College.
Northern Bedford at Glendale: The key to this game could be common opponents. Northern Bedford (2-1) beat Tussey Mountain 23-13, last week, while Glendale (2-1) lost to Tussey 29-11 a week earlier. Northern’s only loss is to undefeated Southern Huntingdon.
The picks: Miller Northern Bedford, Kerry Webster Glendale, Kerry Naylor Northern Bedford, Christina Northern Bedford, Jim Cushion Northern Bedford, Eleanor Feltenberger Glendale.
Georgia at Alabama: Georgia (2-1) has been Top 25-ranked all season, and is Number 22 this week. However Alabama (3-0) might be considered a slight favorite based on their 52-6 opening game win against West Carolina. Georgia dusted West Carolina 45-16 last week, which should keep Georgia’s coaches up at night this week, plus the Bulldogs 16-12 upset loss to South Carolina two weeks ago.
The picks: Miller Alabama, Kerry Webster Georgia, Kerry Naylor Alabama, Christina Pryor Alabama, Jim Cushion Alabama, Eleanor Feltenberger Alabama.
Connecticut at Pitt: Pitt has been able to overcome a rash of injuries and still plow through the pre-Big East portion of their schedule. The Panthers should have very little trouble in their league opener, but need to be looking toward the final five games of the season, all losses a year ago. The running attack has been greatly bolstered by the addition of freshman running back La Sean McCoy, who has been brilliant thus far, a weapon Tyler Palko would have loved a year ago.
The picks; Miller Pitt 35-10, Kerry Webster Pitt 24-21, Kerry Naylor Pitt 27-17, Christina Pryor Pitt 28-10, Jim Cushion Pitt 35-31, Eleanor Feltenberger Pitt 28-6
Penn State at Michigan: At first glance, this looks like the year the Nittany Lions can finally break the jinx at the Big House. Michigan began the season with two bad losses and have only a win against a terrible Notre Dame team. The PSU defense looked unbeatable until Buffalo caught them with their guard down. Sure, Penn State was way ahead, but once Big 10 play begins, and especially against teams in the upper tier, like Michigan, there is no room for lapses. Lions haven’t won this series since 1996, after three straight wins. Mike Hart is averaging 167 yards rushing and Justin King can’t afford a repeat of his coverage problems against the Spartans’ talented receivers, especially Mario Manningham.
The picks; Miller Penn State 27-22, Kerry Webster Penn State 35-28, Kerry Naylor Penn State 33-17, Christina Pryor Penn State 37-13, Jim Cushion Penn State 37-21, Eleanor Feltenberger Penn State 14-10
49ers at Steelers: Willie Parker has 235 yards in two games and Big Ben has thrown five TD passes and just one interception. Roethlisberger has used his tight ends well (three TD passes) taking advantage of the big wide bodies of Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth, who both can get downfield like wide receivers, but weigh 250 plus pounds and and are bulls to bring down in open field, and the offensive has been two-dimensional and very effective. The 49ers (2-0) have won both games in defensive struggles, in the final minutes of the game edging Arizona 20-17 and St. Louis 17-16. Steeler offense must continue their running/passing attack.
The picks; Miller Steelers 30-17, Kerry Webster Steelers 35-12, Kerry Naylor Steelers 31-10, Christina Pryor Steelers 30-3, Jim Cushion Steelers 28-17, Eleanor Feltenberger Steelers 21-9.
NOTES: The annual TACO punt, pass and kick competition will be held this Sunday at Ferner Field at 1 p.m.. The event is for boys and girls ages five-12. Trophies will be presented at the Tyrone Area Youth Championship Game on Oct. 6.