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Daily Herald Football Picks

It was a tough week for football teams and for anyone trying to make selections of winners. Two of the six high school Herald picks went into overtime and five of the NCAA Division I Top 10 teams and eight of the top 22 lost over this weekend. Top that off with the fact that both Penn State and the Steelers lost by a single TD and both gave up a long kick return for a score.
Picking what everybody thought were give-mes didn’t get the job done in week 5. Was it the full moon earlier in the week? Or just too many of us feeling a little too confident in picking the obvious? Whatever the reason, the Daily Herald panel had by far their worst week of the season. Overall leader Jim Cushion maintained his lead with a panel-best 6-4. Kerry Webster and Miller each matched Cushion at 6-4, while guest picker Paul “Bud” Wertz was true on his first five picks, but hit none of the final five to finish 5-5, Kerry Naylor and Christina Pryor both went 4-6. Overall Cushion (41-9) continues a one-game lead over Miller (40-10), followed by Webster (38-12), Pryor (36-14), Naylor (34-16) and the combined guests (31-19). Thank you Bud Wertz.
This week, our guest picker is Doug Hoover, Tyrone grad and recent top U. S. biathlete in the World Summer Biathlon Championships in Estonia. Doug is coaching cross country and track and field at Juniata College. Good luck Doug!
Tyrone at Punxsutawney: Undefeated Eagles (5-0) are on track to win their 29th straight regular season game on the road at Punxy this week and then break the Tyrone record in the MAFC Nittany Division game of the Year a week later at Gray-Vets Memorial Field against undefeated Philipsburg-Osceola. The big question is when, if at all, Johnny Franco will be able to play an entire game. Punxy was 3-6 a year ago, is 0-5 in 2007, and has been outscored 180-60 in five games. As long as Tyrone doesn’t look too far ahead to P-O, this shouldn’t be much of a game for long.
The picks: Miller Tyrone 38-0, Kerry Webster Tyrone 57-3, Kerry Naylor Tyrone 34-6, Christina Pryor Tyrone 31-0, Jim Cushion Tyrone 34-0, Doug Hoover Tyrone 39-3.
Bald Eagle Area at Bellwood-Antis: Blue Devils (3-2) are coming off a huge upset win over undefeated Southern Huntingdon, but can’t afford to take winless BEA (0-5) lightly. BEA defense held Philipsburg-Osceola to their lowest scoring output of the season last week in 20-6 P-O win. B-A needs a more balanced offensive attack, including the offensive line consistently blocking and the passing attack becoming a weapon if they are to go anywhere in 2007.
The picks: Miller Bellwood-Antis 20-7, Kerry Webster Bellwood-Antis 28-7, Kerry Naylor Bellwood-Antis 16-6, Christina Pryor Bellwood-Antis 28-14, Jim Cushion Bellwood-Antis 18-6, Doug Hoover Bellwood-Antis 28-13.
Penns Valley at Philipsburg-Osceola: Battle of undefeated Mounties’ powerful offense (a District 6-AA best 29 points per game) versus once-beaten Rams tough defense that has allowed just a total of 16 points in their first five ballgames.
The picks: Miller Philipsburg-Osceola, Kerry Webster Philipsburg-Osceola, Kerry Naylor Philipsburg-Osceola, Christina Pryor Philipsburg-Osceola, Jim Cushion Philipsburg-Osceola, Doug Hoover Philipsburg-Osceola.
Chestnut Ridge at Claysburg-Kimmel: Ridge (3-2) has run through a tough early-season schedule with losses to Bellefonte (21-12) and Penns Valley (7-0). Claysburg (1-4, with their only win over winless Everett)) has gotten off to a bad start for new coach Joe Kitt. It doesn’t look like the Bulldogs chances are much better this week. Lions will be looking to get back on track and get ready for home game against Bellwood-Antis next week.
The picks: Miller Chestnut Ridge, Kerry Webster Chestnut Ridge, Kerry Naylor Chestnut Ridge, Christina Pryor Chestnut Ridge, Jim Cushion Chestnut Ridge, Doug Hoover Chestnut Ridge.
Moshannon Valley at Northern Bedford: Two 4-1 teams with both suffering their only loss to Southern Huntingdon-Mo Valley, 7-6 in the opener, Northern Bedford, a week later, 10-0. Both defeated Juniata Valley-Northern in their opener 20-6, Mo Valley last week 19-12 on OT. Northern’s defense has been better, shutting out three teams and giving up just 19 points. Moshannon Valley offense averages a little less than a TD more, 33.6 points to Northern’s 28.6.
The picks: Miller Moshannon Valley, Kerry Webster Northern Bedford, Kerry Naylor Moshannon Valley, Christina Pryor Moshannon Valley, Jim Cushion Moshannon Valley, Doug Hoover Northern Bedford.
Everett at Williamsburg: Another toss-up, although this one is closer to the bottom of the ICC than the top. Both are 1-4, with each downing winless West Branch- Everett 16-14 in their opener, Williamsburg 53-14 a week later. Both teams have lost to Chestnut Ridge (W-burg 29-0, Everett 32-6) and Glendale (Pirates 35-0, Everett 26-14). Neither team has scored in the last two weeks.
The picks: Miller Williamsburg, Kerry Webster Everett, Kerry Naylor Everett, Christina Pryor Everett, Jim Cushion Everett, Doug Hoover Williamsburg.
Huntingdon at Hollidaysburg: Once this was an every season match-up, and with the new all-sports Mountain League, it could be again. Huntingdon downed Punxy 20-6 last week to stop a three-game skid and lost to Indian Valley 40-13. Hollidaysburg slammed Punxy 48-21 to open the season and dropped a tough 28-20 decision last week to undefeated Indian Valley.
The picks: Miller Hollidaysburg, Kerry Webster Hollidaysburg, Kerry Naylor Hollidaysburg, Christina Pryor Hollidaysburg, Jim Cushion Hollidaysburg, Doug Hoover Hollidaysburg.
Virginia Tech at Clemson: Two Top 25 teams, both 4-1, battle at Clemson, always a tough place for opponents to get away with a win. The stunningly poor performance of the No. 13 Clemson kicking game led to a 13-3 upset by Georgia Tech last week. No. 17 Virginia Tech was one of the top ranked teams that did not get beaten last weekend, but struggled to down North Carolina 17-10.
The picks: Miller Clemson, Kerry Webster Clemson, Kerry Naylor Clemson, Christina Pryor Virginia Tech, Jim Cushion Clemson, Doug Hoover Clemson.
Iowa at Penn State: This features a battle of two teams falling downhill fast. Iowa is last in the Big 10 in scoring, first downs and third-down conversions. Both defenses were good until last week and both figure to do better this week. Both offenses have done as much to stop themselves as opposing defenses. The game is at Beaver Stadium and it is time for the Nittany Lions to step up and perform on offense. Anthony Morelli needs to take control of the situation-he has been terrible in pressure situations. If PSU is going to have a big year, that must stop now.
The picks: Miller Penn State 27-14, Kerry Webster Penn State 35-12, Kerry Naylor Penn State 25-17, Christina Pryor Penn State 24-17, Jim Cushion Iowa 12-9, Doug Hoover Penn State 20-10.
Seattle at Steelers: Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger self-destructed last week. Troy Polamalu and Casey Hampton will be back this week after leaving due to injury last week, with the Steelers still leading. Matt Spaeth will also return after catching TD passes in his first two games before going out with an injury. Pittsburgh wasn’t going to finish undefeated. Maybe last week was the best time to remind the team they have a lot of work yet to do.
The picks: Miller Steelers 27-24, Kerry Webster Seattle 24-21, Kerry Naylor Steelers 24-20, Christina Pryor Steelers 38-10, Jim Cushion Steelers 31-17, Doug Hoover Steelers 24-17.
Spotlight: Bellwood-Antis grad Evan Celmo is kicking for the undefeated Thaddeus Stevens football team.
Celmo has kicked 12 PATS and three field goals for the Bulldogs, including a long field goal of 38 yards against Delaware Valley.
Thaddeus Stevens is 5-0 for the first time. slipping by long-time nemisis Alfred State of Rochester 22-21 in the opener, Delaware Valley 27-23, George Mason 17-10, Walter Reed 22-0 and Albright 28-18.