Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

The Backyard Brawl is over and we venture into Week 2 of the football season. Tyrone once again has the bragging rights in the northern portion of Blair County, as they have for six years, since 2003. Both teams need to progress along the way, now, hopefully to successful seasons and playoffs bids.
On our picking panel for the first week, John Harlow, our guest picker, was nearly perfect (9-1) to take the first week’s prognostication, getting all right, except for the Bowling Green win over Pitt. Jim Cushion was second in line with an 8-2 week, missing on the Pitt game, as well as the Everett win over Glendale. Kerry Naylor was third actually also missing just two games, but abstaining on the Tyrone/B-A game, to finish 7-2. Naylor, a teacher and boys junior high basketball coach at Bellwood-Antis, is a Tyrone grad, who also writes up the Tyrone games for the Daily Herald, cited “Too much controversy for choosing”. I missed on the Everett/Glendale, State College/Hollidaysburg and Pitt games to go 7-3. Our defending champion, Christina Pryor and Kerry Webster finished 6-4 in their first tries of the new football season. Christina was the only panelist to correctly pick Bowling Green over Pitt. Thank you, John Harlow for your time and consideration.
Our guest panelist for the second week, is Huntingdon native and Daily Herald publisher George “Scoop” Sample. Good luck, Scoop!
Tyrone at Huntingdon:  Tyrone was firing on all cylinders last week, with Mark Mingle leading the rushing game bulling for 166 yards and Levi Reihart had the passing game in form with a five-for-six for 141 yards and a TD. The Eagles won big over Bellwood-Antis, while Huntingdon, one of the very few teams with a win-loss record against Tyrone on the positive side, was squeaking by archrival Mount Union 7-6. Can the Eagles maintain their momentum against a Bearcat squad which had an uncharacteristic losing season last year?
The picks: Miller Tyrone 24-7, Kerry Webster Tyrone 52-15, Kerry Naylor Tyrone 25-7, Jim Cushion Tyrone 30-7, Christina Pryor Tyrone 21-7, Scoop Sample Huntingdon 21-17.
Everett at Bellwood-Antis: Can the Blue Devils rebound quickly after getting skunked last week at Tyrone? Zach McCaulley was a rare bright spot rushing the pigskin and returning kickoffs. John Hayes and the Blue Devils don’t have an easy one, with Everett down in the dumps for the past couple years, starting off with a big 35-6 win over Glendale last week.
The picks: Miller Bellwood-Antis 27-14, Kerry Webster Bellwood-Antis 14-10, Kerry Naylor Bellwood-Antis 28-0, Jim Cushion Bellwood-Antis 20-6, Christina Pryor Bellwood-Antis 28-7, Scoop Sample Bellwood-Antis 14-12.
Central Mountain at Williamsport: Tyrone’s week three opponent, Central Mountain outgunned Jersey Shore in an offensive battle last week 43-29. The middle game of three straight road trips for the Golden Eagles, and the first of four long journeys, Central Mountain has been together as a merger for a number of years, but is just beginning to realize the strength of their combination. Lock Haven and Bald Eagle Nittany had fine football programs individually. Now they seem to be for real as one entity. Williamsport, was horrible last year, but opened with a 21-7 win over Dallas.
The picks: Miller Central Mt., Kerry Webster Williamsport, Kerry Naylor Williamsport, Jim Cushion Central Mt., Christina Pryor Central Mt., Scoop Sample Williamsport.
Tussey Mountain at Claysburg-Kimmel; Tussey and Coach Kevin Steele have brought the Titans program back to respectability, but must regroup after losing several key personnel, including a three-year starter at quarterback and a speedy tailback who led the area in scoring. The Titans fell 21-14 to Juniata Valley, while. Claysburg used a crushing ground attack to land their first win last week bouncing Williamsburg 27-7, a good start following several lean years.
The picks: Miller Tussey Mt., Kerry Webster Claysburg-Kimmel, Kerry Naylor Tussey Mt., Jim Cushion Tussey Mt., Christina Pryor Tussey Mt., Scoop Sample Tussey Mt.
Clearfield at Philipsburg-Osceola: Two teams who lost their openers-Clearfield fell 35-28 in a barn-burner to DuBois, P-O got blasted by Bald Eagle Area 20-6. Clearfield was involved in a bunch of games like that last year, scoring and giving away a lot of points. The Mounties lost a lot of talent and expect their junior class to pick them up. It didn’t happen in week one.
The picks: Miller Clearfield, Kerry Webster Philipsburg-Osceola, Kerry Naylor Clearfield, Jim Cushion Clearfield, Christina Pryor Clearfield, Scoop Sample Philipsburg-Osceola.
San Diego State at Notre Dame: For their 2008 opener, Notre Dame plays San Diego State, once a major small college power, but the Aztecs dropped their opener to Cal Poly 29-27. The Fighting Irish are trying to rebound from a 3-9 mark in ‘07, when freshman QB Jimmy Clausen was sacked 34 times along the way to a school-record 58 quarterback sacks allowed by the Irish offensive line. This is an underclassmen dominated team. Eight sophomores will start and four others get their first real taste of action for the first time. Improvement is needed from last year when the offense ranked dead last in the NCAA with just 242 total yards per game.
The picks: Miller Notre Dame, Kerry Webster Notre Dame, Kerry Naylor Notre Dame, Jim Cushion Notre Dame, Christina Pryor Notre Dame, Scoop Sample Notre Dame.
Ohio University at Ohio State: The biggest question here, is will the injured Beanie Wells be ready for week two. Buckeye coach Jim Tressel says maybe yes. It shouldn’t really matter with Ohio State a five touchdown favorite, after a 43-0 win last week over Youngstown State.
The picks: Miller Ohio State, Kerry Webster Ohio State, Kerry Naylor Ohio State, Jim Cushion Ohio State, Christina Pryor Ohio State, Scoop Sample Ohio State.
Buffalo at Pitt: Pitt needs to replace the two big lineman that cleared the way for LaSean McCoy a year ago and are now in the NFL, quickly. Dave Wannstedt needs to find a way for the Panthers to win,win, win or he will soon be out, out, out. Bowling Green came in with a good program, although they don’t play teams like Pitt sees every week in the Big East. Now the target is Buffalo, who will be encouraged by what they saw Bowling Green do last week. If Pitt can’t get going this week, there are no other “easy ones” left on the schedule.
The picks; Miller Pitt 24-10, Kerry Webster Pitt 24-21, Kerry Naylor Pitt 31-17, Jim Cushion Pitt 30-23, Christina Pryor Pitt 28-10, Scoop Sample Pitt 21-14.
Oregon State at Penn State: Can the Nittany Lions contain the pass-happy Oregon State Beavers. Last week, Oregon State put up 54 passes for 404 yards, and ran just 21 times for 86 yards. Most of their completions came on short routes, which the Penn State defenders routinely give the receivers, playing well off. That could mean a lot of time on the field for the Beaver offense, if they use the same strategy. Lion QBs and running backs and receivers all did a good job last week, but had no pressure at all. This could be the best test for Penn State before Big 10 play begins.
The picks: Miller Penn State 35-10, Kerry Webster Penn State 55-14, Kerry Naylor Penn State 45-24, Jim Cushion Penn State 30-27, Christina Pryor Penn State 28-14, Scoop Sample Penn State 32-14.
Texans at Steelers: Exhibition season is over. How well will the offensive line stand up? Troy Palamalu will play, although how much is a question. Will Rashard Mendenhall be the only rookie to see action? Who will be the Steelers fourth receiver- Dallas Baker, or rookie Limas Sweed? The game will be broadcast on CBS and begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The picks: Miller Steelers 33-20, Kerry Webster Steelers 35-27, Kerry Naylor Steelers 31-17, Jim Cushion Steelers 16-7, Christina Pryor Steelers 24-3, Scoop Sample Steelers 27-13.

By Rick