The Birdie pulls out his calculator and makes AK Valley playoff picks


Wednesday 3 November 2021 | 6:52 p.m.

Last week: 8-1 (88.9%)

Globally: 78-27 (74.3%)

IIf there’s one question the Birdie asks more than another, it’s “Do you want fries with that?”

A close second is: “How do you make your choices? It’s like you’re a fortune teller who can see into the future.

On the eve of the playoffs, the Birdie will explain his methods. He uses a very scientific scale called the Birdie Power Index to make his selections.

To illustrate the system, the Birdie will show in detail how he arrived at his choice for the New Castle-Highlands Class 4A encounter.

1. Points differential: Highlands is a plus-143 for the season. New Castle is a minus-12. That’s 153 points for Highlands.

2. Proximity to Sheetz: Birdie needs Wi-Fi and a few Schmuffins before and after every game. You can walk to Sheetz from the Highland Stadium. Ten points for Highlands.

3. Common adversaries: There is one: Mars. Highlands defeated the Fightin ‘Planets, 22-7. New Castle won 40-14. Nine points for New Castle.

4. Friendliness of the mascot towards the birds: Golden rams usually leave their feathered friends alone. Hurricanes, especially red ones, are a bird’s nightmare. Ten points for Highlands.

5. Calendar strength: New Castle’s schedule was harder. It included Aliquippa and Central Valley. The Highlands’ toughest game was against Hampton. Eighty points for New Castle.

6. Strength of victories: Highlands and New Castle lost those three aforementioned games, so it’s important to watch the top wins. New Castle has a win over a playoff team (Montour). Highlands has one as well, but it was on Class 3A Burrell. Eighty points for New Castle.

7. Cash payments: Birdie has incredible prognosis skills. He has no ethics. He did not receive any payment for this choice, which he is not happy with.

Add it all up and it’s Highlands of Four. You can’t argue with it. Simple mathematics.

Now for the rest of Birdie’s playoff picks.

• New castle (6-4) in Highlands (7-3): In addition to Birdie’s flawless analysis, the Golden Rams enter the playoffs on a three-game winning streak. Highlands, 24-20

• Fox Chapel (4-6) at Upper St. Clair (6-4): Foxes QB Collin Dietz was injured last week and Upper St. Clair took four of their five wins with the only three-point loss to No.1 Moon. Haute Sainte-Claire, 30-10

• Prune (3-7) at Hampton (10-0): The Mustangs are coming off a decisive victory over Greensburg Salem, but when those teams met in Week 6, the Talbots won 35-7. Hampton, 35-14

• Ambridge (2-8) at Freeport (5-4): The Yellowjackets may be 5-4, but they don’t have a bad loss on the schedule. The four teams that beat them are in the playoffs. A second place in the section coupled with a playoff victory makes this a very good year for Freeport football. Port-Franc, 28-6

• Burrell (3-7) at Mt. Pleasant (5-4): When those teams met in week zero the Vikings got a 40-7 victory. The Bucs are a better team now than they used to be – they won three out of four – but that’s a lot of ground to come. catch up. Mount Pleasant, 30-14

• Springdale (6-4) at West Greene (8-2): The Dynamos are sleepers in the Class A bracket. They have taken three of four wins, with the only loss being close to Clairton. The Pioneers, however, built a running back factory in Greene County and scored eight straight wins. West Greene, 28-14

• California (7-2) at Leechburg (8-2): One of the hardest first round games to choose from across any class. Neither team has a bad loss. Both score a ton of points. The Blue Devils can finally put on a playoff game, and the home pitch will make the difference. Leechbourg, 28-27

Tags: Ambridge, Burrell, California, Fox Chapel, Freeport, Hampton, Highlands, Leechburg, Mt. Pleasant, New Castle, Plum, Springdale, Upper St. Clair, West Greene

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