Varsity Blog program note: Tonight's live blog will come from the Steel Valley at South Fayette game. Not only is it a big game, but Brett Brumbaugh is going for the WPIAL passing record. Our game of the week is Jeannette at Clairton. For score updates, look to the right of this blog for scores and notes from @PGVarsityXtra on Twitter. If you have a score, note or even photo, tweet to @PGVarsityXtra or simply tweet with #WPIAL
And now, for a dozen predictions to go for this week. The record for last week was 10-2. Mr. Brightness here calls it "dozen" predictions to go, but only predicted 11 games last week. Ooops. So, we'll take a loss for the extra game. That makes the season record 44-16 (.733 percentage).
Here are some thoughts on this weekend's top games:
WPIAL CLASS AAAA
Mt. Lebanon at Bethel Park - I like what Mt. Lebanon has done offensively, but Bethel Park seems to be playing well. Winner: Bethel Park
North Hills vs. Central Catholic - Two tough games in a row for North Hills. Last week at Pine-Richland and now vs. Central Catholic. It will be two losses in a row, too. North Hills is 4-1 and still has a decent team, but Central Catholic is on a different level. In two weeks it is Central vs. Pine. Winner: Central Catholic
Baldwin at Upper St. Clair - This game doesn't match teams with impressive records, but it could be big in the playoff race in the Southeastern Conference. A loss might put USC in danger of not making the playoffs. Wow. Winner: Upper St. Clair
WPIAL CLASS AAA
Franklin Regional at Hampton - I keep going back and forth on the winner of this game. Hampton has been impressive all season while Franklin Regional has been impressive since a season-opening loss. Winner: Franklin Regional.
Gateway at Mars - Gateway certainly isn't a tremendous team now, but the Gators have won two in a row. This game will be big for playoff positioning. Winner: Mars.
Moon at Chartiers Valley - The winner is in much better position for a playoff spot. Winner: Chartiers Valley.
WPIAL CLASS AA
Steel Valley at South Fayette - Brett Brumbaugh (pictured) will become the WPIAL's all-time leading passer in the first half and the Lions will win their 25th consecutive regular-season game. Winner: South Fayette.
Beaver at Aliquippa - Last week, Aliquippa blew out an undefeated New Brighton team that had defeated Beaver. But something tells me that Beaver will make this game a lot closer than New Brighton. Still, ... Winner: Aliquippa.
Beaver Falls at Ellwood City - Both of these teams have shown the ability to score plenty of points, but they have both allowed a good number of points in games. Beaver Falls' defense might be a little better. Winner: Beaver Falls.
WPIAL CLASS A
Jeannette at Clairton - Clairton will be without two starters who were thrown out of last week's game. That will impact the Bears some. Unbeaten Jeannette will end Clairton's string of five consecutive 70-point games, but Clairton will still win by a comfortable margin. Winner: Clairton.
Beth-Center at Frazier - How about the Commodores? Frazier is 5-0 for the first time in 31 years. But Beth-Center is still the king of the Tri-County South Conference. Winner: Beth-Center.
South Side Beaver at Shenango - South Side Beaver's offense has been awfully impressive since a loss to Neshannock in the opener. But home field might mean something in this game. A small upset. Winner: Shenango.