Firday Night Countdown: Week 7 predictions .... Team forfeits after deaths of 2 students

Written by Mike White on .

Tonight's game of the week will be Belle Vernon at Thomas Jefferson. I will be there and follow @mwhiteburgh for updates. Brian Batko will be at Steel Valley-East Allegheny, so follow @BrianBatko for updates. Follow @PGVarsityXtra for updates of all games. If you have a score, update or photo, send it to @PGVarsityXtra and use #wpial.

Before we get to the predictions for some big WPIAL-City League games, a quick little note about a school showing that a big football game really isn't all that big when a school is dealing with the deaths of two students.

Undefeated Ligonier Valley (7-0) was supposed to play Blairsville (6-1) tonight in a game that would decide the Heritage Conference title. But Blairsville has forfeited the game as the school tries to deal with the recent deaths of two students. The two students committed suicide.

Blairsville officials decided to forfeit the game.

Dozen predictions to go

Just took a fresh dozen predictions out of the bakery box. Last week was not good - only 7-5. Dropped season record to 58-26.

THOMAS JEFFERSON OVER BELLE VERNON - Both teams are undefeated and no team has scored more than 15 points on Belle Vernon. But Belle Vernon hasn't faced anyone like Thomas Jefferson. The Jaguars have destroyed everyone, outscoring opponents by an average of 54-6. Matt Humbert deserves a shoutout for what he has done as Belle Vernon's coach, after doing an excellent job at Ringgold. Humbert guided the Leopards to a win at Thomas Jefferson last year. That won't happen two years in a row.

STEEL VALLEY OVER EAST ALLEGHENY - This is one of East Allegheny's best seasons in a while, but I really wonder if anyone can stay close to Steel Valley in the regular season? Playing at home should help East Allegheny, but you have to wonder what East Allegheny's defense will do. It gave up 42 points to Jeannette and 50 to Neshannock.

CENTRAL VALLEY OVER BEAVER FALLS - It seems many people have forgotten about Beaver Falls since the Tigers were crushed in the season opener by Aliquippa. But this team is still very good and certainly capable of beating 3A No. 1-ranked Central Valley. The return of Malik Shepherd certainly helps. I picked Central Valley on "This Week In High School Sports." I'm not feeling great about the pick, but I'll stick with it. Did you know? Central Valley plays Beaver, Aliquippa and Beaver Falls all at home? 

OTHER TOP GAMES - Keystone Oaks over Apollo-Ridge; Armstrong over Penn-Trafford; Washington over Chartiers-Houston; North Allegheny over Seneca Valley; Westinghouse over Allderdice; McKeesport over Upper St. Clair; Bishop Canevin over Springdale; Highlands over Blackhawk; Fort Cherry over Mapletown. 

This Week In High School Sports

Wanna hear some more insight on the top games and the wildly popular "Just Askin" segment? Check out yours truly and Brian Batko on "This Week In High School Sports."

Xta, Xtra read all about it

Lamont Wade (pictured above with Aliquippa's Kwantel Raines after last week's game) talks about possibly seeing some time on offense in college, and talks a little about recruiting in

" target="_blank"> this week's Xtra Points column. Also read about how teams are forfeiting to a team in the state of Washington.


Brian Batko profiles a player who is "Rushing" for bunches and bunches of yards. It's Mapletown's Dylan Rush (above).

It's very rare when an individual is the head coach of two teams in two different seasons. But at Freedom High School, Colin Williams is coaching two - in one season. And this profile tells how Williams  is guiding the Freedom Bulldogs to big things. 


Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.