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The Leader heads for the hills

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 12:36 a.m.

The Leader headed out to a hunting stand earlier this week.

Nothing about hunting appeals to The Leader, who does not own a weapon of any sort — unless one believes a pen is actually mightier than a sword.

The Leader simply wanted to avoid public interaction due to his latest prognostication record, which sits somewhere between embarrassing and horrendous.

Here are picks from the Leader's hideaway:

Burrell (5-1, 4-1) at Ford City (2-4, 1-4)

The Bucs will find a way to beat the Sabers for the first time since 2004. There's a good chance senior running back Cole Bush becomes the hero and avenges last year's loss, which left him particularly banged up. Ford City just lacks the depth and experience necessary to pull off an upset. Burrell, 24-10

Freeport (5-1, 5-1) at East Allegheny (1-5, 1-5)

Sandwiched between the big matchup with Burrell and an intriguing nonconference game against Washington, this contest is a potential trap game for the Yellowjackets. But the surprising loss to Valley in Week 4 likely left Freeport too focused on a strong finish to overlook any opponent, including the one-win Wildcats. Freeport, 31-16

Leechburg (1-5, 1-4) at Riverview (1-5, 1-4)

The real question here: Will either team score more than 14 points? Leechburg averages 3.8 points per game, and Riverview is only slightly better at 7.3. A Saturday afternoon kickoff often spells trouble for visitors, so The Leader will side with Riverview — and he'll bet on both offenses at least cracking 10 points. Riverview, 17-14

Kittanning (3-3, 3-2) at Deer Lakes (3-3, 2-3)

A winner of three straight, Deer Lakes looks like a team that's walking tall. But the Lancers' formula for victories — surge in the second half — closely resembles Kittanning's approach. And The Leader suspects the Wildcats are a bit stronger in the final two quarters. Kittanning, 33-19

Apollo-Ridge (3-3, 3-2) at Northgate (5-1, 5-0)

Last week's shutout loss likely shrank the Vikings' confidence a considerable amount. Apollo-Ridge must regroup and regain any lost swagger if it is to stand a chance against Northgate, which has yet to encounter a serious challenger in the Eastern Conference. Northgate, 38-20

West Shamokin (1-5) at South Side Beaver (1-5)

What once seemed like a portion of schedule ripe with win opportunities for West Shamokin now appears less favorable. The Wolves must forget about one of their most frustrating performances of the season and try to stifle South Side Beaver, which snapped a 14-game losing streak last week. South Side Beaver, 24-13

Punxsutawney (4-2, 2-0) at Karns City (4-2, 2-0)

Karns City secured its most convincing win of the season a week ago. The Gremlins have returned to the ground-based offensive philosophy that helped establish the team as a powerhouse during the past decade. Punxsutawney better return the punishment if it intends to compete. Karns City, 27-14

Clarion (6-0, 3-0) at Redbank Valley (0-6, 0-3)

The past two seasons, this matchup determined the champion of the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference's Small School division. Redbank Valley must find some other source of motivation this time. Clarion, 35-6

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