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The Birdie has 'IT' factor in Westmoreland County

| Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, 6:06 p.m.

The Birdie saw the “IT” remake over the weekend and the horror movie nearly freaked him out of his feathers.

“Had nightmares,” he said. “Like I was lining up against Penn-Trafford's defense. Or, trying to tackle ‘Poogie.' Scary stuff.”

While readers have pointed out the movie has an eerily similar storyline to that of the Birdie, the county's high school football guru refuses to entertain the notion.

“They said, a clown suddenly shows up in the sewers and freaks out the kids in Derry,” Birdie said. “Yeah, yeah. Not that Derry. Nice try. Don't truss me up over that business.”

And while this isn't the first time he has been called a clown or that his picks stink like the sewers, the Birdie insists he has nothing against either Derry.

“I know, our Derry is halfway to the four wins I said they'd get,” Birdie said. “If you get to five, I'll stick my head back in the sewer. We all float down here.”

IT usually is who Birdie calls when his laptop is on the fritz. Dial-up internet gives him issues Friday nights. But Pennywise brought out his worst fear: losing football games. So far, he's manage to keep the red balloon from popping.

The Birdie correctly predicted 12 of 14 games last week to boost his season record to 30-8 — “That's 78.9 percent; would've been a solid C-plus, almost B-minus, in Miss Chickadee-Pennyfeather's sophomore English class. She hated me and my sports polls.”

Now for his Week 3 picks. “Let's get to it,” he said. “Get it? It?”

Crickets.

Central Catholic (2-1, 2-0) at Hempfield (1-2, 0-2)

Hempfield just wasn't itself last week and getting Central next on the schedule won't help matters.

Central Catholic, 28-7

Latrobe (1-2, 0-1) at Kiski Area (0-3, 0-2)

A matchup of teams that both have impressive, modernized artificial turf stadiums but still play on grass fields at traditional stadiums because of a lack of seating and other issues — “You figure it out,” Birdie said. That said, Kiski Area wins at home.

Kiski Area, 20-14

Norwin (2-1, 1-0) at Bethel Park (2-0, 2-0)

The stingy Knights defense will have its hands full with the Bethel Park running game and O-line.

Bethel Park, 14-10

Penn-Trafford (3-0) at Woodland Hills (1-2)

An air-tight defense will face its share of playmakers, but the Wolverines won't get much on the ground in the end.

Penn-Trafford, 23-7

Franklin Regional (2-0, 2-0) at Plum (1-2, 1-1)

With Plum having to revamp its offense with a new quarterback, Franklin's defense should feast.

Franklin Regional, 21-0

Thomas Jefferson (2-0, 2-0) at Greensburg Salem (2-1, 2-0)

The Birdie was urged to pick the upset but can't give up his integrity. “If Salem can hang early, it's possible,” Birdie said. “Heck, the Howard college team just practiced there. Maybe they left some magic.”

Thomas Jefferson, 24-20

Ringgold (1-1, 1-1) at Belle Vernon (2-0, 2-0)

Belle Vernon is too good up front and can run the ball with power.

Belle Vernon, 41-7

Derry (2-1, 1-1) at Southmoreland (0-2, 0-1)

Derry will get the running game going early and wear the Scotties down up front. No clowning around.

Derry, 28-8

McGuffey (2-1, 1-0) at Mt. Pleasant (1-2, 1-1)

Mt. Pleasant went punch-for-punch with South Park last week, and the Birdie thinks that will build confidence for the Vikings.

Mt. Pleasant, 21-16

Hopewell (2-1) at Yough (0-3)

Yough just hasn't had it on offense, and that won't be a good thing facing a Beaver Valley Conference team like the Vikings.

Hopewell, 16-6

Clairton (2-0, 2-0) at Greensburg Central Catholic (1-2, 0-1)

The Birdie said GCC will have nowhere to hide against the Bears: “Not even in the press box,” he said. “It's condemned. Not because of anything I did, either. Although it is old like me.”

Clairton, 42-9

Monessen (1-2, 1-1) at Fort Cherry (1-1, 0-1)

Fort Cherry has a good dual-threat quarterback who will give the Greyhounds trouble.

Fort Cherry, 28-14

Ligonier Valley (3-0) at Penns Manor (1-2)

The unbeaten Rams were supposed to get a game last week but instead continued to dominate the Northern Cambria passing game. This one won't be pretty, either.

Ligonier Valley, 48-6

Saturday

Jeannette (3-0, 1-0) at Riverview (1-1, 1-1)

The Birdie knows Jeannette dislikes any game that isn't played on a Friday night, but that won't matter as the Jayhawks pull away in Oakmont.

Jeannette, 33-6

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