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The Leader livens up a rivalry

| Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 12:36 a.m.

The week of the Ford City-Kittanning game gives the Leader a reason to ponder what will happen when the schools merge.

The Leader is familiar with rumors regarding team colors, the mascot and the school name. Who knows whether any of it is accurate — time will tell.

What the Leader knows for sure is that the Ford City-Kittanning football rivalry, now almost 100 years old, will soon cease to exist. In a bit of a mischievous mood, the Leader came up with an idea the other night: Let's spice up the stakes.

Here's the plan: The merged school's mascot will be whoever wins the final matchup between the Sabers and Wildcats.

Actual leaders of the Armstrong School District don't read anything the Leader writes, so don't worry about this idea gaining any traction. Consider it food for thought as you look through this week's picks.

Ford City (2-3, 1-3) at Kittanning (2-3, 2-2)

The Leader wishes both teams weren't so banged up. Expect more than a few miscues to factor into the outcome.

Kittanning, 28-27

Freeport (4-1, 4-1) at Burrell (5-0, 4-0)

Burrell has a monster in senior running back Cole Bush. Freeport has what running back Mike Teorsky once described as a multi-headed dragon. So who wins in a battle of sci-fi creatures? With Halloween not too far away, the Leader will side with a monster.

Burrell, 28-24

Northgate (4-1, 4-0) at Leechburg (1-4, 1-3)

Northgate is undoubtedly the best in the Eastern Conference.

Northgate, 42-12

Wilkinsburg (0-5, 0-5) at West Shamokin (1-4, 1-4)

At the start of the season, the Leader thought this is when West Shamokin would end its losing streak. The Wolves proved that wrong in Week 3. The Leader looks forward to at least getting this pick right.

West Shamokin, 21-13

Springdale (3-2, 3-1) at Apollo-Ridge (3-2, 3-1)

Apollo-Ridge is riding high after a big OT win over Avonworth. The Leader suspects this game might bring Apollo-Ridge back down to Earth.

Springdale, 14-13

Karns City (3-2) at Keystone (2-3)

Karns City is 0-2 against members of the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference's Small School division this season, and it's yet to win two in a row. But trends end eventually; the Leader figures Friday is as good a time as any.

Karns City, 38-15

Redbank Valley (0-5) at Moniteau (0-5)

Two of the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference's most successful programs over the past few years have fallen on hard times. Fortunately, one of them gets to snap out of the funk this week.

Redbank Valley, 21-20

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