The Leader is ready for 'Hump Week'

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 12:16 a.m.

In an effort to make the hump-day camel from the Geico commercials happy, let's call this “Hump Week.”

Week 5 of the WPIAL football season is when teams get over the hump and into their home stretch of games. Real playoff contenders will have emerged by the end of this week, while other teams will have fallen to the fringe or by the wayside altogether.

This week's slate of games includes some choice contests that will paint a better picture of how good certain teams really are.

Is Kittanning's 4-0 for real or the product of a weak schedule? Can Ford City climb back into the playoff chase? Is Apollo-Ridge a conference title contender or headed for a third-place finish?

Even in District 9, where a 10-week schedule means this isn't quite “Hump Week,” Redbank Valley has a chance to show it's the No. 1 contender to knock off state-ranked Clarion for a KSAC title.

All those questions may seem daunting, but The Leader is coming off back-to-back one-loss weeks and plans to keep his prognosticating hot streak going.

Kittanning at Burrell

Burrell has a 2-2 record and its points for and against are both 95 after four one-sided games. Kittanning keeps finding ways to win, and if it can do it again, it makes the Allegheny Conference a three-team race with Shady Side Academy, Valley and the ‘Cats. Kittanning, 30-21

Ford City at Summit

The Steelers are playing in London this weekend, but this game is the one most likely to finish with a soccer score. Both teams have broken the 10-point barrier just once in four games, but give the edge in a low-scoring game to the Sabers' defense and kicking game. Ford City, 17-8

North Catholic at West Shamokin

The Wolves were rudely tossed from the top of the conference by Avonworth last week, while the Trojans kept rolling. West Shamokin is still in line for a playoff berth, but this officially knocks it from the conference title race. North Catholic, 38-7

Apollo-Ridge at Avonworth

The Leader might ruffle some feathers with this one, but Avonworth has looked dominant this season. It was an overtime win for the Vikings last year, but with Tre Tipton's health still a question mark and the game in Ohio Township, the ‘Lopes get the nod. Avonworth, 31-27

Springdale at Leechburg

The Dynamos have struggled to score points in a down season, while Leechburg has found it tough to stop anyone. The Leader thinks Springdale will add to its season total of two offensive touchdowns, but the Blue Devils will score more. Leechburg, 20-14

Freeport at Shady Side Academy

Freeport was last year's Allegheny Conference champ, but Shady Side Academy has a good shot to take that title this year. Shady Side Academy, 42-7

Allegheny-Clarion Valley at Redbank Valley

Redbank Valley is a perfect 2-0 in KSAC Small School play and can move to the cusp of a playoff berth if it can keep A-C Valley winless. The Falcons will put up a fight, but Redbank has too many weapons. Redbank Valley, 35-21

Karns City at Franklin

Ben Franklin is on the $100 bill. Karns City could put 100 on Franklin's scoreboard the way the District 10 Knights have been defending. Karns City, 49-14

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