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Schoolboy pick of week: West Mifflin

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The artificial surface at West Mifflin's stadium is going to get a real workout tonight.

That's because the unbeaten Titans (4-0, 4-0) play host to up-and-coming Ringgold (3-1, 3-1) in a Big Nine Conference game that could go a long way in determining who wins the conference.

West Mifflin is the highest scoring team in Class AAA with 191 points (47.8 per game) while Ringgold is third (169, 42.3).

That's a whole lot of offense.

Of course, West Mifflin has yet to play any team with a winning record but that doesn't mean the Titans are not worthy. It just means their offensive and defensive stats could be a tad overstated.

In truth, if not for a poor second half against Thomas Jefferson, this game could be a battle of unbeatens.

The Rams are not the biggest team in the conference, in terms of size or numbers. But there is a lot to like about the Rams.

There is a lot of sentiment that the Rams have the best speed in the conference and you know what all coaches say about speed.

West Mifflin has the WPIAL's most prolific running back in Jimmy Wheeler, (946 yards rushing, 11 TDs) who should eclipse 1,000 yards rushing on the season in the first half, if not the first quarter.

Ringgold counters with one of the WPIAL's more versatile playmakers in quarterback Nico Law, who can beat you throwing (38-76, 681 yards, 9 TDs) or running (49 carries, 469 yards, 3 TDs) and Law has several talented receivers, most notably Dayshore Majors (11 receptions, 214 yards, 19.5 ave., 3 TDs) and Alan Pritchett (7-219, 31.3, 4 TDs).

With all of that offense, somebody has to play defense.

The Titans have allowed just 18 points on the season. Ringgold has allowed 87, with a large chunk coming in a 31-14 loss to TJ.

My guess is that neither team is going to hit its gaudy offensive averages in this one and West Mifflin's defensive numbers will take a slight hit.

Still, the Titans will have enough to pull this ne out, which may be closer than some people think.

The pick: W. Mifflin, 27-24.

Best of the rest

• Canevin at Monessen. The only way this one is close is if the Greyhounds suffer a letdown. Pick: Monessen, 36-14.

• Deer Lakes at Charleroi Area. Two winless teams desperate to taste victory. I hope they shine up that bell at Charleroi Stadium. Pick: Charleroi, 21-20.

• BV Area at Franklin Regional. Just a tough nonconference opponent for a battered BVA squad. Pick: Franklin Regional, 28-7.

• Mt. Pleasant at Yough. Tough three-game stretch of unbeaten foes for the feisty Cougars. Pick: Mt. Pleasant, 27-21.

• Frazier at Jeff-Morgan. Commodores are hitting their stride at the right time. Pick: Frazier, 42-22.

• California Area at Serra. Opening the season against Monessen, Fort Cherry and Clairton didn't help the Trojans' record. It did make them tougher for the long haul. Pick: California, 42-7.

• Vincentian at Bentworth. Bearcats will be more competitive in this one. Pick: Vincentian, 26-21.

Last week: 7-1. Season record: 31-4.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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