Schoolboy pick of week: Monessen
It's always been said that you never want to corner a desperate animal.
I guess the same could be said for desperate Buccaneers.
Chartiers-Houston comes to Monessen tonight in precisely that situation.
The Bucs (3-4, 3-4), due to some very close, hard-luck losses earlier in the season, have to win their final two games of the season in the Black Hills Conference to entertain any thoughts about making the WPIAL playoffs.
That makes this team very dangerous, indeed, for Monessen (7-1, 7-1).
As Andy Pacak said, the Bucs aren't your average 3-4 squad. Their four losses have been by a combined total of 17 points, including 22-20 to Clairton, 10-4 to Bishop Canevin, 18-16 to Imani Christian and 14-7 to Brentwood.
In fact, this team has given up far less points defensively (100) than the Greyhounds (166) have this season.
C-H has a quarterback on his way to a 1,000-yard passing season, three receivers who average over 16 yards per reception and two running backs who have combined to rush for over 900 yards.
If the Greyhounds had a game coming up next week against a Clairton or a Bishop Canevin, then a case could be made for the team looking ahead. But Monessen closes the season against Carlynton ( 1-6, 1-6) and the Greyhounds should be fully focused on the task at hand tonight.
After all, Monessen is also playing for a prize.
The Greyhounds long ago picked up their playoff ticket, but they would also like to earn a home game in the first round of the playoffs and a high seed in the playoffs.
To do that, they have to win out.
Plain and simple.
Plus, it's not like Monessen doesn't have some talent of its own to fall back on. And for the first time last week, the Greyhound defense put together four solid quarters against a potent Imani Christian offense.
I don't think Monessen will take the Bucs lightly and they will, indeed, have their eye on the prize.
Still, grabbing it won't be easy.
The pick: Monessen, 21-14.
Best of the rest
• Laurel Highlands at BV Area. The Leps will be playing without their young quarterback, Travis Snyder. Still, the playoffs are not out of the realm of possibility for them. BVA, 17-14.
• Highlands at Ringgold. The Rams have their fingers crossed that standout running back Demetrius Louis will make it through four quarters. That could be the difference between winning and losing. Ringgold, 21-20.
• Charleroi at Southmoreland. A long season for the Cougars is winding down slowly, but surely. Southmoreland, 28-21.
• Carlynton at California. There haven't been many games in the Black Hills Conference in which the Trojans were not out-classed in talent. This, however, is one of those games. California, 21-14.
• Elizabeth Forward at Albert Gallatin. EF is in line for a rare playoff appearance. AG is awful. Enough said. Elizabeth Forward, 35-7.
• Vincentian at Frazier. Frazier will be the latest team to welcome Vincentian to WPIAL football. Frazier, 44-0.
• Yough at Greensburg C.C. The Cougars need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. There is always next year. Greensburg C.C., 28-14.
• Bentworth at Carmichaels. The Mikes are in the mix for a Tri-County South playoff berth. Carmichaels, 34-14.
Last week: 6-2. Season record: 46-12.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.