Apple Tractor Presents: Protime Predictions by Phil
Written by: Phil Myers on Thursday, October 26th, 2017
With Halloween season upon us, Protime took a trip down memory lane back to the days when he was a little Protimer and one could go trick or treating any one of the five days during the week. And one could go any time after dark till 10:00 or 11:00 at night. Protime’s pal, Buddy Bedneski, took it to another level by dressing up as someone or something different all five nights. That way he got five times the candy as everyone else.
Then there was Johnny Jackson who took a digger near the end of the big night, spilling his huge bag of candy all over. Luckily his ‘friends’ helped him gather it up, but he couldn’t figure out why his bag wasn’t as full as it was before the fall.
Protime used to corn houses, and being a corn conservationist, he’d go back after school the next day and gather up the kernels he threw the night before so he could go corning again that night. Later, Protime got the brilliant idea to toss chestnuts at the metal bottom of screen doors for a louder noise. Protime never went back to pick up the chestnuts.
Halloween isn’t what it used to be, but Protime was, and still is the Premier Prognosticator. The last week of the regular season is upon us. Speaking of last week, Protime went 22-3. That puts him at 182-43 (.809) for the year. Here are week nine’s picks.
Bellwood-Antis 9-0 @ Northern Bedford 8-1 – This is probably the game of the year in the ICC (Inter-County Conference). Bellwood puts its perfect record on the line on the arm of QB Shawn Wolfe (averaging 100 yards/game with 11 TDs plus 5 more running), the legs of Thor Schmittle (leading rusher plus 13 TDs), and the foot of Alex Schmoke (45 of 46 extra points). The Blue Devils’ defense is led by Schmittle, Eric Morder, and Troy Walker. For the NBC Panthers, QB Andrew Foor averages over 100 yards passing and Josh Dasher is the top running back with his 12 TDs. The Panther defense may be the key to this game. They have only allowed 69 points to date and are led by dominate tackler Tristin Guyer and Jaden Fernandez who has 7 INTs. The crystal ball says 21-12 Bellwood.
Berlin Brothersvalley 9-0 @ Ligonier Valley 9-0 – The Appalachian Bowl showcases the best of the WestPAC (Berlin) and the best of the Heritage Conference (Ligonier Valley). Berlin’s kicker, Carter Raupach, recently discovered he’s the all-time leader in kicking points in Pennsylvania. He has hit on 12 of 13 FGs this year. The Berlin offense is led by QB Luke Brick (962 yards-11 TDs) and RB Charlie Hersch (820 yards-9 TDs). The Mountaineer defense is rugged with Shawn Yanosky the leader of five players who have over 60 tackles. The LV Rams are the 2nd highest scoring team in the west with 453 points. But what also opens eyes is the fact that they’ve only given up 26 points! Joey Dubics is the top tackler and Nathan Burns has 10 sacks. LV’s first team offense usually doesn’t play a whole game, but QB John Caldwell has a 148.8 QB Rating, RB Jackson Daugherty has 1,294 all-purpose yards, and WR Aaron Tutino has pulled in 11 scoring passes. Kicker Peter Stoll has converted 49 of 50 PATs. Protime’s coin came up heads for the Rams, 21-17.
Clearfield 5-4 @ Karns City 6-3 – Clearfield has a star at QB in junior Isaac Rumery who has tossed the rock for 2,264 yards and 28 TDs so far. Micah Heichel is Rumery’s favorite target. Heichel has 36 grabs for 687 yards and 10 TDs. But KC can’t ignore wideouts Taye Lynch (Jr) and Jake Lezzer (Fr) either. Eli Glass and Spencer Graham have over 60 tackles each to lead the defense. Jakob Sorbera has booted 37 of his 38 point after tries. Coach Ed Conto likes to get lots of Gremlins playing time which usually pays dividends late in the year. Dalton Beham has scooted for 969 yards and 20 scores this year. Gremlins Trevor Knox and Clay Garing cause havoc on opponents with their defensive play. In the end, it’ll be the Bison taming the Gremlins 24-17.
McGuffey 6-3 @ Derry 8-1 – Protime is looking forward to seeing two new teams this week as he will be traveling to Derry for his GOTW. McGuffey QB Marshall Whipkey has hurled 10 TD tosses. Brendon Crowe has snagged 6 of those TD passes. Highlander RB Christian Clutter has sauntered into the end zone 11 times and has logged in 911 yards. RB Adam Townsend chips in 7 touchdowns. For the Derry Trojans, who are having another phenomenal season under Coach Tim Sweeney, it all starts with the run game. Backs Colton Nemcheck (13 TDs) and Shawn Broadway (10 TDs) show the way. On defense, it’s big Dom DeLuca that is always near the ball making plays along with a swarming ‘D’ that has only allowed 84 points (39 came in their loss to Elizabeth-Forward). Protime likes the Derrymen’s chances, Trojans 28 McGuffey 14.
Otto-Eldred 6-3 @ Kane 9-0 – This is for the AML championship. Kane won the first meeting in week one in convincing fashion. Since then O-E has improved and Kane looks more vulnerable. The Terrors of Otto-Eldred are led by signal-caller Sawyer Drummond with his 1,882 yards passing for 23 TDs. Drummond is also the top ground gainer with 419 yards. His two preferred marks are Dylan Close (48 catches, 718 yards, 8 TDs) and Cameron Magee (41 catches, 706 yards, 7 TDs). Drummond and Charles Lee anchor an improved Terror defense. The Kane Wolves are led by their all-time leading passer, Reed Williams who has thrown the agate for over 1,500 yards and 20 scores. Ray Maze is the main threat of the receivers. Erik DeLong balances the offense with his 1,390 rushing yards and 20 TDs. Ange Costanzo has contributed 11 tallies on the ground. Kane 32 O-E 15.
Penn-Trafford 9-0 @ McKeesport 6-2 – The Warriors appear to be the class of 5A in D-7. Cam Laffoon takes the snaps and has fired the pigskin for over 1,000 yards and 12 scores. RB John Gay has scampered for over 900 yards, crossing the goal line on 15 occasions. RB Caleb Lisbon has 639 markers and 12 TDs. P-T’s defense has been extremely stingy this year giving up 66 total points. McKeesport is no slouch and they like to belt you in the mouth and run the ball right at you. Layton Jordan leads the way with 941 yards and 12 tallies. John Harper, out of his QB position, had scurried for 636 yards and 12 tallies too. Protime consults his crystal ball and discerns that Penn Trafford remains unbeaten, defeating the Tigers 14-6.
Pine-Richland 9-0 @ North Allegheny 7-2 – Phil Jurkovec’s numbers are 138 completions out of 178 attempts for 2,284 yards and 21 touchdowns. His QB Rating is 148.7. Ray Falcone is the leading receiver with 745 yards and 9 TD grabs. RB Jordan Crawford has found the end zone 17 times. Ram kicker Vittorio Orsini has been good on 46 of 48 PATs. P-R’s defense has strength in Tyler King’s 71 tackles. NA began the season 1-2, but since has rattled off 6 straight wins by an average margin of 28 points. QB Luke Trueman has 1,055 yards passing (12 TDs) and another 788 yards rushing (6 TDs). Wide receiver, John Vardzel has come down with 6 of those scoring tosses. RB Turner White, 758 yards and 11 scores, leads the Tiger runners. Dante Caputo heads up the sleek Tiger ‘D’. Protime is going with western PA’s 4th best scoring team, the Pine-Richland Rams, 35-24.
Portage 8-1 @ Homer-Center 8-1 – The Mustangs gallop into Homer City to face the Panthers in another WestPAC vs. Heritage Conference showdown. Portage, the 6th highest scoring team in the west, loves to run as evidenced by their 3,520 team yards on the ground. Zach Wiggins leads the offense with 1,303 markers and 23 touchdowns. Tom Randazzo has 15 goal line crossings and QB Connor Price has 756 yards and 8 TDs. Homer-Center has Ben Schmidt the freshman QB who averages 100 yards/game passing the pigskin. Also, RB Jesse Lee has 17 TDs and is tough to bring down. Dakota Sunday headlines a pretty good defense. Protime has Portage edging Homer-Center 28-26.
South Fayette 9-0 @ Montour 7-1 – The South Fayette Lions are 10th in the west scoring points. The three main Lions on offense are QB Drew Saxton (1,861 yds, 24 TDs), WR Noah Plack (33 snags, 529 yds, 6 TDs), and RB Johnny Beck (844 yds, 17 TDs). The Spartans are in an ideal position to really shake up the seedings in D-7, class 4A. Offensively, QB Kavon Morman has 1,158 yards and 12 TD tosses and WR Brandon Lipford has pulled in 6 of those scoring pitches. Kicker Nolan Hutter has been perfect on all 30 of his PATs. And on the Sparty defense, Dustin Snyder and Dante Pressuti take out the most ball carriers. But, Protime thinks this South Fayette eleven is very good and wins in a close one, 26-23.
West Greene 7-2 @ California 9-0 – The Pioneers of West Greene are playoff bound and that hasn’t happened since 1993. Congratulations to the Royal Blue and Gold. But the task at hand is California and that may be a difficult one. The Pioneers are a running team and are led by sophomore RB Ben Jackson (1,269 yards with 10 TDs) and QB Zachary Pettit (800 yards with 14 TDs). Andrew Litton is by far and away the top tackler for WG. For the highest scoring team in the state, the Cal Trojans, Jelani Stafford heads the show with his 106 carries for 1,167 yards and 21 TDs. Jonathan Wood scored five times last week on eleven attempts. Cal has cruised for 3,347 yards on the ground this year, averaging an amazing 10.4 yards per carry! California wins 42-21.
Chestnut Ridge 31 Tyrone 14 – The Ridge has the team to go deep into the playoffs. For that reason, Protime picks the Lions to be victorious.
Bellefonte 27 Bald Eagle Area 14 – Who would’ve guessed that the Red Raiders would be vying for the top D-5-6-9 quad A playoff spot.
Thomas Jefferson 34 West Mifflin 14 – The Jaguars are strong and fast and are a team to be reckoned with come playoff time.
Jeannette 28 Clairton 14 – The Jayhawks are better this year and have sights set on Hershey.
Hollidaysburg 45 DuBois 25 – It’s been a long season for the Beavers, while the Golden Tigers prep for the playoffs.
Huntingdon 42 Warren 21 – The Bearcats make a long trek to Warren, but a victory always makes a long trip better.
Quaker Valley 35 Ellwood City 13 – The Quakers roll into the playoffs and a possible showdown with Aliquippa.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic 21 Penn Hills 14 – This should be a tremendous game with the Vikings being the victor.
Mount Union 28 Claysburg-Kimmel 12 – The Trojans fend off the Bulldogs.
Brookville 36 Keystone 18 – Scoring points hasn’t been a problem this year for the Blue Raiders and their record-setting offense led by freshman QB Jack Krug.
Gateway 24 Franklin Regional 21 – The Gators win another close one.
Washington 29 Beth-Center 12 – Those Little Prexies go undefeated and just may be the team to beat in AA.
Meadville 21 Conneaut 17 – In a playoff play in game, the Bulldogs exact revenge for a regular season loss.
Clarion-Limestone 34 Punxsutawney 28 – Hear the Lions roar. There may be a lot more of that when the D-9 playoffs begin next week.
Hickory 24 Corry 8 – That buzzing sound is the Hornets swarming all over the Corry Beavers in a playoff play in.
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