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FROM THE PRESS BOX: WEEK 6 PICKS — CAN WAVERLY BEAT FORKS AGAIN? (2023-09-29)

It’s Week 6 of the high school football season, and it features a trio of big divisional rivalry games.

In the biggest game of the weekend, Waverly is on the road at Chenango Forks tonight in a key Section IV, Division IV game, while Tioga travels to Walton for a key Division V contest.

While not a big game in terms of the NTL Large School Division title chase, Athens travels to Towanda in a match-up of sometimes bitter rivals. Rounding out the Valley schedule, Sayre hosts Small School Division foe South Williamsport.

The VSR pigskin prognosticators had a pretty good week in Week 5. I paced the foursome with a 10-0 mark, while The Mick and Country Bob were 9-1, and Little Red was 8-2.

On the season, I lead the pack at 43-4, while The Mick is two games off the pace at 41-6, Country Bob is 38-9, and Little Red is 37-10.

So, what does Week 6 have in store for us? Let’s see what the Pigskin Pickers have to say:

Waverly (3-1) at Chenango Forks (2-1): The Wolverines are coming off a 45-8 win over Class AA Elmira, while the Blue Devils rolled at Oneonta, 54-0.

Waverly’s high-powered offense scores 37.5 point per game, while the Forks defense allows just 5.3 points per game, so something has to give.

On the flip side, the Wolverine defense has been solid against the run, while the Blue Devils have thrown the ball more than usual.

With a win, Waverly would become the first Section IV team (other than Maine-Endwell) to beat Forks in back-to-back games since Corning East pulled it off in 1999-2000.

Prediction: Waverly won the Section IV, Class C championship game, 28-14, and all things point to more of the same tonight, BUT this is Chenango Forks we’re talking about. Forks coach Dave Hogan has had a legendary career, and the Blue Devils will be ready. The question is, ready or not, can they stop the Wolverines? … WAVERLY 24, FORKS 14.
The Mick:
Waverly 26, Forks 13. … Little Red: Waverly 28, Forks 14. … Country Bob: Waverly 28, Forks 13.

Tioga (4-0) at Walton (3-0) (Saturday): The Tigers, ranked No. 1 in Class D, are coming off a 56-28 win at Delhi, while the Warriors (ranked 14th) beat Bainbridge-Guilford, 38-20.

Tioga has knocked off a trio of state-ranked teams in Burke Catholic (now 3-1 and 11th in Class D), Waverly (3-1 and 9th in Class B) and Delhi (3-1 and 8th in Class D), while Walton has played teams with a combined record of 3-7.

Prediction: Last season, Walton ran 17 plays on its first possession, and Tioga ran just 13 in the first half, but led 40-8 at the intermission on its way to a 54-14 win. I don’t know that the Tigers will have the same type of offensive efficiency Saturday afternoon, but I expect them to score a lot of points. … TIOGA 55, WALTON 8.
The Mick:
Tioga 54, Walton 7. … Little Red: Tioga 55, Walton 20. … Country Bob: Tioga 47, Walton 12.

Athens (1-4) at Towanda (3-2): The Wildcats are coming off a 62-6 home loss to Troy, while the Black Knights edged Wellsboro, 20-17, in overtime.

The return of freshman QB Connor Davidson tonight should help the Athens offense, but the Wildcat defense will face the biggest test of the night in Towanda junior QB Riley Vanderpool, who leads District 4 with 867 rushing yards.

Prediction: If the Wildcat defense can contain Vanderpool, and force the Black Knights to throw, they have a good chance to get back on track. … TOWANDA 22, ATHENS 12.
The Mick:
Towanda 45, Athens 0. … Little Red: Towanda 40, Athens 6. … Country Bob: Towanda 35, Athens 6.

South Williamsport (4-1) at Sayre (0-5): The Redskins are coming off a 28-6 loss at Cowanesque Valley, while the Mountaineers suffered their first setback last week — a 27-21 home loss to Canton.

Prediction: Not much has gone right for Sayre this season, while Southern Williamsport gave Canton all it wanted. … SOUTH 55, SAYRE 0.
The Mick:
South 55, Sayre 0. … Little Red: South 42, Sayre 0. … Country Bob: South 52, Sayre 0.

Delhi (3-1) at SVEC (4-0): The Eagles are coming off a 25-6 win over Deposit-Hancock, while the Bulldogs dropped a 56-28 decision to Tioga.

SVEC is 4-0, and has ridden its defense to get there, allowing just 8 points per game, while Delhi is averaging 45.5 points per game.

Prediction: The reports of Delhi’s demise, at least on the offensive side of the ball, seemed to have been greatly exaggerated. (Mostly by me.) … I’m note sure SVEC can contain Delhi’s explosive offense, so it may need to win a shootout. … DELHI 35, SVEC 26.
The Mick:
SVEC 14, Delhi 13. … Little Red: Delhi 21, SVEC 7. … Country Bob: Delhi 24, SVEC 20.

Cowanesque Valley (3-2) at North Penn-Mansfield (1-4): The Indians are coming off a 28-6 win over Sayre, while the Tigers suffered a 40-19 home loss to Muncy.

CV is the most improved team in the region. With an improved passing game, the Indians are much more difficult to defend.

Prediction: If the Indians win the battle in the trenches, they win the game. NP-M QB Karson Dominick will make some plays tonight, but CV will make more. … COWANESQUE VALLEY 36, NP-M 20.
The Mick:
NP-M 28, CV 21. … Little Red: NP-M 33, CV 20. … Country Bob: CV 28, NP-M 12.

Wellsboro (2-3) at Troy (5-0): The Trojans are coming off a 62-6 win at Athens, while the Hornets dropped a 20-17 overtime decision at Towanda.

Prediction: The Trojans are clicking on all cylinder, outscoring its opponents by an average of 39 points per game. … TROY 42, WELLSBORO 0.
The Mick:
Troy 54, Wellsboro 7. … Little Red: Troy 56, Wellsboro 6. … Country Bob: Troy 48, Wellsboro 0.

Wyalusing (3-2) at Canton (5-0): The Warriors are coming off a hard-fought, 27-21, win over South Williamsport, while the Rams thumped Montgomery, 47-6.

Prediction: Canton passed its first big test of the season last week. The tests get a bit easier until the Old Shoe game. … CANTON 42, WYALUSING 6.
The Mick:
Canton 43, Wyalusing 6. … Little Red: Canton 28, Wyalusing 7. … Country Bob: Canton 34, Wyalusing 6.

Northwest Area (1-4) at Montgomery (0-5): The Rangers are coming off a 54-8 loss to Warrior Run, while the Red Raiders dropped a 47-6 decision to Wyalusing.

Prediction: Not counting its win over hapless CMVT, Northwest Area’s closest loss was a 20-point setback at Cowanesque Valley, while Montgomery lost by 14 at Hughesville, and by 20 at home against CV. … MONTGOMERY 20, NORTHWEST AREA 12.
The Mick:
Montgomery 22, Northwest 14. … Little Red: Northwest 28, Montgomery 20. … Country Bob: Montgomery 27, Northwest 13.

CMVT (1-4) at Muncy (4-1): The Rams are coming off a 29-28 loss at Holy Cross, while the Indians topped NP-M, 40-19.

Prediction: Muncy has shown it can beat sub-.500 teams, and CMVT fits that bill. … MUNCY 46, CMVT 0.
The Mick:
Muncy 63, CMVT 0. … Little Red: Muncy 56, CMVT 0. … Country Bob: Muncy 35, CMVT 0.

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