Kovak's fearless prognostications hit its stride last week as a perfect 6-0 record upped the overall season mark to 18-6, a more respectable .750 win percentage. It's hard to believe October is upon us.
On to the picks ...
Bethel Park (2-2) at Peters Township (3-1)
The Great Southern Conference finally kicks off league games this week and Peters Township, coming off an overtime win at West Mifflin, takes a three-game win streak into the important games. Bethel Park isn't used to being 2-2 at this juncture but one of the losses came against Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
The Indians are tough to figure. They did what was expected in blowout victories in Weeks 2 and 3. They lost the opener to a Penn-Trafford team that was crushed by Mt. Lebanon. Then, there's the overtime game at West Mifflin. Expect Austin Hancock to take more of a role in the PT offense than he needed to during the non-conference games. Just not sure Peters Township's defense is ready to match the offense. Bethel Park, 28-21.
New Castle (3-1) at Montour (4-0)
I entered the season skeptical about Montour, who went from a 5-5 team a year ago to near the top of preseason rankings by many local publications. The Spartans, behind runner Julian Darden, have convinced me they're one of the top two teams in what I see as the WPIAL's weakest classification. Montour, 36-17.
Fort Cherry (2-2) at Brentwood (4-0)
Fort Cherry shook off a rough start - one that included a puzzling home loss to Western Beaver to open the season - and has rebounded to win Black Hills Conference games against Avella (avenging last year's loss) and Carlynton. Brentwood handed Fort Cherry a 22-0 loss in the first round of last year's playoffs. Now, the Spartans are in the conference and are 4-0 against a weak schedule. Going back to that playoff win, Brentwood has allowed 13 points in its last five wins. Brentwood, 10-7.
Bishop Canevin (4-0) at Springdale (3-1)
Between Bishop Canevin's Bob Jacoby and Spingdale's Chuck Wagner, there's more head coaching experience in this game (83 years) than all the Washington County high schools combined by decades. Seriously. Bishop Canevin is enjoying its return to Class A. The party in Pittsburgh's Oakwood section continues. Bishop Canevin, 20-13.
North Catholic (3-1) at Monessen (4-0)
It's an odd time for a non-conference game in Class A but, after four straight weeks of play in the Tri-County South Conference, undefeated Monessen wants to see how it stacks up come playoff time. In recent years, it hasn't gone well for the Greyhounds out of conference. This one should be highly competitive and the temptation to go with Monessen's big-play defense is there ... North Catholic, 14-13.
California (2-2) at Beth-Center (4-0)
One of the oldest rivalries around means a packed house at Beth-Center for these two neighbors. The first year the rivalry was renewed and played in front of a capacity crowd at California University's Adamson Stadium was the hardest hitting high school game I've witnessed. California's 2-0 start is a distant memory following losses to Riverview and Monessen. The Trojans need a signature win as the schedule gets a lot easier after this one. Could Beth-Center be looking ahead to next week's game at Monessen? No way. Beth-Center, 42-14.