One week following a perfect slate of picks, a 4-2 record brought Kovak's fearless prognostications back to reality. Heading into Week 6, a schedule with a lot of strong local flavor, the overall record stands at 22-8, a .733 win percentage.
Peters Township (4-1) at Upper St. Clair (4-1)
One week after a confidence-building win against Bethel Park, Peters Township faces another difficult challenge in Upper St. Clair. The Panthers shook off a humbling loss to North Allegheny with back-to-back wins over West Allegheny and Baldwin. Slowing Dakota Conwell will be the primary focus of a Peters Township defense that allowed 14 points to the Black Hawks. There's no doubting the Indians are vastly improved, but does that translate against an Upper St. Clair team they never seem to beat? Upper St. Clair, 21-20.
Montour (5-0) at Central Valley (4-1)
With each passing week, Montour further establishes itself as the favorite in Class AAA. Nobody has slowed Julian Durden, who averaged 11 yards per carry. Quarterback Dillon Buechel has double-digit touchdown passes. Central Valley has been a pleasant addition to the perennially tough Parkway Conference but the handsome record can be questioned considering some of the competition. Montour, 35-16.
Keystone Oaks (5-0) at South Fayette (5-0)
For my money, this is the best matchup in Week 6. Try finding a WPIAL Class AA ranking that doesn't include these two Century Conference heavyweights. Heck, try finding a state ranking that doesn't include these two. Keystone Oaks, behind the two-headed monster of Matt McCann and Jordan Maddox, has what may be the WPIAL's most potent run game. Add Rico Cannello to the mix and it makes the Golden Eagles look indefensible.
And that's exactly what South Fayette has been since the emergence of Christian Brumbaugh as one of the area's top passers. South Fayette has weapons - Jeff Davis, Tyler Challingsworth, Josh Patterson - everywhere and the Lions are better along the offensive and defensive lines than people realize. Plus, these guys just know how to win. South Fayette, 27-21.
Brentwood (5-0) at Chartiers-Houston (4-1)
Anyone think these two teams would account for a 9-1 combined record heading into this Black Hills Conference game? Not this guy.
The Spartans keep finding ways to win. Through four weeks, it came by defense. Against Fort Cherry last week, Cory Bauer made play after play. The surprising Bucs, led mostly by underclassmen, learned how to win in Weeks 1 and 2. Now, they are challenging for second place in the conference. Danial Lis and Mykel Dorsey continued to be offensive forces. Chartiers-Houston, 24-21.
Avonworth (4-1) at North Catholic (4-1)
Figuring out the Eastern Conference is as complicated as the New York Times crossword puzzle. Let's see, Bishop Canevin beat Avonworth. Avonworth beat Springdale. Springdale just beat Bishop Canevin. North Catholic lost to Springdale and is fresh off a win at Monessen. Actually, all that deciphering just made this pick a lot easier. Avonworth, 21-10.
Beth-Center (5-0) at Monessen (4-1)
Since Beth-Center joined the Tri-County South in 2008, this winner of this game went on to win the conference championship. In 2008, the title went to Beth-Center. Monessen claimed the crown in 2009.
The Bulldogs may have bulldozing tailback Jeff Tarley back, which only bolsters an already strong offense. The Greyhounds are likely smarting after a one-point loss knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten.