Birdie learns important soccer lesson and picks AK Valley playoff games



Wednesday 10 November 2021 | 4:37 p.m.

Last week: 4-3 (57.1%)

Globally: 82-30 (73.2%)

Iif there are three things The Birdie loves more than anything in the world, it’s football, fries, and tortured analogies.

So, as The Birdie walked out of the McDonald’s drive-thru at lunchtime one day this week, he carefully pulled out a glorious box of French fries from the brown paper bag. They shone like everything that was in the briefcase in “Pulp Fiction”.

Just then Mrs. Birdie, like the birds do, grabbed the box’s biggest and most glorious fry with her beak and gobbled it up.

The Birdie frowned. He’s not a big fan of sharing.

“Mrs. Birdie, you ruined my lunch,” he shouted.

But as The Birdie began to eat his lunch, dipping each fry deep into that little plastic ranch bin, the smile quickly returned to his face.

And just then he had a moment of clarity.

“If you take out a fry, even if it’s the most important fry, your lunch can still be delicious,” he said.

The Fox Chapel football team already knows that, of course.

The Foxes lost top quarterback Collin Dietz to injury in the season finale against Pine-Richland. Pundits, including this one, gave them little chance to beat a strong Upper St. Clair team in the first round of the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs on Friday night.

So what did they do? They moved wide receiver Khi’lee Patterson below center, came out and earned a 13-10 victory.

With that, The Birdie realized that over lunch he had stumbled upon two truths that simply cannot be argued.

1. Soccer is the ultimate team game. 2. Ranch is much better than ketchup for dipping fries.

And now, it’s up to his choices for the second week of the WPIAL playoffs.

Fox Chapel (5-6) at Penn-Trafford (8-2): This Class 5A field is wide open, so discount the foxes at your own risk. And dig this: Penn-Trafford’s only 5A loss this season was against Peters Township. Upper St. Clair has crushed Peters Township. Fox Chapel just beat Upper St. Clair. These kind of algebra problems rarely do a good job of predicting football games, but the point remains. Yes, the Warriors are the favorites, but it’s everyone’s game. Penn-Trafford, 21-13

Freeport (6-4) at Elizabeth Forward (8-2): The Yellowjackets are a great example of a team that has built and improved throughout the year. Their first round victory over Ambridge was complete. Elizabeth Forward, however, might be a better example. After losing back-to-back games to Ligonier Valley and West Mifflin at the start of the season, they crushed their last seven opponents. Like, 308-35 steam rolled. Elizabeth before, 35-21

Springdale (6-4) vs. Rochester (8-2): The Dynamos have lived up to their reputation as the No.13 seed that no one wanted to face when they roughed up a strong West Greene team last week. Another upset is definitely not out of the question, but Rochester’s defense is among the best in the A-Class. Rochester, 13-10

Leechburg (9-2) vs. Cornell (8-2): The Blue Devils wrote the best story of the season, ending a long playoff drought, hosting a playoff game for the first time and, perhaps more importantly, winning that game. Now what does that sound – “Leechburg football, WPIAL semi-finalists?” Watching the Blue Devils tackles pick up California running backs over and over again last Friday, it’s not hard to imagine them doing it again this week. Leechburg, 20-14

Tags: Cornell, Elizabeth Forward, Fox Chapel, Freeport, Leechburg, Penn-Trafford, Rochester, Springdale

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