With per­fect week, Stal­lone back in front

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - GAMEDAY 2017 - STEVE STAL­LONE

Tired of the view from be­low, I re­lied on some knowl­edge, a few hunches, and a lit­tle bit of luck to record the first per­fect week in the 2017 Pigskin Picks.

Go­ing 10-0 on the high school scene in Week 7, I was able to up my sea­son record to 51-19 (.729) and more im­por­tantly move past Sports Edi­tor Dave Sea­mon and into first place. Sea­mon went 7-3 last week, slip­ping to 49-21 (.700) and two games be­hind.

I can al­most taste that first prize, one I’m told will be the cov­eted trip to Fiji. Ru­mor has it we still have to run that by the com­pany boss es, but that’s just a tech­ni­cal­ity, right?

In the mean­time, let’s turn our fo­cus to Week 8, which fea­tures eight high school con­tests and two NFL games — the lat­ter which are sure to test not only our knowl­edge, but our loy­alty as well.

And here we go ...

Done­gal at Ha­zle­ton Area — A year ago, the Cougars went to Mount Joy in Week 8 and stunned the In­di­ans on home­com­ing for their first win. Twelve months later, Done­gal has lost four of six, and the Cougars (4-3) are hit­ting their stride and look­ing to bet­ter their play­off seed­ing ... Ha­zle­ton Area, 34-12.

Sea­mon says: OK, so I picked against the Cougars last week. I won’t make that same mis­take this week ... Ha­zle­ton Area, 39-7.

Jim Thorpe at Ta­maqua — Un­beaten Olympians will have their hands full with a Ta­maqua of­fense that can put points on the board in a hurry. Sens­ing an up­set in the Land of Run­ning Water ... Ta­maqua, 27-22.

Sea­mon says: Raiders lost a shootout against Le­high­ton last week. Don’t think points will be as easy to come by against Thorpe’s stout ‘D’ ... Jim Thorpe, 27-14.

Mar­ian at Shenan­doah Val­ley — Colts go­ing af­ter their third straight win and first on the road this sea­son ... Mar­ian, 35-6.

Sea­mon says: Ei­ther Mar­ian fig­ured some­thing out af­ter Week 5 or sched­ule has eased con­sid­er­ably. Prob­a­bly a lit­tle of both ... Mar­ian 41-14. Blue Moun­tain at North Schuylkill

— Af­ter two straight losses to un­de­feated teams, the Spar­tans re­group to give the home fans some­thing to cel­e­brate ... North Schuylkill, 28-7.

Sea­mon says: Will the real Ea­gles please stand up, losers in five of their first six

games or win­ners over Pottsville last week? ... North Schuylkill, 22-15. Min­ersville at Ma­hanoy Area — Gold

en Bears run their way back to .500 ... Mah

anoy Area, 41-20.

Sea­mon says: Bears end two-game slide ... Ma­hanoy Area, 32-14. Pan­ther Val­ley at Schuylkill Haven

— Af­ter an 0-4 start against Schuylkill League Di­vi­sion I com­pe­ti­tion, Hur­ri­canes have won three straight and proven they are the team to beat in Di­vi­sion II ... Schuylkill Haven, 34-15.

Sea­mon says: Both teams look­ing to get to .500 with a win ... Schuylkill Haven, 41-13.

Crest­wood at Hanover Area — Comets got their first road win last week at Tunkhan­nock. They get their sec­ond straight on the road, and third con­sec­u­tive vic­tory over­all against the win­less Hawkeyes ... Crest­wood, 27-6. Sea­mon says: Last three weeks have been kinder to the Comets than the pre­vi­ous three ... Crest­wood, 48-14. White­hall at Beth­le­hem Catholic —

An­other classic bat­tle in the Le­high Val­ley (seems like there’s one ev­ery week), pit­ting teams with a com­bined 11-3 record. The coin toss goes to the home team ... Beth­le­hem Catholic, 28-27.

Sea­mon says: Bec­ahi still smart­ing from first loss (to Park­land) last week ... Beth­le­hem Catholic, 27-22.

Pitts­burgh at Kansas City — The Chiefs are 5-0 and fly­ing high. The Steel­ers are still lick­ing their wounds from last week’s 30-9 maul­ing at the hands of the Jaguars. Hop­ing that Big Ben can bounce back from his five-in­ter­cep­tion night­mare ... Pitts­burgh, 24-21.

Sea­mon says: Don’t think my friend has ever picked against his beloved Steel­ers. They did beat the Chiefs at Ar­row­head in the play­offs with­out scor­ing a sin­gle touch­down last sea­son. They’ll need a few Sun­day to out­last po­tent KC at­tack ... Kansas City, 31-24.

L.A. Rams at Jack­sonville — Af­ter watch­ing them play last week, I’m con­vinced that Jack­sonville has the de­fense and run­ning game that can cause teams fits and keep the Jags in play­off con­tention this sea­son ... Jack­sonville, 20-16.

Sea­mon says: Rams would be 4-1 with a two-game lead in NFC West had a po­ten­tial last-sec­ond TD pass not been dropped against Seat­tle on Sun­day. Han­gover lingers af­ter cross-coun­try trip. Might be time to climb aboard the Jags’ band­wagon ... Jack­sonville, 27-17.

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