The Fumbler: Prognosticator is in search of some favorable publicity

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The Fumbler is well known and has acquired quite a bit of fame over the years, most of which was simply through penning his words into this column.

He's never really been into self-promotion, but he and Mrs. Fumbler recently tossed around some marketing ideas that might be worth giving a shot.

Here are just a few:

Bumper stickers: "Honk if you love The Fumbler" has a nice ring -- um, beep -- to it. It's way better than those silly stick figures some people have on their vehicles.

Fatheads: Some student sections hold them up during games. The problem with this is that it would reveal The Fumbler's identity. He'll probably pass on this one.

Parachuting onto the field before a game: A little extreme? Yeah. Attention grabbing and captivating? Most definitely. Maybe he can talk to the "Skylights" people about this one.

Television commercials: Simple, yet effective. Maybe he can get coaches like Bill Cherpak, Art Walker and Scott Heinauer to "talk up" The Fumbler, while the Upper St. Clair and Seneca Valley cheerleaders perform a routine celebrating him.

With a little more than a month left in the season, The Fumbler needs to get the ball rolling if he is going to make any of these happen.

For now, the fame he gains by writing this column will suffice.

Marketing ideas? Email The Fumbler at

The Fumbler went 29-4 (.878) last week. He's now 511-108 (.825) on the season.

Here are his thoughts on tonight's quarterfinal matchups. All games will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Class AAAA

Upper St. Clair (10-0) vs. North Allegheny (7-3) at Baldwin -- When these heavyweights last met in the playoffs in 2011, North Allegheny topped the Panthers in overtime to win the second of what would be three consecutive titles. North Allegheny has lost to No. 2 seed Central Catholic, No. 5 Seneca Valley and No. 7 Gateway. Add No. 1 USC to the list. Winner: Upper St. Clair.

Woodland Hills (8-2) vs. Seneca Valley (9-1) at North Allegheny -- The Fumbler has a friend known as "Mr. Drum Corps" who happens to be a Woodland Hills fan. Put him in a stadium to watch a drum and bugle corps performance, and he's a happy man. He'll be even happier at North Allegheny tonight while witnessing another Wolverines win. Winner: Woodland Hills.

Central Catholic (10-0) vs. Gateway (8-2) at Fox Chapel -- If you're a Gateway supporter, you likely don't have any fingernails left after so many down-to-the-wire finishes. That won't be a problem tonight. Yes, Gateway has the talent to play with just about anybody, but Central isn't just anybody. The Vikings will be in total control by the third quarter. Winner: Central Catholic.

McKeesport (10-0) vs. Penn-Trafford (7-3) at Norwin -- The Fumbler placed a friendly wager last week, betting that McKeesport would rush for fewer than 490 yards against Peters Township. He lost. McKeesport rushed for 492. The Tigers running game is doing some ridiculous things right now. Look for the ridiculousness to continue. Winner: McKeesport.

Class AAA

West Allegheny (10-0) vs. Indiana (5-5) at North Hills -- It's the Indians vs. the Little Indians in a game played at Martorelli Stadium, the home of the Indians. Good thing the Cowboys aren't in town to play the Steelers this week. Indiana is much better than its record indicates. The Little Indians just aren't on the same level as the Indians. Winner: West Allegheny.

Franklin Regional (9-1) vs. West Mifflin (9-1) at East Allegheny -- How about West Mifflin's Jimmy Wheeler? The speedster rushed for 359 yards and six touchdowns in last week's wild 45-42 win against Moon. He might need to be near those numbers again, with the West Mifflin defense struggling and banged up. The wheels aren't ready to fall off quite yet. Winner: West Mifflin.

Thomas Jefferson (10-0) vs. Highlands (7-3) at Chartiers Valley -- Highlands surprised The Fumbler by knocking off a good New Castle team in the first round. The Golden Rams will surprise him this week if they break double digits in scoring. Thomas Jefferson has given up 102 yards and six first downs the last two games combined. Winner: Thomas Jefferson.

Central Valley (9-1) vs. Mars (9-1) at Ambridge -- Mars is very good. The Planets are physical and have a brutally effective running game. What the Planets lack are Jordan Whitehead and JaQuan Pennington. Central Valley has them. Just like last year, Central Valley, West Allegheny, West Mifflin and Thomas Jefferson will be the semifinalists. Winner: Central Valley.

Class AA

Aliquippa (10-0) vs. Quaker Valley (8-2) at Moon -- Since 2010, Aliquippa has won its four first-round playoff games by a combined 181-7. The Quips have won their past three quarterfinal games by a total of 113-12. This season, they've held 9 of 10 opponents to 14 points or fewer. Lots of numbers. None of them add up to a Quaker Valley win. Winner: Aliquippa.

Mount Pleasant (10-0) vs. Beaver (7-3) at Plum -- At first glance, most would think Beaver has the more explosive offense, but did you know that Mount Pleasant has scored more points (205) than any Class AA team the past four weeks? Mount Pleasant running back Tyler Mellors is for real, as will be a semifinal date with Aliquippa. Winner: Mount Pleasant.

South Fayette (10-0) vs. Seton-LaSalle (8-2) at Peters Township -- This rivalry now has a Revolutionary War feel to it after a quote by Seton-LaSalle quarterback Tyler Perone in the Post-Gazette made its way around Twitter. In short, South Fayette is Great Britain. Seton-LaSalle is the Thirteen Colonies. In a sense, South Fayette will rewrite history. Winner: South Fayette.

Yough (6-4) vs. Beaver Falls (8-2) at Canon-McMillan -- Yough has been involved in some crazy games lately. The Cougars used a "Hail Mary" as time expired to grab a win three weeks ago. Last week, they beat Kittanning, 57-42, in the third-highest scoring playoff game in WPIAL history. Things would get even crazier with a win this week. Won't happen. Winner: Beaver Falls.

Class A

Sto-Rox (10-0) vs. Apollo-Ridge (8-2) at Deer Lakes -- Dick Cetrone, a one-time highly successful basketball coach at Sto-Rox, played that sport collegiately at the University of Cincinnati with the "Big O," Oscar Robertson. This Sto-Rox squad has a "Big O," as well. That high-scoring offense will outlast another opponent to remain unbeaten. Winner: Sto-Rox.

Clairton (9-1) vs. Fort Cherry (10-1) at Elizabeth Forward -- Clairton is once again "Bout Dat." The names have changed, but the success has not. The Bears have now won 29 consecutive postseason games and 21 WPIAL playoff games in a row. Fort Cherry running back Koltan Kobrys is a load to handle, but the Bears will bear down and win yet again. Winner: Clairton.

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (10-0) vs. Avonworth (9-1) at Hampton -- The Fumbler wonders what it would be like if Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic was to meet Bishop Canevin in the championship one year. Would the Pope come for a ceremonial coin toss? Would the game be broadcast at St. Peter's Square? The only question for now is: "Who will win this game?" Winner: Avonworth.

Monessen (10-1) vs. Neshannock (8-2) at Chartiers-Houston -- This is the second time Monessen has played at Chartiers-Houston this season. The Greyhounds beat Chartiers-Houston by 31 points in a Big Nine Conference game just three weeks ago. The outcome won't be as positive this time. Look for the Lancers to pull off a mild upset. Winner: Neshannock.

PIAA Class AAA Playoffs

Somerset (9-1) vs. University Prep (9-0), 7 tonight at Cupples Stadium -- Former University Prep quarterback Akil Young passed for 462 yards in a 47-38 win against Somerset last season. Current quarterback Ron Brown threw for 525 yards in a game earlier this season, the second-most ever by a Pennsylvania quarterback. Will Brown top that in this one? Winner: University Prep.

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