10 Picks - 2019 NW Indiana High School Football
USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith
October 21, 2019
The big game on opening night of the state tournament is in Hammond where the Hobart Brickies carry a 7-game winning streak in against the Morton Governors, who have won eight in a row. (Photo by Mark Smith)
Mr. Picker - WEEK (10) TEN:
Okay, as many of you longtime readers know, the ‘picker’ rules change for the state tournament. I am required by law now to pick entire sectionals and I can't leave out the games I don't like or don't know much about (like last week’s Lowell-Hobart game, apparently).
Class 6A and Class 5A get a week 10 ‘bye’ and I don't understand why the big schools get a bye and the small 1A and 2A schools, which operate with
fewer players, do not. Even putting 32- 40 (allowing for expansion of the field) teams in Class 1A and 32 in Class 6A would be better than what we have now.
Class 1A teams need the week off that 5A and 6A teams get now.
A total of 186 teams get to play in November and the field for ‘Round of 32’ will be solidified late Friday night.
More on what’s going to happen below.
First, let's recap last week's results for
Football Picks in Review:
Oct. 18-19, 2019
Wrong - 1; Right - 9 =
Lake Station 26, South Newton 12
Lake Station 46-44 (OT)
Andrean 30, Highland 14
LaPorte 17, Portage 10
Morton 56, Clark 8
Hanover Central 27, South Central 17
Griffith 28, Wheeler 21
CP 16, Michigan City 14
LOWELL 27, Hobart 24
(wrong) Hobart 38-7
Merrillville 37, Chesterton 34
Elkhart Central 28, New Prairie 27
Elkhart Central 31-28
‘Mr. Picker’ (by the week)
WEEK ONE: 9 of 15, 60.0%
WEEK TWO: 8 of 12, 66.7%
WEEK THREE: 6 of 12, 50.0%
WEEK FOUR: 10 of 10, 100.0%
WEEK FIVE: 8 of 10, 80.0%
WEEK SIX: 5 OF 10, 50%
WEEK SEVEN: 9 OF 10, 90%
WEEK EIGHT: 9 OF 10, 90%
WEEK NINE: 9 OF 10, 90%
SEASON TOTAL: 73 of 99, 73.7%
ANALYSIS: Three consecutive 9-out-of-10s to finish
the regular season. I’ll take that. And if I’d watched more Hobart game tape,
I'd have been 10-out-of-10. Lowell was not in that game. I wish I knew more
about the Lake Station 46-44 win over South Newton. South Newton had lost 30 in
a row and Lake Station hadn't won a home game in three years and the final is
46-44 in overtime? But no one who wasn’t there will ever see it. I wish every
school’s game was on radio and TV somewhere. Okay, after a poor first three
weeks (24 of 39, 61.5%), I’m back up near the 75% ‘standard’ where good pickers
should live. I’m eyeing 78% which would be a ‘Mr. Picker’ record. Maybe I’m not
getting older. I’m getting better.
'Mr. Picker' (13 Years)
2018 (final) OVERALL: 148 of 191 = 77.4%
2017 (final) OVERALL: 137 of 184 = 74.4%
2016 (final) OVERALL: 119 of 170 = 70.0%
2015 (final) OVERALL: 131 of 174 = 75.2%
2014 (final) OVERALL: 131 of 176 = 74.4%
2013 (final) OVERALL: 130 of 175 = 74.2%
2012 (final) OVERALL: 137 of 177 = 77.4%
2011 (final) OVERALL: 134 of 184 = 72.7%
2010 (final) OVERALL: 135 of 184 = 73.3%
2009 (final) OVERALL: 154 of 212 = 72.6%
2008 (final) OVERALL: 145 of 193 = 75.1%
2007 (final) OVERALL: 143 of 188 = 76.0%
2006 (final) OVERALL: 166 of 217 = 76.4%
2005 (final) OVERALL: 170 of 233 = 72.9%
Mr. Picker 2019 WEEK (10)
Here’s what’s going to happen.
Rensselaer (7-2) at Wheeler (4-5):
(10-25-2019) Rensselaer rides the big,
yellow bus up to Lake County to take on the Bearcats who lost their last two to
Hanover and Griffith. Take away the 44-7 loss to West Lafayette and Rensselaer
has allowed just 71 points (8.8 per game) in the other eight games.
Rensselaer 30, Wheeler 16
Boone Grove (9-0) at Whiting (2-7):
WHITING (10-25-2019) Boone Grove beat Whiting 56-0 just last week so there’s
not lot to say about this rematch seven days later. There is much less chance of
major upsets in the smaller classes than there is in the larger ones. Fewer
players. Fewer variables. Barring injury or illness, Boone wins easily again.
Boone Grove 35, Whiting 0
Andrean (6-3) at Bowman Academy (3-6):
GARY (10-25-2019) I don't know where this game will be played, but I know
the outcome. No 2A school has played the schedule Andrean has and Bowman chose
to play a Saturday night game in the final week of the season, so it's a short
week for them. No need to worry about the practice schedule for next week.
Andrean 42, Bowman 7
CLASS 3A Sectional 25
Hanover Central (6-3) at Twin Lakes (3-6):
MONTICELLO (10-25-2019) The Wildcats
get on that big, yellow bus to head to White County where they will face a
dangerous team that lost to Hamilton Heights 27-20 in September and defeated
them 28-21 last week. Hanover has held five teams to 14 points or less. The Cats
ride home on the happy bus.
Hanover Central 28, Twin Lakes 26
Knox (8-1) at Clark (4-5):
HAMMOND (10-25-2019) Clark has lost their last three games and the teams
they beat early have a combined record of 4-31. The Pioneers are not ready for
the school of hard ‘Knox’. This is not the Redskins who lose every Sunday. Did
you know that Knox is 33-10 the last four years? I didn't. Knox has allowed just
84 points in nine games and it will be 84 in 10 after Friday.
Knox 35, Clark 0
Calumet (7-1) at Hammond (0-8):
HAMMOND (10-25-2019) I don't know where they will play this one with the
Hammond campus under construction and Morton occupied this Friday. But that’s
not the point. Some teams simply should not be in the state tournament and, this
season, Hammond is one of them. If you force schools to go to a ’running clock’
when one side gets a 35-point lead, presumably for safety, why force winless
teams to play another game where they are certain get beaten up and lose?
Calumet 49, Hammond 0
River Forest (5-4) at Benton Central (1-8):
OXFORD (10-25-2019) Folks at River Forest might not know where Oxford is.
But BC won their first game of the season last week 27-19 over Northwestern so
the Bison boys will be ready to play. River has five wins over losing teams and
four losses to winning teams. This may be close, but Benton Central is at home
and they have faced a tougher schedule than RF.
Benton Central 20, River Forest 14
Class 4A Sectional 18
New Prairie (8-1) at (SB) Riley (5-4):
SOUTH BEND (10-25-2019) New Prairie
beat Riley 48-14 two weeks ago so you know where this one is going. This draw
was a break for New Prairie because it means they will host the sectional
semifinals. Riley is a decent team, but they’ve allowed more points (243) than
they have scored (208) this season. Riley just got a bad draw here. Basketball
practice starts next week.
New Prairie 35, Riley 14
(SB) Clay (1-8) at Culver Military Academy (5-4):
CULVER (10-25-2019) The Academy is better than their record. CMA has lost
only to Harrison (7-2), Hobart (7-2), Brebeuf (7-2) and (Mishawaka) Marian
(8-1). Clay has scored just 51 points all season, so it's basketball time for
them next week as well.
CMA 49, Clay 0
Logansport (2-7) at (SB) St. Joseph’s (1-8):
SOUTH BEND (10-25-2019) St. Joe was 0-8 until last week’s much less chance
of major upset 42-12 win over Adams (0-9). Here’s where predictions can't be
swayed by the past. St. Joe has great tradition, but their defense has allowed
306 points this season. Logansport is in the same boat. They were 1-7 until a
51-41 win over Muncie Central (0-9) last week. Both teams play very difficult
schedules. Logansport has allowed 382 points in nine games. I have no idea who
wins here, so I’ll take the team that does not have to travel.
St. Joe 34, Logansport 21
Kankakee Valley (4-5) at Plymouth (7-2):
PLYMOUTH (10-25-2019) KV is better than their record. They lost 12-7 to
Rensselaer (7-2) and 14-7 to South Bend Washington (6-3). But Plymouth averages
32 points a game and they feature senior Joe Barron who is 173 of 306 for 2,501
yards and 26 TDs (just seven interceptions). Note the number: 306 pass attempts
in nine games. They’re not trying to fool you.
Plymouth 35, KV 20
Class 4A Sectional 17
Griffith (7-2) at Gavit (3-6):
HAMMOND (10-25-2019) Gavit has the
better record and they have won three in a row, but that’s misleading. Gavit has
beaten Hammond (0-8), Gary West Side (2-6) and Clark (4-5). Griffith has won the
last two weeks 34-6 and 37-8 and the Panthers have faced a far tougher schedule
than Gavit. The Panthers should roll here.
Griffith 33, Gavit 12
Gary West Side (2-6) at LOWELL (5-4):
LOWELL (10-25-2019) ‘The Side’ only has wins over Roosevelt (0-9) and Clark
(4-5), but they lost to Gavit last week 36-34 and Crispus Attucks 27-26. This is
not a bad offensive team. Lowell pride took a beating last week in the 38-7 loss
at Hobart. The Devils also may be short some players. I don't know about this
week. Other than a lucky final minute TD, Lowell’s offense has been shut down
and out two weeks in a row.
Check back with me Thursday for the pick.
Highland (3-6) at East Chicago (6-3):
EAST CHICAGO (10-25-2019) Highland is better than 3-6. They lost 33-30 at KV
and 28-21 to Andrean. EC’s losses are to Hanover (6-3), Morton (8-1) and Boone
Grove (9-0) and they have not defeated a team with a winning record. If there is
an upset on opening night in Northwest Indiana, here it is.
Highland 28, East Chicago 21
Hobart (7-2) at Morton (8-1):
HAMMOND (10-25-2019) The big local game on opening night of the state
tournament sends the Northwest Crossroads Conference (NCC) champ Hobart west to
play the Great Lakes Conference (GLC) champ Morton. Morton got injured QB
Cordell Prather back in the lineup last week and he threw for four TDs in a 49-0
win over Clark. DJ Lipke ran for four touchdowns as Hobart totally dominated
Lowell 38-7 and the Brickies have not allowed more than 27 points in any game
this season. Morton averages 49 points a game. Hobart’s schedule prepares them
for this game.
Hobart 31, Morton 21
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Revised: October 22, 2019