Week 11 Picks - 2017 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

October 27, 2017

The temperatures may be low, but they'll feel the heat in Griffith Friday when league champions Griffith and Morton go head-to-head. (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (11) ELEVEN:

LOWELL (10-27-2017)
It's going to feel a lot different this week. When the boys take the field for sectional semifinal pLay, there will be pep in their step that is not caused by the excitement of the state tournament. The temperature dropped about 30 degrees between Sunday and Tuesday in our pat of the state. Teams playing Friday need to 'chill out' and it will be easy since game time temperatures will be in the mid to upper-40s. Cold weather usually lowers scoring, which would be welcome after some final scores like 79-7, 71-0 and 68-0 last week.

This is the first week of playoffs for Class 5A and 6A, so we are still eliminating some teams that should not be in the post-season. Cold weather also shortens games. Not only is there less passing in 'difficult' weather, but the games simply move along more quickly. Nobody wants to be standing out in the middle of a cow pasture freezing for two hours. This is the final week of play before they start handing trophies out.

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-10, 2017 Football Picks in Review:
Oct. 20-21, 2017

Wrong - 3; Right - 16 = 84.2%

The Pick The Result

Winamac 28, South Central 21  

Winamac 28-20

Triton 38, Caston 7  

Triton 42-13

Culver 42, West Central 0  

Culver 49-14

LaVille 27, North Judson 7  

LaVille 30-0

Whiting 21, No. Newton 7  

(wrong) North Newton 20-14

Boone Grove 28, River Forest 7  

Boone 21-0

Roosevelt 32, Bishop Noll 8  

Roosevelt 52-6

Wheeler 42, Clark 24  

Wheeler 45-14

Andrean 42, Hanover Central 14  


Twin Lakes 28, Calumet 16  

Twin Lakes 43-20

W. Lafayete 56, Benton Central 0  

West Lafayette 79-7

New Prairie 56, (SB) Washington 6  

New Prairie 56-0

Mishawaka 56, Clay 0  

Mishawaka 71-0

Riley 34, KV 24  

Riley 49-10

Hobart 28, St. Joseph's 14  

(wrong) St. Joe 19-7

Morton 42, East Chicago 8  

Morton 27-0

Griffith 49, Hammond 14  

Griffith 55-0

Gavit 27, Highland 21  

(wrong) Highland 27-0

LOWELL 35, Gary West Side 0  



WEEK (1) ONE (8 of 12, 66.7%)

WEEK (2) TWO (9 of 12, 75.0%)
WEEK (3) THREE (7 of 12, 58.3%)
WEEK (4) FOUR (11 of 12, 91.7%)
WEEK (5) FIVE (6 of 12, 50.0%)
WEEK (6) SIX (9 of 11, 81.8%)
WEEK (7) SEVEN (10 of 12, 83.3%)
WEEK (8) EIGHT (9 of 12, 75.0%)
WEEK (9) NINE (10 of 12, 83.3%)
TOTAL: 79 of 107, 73.8% (regular season)
WEEK (10) TEN (16 of 19, 84.2%) (playoffs)
2017 TOTAL: 95 of 126, 75.4%


PICK ANALYSIS: Could have gone 19-0. Gavit over Highland was an upset pick. Injuries were involved in the Whiting and Hobart games. But the first two rounds of the Indiana state tournament are almost 'gift picks'. Any real 'picker' should be over 80%.

WORST PICK: Gavit over Highland. Gavit never scored a point. I'm still surprised. If they played that game again tomorrow, I might still pick Gavit. Don't know what happened there.

BEST PICK: Winamac over South Central 28-21. The final was 28-20. I guess I should always assume an extra point miss in a high school game, huh? Predictions for games like the wins for Mishawaka and New Prairie seem close, but they were pretty obvious.


'Mr. Picker' (Through the Years)
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 2017 WEEK (11) ELEVEN:

Class 2A Sectional 33

Lake Station (2-7) at North Newton (6-4):

MOROCCO (10-27-2017)
No contest here. Even with the bye week, the Eagles ride two hours to face a team that has defeated them the last two years. There was no 'good draw' for Lake Station here.

North Newton 34, Lake Station 6

BOONE GROVE (7-3) at Gary Roosevelt (7-2):

GARY (10-27-2017)
Check the site on this one. Not sure where they're going to play it. Roosevelt has averaged 42 points a game, but they've done it against some schools that are so unknown they're in 'witness protection.' This might be Boone's best team since they started football seven years ago.

BOONE GROVE 35, Gary Roosevelt 20

Class 2A Sectional 35

Eastbrook (10-0) at Rensselaer (8-2):

RENSSELAER (10-27-2017)
Eastbrook has thrown 41 passes all season. What does that tell us? That they run the ball until the pig falls off the skin. 386 yards rushing a game led by senior Andrew Barajas who is said to have gained 1,155 yards on 61 carries. That's 18-1/2 yards a carry and that's ridiculous. Look this guy up on line. There's this little 140-pound guy running through everybody. Can Rensselaer hold the ball and shorten the game on Eastbrook? If they can't, they will be just another victim.

Eastbrook 35, Renssealer 28

Delphi (5-5) at Lewis Cass (6-4):
CASS (10-27-2017)
Delphi has lost to Carroll (8-2) and Tri-County (8-2). Cass has lost to Pioneer (10-0) and Tipton (9-1). I think Cass, which was 1-9 last year, has played a tougher schedule. Take the home team in a close one.

Cass 21, Delphi 14

Class 3A Sectional 25

Wheeler (5-5) at ANDREAN (7-3):

MERRILLVILLE (10-27-2017)
Andrean is a big, physical team built for colder weather. But they have had issues on offense and this game will stay close. The 59ers do have a strong defense that will win out in the end.

ANDREAN 24, Wheeler 7

Twin Lakes (5-5) at West Lafayette (9-1):

WEST LAFAYETTE (10-27-2017)
West Lafayette defeated Twin Lakes 70-0 three weeks ago. If Twin Lakes wins this Friday it will be the biggest upset in the history of Indiana high school football. There isn't a lot more to say.

West Lafayette 56, Twin Lakes 7

Class 4A Sectional 18

Mishawaka (6-4) at New Prairie (9-1):

NEW CARLISLE (10-27-2017)
No one has had anything to say to New Prairie since August. The Cougars have won nine in a row. Mishawaka hasn't been strong defensively, allowing 25 points a game. New Prairie rolls.

New Prairie 42, Mishawaka 21

Riley (7-3) at St. Joseph's (4-6):

SOUTH BEND (10-27-2017)
A tricky one because St. Joe has a history of rising from an up-and-down regular season to win the sectional. St. Joe was 4-5 in 2015 and they won the regional title. St. Joe was 4-5 in 2010 and they won the semistate title. Some are regular season titans. Then there are the 'November men.' St. Joe will play in November again this year.

St. Joe 28, Riley 20

Class 4A Sectional 17

Morton (8-2) at Griffith (9-1):

GRIFFITH (10-27-2017)
Pivotal matchup of conference champions as Griffith, which dominated the Greater South Shore Conference (GSSC) takes on Morton, the undefeated champs of the Great Lakes Athletic Conference (GLAC). Griffith has dominated small schools all year, averaging 50 points a game. Morton has lost only to Lowell (10-0) and Plymouth (6-4) and the Governors allow just 15 points a game.

Griffith 20, Morton 13

LOWELL (10-0) at Highland (4-6):

HIGHLAND (10-27-2017)
Highland has allowed more points (22.6) per game than they have scored (20.6) while no one has scored more than 13 on Lowell all season. With a chance that the weather (it may rain) being the 12th defender, the Trojans need to score first and get the lead. No one has scored first on Lowell all season.

LOWELL 21, Highland 7

Class 5A Sectional 9

LaPorte (6-3) at (SB) Adams (3-6):

SOUTH BEND (10-27-2017)
Adams is only here because they got a bye last week. The Eagles were 0-5 and one of the wins was over Clay (0-10). Clay's season is already over. This is not the night to be playing LaPorte, which averages 400 yards rushing a game. Forecast for South Bend: Pain.

LaPorte 35, Adams 7

Michigan City (6-3) at Munster (4-5):

MUNSTER (10-27-2017)
Tough assignment for MC on the road because the Wolves need to be able to throw the ball to win. Munster is not an offensive powerhouse, averaging only 18.9 points per game. This will be close, but you can't win with 19 points.

Michigan City 27, Munster 16

Class 6A Sectional 2

Chesterton (4-5) at Warsaw (5-4):

WARSAW (10-27-2017)
Warsaw is hard to read. They've won three of their last four, but they only average 18.3 points per game. The four losses: East Noble (8-2), Plymouth (6-4), Concord (8-1) and Northridge (9-1). Chesterton was just 2-5 in the Duneland Conference.

Warsaw 24, Chesterton 14

Penn (8-1) at Valparaiso (8-1):

VALPO (10-27-2017)
I do not know what is happening at Valparaiso. Head coach Dave Coyle was gone this week after what was reported as a player protest. Player protest on an 8-1 team. I don't get it. Penn lost 12-7 at Valparaiso in August, but Penn has allowed just 59 points all season. The Vikings get back starting QB Jake Leffew off injury, but this may not be a night to throw the ball.

Penn 24, Valparaiso 16

Class 6A Sectional 1

Lake Central (2-7) at Portage (4-5):

PORTAGE (10-27-2017)
Portage QB Anthony Maceo (who has rushed for 18 TDs) is suited for a night like this, while Lake Central's defense has allowed 39 points a game. Portage topped LC 40-14 in September. You can't make up 26 points in two months.

Portage 28, Lake Central 14


CROWN POINT (10-27-2017)
As this is not the night to play LaPorte, this is also not the night to play Crown Point with the Bulldogs' big offensive line and hard running Tyler Gomez (205 carries, 1,332 yards, 16 TDs). Merrillville did defeat CP 34-26 in September, but I think Crown Point very much wants a rematch.


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Revised: October 26, 2017 .