Week 12 Picks - 2017 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

November 3, 2017

The Michigan City Wolves are going to do everything the law allows to try and stop LaPorte's rushing attack in the 5A Sectional 9 championship game in Michigan City Friday night. (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (12) TWELVE:

LOWELL (11-03-2017)
The great thing about predictions is that no one remembers them. You probably know that the magazine Sports Illustrated picked the World Series champion Houston Astros to win the 2017 World Series back in 2014. Great call, right? Except that last March, the same magazine picked Houston to lose to Boston in the first round of the playoff. Doesn't matter. Nobody remembers what you said.

Even when I, as I do here, replay last week's picks and show the actual results, few remember what I said. I often hear "Hey, you're pretty close on your picks!" Really? Actually I'm usually between 70% and 80%. A blind dog picking with his paws could pick 50% of the games. Your little sister picking what jersey colors she likes could pick 65% of the games. And nobody can pick over 85% consistently because high school boys are unpredictable and nobody can watch all the games because they're all played on the same day at the same time.

So why do it? Picking games makes you take a real look at the game and not just favor the school you like. I wouldn't know or care about Jack Kiser of Pioneer or Luke Touloukian of West Lafayette if I didn't look them up to help make weekly picks. It's helped me stay in touch with games I can't see because they're all played on Fridays at the same time (Can you tell that bothers me?). Besides picking games is fun. Especially last week.

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-11, 2017 Football Picks in Review:
Oct. 27-28, 2017

Wrong - 0; Right - 16 = 100.0%

The Pick The Result

North Newton 34, Lake Station 6  

North Newton 36-6

BOONE GROVE 35, Gary Roosevelt 20  

BOONE 47-20

Eastbrook 35, Renssealer 28  

Eastbrook 21-3

Cass 21, Delphi 14  

Lewis Cass 33-6

ANDREAN 24, Wheeler 7  


West Lafayette 56, Twin Lakes 7  

Twin Lakes 56-6

New Prairie 42, Mishawaka 21  

New Prairie 42-21

St. Joe 28, Riley 20  

St. Joe 39-27

Griffith 20, Morton 13  

Griffith 35-21

LOWELL 21, Highland 7  


LaPorte 35, Adams 7  

LaPorte 40-19

Michigan City 27, Munster 16  

Michigan City 28-14

Warsaw 24, Chesterton 14  

Warsaw 26-16

Penn 24, Valparaiso 16  

Penn 13-0

Portage 28, Lake Central 14  

Portage 34-14


CP 23-14


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%)
WEEK (11) ELEVEN (16 of 16, 100.0%)

PLAYOFF TOTAL: 32 of 35, 91.4%
OVERALL TOTAL: 111 of 142, 78.1%


PICK ANALYSIS: No complaints. No mistakes. 16-0 and not all of them were at all obvious. Like I said last week, sometimes the early rounds of the post-season are easier to pick than the regular season. Excuse me while I head for the casino.

WORST PICK: None. What can I say? All the games were decided by nine or more. Please send all congratulatory letters by mail. No e-mail or twitter. I need something to break up the steady stream of bills in the mailbox.

BEST PICK: New Prairie over Mishawaka 42-21. The final was 42-21. To be fair, 42-21 is an easy score to pick. Seven point TDs are the name of the game. The pick of West Lafayette over Twin Lakes 56-7 when the final score was 56-6 was pretty good, too. Some weeks are better than others. And then there's weeks like this.


'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 (12) TWELVE:

1A Sectional Finals

Triton (8-3) at LaVille (7-3):

LAKEVILLE (11-03-2017)
LaVille has only scored 158 points all season I do not know how they are here. Triton has lost to Pioneer (11-0) and Knox (9-2). Triton defeated LaVille 22-14 in August. Both teams know they must face either Lafayette Catholic or top-ranked Pioneer if they win. This one is very close.

Triton 14, LaVille 7

Lafayette Catholic (4-7) at Pioneer (11-0):

ROYAL CENTER (11-03-2017)
Pioneer junior all-stater Jack Kiser is 36-2 as the starting QB for the Panthers. Lafayette Catholic has won seven Class 1A titles and all of their losses are to larger schools. Pioneer topped Lafayette Catholic 28-27 last year in the regional championship game at Pioneer. I'm hesitant to pick against Lafayette Catholic but Pioneer has been too good for three years now.

Pioneer 42, Lafayette Catholic 21

2A Sectional Finals

North Newton (7-4) at BOONE GROVE (8-3):

VALPO (11-03-2017)
They'll play this one at Valop high school. Boone Grove is bigger and stronger. I think they can overpower a good North Newton defense. Boone Grove has not ever won a sectional championship. Until 10 p.m. Friday.

BOONE GROVE 27, North Newton 14

Central Noble (8-3) at Woodlan (9-2):

WOODLAN (11-03-2017)
Woodlan is 32-4 over the last three years. They've been here before. Central Noble ended the season with losses to (Fort Wayne) Eastside (7-4) and Garrett (6-4). Woodlan beat Eastside by two TDs. I'm not seeing this as a close game.

Woodlan 35, Central Noble 14

3A Sectional Finals

ANDREAN (7-4) at West Lafayette (10-1):

WEST LAFAYETTE (11-03-2017)
West Lafayette averages 52 points a game and they have not scored less than 29 in any game. Quarterback Luke Touloukian (126 of 190, 1,756 yards passing) has thrown 25 TDs passes and five interceptions and he hasn't played the fourth quarter of most games. Oddly, the more I look at this game, though, the more I give Andrean's defense a chance to keep this close. I didn't say 'win'. I said keep it close.

West Lafayette 28, ANDREAN 14.

Southmont (7-4) at (Indianapolis) Brebuef (7-4):

INDIANAPOLIS (11-03-2017)
Southmont has defeated Hamilton Heights (3-8) and Crawfordsville (0-10) in the playoffs. I'm not seeing this as a close game. Brebuef plays a lot of the Indy city schedule and their losses are to Roncalli (8-2), Ritter (9-2) and Chatard (6-5). I'm not seeing this as a close game.

Brebuef 35, Southmont 14

4A Sectional Finals

Griffith (10-1) at LOWELL (11-0):

LOWELL (11-03-2017)
The game of the week matches conference champions and traditional powers in a winner-take-all showdown. Griffith has used their quickness on offense on everybody. The Panthers have run for 51 touchdowns. But Lowell's defense relies on being fast to the ball. Griffith's Fred Winston has 19 TD passes, but Lowell wants you to throw the ball on them. The Devils have allowed 55 points all season. Playing in the small school Greater South Shore Conference (GSSC) all year, I just don't think the Panthers are ready for this.

LOWELL 27, Griffith 14

St. Joseph's (5-6) at New Prairie (10-1):

NEW CARLISLE (11-03-2017)
No one has come close to stopping New Prairie for 10 weeks as the Cougars average 46 points a game. But St. Joe has topped two teams with winning records in the post-season. When you've played Penn (9-1) and Northridge (9-1) and Concord (9-1) like St. Joe has, you aren't afraid of New Prairie. Both teams rely on the run and, on paper, at home the Cougars win this one. But St. Joe has been here many times before. There will be moments of doubt here.

New Prairie 35, St. Joseph's 27

5A Sectional Finals

LaPorte (7-3) at Michigan City (7-3):

MICHIGAN CITY (11-03-2017)
I'm still looking for somebody to down grade LaPorte's 400-yards-per-game rushing attack. This is a big rivalry between next door neighbors and the Slicers' defense allows (25.5 per game) some points. But in cold weather, the team that does not need to pass the ball to win has a big edge. Only Valparaiso has held LaPorte under 20 points and LaPorte turnovers contributed to that. All year I've waited for somebody to stop LaPorte running the ball. I am still waiting.

LaPorte 42, Michigan City 28

Concord (9-1) at Goshen (2-8):

GOSHEN (11-03-2017)
No deep analysis is needed here. Concord won at Goshen 49-14 in September, so I'm not sure how much can change here. Goshen broke a 6-game losing streak with a 15-14 victory over Elkhart Central (4-6) last week and they're probably very happy to end the season on that note. Concord has lost only to Northridge (9-1). It looks like the winner of Michigan City-LaPorte is taking a long trip east.

Concord 31, Goshen 7

6A Sectional Finals

Warsaw (6-4) at Penn (9-1):

OSCEOLA (11-03-2017)
Penn in coming. Warsaw has won three of their last four, but they've had trouble scoring (19.1 points per game) all season. Cold weather is 'the 12th defender' and Penn has only needed 11 all season. Penn has allowed just 59 points all season and no more than 17 in any one game. If the Kingsmen win, they will play the regional championship game on the road. Tell Portage or Crown Point. Penn is coming.

Penn 21, Warsaw 0

CROWN POINT (6-4) at Portage (5-5):

PORTAGE (11-03-2017)
I remember the earlier meeting here when I thought this was a good matchup for Crown Point. CP quarterback Ryan Bolda was hurt in the second quarter and Portage won 27-10. Portage's 1,000-yard rusher QB Anthony Maeco tossed two TDs. Looking at it again, I see it the same way. This appears to be a good matchup for Crown Point's offensive line against the Portage defense.

CROWN POINT 21, Portage 14

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Revised: November 02, 2017 .