Week 13 Picks - 2017 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

November 10, 2017

You do what you have to do to stay warm. Bulldogs are warmer than normal folks no matter how it looks. Penn rides the big, yellow bus to Crown Point for the 6A regional championship Friday night. (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (13) THIRTEEN:

CROWN POINT (11-10-2017) Here's the point of the state tournament where teams leave their area and first time meetings like Michigan City and Concord make the guesses a little more difficult.
This will also be the coldest night of the year from the top of the state to the bottom. All games (it appears) will be played in temperatures in the 30s or 20s.

Only people who don't go to games think the weather doesn't affect the play. There are only seven undefeated teams left among the 48 schools still playing and there are no matchups of unbeaten teams Friday.

The top five ranked Class 1A teams are still playing. Four of the top five Class 3A teams are still alive. Four of the top six 4A schools are on the field Friday.

But only five of the 6A Top-10 are still playing and only four of the Top-10 5A schools have not yet begun the basketball season.

An oddity? Crown Point has faced Avon in the state softball championship and the state volleyball championship in this calendar year. Crown Point and Avon are still alive in the 6A football playoffs.

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-12, 2017 Football Picks in Review:
Nov. 3-4, 2017

Wrong - 3; Right - 9 = 75.0%

The Pick The Result

Triton 14, LaVille 7  

(wrong) LaVille 10-7

Pioneer 42, Lafayette Catholic 21  

Pioneer 48-20

BOONE GROVE 27, N. Newton 14  

(wrong) N. Newton 38-14

Woodlan 35, Central Noble 14  

Woodlan 44-19

West Lafayette 28, ANDREAN 14  

West Lafayette 56-10

Brebuef 35, Southmont 14  

Brebuef 48-14

LOWELL 27, Griffith 14  


New Prairie 35, St,. Joseph's 27  

New Prairie 42-7

LaPorte 42, Michigan City 28  

(wrong) Michigan City 38-10

Concord 31, Goshen 7  

Concord 28-12

Penn 21, Warsaw 0  

Penn 40-0

CROWN POINT 21, Portage 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%)
WEEK (12) TWELVE (9 of 12, 74.0%)

PLAYOFF TOTAL: 41 of 47, 87.2%
OVERALL TOTAL: 120 of 154, 77.9%


PICK ANALYSIS: Can't win 'em all. At least not this week. I was surprised by the margin of victory for North Newton and Michigan City. Those games were not close at all. LaVille and Triton could have gone either way.

WORST PICK: Boone Grove over North Newton. Playing at home after having a better season, Boone was no match for the Spartans. Meanwhile, Michigan City slowed down LaPorte rushing the ball. Getting ahead 14-0 certainly early helped, but other Duneland Conference teams need to take a close look at what they did.

BEST PICK: Crown Point over Portage. This was a matchup that Portage won by 17 the first time they met. I didn't know that Portage QB Anthey Maceo was playing with an injured shoulder, but I also didn't know that CP's Tyler Gomez and Ben Fridrcih would leave the game with injuries, too. I thought it was a good matchup for CP.


'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 (13) THIRTEEN:

(1A) LaVille (8-4) at Pioneer (12-0):

ROYAL CENTER (11-10-2017)
This is a mismatch and both sides know it. Pioneer averages 50 points a game and no one has stopped them. I thought LaVille pulled off a big upset to win the sectional over Triton and I'd bet they'll be quite satisfied with that. Pioneer is 38-1 the last three years. Barring some injuries that I don't know about, the Panthers roll on to the semistate.

Pioneer 56, LaVille 0

(1A) Southwood (11-1) at Monroe Central (11-1):

PARKER CITY (11-10-2017)
And no, I have never heard of Parker City, Indiana, either. Parker City, population 1,400, is in Randolph County near the Ohio state line and some of the folks there are probably pretty exited about this game. In the 45-year history of the Indiana State High School Athletic Asociation (IHSAA) state tournament, this is the first time Monroe Central has won a sectional championship.

Southwood is a traditional power playing for the school's sixth regional championship. Both these teams play 1A and 2A schedules. Monroe lost to Shenandoah (9-3). Southwood lost to North Miami (7-4). Monroe Central's Casey Conatser (104 of 179, 2,125 yards) has thrown for 27 TDs. But here's the story. Southwood's Carson Blair (6-0, 185) is 197 of 305 for a state leading 3,735 yards and 55 touchdowns. Seriously. 55 TDs. Last year he was 225 of 373 for 3,409 yards and 43 touchdowns. Even on the road, I can't pick against this guy.

Southwood 28, Monroe Central 21

(2A) Eastbrook (12-0) at Lapel (9-3):

LAPEL (11-10-2017)
Lapel has never won a regional championship so this is a big night for them. But Eastbrook, the defending semistate champion, has allowed just 76 points all season. Built for cold, November nights, top-ranked Eastbrook averages 360 yards rushing per game. Lapel has allowed 26 points a game. This would be one of the biggest upsets of the night if Lapel comes out on top.

Southwood 35, Lapel 14

(2A) Woodlan (10-2) at North Newton (8-4):

MOROCCO (11-10-2017)
Woodlan is a vey balanced team and North Newton's strong defense knows what's coming. Woodlan's Jack Rhoades (6-0, 190) has run 235 times for 1,944 yards. The Warriors' QB Justin Durkes (6-2, 175) has thrown (137 of 211) for 2,319 yards and 30 TDs. North Newton's going to have to hog the ball and that means giving it to the Wagner brothers. Sophomore Cole Wagner (5-11, 165) has run 175 times for 1,317 yards and 18 TDs. Senior Colt Wagner (6-1, 160) has run 121 times for 879 yards. Playing at home on a very cold night. North Newton will keep it close.

Woodlan 28, North Newton 20

(3A) West Lafayette (11-1) at (Indianapolis) Brebuef (8-4):

INDIANAPOLIS (11-10-2017)
West Lafayette has scored at least seven TDs in eight consecutive games. Brebuef has played a very difficult schedule and has won six in a row and the weather is always the 12th defender, especially against a passer like West Lafayette's Luke Touloukian (135 of 202, 1,906, 26 TDs, 5 interceptions). But I can't see the Braves scoring enough to keep up here.
Here's a night when WL could have trouble, though. If they ever get indoors, there will be no stopping them.

West Lafayette 31, Brebuef 16

(3A) (Mishawaka) Marian (8-4) Bishop Luers (8-4):

FORT WAYNE (11-10-2017)
Luers is balanced with junior QB Norm Knapke (98 of 180, 1,290 yards, 13 TDs 12 INTs) and running backs Jordan Presley (130 carries, 983 yards) and Tyreeon Hambright (137 carries, 935 yards). Marian has only completed 62 passes all season and they don't have a big time rushing threat. If they can control the ball, they'll be able to stay close. That's a big 'if'. Luers has lost to Concordia (7-5), Bishop Dwenger (9-3), Homestead (8-2) and Snider (12-0) so their record is deceptive. Marian has lost to Jimtown (6-6) and Bremen (4-6).

Bishop Luers 27, Marian 7

(4A) Bishop Dwenger (9-3) at Angola (12-0):

ANGOLA (11-10-2017)
Dwenger has a sophomore QB. Halfback Chris Clark has carried 169 times for 1,069 yards. The Saints are a strong defensive team. They have held seven teams to 14 points or less and they lost just 34-31 at 5A No. 1 Snider (11-0). All Dwenger losses are to 6A schools. Angola averages 41 points a game but they barely survived Culver Academy 31-30 last week, the Hornets' first sectional championship in 25 years. I think this game looks a lot closer on paper than it will be on the field.

Bishop Dwenger 21, Angola 7

(4A) New Prairie (11-1) at LOWELL (12-0):

LOWELL (11-10-2017)
New Prairie's 50-points per game offense meets a Lowell defense which has held 12 consecutive opponents to 14 points or less. The Cougars have three 1,000-yard rushers led by QB Nick Wilson (185 carries, 1,871 yards) and have run for 70 TDs. Can the Cougars, who have won 11 in a row, run over a Red Devil defensive front that has allowed just 68 first downs all season? Lowell lost 28-27 at New Prairie in the 2014 Class 4A regional championship game.

LOWELL 28, New Prairie 14

(5A) Michigan City (8-3) at Concord (10-1):

CONCORD (11-10-2017)
Concord has lost only to 4A No. 2 Northridge and they run the ball with seniors John Lietzan (6-0, 170) and Dominick Debroka (6-0, 175). Lietzan was the QB last year and he was switched to running back where he has gained 1,061 yards and 17 TDs on 161 carries. Here's the situation. Sophomore QB Ethan Cain suffered a knee injury last Friday and may not be able to go against Michigan City. That would make Lietzan the QB again. The Minutemen takes lots of minutes off the clock. What worries you for Michigan City is that they have to throw the ball with Mike McCullough and this is not the night for that. Lots of questions here.

Concord 27, Michigan City 21

(5A) Kokomo (7-4) at Zionsville (7-5):

ZIONSVILLE (11-10-2017)
Four of Zionsville's losses are to 6A schools and they upset 5A No. 1 New Palestine last week 26-24. Kokomo lost to McCutcheon 26-10 in September, but they beat them 41-7 last week for the sectional championship. The Kats must have made significant changes, but Zionsville has played the 18th toughest schedule in the state among all schools.

Zionsville 24, Kokomo 14

(6A) Carmel (7-4) at (Fort Wayne) Snider (11-0):

FORT WAYNE (11-10-2017)
Snider has 32 rushing touchdowns and they are the undefeated champions for Fort Wayne's Summit Athletic Conference (SAC). Carmel is a state super power. What's that like? The Greyhounds have reached the state title game in three of the last four seasons and Carmel is the defending 6A state champion. They play the giant 6A Indianapolis schools: 6A No. 3 Warren Central, 6A No. 8 Lawrence Central, North Central, Center Grove and 6A No. 1 Ben Davis (11-0). On paper, Snider should win this, but I'm going to take the Greyhounds on the road. Picking the defending state champ is not a high risk selection.

Carmel 28, Snider 20

(6A) Penn (10-1) at CROWN POINT (7-4):

CROWN POINT (11-10-2017)
A rematch of Penn's 23-0 regional victory last November and Penn's first-ever visit to Crown Point for a varsity game. No one has scored more than 17 points on Penn all season and the Kingsmen have shut out five of the 11 teams they have played. Crown Point may have lost tight end Ben Fridrich and 1,500-yard rusher Tyler Gomez to injury last week. It is not certain they can play. Penn has won four regionals in a row and the Kingsmen offensive line averages 280 pounds per man. It's hard to go against them on this night.

Penn 21, CROWN POINT 7

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Revised: November 10, 2017 .