Week 14 Picks - 2017 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

November 17, 2017

There's room for your team in the giant Lucas Oil Arena November 24 and 25 but will your team be there? A totals of 12 teams will qualify for the finals in IHSAA semistate action this Friday and Saturday. (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (14) FOURTEEN:

CROWN POINT (11-17-2017) For 24 teams it comes down to this. There is a major difference between losing the state title game and losing in the semistate. One game is a loss forever and the other one feels like it forever. The grand aura of playing in the state championship in downtown Indianapolis is so good, in time, it won't matter if you won or lost. On the other hand, losing a semistate, especially on a cold, distant field, is a stink that won't wash off no matter how many times folks tell you what a great season you had. When the announcement was made that Lowell vs. Bishop Dwenger would be played Friday night, I, like many of you in Northwest Indiana, knew we'd miss this week's action. Michigan City-Kokomo was always going to be Friday night because the 5A state title game is next Friday.

My days of leaving my job at 2 p.m. so I could go to the high school football game are over and the only way for me to get to Fort Wayne by 9 p.m. would be by rocket ship. But times have changed. I want to commend the Region Sports Network for making the effort to bring a video feed of these games back home live. This kind of thing has become common in other parts of the state. There is a SummitCitySports.com for Fort Wayne games. But in most places of the state, you can get to any game. Only in Northwest Indiana do you have games like Lowell-Dwenger where you have to travel three hours and lose an hour due to time zones. I do not know the exact broadcast details of semistate Internet TV, but it is quite a bit better than nothing when you are on the other side of the state at kickoff time.

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-13, 2017 Football Picks in Review:
Nov. 10-11, 2017

Wrong - 5; Right - 7 = 58.3%

The Pick The Result

Pioneer 56, LaVille 0  

Pioneer 38-0

Southwood 28, Monroe Central 21  

(wrong) Monroe Central 28-21

Eastbrook 35, Lapel 14  

Eastbrook 56-26

Woodlan 28, North Newton 20  

Woodlan 40-28

West Lafayette 31, Brebuef 16  

(wrong) Brebuef 13-10

Bishop Luers 27, Marian 7  

(wrong) Marian 30-7

Bishop Dwenger 21, Angola 7  

Bishop Dwenger 34-0

LOWELL 28, New Prairie 14  

LOWELL 25-20

Concord 27, Michigan City 21  

(wrong) Michigan City 21-7

Zionsville 24, Kokomo 14  

(wrong) Kokomo 33-21

Carmel 28, Snider 20  

Carmel 22-21

Penn 21, CROWN POINT 7  

Penn 33-3



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%)
WEEK (13) THIRTEEN (7 of 12, 58.3%)

PLAYOFF TOTAL: 48 of 59, 81.4%
OVERALL TOTAL: 127 of 166, 76.5%


PICK ANALYSIS: Only 7 of 12 but there were some strange ones here. Zionsville led Kokomo 21-0 and lost the game? And Concord had their starting QB get hurt going into the game against Michigan City. The Luers-Marian game makes no sense at all looking at the two teams' records. On to week 14.

WORST PICK: Bishop Luers over Marian. Marian lost four in a row during the regular season and barely survived sectional play. I don't know how they won this one by three TDs. Marian averages 18 points a game. I don't get it.

BEST PICK: Bishop Dwenger over Angola. Angola was 12-0 but they just didn't match up with Dwenger. The schedule you play matters and Dwenger plays a significantly tougher schedule.


'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 (14) FOURTEEN:

(1A) Monroe Central (12-1) at Pioneer (13-0):

ROYAL CENTRAL (11-17-2017)
Nobody has stopped Pioneer and junior QB Jack Kiser (155 carries, 1,561 yards 31 TDs) so far, but I didn't expect Monroe Central to get this far. Pioneer has 75 rushing TDs. MC throws the ball well with Casey Conaster (122 of 208, 2,511 yards, 31 TDs) but late November favors the running backs.
Pioneer 35, Monroe Central 14

(1A) Eastern Greene (13-0) and (Indianapolis) Lutheran (10-3):

INDIANAPOLIS (11-17-2017)
Lutheran has lost to Indy city private school powers Ritter (9-3) and Scecina (12-1). Meanwhile, Eastern Greene is undefeated on the field, but listed at 10-3 officially, having forfeited three regular season games. The problem is: All 13 of those wins are against Class 1A or 2A public schools. 210-pound Chris Hamilton (232 carries, 1929 yards) has run for 33 TDs for the Greene team.

Lutheran 28, Eastern Greene 20

(2A) Scecina (12-1) at Southridge (11-2):

INDIANAPOLIS (11-18-2017)
The Southridge Raiders are undefeated against 2A schools this year, but Scecina is part of that Indianapolis Catholic school 'mafia' that wins at least one state title every year. Scecina has lost 38-7 to crosstown rival Roncalli, but no one else has come within 10 points of them. This game will be played Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Tech high, but that won't help Southridge.

Scecina 35, Southridge 14

(2A) Woodlan (11-2) at Eastbrook (13-0):

MARION (11-17-2017)
Top-ranked Eastbrook has laid the smack down on 13 teams in a row. The closest game has been 21-3 and Eastbrook averages 51 points a game. Woodlan isn't going to go down like that as the Warriors average 42 points a game. Woodlan was 10-1 in 2016 and 13-1 in 2015, but Eastbrook was 13-2 last year, losing the state title game to Ritter. Everybody has a story to tell at this point. But Woodlan has been so close with seniors Justin Durkes (142 of 220, 2,339 yards, 30 TDs) and Jack Rhodes (235 carries 1944 yards, 24 TDs). I'll go with the road upset here.

Woodlan 28, Eastbrook 24

(3A) Evansville Memorial (12-1) at Danville (13-0):

DANVILLE (11-18-2017)
They'll play this one Saturday afternoon, too. Danville has been strong all season long with tiny Toby Hiland (5-5, 150) who has completed 132 of 204 for 2,622 yards and 42 touchdowns. But Evansville junior Mike Lindauer (6-3, 184) is a big time prospect with 195 of 311 for 2,683 yards and 30 TDs. He was 26 of 38 last week for 379 yards in 25-degree weather against Lawrenceburg. The Tigers have never won a state title. This could be the year.

Evansville Memorial 42, Danville 28

3A (Indianapolis) Brebuef (9-4) at (Mishawaka) Marian (9-4):

MISHAWAKA (11-17-2017)
Marian stumbled through the season, but their 30-7 upset of Bishop Luers was the second biggest upset of the tournament. Brebuef's 13-10 upset of West Lafayette last week was the biggest upset of the tournament. I don't have any idea who's going to win here, but again, Marian averages 18 points a game.

Brebeuf 28, Marian 14

(4A) Greenwood (11-2) at East Central (10-3):

ST. LEON (11-17-2017)
EC halfback Logan Storie has run 224 times for 1758 yards, but Greenwood has played a tougher schedule, losing to Decatur Central (10-2). East Central has won 18 sectionals and seven regionals, but it's hard to judge their schedule because they play two Ohio teams. The East Central defense has five shutouts, but Greenwood has played five Class 5A schools. EC has not played anybody bigger than 4A all year.

Greenwood 27, East Central 21

(4A) LOWELL (13-0) at Bishop Dwenger (11-2):

FORT WAYNE (11-17-2017)
Lowell has won 13 in a row since they lost the semistate at home last year. But Dwenger is one of the 'contract players' of Indiana high school football. They're in it every year. This is Dwenger's 20th trip to the semistate. Lowell relies on a defense that has allowed 82 points all year. Dwenger has held eight teams to 14 points or less and they have a kicker with 10 field goals. The IHSAA moved this one from the mud at Zollner Stadium to the artificial turf at Homestead and that's an edge for Lowell.

LOWELL 21, Bishop Dwenger 16

(5A) Columbus East (12-1) at (Indianapolis) Cathedral (7-5):

INDIANAPOLIS (11-17-2017)
The only place two superpowers like this collide is in the 'Justice League'. Cathedral is the dominant team in Indiana high school football with 12 state titles. Forget the regular season record. The play a 'select' schedule and all five Cathedral losses are out of state. Columbus East has lost only to Columbus North (9-2) but in all other games, they have scored 40 points or more. East halfback Jamon Hogan (192 carries, 2,024 yards) has scored 33 touchdowns, but Cathedral may have more Division I players than Purdue University.

Cathedral 31, Columbus East 17

(5A) Michigan City (9-3) at Kokomo (9-3):

KOKOMO (11-17-2017)
These two teams are here because there is a Class 6A. Neither could ever get past the largest schools when there were only five classes. Facing teams their own size, both are here for the first time. Kokomo was 21 points behind Zionsville and rallied to win last week. Big senior QB Kyle Wade (6-3, 215) carried the ball 20 times for a season high 123 yards last week. The Kats were 5-4 during the regular season, but they pulled off a major upset in the sectional title game. Facing McCutcheon, a team they lost to 26-10 in September, Kokomo won 37-7. I don't know how they reversed a margin that large.

Michigan City reversed a regular season loss to LaPorte and won the regional on the road 21-7 at Concord last week. QB Mike McCullough (126 of 328, 2,163 yards) has thrown for 17 TDs and has run for nine more inside 557 yards on 140 carries. Halfback Daleon Wren has 1,117 yards on 208 carries. MC has 2,347 yards rushing and 2,163 yards passing. These teams have never met, but in decent weather, Michigan City should advance.

Michigan City 28, Kokomo 21

(6A) Penn (11-1) at Carmel (8-4):

CARMEL (11-17-2017)
Two more giants of Indiana football. Penn has won 12 games in each of the last four years. The Kingsmen were 12-1 when they lost to Carmel 21-10 last November. Penn has won five state titles, but none in 17 years. Carmel is the defending 6A state champ and they lost the state title game in 2013 and 2014. Enrollment matters. Sometimes. Penn has 3,367 students but Carmel is the state's largest high school with 4,993 students. Carmel's enrollment is why there is a Class 6A.

Carmel 21, Penn 14.

(6A) Avon (10-2) at Ben Davis (13-0):

INDIANAPOLIS (11-17-2017)
Ben Davis has been the No. 1 team all season and they hog-tied Avon 52-20 back in August. The Giants have scored 28 points or more in every game and they have defeated four Class 6A Top-10 teams. Reese Taylor is 188 of 258 for 2,683 yards and 35 touchdowns and he has run for 10 more TDs. Halfback John Adams (129 carries, 1,344 yards, 10.4 per carry) ran for 108 yards last week on eight carries.  Avon QB Cameron Misner (6-3, 215) has completed 166 of 277 for 2,819 yards and 38 TDs. Junior Sampson Gaimes (6-1, 200) has gained 100 yards 10 times this year. Too bad they can't play this one indoors.

Ben Davis 34, Avon 24

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Revised: November 18, 2017 .