Week 3 Picks - 2019 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 2, 2019

A lot of the neighborhood rivalry games are played in week one. But there's no bigger 'local' matchup than Lake Station and River Forest which kicks off this Friday night at 7 p.m. in Lake Station. (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (3) THREE:

VALPARAISO (09-06-2019)
Iím sure that when Valparaiso was dropped to Class 5A this year, folks started thinking state championship.

They might want to ask Michigan City about who is in the way in Class 5A once the playoffs begin.
Defending 5A champ New Palestine smoked out 6A No. 4 Center Grove 28-9 last Friday. Did you know that New Pal has not lost a regular season game since 2012? I did not. They have won 56 regular games in a row.

Jefferson is worth the price of admission in Lafayette. The Bronchos have won two games by scores of 74-66 and 36-34.

One state-wide highlight this week is the first-ever meeting of perennial power Penn and South suburban Chicago superpower Homewood-Flossmoor.

I can't pick Valparaiso (2-0) at LaPorte (0-2). Don't make me. Same for Gary West Side (1-1) at 4A No. 7 Mishawaka (1-1). Hereís a prediction for that one: Pain.

I pick Clark over Gary Roosevelt (2-0). There you go. No need to elaborate.

Highland is not going to win at TF South Friday. No need to embarrass them with a projected score. And Bishop Noll actually won last week after not playing a schedule (too few players) at all in 2018. Iím not sure who they beat (Ridgewood, Illinois) but does it matter?

Northwest Crossroads Conference play does not begin for two more weeks, but the Duneland Athletic Conference starts league play this Friday night.

First, let's recap last week's results for 'Mr. Picker.'

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-2, 2019 Football Picks in Review:
Aug. 30-31, 2019

Wrong - 4; Right - 8 = 66.7%

The Pick The Result

Kankakee Valley 14, Wheeler 7  

KV 35-21

MERRILLVILLE 30, Hobart 14  


Chesterton 28, Munster 14  

Chesterton 40-0



Penn 35, LaPorte 14  

Penn 33-6

Lake Central 38, Morton 16  

(wrong) Morton 20-0

Bowman 28, East Chicago 21  

(wrong) EC 41-26

Rensselaer 42, North Newton 21  

Rensselaer 40-15

Michigan City 20, Warsaw 14  

(wrong) 20-19

LOWELL 24, Portage 21  

(wrong) 35-9

CROWN POINT 31, Highland 0  


Mater Dei 35, Whiting 14  

Mater Dei 56-12

ĎMr. Pickerí (by the week)
WEEK ONE: 9 of 15, 60.0%
WEEK TWO: 8 of 12, 66.7%

ANALYSIS: Letís review. I guaranteed Iíd do better than 60% in week two. That 60% rate being the miserable performance of week one.

Well, I didn't lie. And thatís the good side.

But eight of 12 is no great shakes. And other than Lowell-Portage, which was a pretty even game, Iíd pick the other three Ďmissesí the same way if they played again this week.

Okay, week three of the season. League play starts in many places and the games become more predictable. At least thatís what I keep telling myself.

'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 (3) THREE:

Andrean (1-1) at New Prairie (2-0):

NEW CARLISLE (09-06-2019)
Andrean topped Hanover 44-23 last week, but they have a problem here. New Prairie has topped two out-manned opponents in the first two weeks and they know Andrean beat them 44-28 last year. Did you know that New Prairie is 69-18 in the last seven years? I think the Andrean defense has a hard ride out on the Prairie.

New Prairie 35, Andrean 28

Gavit (0-2) at Whiting (1-1):

WHITING (09-06-2019)
Okay, so Whiting didn't win (the final was 56-12) down at Evansville Mater Dei. And okay, so Gavit didn't win (the final was 48-7) on the road at Illinois power (Calumet City) TF South (1-0) last week. I think this one is close.

Whiting 27, Gavit 20

HANOVER CENTRAL (1-1) at Culver Academy (1-1):

CULVER (09-06-2019)
One of the early trends this year says that Hanover Central is much different offensively than they have been. Senior Tyler Fruehling (26 of 50, 466 yards, 5 TDs, one INT) has helped the Cats put points on the board. Culver has split two and a 24-3 loss to Harrison (1-1) doesn't tell me much. I think this could be the year of the Cat.

HANOVER 28, Culver Academy 14

Hobart (0-2) at Griffith (0-2):

GRIFFITH (09-06-2019)
Griffith opened with big school powers Michigan City and Valparaiso and they lost 60-7 and 63-0. Playing good competition usually makes you better, but not if you get beat by 50-60 points. Hobart has only scored 13 points in two games, but I think theyíre better than that.

Hobart 27, Griffith 14

Hammond (0-2) at (South Bend) Clay (0-2):

SOUTH BEND (09-06-2019)
Clay has lost 33 games in a row, but tonight could be the night. Why? Because Hammondís losing streak reached 15-games after a 34-18 loss to (Burbak, Ill,) Reavis (1-0). I have a feeling the Colonials end the streak on this. This is like the ĎSuper Bowlí to both teams because somebody has to win. Those are the rules. Somebody is celebrating like a champion late Friday after this one.

Clay 28, Hammond 22

Rensselaer (2-0) at Western (2-0):

KOKOMO (09-06-2019)
Western stomped on the Bombers 42-14 last season. I don't think thatís going to happen again. But the Panthers have scored 75 points in their first two games and Rensselaer has a healthy bus ride here. Western beat 2A No. 1 Western Boone 42-41 last week. Iím going with the home team here.

Western 20, Rensselaer 14

Portage (1-1) at Lake Central (1-1):

ST. JOHN (09-06-2019)
LC may have been a little overconfident when they faced Morton without Mortonís starting quarterback. The Governors got stronger as the game went on and won 20-0.
Portage looked fast and confident in a 35-9 win over Lowell. I throw out the Portage week one loss to Mishawaka.
Portage 28, Lake Central 7

East Chicago (1-1) at Munster (0-2):

MUNSTER (09-06-2019)
I thought Munster would be better than 0-2. The wild horses have been tamed 37-7 and 40-0 against Lake Central and Chesterton. This is a hard one, because I believe that Munster is superior to East Chicago, but they have not played like it. Munster has beaten EC three years in a row and Iím going with the home team here, too.

Munster 21, East Chicago 19

Chesterton (2-0) at Michigan City (1-1):

MICHIGAN CITY (09-06-2019)
The Wolves lost their home opener 20-19 to Warsaw last week, while Chesterton swamped Hobart 40-0 to get to 2-0. I am very unsure about Michigan City after five turnovers in the loss to Warsaw. But I know theyíre the stronger team here. Chesterton hasn't been 3-0 in seven years and they won't be 3-0 late Friday night.

Michigan City 35, Chesterton 21

LOWELL (1-1) at Morton (1-1):

HAMMOND (09-06-2019)
It looks like Morton will go without QB Credell Prather, probably the MVP of his conference, who was hurt in week one. That didn't bother them much at Lake Central, where they won 20-0 last week. Lowell couldn't score until late in the game at Portage and here they face another tough defense on the road. Iím thinking this is a low-scoring game and Iím still thinking about whoís going to win.

Check these pages Thursday for the winner.


CROWN POINT (09-06-2019)
Northwest Indianaís most evenly matched rivalry takes over the big red stadium out behind Crown Point high school. CP has eliminated Merrillville from the sectional three years in a row. And in all three years, Merrillville beat CP during the regular season. Both defenses here shut out the opposition in week two. CP, 24-0 over Highland and Merrillville 21-0 over Hobart. Come on, now, I need more time think about this one.

Check back Thursday for this pick.

River Forest (0-2) at Lake Station (0-2):

LAKE STATION (09-06-2019)
Lake Station has lost by a combined score of 92-6 the first two week. River has been outscored 55-6. But they both have to believe they can win this traditional battle of next door neighbors in northeast Lake County. River Forest has won the last four years and Lake Station has lost 12 games in a row overall. This game has been played late in the season the last five years and Iím glad it's back to week three when the small roster teams haven't been depleted by injury.  Iím going with the Rivermen on the road.

River Forest 14, Lake Station 12

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Revised: September 02, 2019 .