Week 4 Picks - 2017 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 8, 2017

If you want to see Hobart play at East Chicago, you're going to have to be an early riser. Game time is 11 a.m. Saturday morning. (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (4) FOUR:

LOWELL (09-08-2017)
Okay. Okay. I picked New England to beat the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night. There. I admit it. Bad choice. Bad. Bad. Bad.

It goes to show that when a team is playing its first real game of the season, you only think you know about them. Football, basketball and baseball are so different in that respect. Teams can give a full effort in baseball and basketball in meaningless games because the fear of injury is not there. But in football, your first game is the first time you turn the dial up to 'full speed' and you find things out.

Maybe you're not quite in shape. Maybe your injury hasn't healed. Maybe you have just gotten old (I'm talking to you, Tom Brady).

Seriously, football is a game ruled by deception. Who is hurt. Who is playing? Who thinks they're not hurt, but they really are?

Andrean played without several key players last week due to a suspension and lost 42-3 to a team they probably beat at full strength. The suspensions were not announced publicly (and they shouldn't be) so only those around the team knew.

Merrillville QB Cam Wright left the game with Penn on Sept. 1 with a leg injury. There was some doubt whether he'd play against CP, but there was no reason for anyone to broadcast that doubt.
Wright played. Merrillville won. And those two facts were most definitely connected.

On to week four.

Again, the games involving Bishop Noll and Clark are not on the board here as they have long multi-year losing streaks. Here's hoping both can win one before the season ends. Nobody should go their entire career without winning one varsity game.

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-3, 2017 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 1-2, 2017

Wrong - 5; Right - 7 = 58.3%

The Pick The Result

Rensselaer 30, North Judson 14  

Rensselaer 69-14

Kankakee Valley 42, Hammond 21  

KV 50-20

Gavit 28, North Newton 7  

(wrong) North Newton 43-14

HANOVER CENTRAL 42, Lake Station 14  


Hobart 45, Gary West Side 7  

Hobart 49-0

Munster 28, East Chicago 20  

Munster 35-13

ANDREAN 28, New Prairie 21  

(wrong) New Prairie 42-3

LOWELL 35, Morton 8  


Michigan City 31, Chesterton 27  

Michigan City 35-14


(wrong) MERRILLVILLE 34-26

Lake Central 41, Portage 27  

(wrong) Portage 40-14

LaPorte 38, Valparaiso 28  

(wrong) Valpo 17-6


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

WEEK (2) TWO (9 of 12, 75.0%)
WEEK (3) THREE (7 of 12, 58.3%)

2017 TOTAL: 24 of 36, 66.7%


ANALYSIS: I was doing fine until I got to the Duneland Conference. But I want to tell you. I'd take LaPorte over Valpo again. I'd take CP over Merrillville if they played again. I don't know about Portage. They're pretty good. And North Newton? Can we talk? You score six points combined in the first two games and 43 points in week three against Gavit? What's up with that?

WORST PICK: Andrean over New Prairie. New Prairie won 42-3. It was a bad pick and I should have known. There was a dust-up the week before in the Andrean-Bishop Noll game and some Andean boys were ejected. Ejection is an automatic one-game suspension. The result? As many as six 59ers couldn't play against New Prairie and it showed. I did hear about the possibility of that and I should have know that.

BEST PICK: None, really. The seven games I picked correctly were pretty obvious. But then again. New England over Kansas City was pretty obvious, too.


'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 (4) FOUR:

New Prairie (2-1) at (South Bend) Washington (2-1):

SOUTH BEND (09-08-2017)
Washington has topped Hammond (1-2) and Clay (0-3), while New Prairie has scored 127 points in three weeks. Going back to the start of the year, I thought New Prairie was headed for a big year. They still are.

New Prairie 35, (SB) Washington 21

Rensselaer (3-0) at Twin Lakes (1-2):

MONTICELLO (09-08-2017)
Twin Lakes only win is over Delphi (0-3). Is Rensselaer QB Jaylen Gilbert really 21 of 29 passing so far this season for 468 yards? Have the Bombers really rushed for 700 yards on top of that? Rensselaer will be 4-0.

Rensselaer 35, Twin Lakes 14

North Newton (1-2) at Kankakee Valley (2-1):

WHEATFIELD (09-08-2017)
The Kougars are averaging 30 points a game and they have only lost to Rensselaer (3-0). This is a tough assignment for North Newton, which has lost 3-0 to Class 1A LaVille (1-2). KV is going to have a 3-game winning streak for the first time since 2014.

Kankakee Valley 27, North Newton 8

River Forest (1-2) at HANOVER CENTRAL (3-0):

CEDAR LAKE (09-08-2017)
How many points does Hanover have to score to be taken seriously? Well, 146 is not enough because the Wildcats have defeated only Noll (0-3), Calumet (0-3) and Lake Station (1-2). Can River Forest pull the upset? Settle down.

HANOVER 42, River Forest 7

Gavit (1-2) at Highland (1-2):

HIGHLAND (09-08-2017)
Here are two teams that are very disappointed with being 1-2. Gavit lost 43-14 at North Newton last week. Highland has only beaten Clark (0-3). Going back to the start of the season, I can't believe Gavit is going to lose three in a row.

Highland 34, Gavit 20

Morton (1-2) at Munster (1-2):

MUNSTER (09-08-2017)
Munster gives up a lot of points, but I don't think Morton has an effective offense this year. In six games, the Governors offense has scored four TDs. The Mustangs get back to the .500 mark.

Munster 28, Morton 14

Hobart (2-1) at East Chicago (1-2):

EAST CHICAGO (09-08-2017)
If Hobart is young and inexperienced, then how are they averaging over 30 points (34.0) per game? Is there a bigger disappointment so far than East Chicago? Why are they playing this game at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning?

Hobart 27, East Chicago 20

Boone Grove (1-2) at Lake Station (1-2):

LAKE STATION (09-08-2017)
Boone beat Whiting for the first time ever, 19-12 last week. But why can't the Wolves score? They have 45 points all season. Did you know Lake Station has beaten Boone two of the last three seasons? I can't see them doing it again.

Boone Grove 20, Lake Station 14

LaPorte (1-2) at Chesterton (2-1):

CHESTERTON (09-08-2017)
LaPorte found a way to lose 17-6 to Valpo last week after they did the same at Hobart the week before. Six points is the fewest the Slicers have scored since 2013. Chesterton has seen a revival this year averaging 27 points a game so far. But a team that averages 250 yards a game rushing can't keep losing, can they?

LaPorte 42, Chesterton 21

Michigan City (2-1) at Valparaiso (3-0):

VALPO (09-08-2017)
Here's that "I don't know the news" thing again. Valparaiso QB Jake Leffew (31 of 55, 350 yards, 2 TDs, no interceptions) left last week's game with an injury. Is he okay? Will he play? Will anybody know until game time? Michigan City (27.0 ) is capable on offense. You've got 100 ears of corn and two bushel baskets of apples to bet on this game. But you don't know who's playing QB for Valpo.  Go downtown and sell your stuff Saturday morning. You don't know what you don't know. If Leffew plays...

Valparaiso 35, Michigan City 21

Crown Point (1-2) at Lake Central (1-2):

ST. JOHN (09-08-2017)
Here are two more teams that are surprised to be 1-2. CP averages 300 yards a game. Why are they losing? LC stomped on Munster 33-14 and then it all went south? Are they bad or is Lincoln-Way Central (2-0) and Portage (1-2) that good? And why does Lake Central wear those awful uniforms?

Crown Point 34, Lake Central 27

Merrillville (1-2) at Portage (1-2):

PORTAGE (09-08-2017)
Anthony Maceo has scored 10 TDs for Portage, five last week at LC. Merrillville scored five TDs last week at Crown Point after scoring two in the first two games combined. Merrillville eliminated Portage from the state tournament last year and I'm guessing that fact has come up in Portage practices this week. But remember, I can't pick DAC games all of a sudden. 1-3 last week.

Portage 28, Merrillville 20

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Revised: September 08, 2017 .