Week 4 Picks - 2021 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 8, 2021


Hey, why isn't Lake Central in the poll? They've played three games and won three games. What have they got to do? Breakings news: 'Mr. Picker' has issued a rare guarantee. Lake Central moves into this poll if they defeat Crown Point Friday night in St. John. (Photo by Mark Smith)

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-3, 2021 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 3-4, 2021

Wrong - 3 Right - 9 = 75.0%

The Pick The Result

Calumet 27, Wheeler 13  

(wrong) Wheeler 28-8

North Newton 20, North Judson 14  

(wrong) North Judson 34-12

Lake Central 21, Portage 14  

LC 14-7

Elkhart 42, Morton 8  

Elkhart 47-8

Culver Academy 34, Hanover Central 20  

Culver Academy 35-34

Munster 28, East Chicago 12  

Munster 44-8

Kankakee Valley 33, (SB) Washington 20  

(Did not play)

Whiting 26, Bishop Noll 12  

Whiting 35-7

Valparaiso 31, LaPorte 10  

Valparaiso 56-26

Hobart 27, Griffith 14  

Hobart 49-13

New Prairie 35, LOWELL 21  

New Prairie 28-14


Merrillville 50-13

Michigan City 42, Chesterton 21  

(wrong) Chesterton 27-20

‘Mr. Picker’ (by the week)
WEEK ONE (1): 8 of 13, 61.5%
WEEK TWO (2): 11 of 13, 84.6%
WEEK THREE (3): 9 of 12, 75.0%
Regular season: 28 of 38, 75.0%

WEEK (3) Rewind: First of all, the Kankakee Valley game against South Bend Washington was cancelled so KV chose to play (West Lafayette) Harrison. I would have picked Harrison to beat KV and I would have counted that as a win for me. But the IHSAA called and said that I could not do that or I would be declared ineligible.

So KV-Washington is ‘no game’ and I only get nine of 12. The game that surprised me a lot was North Judson and North Newton. The Spartans got run over and the Judds proved that their 3-0 record is real.

Also, I thought Michigan City could handle the passing attack of Chesterton and they could not.

'Mr. Picker' (15 Years)
2020 (final) OVERALL: 122 of 156 = 78.1%
2019 (final) OVERALL: 126 of 166 = 75.9%
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 - WEEK (4) FOUR:

MERRILLVILLE (09-10-2021)
Schedules changed quickly last week and two games, Lake Station vs. River Forest and Boone Grove vs. South Central, were just cancelled. Those games can't be made up. There’s no bye weeks like in the National Football League.

As most of you know, the teams don’t have anything do with this. The schools have to quarantine kids who test positive and anyone who has been in contact with them. Being as real as I can be, it’s probably a situation that is going to continue all season and throughout the basketball season.

Back to business. Here’s 13 more games. I think Andrean and East Chicago is a mismatch so I’ll leave that one alone.

I’m picking 13 games in the hopes that 13 games will be played, but I’m not optimistic. So try to stay updated on the situation at your school. Especially smaller schools who have less players they can afford to lose. Games may be cancelled as late as the day of the game.

And again, as many of you know, we have had to discontinue Internet radio game broadcasts during the Covid-19 year of 2020 and we no longer have sponsors. We appreciate the support of the Crown Point community over the years and we need it again now. USA-365.com does have a ‘Pay-Pal’ portal on our web site here and, if you would like to support us, it is easy to do.

Any amount would be welcome. Times are hard, but if you appreciate the effort that Dave Woodworth and I put into the USA-365 coverage down through the years and going forward, we would be grateful to hear from you. Donate and Support USA-365.com.

And like I said last week, if you feel you can pick this week’s 13 games better than a professional, experienced selector such a ‘Mr. Picker’, send your picks in before Friday and we’ll talk. Email your picks to usa365@ameritech.net. Send in 13 picks (with the final scores) this week and we’ll see how you rank against the ‘Pick Master’. His record speaks for itself. Keep in mind. ‘Mr. Picker’ picked Indiana University to beat Iowa last week, too.

Mr. Picker 2021 WEEK (4) FOUR:

Morton (0-3) at Munster (1-2):

MUNSTER (09-10-2021)
Big game for Morton. With undefeated Bloomington South and Cathedral in the second half of the schedule, the Governors need to win one here. This one is a real challenge for the Mustangs who are facing a hungry team here. I think it's time for Morton to bust loose and tonight is the night.

Morton 32, Munster (21)

Calumet (2-1) at Whiting (2-1):

WHITING (09-10-2021)
Whiting is fighting and, after the Covid-19 pandemic handcuffed their 2020 season, the Oilers have started well. But this is a big test, as Calumet got shut down by Wheeler last week and they need to bounce back. I haven’t lost faith in Calumet yet.

Calumet 27, Whiting 14

Culver Academy (3-0) at Hobart (1-2):

HOBART (09-10-2021)
Tough match for both sides here. Culver has been impressive on offense so far against Marian and Hanover, but the Brickies have played a tougher schedule and they need this home win. This is my ‘go to’ score when I really can't make a choice.

Hobart 28, Culver Academy 27

Hanover Central (2-1) at River Forest (1-1):

HOBART TOWNSHIP (09-10-2021)
Another game where the battling home team may be overmatched by hungry visitors. River Forest’s game was cancelled last week so they’ll be well-rested, but after last week’s 35-34 Hanover loss in Culver, River’s chances here diminished.

Hanover 40, River Forest 16

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

WHEATFIELD (09-10-2021)
Must win here for KV because the second half of their schedule is loaded with the hard boys from Lowell, Andrean and Hobart. Class 4A KV is the largest school that Class 2A North Newton plays and they’ll be up for the upset.

Kankakee Valley 28, North Newton 14

Boone Grove (0-2) at Bishop Noll (1-2):

HAMMOND (09-10-2021)
Noll’s win is 33-28 over Calumet Christian, but they are coming off back-to-back losses. Boone Grove’s game was cancelled last Friday and they may have needed that break after being shut out the first two weeks.

Boone Grove 21, Bishop Noll 14

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

HAMMOND (09-10-2021)
The second half of the schedule is favorable for the new Hammond Central Wolves and it surprised me that 4A Highland lost last week at 2A Knox. Hammond topped Clay last week but Clay’s only won seven games (they are 7-76) in nine years. But I don’t really know what Hammond has. I didn’t count the 71-6 loss at Valparaiso. That game shouldn't even have been played because there were some extreme off the field circumstances. Highland should win this game, but I’m going against the grain here. Hammond gets back to the .500 mark.

Hammond 28, Highland 24

Portage (1-2) at MERRILLVILLE (3-0):

MERRILLVILLE (09-10-2021)
Portage has been close in every game but I hesitate to pick this one at all after seeing Merrillville up close. The Indians have bene close in two losses but they’ll be hard pressed to keep this one close. The Pirates average 44 points a game and their games have not been close. The Pirates offense is so strong and the defense is getting better. Portage is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

MERRILLVILLE 42, Portage 14

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

RENSSELAER (09-10-2021)
Turnovers hurt Rensselaer in last week’s 26-21 loss what looked like a decent to Hamilton Heights (2-1) team. Twin Lakes was a little overmatched in a 52-3 loss at New Prairie (3-0) and a 42-7 loss at Tipton (3-0) so I’m not sure they’re as bad as those scores would suggest. This is Twin Lakes’ third road game in a row against a ranked team. Who makes their schedule? Talking about schedules. Rensselaer has 3A No. 3 West Lafayette (3-0) and 2A No. 10 Lafayette Catholic the next two weeks. They need this one Friday.

Rensselaer 28, Twin Lakes 14

LaPorte (1-2) at Chesterton (3-0):

CHESTERTON (09-10-2021)
LaPorte has a new quarterback, which is going to make them very conservative and run-oriented. Chesterton scored a big win last week over Michigan City and they haven’t been 4-0 since 2012. LaPorte has to run the ball so well that Chesterton’s offense never gets on the field. They’ll give it a shot, but the Trojans are hot.

Chesterton 35, LaPorte 17


ST. JOHN (09-10-2021)
LC is 3-0 for the first time since 2012 and they will be fired up on this night. CP is facing an unranked team for the first time this season and they have defeated Lake Central five years in a row. It's not a matter of who wants the game more because they both want it badly. I think the difference in the schedules played so far might show up here. But I’m not sure what Lake Central really has. And they are flying high.

Check back with me later in the week here.

Griffith (2-1) at LOWELL (1-2):

LOWELL (09-10-2021)
Another rivalry game with both teams here with coming off losses. Lowell battled New Prairie down to the final minute last week, but they only average 18 points a game. Griffith was run on by Hobart and Lowell likes to run it, but who will be on the field for Lowell? They have not been 100% all season. But Lowell averages 18 points a game. If you go to the store with 18 points a game. You cant buy much.

Give me a few days to think about this one.

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

VALPARAISO (09-10-2021)
The game of the week. High-scoring MC takes on a Valpo team that is 24-2 the last three years. Michigan City lost late against Chesterton last week. None of Valparaiso’s games have been close. The Wolves give everybody a fight and this will be close. But Valpo looks awfully good.

Valparaiso 28, Michigan City 20 

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Revised: September 08, 2021 .