Week 3 Picks - 2019 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 9, 2019

In East Chicago, they'll love their football team, too if the Cardinals can stop undefeated Boone Grove Friday night. (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (4) FOUR:

VALPARAISO (09-13-2019)
Okay, what do you do if youíre winless after 1/3 of the regular season? Different circumstances require a different thought.

First. The Easy one. Griffith (0-3).

The Panthers have been outscored 165-7 in three games and they visit Lowell next. But all is not lost. After the game at Lowell, the Panthers travel to Hanover Central (1-2), Calumet (2-1) and Boone Grove (3-0). Those teams are not in the caliber of Valparaiso, Michigan City and Hobart, the teams that Griffith just lost to. Better days appear to be ahead for the black Panthers.

How about Munster (0-3)?

Well, like Griffith the immediate future is not rosy. Munster plays Morton (2-1) this Friday. But after that, thereís Highland (1-2) and later thereís Kankakee Valley (1-2). Okay, it's not much. But weíre trying to get a win or two here.

Now, can we find a win for Lake Station (0-3)?

Yes. On September 20. Lake Station vs. Bishop Noll. This could be the night. And in week nine, Iíve got the cure all. Lake Station (0-3) vs. South Newton (0-3) and the Rebels have lost 25 games in a row. There ought to be a law that every team is allowed to win one game.

Noteworthy results from last week: Homewood-Flossmoor 35, Penn 7. I expected H-F to win, but not by that margin. And, down in Lafayette, Jefferson (3-0) won 47-12 over McCutcheon. After three games, Jeff, which is in Class 6A Sectional 1 with Crown Point, Lake Central and Merrillville, is averaging 52.3 points per game.

I have picked the Lowell game incorrectly every game so far. So this week Iím not picking Lowell-Griffith at all. Partly out of respect for Griffith and partly because Iím afraid of being wrong again.

Plus, everybody picks the ĎDevilsí on Friday the 13th.

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


'Mr. Picker' WEEK-3, 2019 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 6-7, 2019

Wrong - 6; Right - 6 = 50.0%

The Pick The Result

New Prairie 35, Andrean 28  

New Prairie 33-10

Whiting 27, Gavit 20  

Whiting 26-8

HANOVER 28, Culver Academy 14  

(wrong) Culver 28-2

Hobart 27, Griffith 14  

Hobart 42-0

Clay 28, Hammond 22  

Clay 14-8

Western 20, Rensselaer 14  

(wrong) Rensselaer 28-14

Portage 28, Lake Central 7  

(wrong) Lake Central 30-21

Munster 21, East Chicago 19  

(wrong) EC 16-0

Michigan City 35, Chesterton 21  

Michigan City 21-7

LOWELL 17, Morton 13  

(wrong) Morton 35-23


(wrong) MERRILLVILLE 27-24 (OT)

River Forest 14, Lake Station 12  

River Forest 52-0

ĎMr. Pickerí (by the week)
WEEK ONE: 9 of 15, 60.0%
WEEK TWO: 8 of 12, 66.7%
WEEK THREE: 6 of 12, 50.0%
SEASON TOTAL: 23 of 39, 58.9%

ANALYSIS: Wow. So youíre telling me Lake Central lost to Morton, but beat Portage? And East Chicago lost by 28 points to Class 3A Hanover, but beat Class 5A Munster by 16? Is that what youíre trying to tell me?

Another .500 week and in truth, if Clay hadn't won for the first time in four years, Iíd have been below .500.

Iíll be honest. If Lake Central played Portage again tomorrow, Iíd still pick Portage. Same with Western and Rensselaer.

And CP had Merrillville beat in overtime and the Pirates pulled it out. It's time for me to get going.

'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 (4) FOUR:

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

WHEATFIELD (9-13-2019)
Two teams that seem on the rise. The Spartans topped rival North Judson 48-20 last week and they take the short trip to Jasper County where KV is two one-touchdown losses away from being 3-0. The Kougars have won this game 17-12 and 16-13 the last two years. This will be close, too.

Kankakee Valley 27, North Newton 24

Boone Grove (3-0) at East Chicago (2-1):

EAST CHICAGO (09-13-2019)
Boone faces the largest school on their schedule and EC looks for a third win in a row. Iím sensing that EC didn't have all their players ready (literally or figuratively) in the week one loss to Hanover. But the Wolves have been the kings of the night so far, averaging 44 points a game.

Boone Grove 28, East Chicago 20

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

HOBART (09-13-2019)
The ĎAcademyí laid down the law 28-2 on Hanover last week in one of the many games that surprised me. But Hobart got well against Griffith 42-0. Hard to tell here. Culverís only loss was to 5A Harrison (2-1). Iím going with the home team.
Hobart 30, Culver Academy 27

Gavit (0-3) at Highland (1-2):

HIGHLAND (09-13-2019)
Am I just dreaming or do I think Gavit is better than 0-3? They lost to Columbia City 20-16 and Whiting just 26-8. They are fighting. They just aren't winning the fights yet. Highland should be 0-3. Morton game them a 19-18 win in week one. But Highland has played a tougher schedule so far. Much tougher.

Highland 31, Gavit 14

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

RENSSELAER (09-13-2019)
The Bombers' 28-14 win at Western last week surprised me after they just edged Kankakee Valley 13-9 in week one. Twin Lakes has lost to Western 35-21 and to undefeated Tipton 19-14. The Bombers could be 7-0 when they have to face West Lafayette in October.

Rensselaer 35, Twin Lakes 16

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

GARY (09-13-2019)
One of the weekís better games. Calumet has lost one to Chicagoís Mt. Carmel, a team they shouldn't even be playing. Otherwise, the Warriors have been strong. Whiting had no chance against State-rated Mater Dei (3-0) in Evansville, but they won against two local opponents. Calumet is in Class 3A Sectional 17 where thereís no Andrean or West Lafayette. Are they a sectional contender or just a pretender? Iíll say: Contender.

Calumet 28, Whiting 20

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

MERRILLVILLE (09-13-2019)
Portage had a 13-point lead last week and they let the world slip away in a 30-21 road loss at Lake Central last week. An LC team that could not move the ball on Morton, ran for 200 yards against Portage. I still like the Indians, but Merrillville is a physically imposing team with experienced leaders. If the Pirates don't fumble or throw an interception, they will beat everyone on their schedule. Including Portage.

MERRILLVILLE 34, Portage 24

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

CHESTERTON (09-13-2019)
A test for Chesterton in the respect that they are heavily favored here and both sides know it. Youth sports teams don't handle being the favorite very well. LaPorte is hungry for any kind of success. The Slicers have only scored 20 points in three games.

Chesterton 24, LaPorte 7

CROWN POINT (1-2) at Lake Central (2-1):

ST. JOHN (09-13-2019)
I cannot figure LC. They lost 21-0 to Morton, but then beat Portage 30-21. Iím very surprised they could run on Portage. Crown Point is also hard to figure. Lost by two points to Lowell. Lost by three in overtime to Merrillville. Are they good and unlucky? Are they just not that good? Give me some time on this one.

Check back here Thursday for the pick.

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

VALPARAISO (09-13-2019)
I don't think this game is as close as past results might suggest. The Wolves will be ready to rock defensively, but I don't know if they can score on Valparaiso at all. The Vikings have allowed 14 points all year. These teams should meet twice this year so MC gets a reality check here.

Valparaiso 24, Michigan City 7

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Revised: September 08, 2019 .