Week 5 Picks - 2018 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 11, 2018


New Prairie beat 4A No. 9 St. Joseph's 41-28 last week. Can they beat 4A No. 3 Mishawaka this week at home? We'll find out Friday night. (Photo by Mark Smith)

"Mr. Picker" - WEEK (5) FIVE:

VALPARAISO (09-14-2018)
Here’s a week of challenges for the old ‘Picker’ here. Rivalry games. League showdowns… I’m ready for the test.

As always, a couple don’t rate.

Whiting (4-0) at Lake Station (0-4). I don't want to pick a score there. Morton (2-2) at Gary West Side (0-4). You can pick that one for me. I trust you.

Crown Point (2-2) vs. Portage (2-2)? Kankakee Valley (2-2) at Lowell (3-1)?

I can't do it right now. I need more time. Check back here Thursday for those two in our weekly preview "Game of the Week" stories for those two teams.

First, a review of last week's 'Mr. Picker' results:

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-4, 2018 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 7-8, 2018

Wrong - 1; Right - 10 = 90.9%

The Pick The Result

Griffith 28, Calumet 20  

Griffith 35-20

Rensselaer 52, Twin Lakes 21  

Rensselaer 56-14

Munster 31, Morton 20  

(wrong) Morton 25-13

Whiting 20, Wheeler 16  

Whiting 44-7

MERRILLVILLE 20, Portage 7  


KV 28, North Newton 14  

KV 16-13

Hanover Central 35, River Forest 14  

Hanover 26-20

New Prairie 21, St. Joseph’s 14  

New Prairie 41-28

LaPorte 21, Chesterton 14  

LaPorte 29-14

Valpo 24, Michigan City 13  

Valpo 14-7

CP 14, Lake Central 13  

CP 21-3


Week Four Review:  Pretty good and I could have picked Morton to beat Munster. Everyone except KV won by a TD or more. To be totally real, there were some games here that were not mismatches, but were not in much doubt like Hanover-RF. But this was a good week in the ‘quest for 80%,’ a quest that I have failed at for over a decade.

BEST PICK: LaPorte over Chesterton. LaPorte was 0-3, but they were not playing anywhere near their potential. To be honest, Valparaiso over Michigan City was the way I would have picked that game at the start of the season. There was nothing in the first three weeks that indicated that MC was going to beat Valparaiso.

WORST PICK: Obviously, Munster over Morton 31-20 when Morton won 25-13. What fooled me was Morton’s 38-0 loss to Lowell and 33-13 loss to LC the previous two weeks. I can't figure Morton, but they should be winning.

‘Mr. Picker’  2018 RESULTS
WEEK (4) 10 of 11 = 90.9%
WEEK (3) 9 of 13 = 69.2%
WEEK (2) 12 of 15 = 80.0%
WEEK (1) 10 of 13 = 76.1%
Season so far: 41 of 52 = 78.8%

'Mr. Picker' (13 Years)
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' 2018 - WEEK (5) FIVE:

Bowman Academy (2-1) at Gary Roosevelt (2-1):

GARY (9-14-2018)
Both teams have displayed some offense, but Roosevelt’s 68-13 loss to Calumet is an obvious ‘red flag’. Bowman’s loss was 19-16 to EC, a game they could have won. A game that ends 68-13 isn't a game you could have won.

Bowman Academy 34, Gary Roosevelt 12

Highland (2-2) at Munster (2-2):

MUNSTER (9-14-2018)
Munster fumbled four times to lose 25-13 at Morton last week and I can't forget about that note in the Post-Tribune that said that Munster had to cancel the remainder of its junior varsity season for lack of players. I wasn't aware they have a numbers problem. Highland has won two in a row, but they’re over Gavit (0-4) and Clark (1-3). I’m staying with the wild horses.

Munster 27, Highland 20

Mishawaka (3-1) at New Prairie (3-1):

NEW CARLISLE (9-14-2018)
New Prairie has been unstoppable when QB Chase Ketterer has been able to play. Mishawaka averages 34 points a game and NP averages 41 per game. Both use the same option style offense. You might think New Prairie can't beat St. Joseph’s and Mishawaka in back-to-back weeks. Then again, you might think Eastern Michigan couldn’t beat Purdue.

New Prairie 35, Mishawaka 28

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

GRIFFITH (9-14-2018)
Griffith lost big the first two weeks, but once they got past Whiting in Greater South Shore Conference (GSSC) play, they found teams they can beat. Panthers can run the ball and Wheeler couldn’t stop Whiting running last week.

Griffith 34, Wheeler 14

Hammond (0-3) at Clark (1-3):

HAMMOND (9-14-2018)
I think here’s Clark's chance for a second win. I didn't know how much they got beat up losing 51-0 to Lowell last week. But Hammond has only scored eight points all season. Relatively speaking, Clark has a better offense.

Clark 28, Hammond 14

Boone Grove (3-1) at HANOVER CENTRAL (3-1):

CEDAR LAKE (9-14-2018)
Boone should be 3-0. They got robbed in a storm-shortened game against Whiting. Boone trailed 27-13 after one quarter and the storm rolled in two weeks ago. For some reason, the two schools could not agree to finish the game. Everybody knows one quarter isn't a football game. Hanover has lost only to Andrean (3-1), a team they should have lost to. I think Boone runs the ball too well for HC.

Boone Grove 33, Hanover Central 20

LaPorte (1-3) at Lake Central (2-2):

ST. JOHN (9-14-2018)
This is just one where I think the team with the lesser record is better than they have played. I wasn’t surprised with the Slicers' home win over Chesterton last week. I expected them to have a winning season. Lake Central offensively has a lot of issues. They could win here, but LaPorte is a good road team.

LaPorte 28, Lake Central 23

ANDREAN (3-1) at Hobart (4-0):

HOBART (9-14-2018)
Showdown in the Northwest Crossroads Conference with the 59ers having lost only to Merrillville (3-1). Hobart has been a little shaky until last week, but they are undefeated. It comes down to defense. Can the Brickies stop Andrean QB Zack Merrill? No they can't.

ANDREAN 31, Hobart 21

West Lafayette (4-0) at Rensselaer (3-1):

RENSSELAER (9-14-2018)
The big team is in town. West Lafayette QB Kyle Adams has thrown for 14 touchdowns in four games. The Red Devils have scored 182 points this season in four games, including a 34-0 shutout of Lafayette Catholic. Rensselaer’s only chance is to control the ball on the ground. I’d like to see it, but I won't.

West Lafayette 35, Rensselaer 14

Michigan City (2-2) at MERRILLVILLE (3-1):

MERRILLVILLE (9-14-2018)
MC won this game 56-28 last year and 42-35 the year before. Merrillville players will be reminded of those scores this week. They won't score like that on the Merrillville team. The Wolves need turnovers here. Merrillville gave up the ball in the first two games and didn't in the last two. The Pirates win a defensive struggle.

MERRILLVILLE 20, Michigan City 14

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Revised: September 10, 2018 .