Week 5 Picks - 2019 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 16, 2019

Is this the night a victory comes home to Bishop Noll? The Warriors have not won a varsity game since 2014, but they might even be favored against Lake Station tonight (09-20-2019). (Photo by Mark Smith)


Mr. Picker - WEEK (5) FIVE:

VALPARAISO (09-20-2019)
Okay, why do I not pick many Boone Grove games? I don't pick for them or against them. I just don't pick them often. How come?

The Wolves have gotten into a situation, much to their credit, where they simply don't get challenged. They are too good for their schedule.

The last five Boone games are Wheeler (2-2), Hanover (2-2), Griffith (0-4), Lake Station (0-4) and Whiting (2-2). None of those teams are going to beat Boone and they all know it.

Boone’s going to go 9-0 so they don't need my advice. But, for the future, they need to do some of what Griffith is doing. The Panthers jacked up their nonconference schedule to a level where they get roasted more often than mixed nuts.

But in the future when they get to league play this year and sectional play in the future (Griffith is 4A but they are borderline 3A and that move will eventually happen), the Panthers will get more benefits from losses than they have from wins over 1A and 2A teams.

Boone tried this year. The 2A Wolves did sign up to play Class 4A East Chicago, but EC is not a football force these days. Boone needs to line up a couple of 4A or 5A schools. Schedule one or two nonconference losses. It sounds crazy, but the Wolves have to do something to counter balance the Class 1A schools on their schedule that can only beat them every full moon.

This week, let's leave out South Central (0-4) vs. Calumet (3-1) and I’ll pass on Gavit (0-4) and East Chicago (2-2) and Gary West Side’s untimely visit to Morton (3-1).

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


'Mr. Picker' WEEK-4, 2019 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 13-14, 2019

Wrong - 0; Right - 10 = 100.0%

The Pick The Result

Kankakee Valley 27, North Newton 24  

KV 13-12

Boone Grove 28, East Chicago 20  

Boone Grove 37-0

Hobart 30, Culver Academy 27  

Hobart 30-27 (3 OTs)

Highland 31, Gavit 14  

Highland 14-0

Rensselaer 35, Twin Lakes 16  

Rensselaer 35-0

Calumet 28, Whiting 20  

Calumet 36-0

MERRILLVILLE 34, Portage 24  


Chesterton 24, LaPorte 7  

Chesterton 29-7



Valparaiso 24, Michigan City 7  

Valparaiso 42-21

‘Mr. Picker’ (by the week)
WEEK ONE: 9 of 15, 60.0%
WEEK TWO: 8 of 12, 66.7%
WEEK THREE: 6 of 12, 50.0%
WEEK THREE: 10 of 10, 100.0%
SEASON TOTAL: 33 of 49, 67.3%

ANALYSIS: Okay, before I start bragging. It should be noted that none of these predictions were bold, in any way. And KV only beat North Newton 13-12. But with that said, 10 out of 10? Really?
I can finally stop talking about how I’m going to do better next week. I mean. Come on. When I pick Chesterton 24-7 and the final is 29-7? When I’ve got Rensselaer 35-16 and it ends 35-0?

And when I pick Hobart 30-27 and in three overtimes the final is 30-27? What can I say?

I’m headed over to the casino get my money down on the Bears.

'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 (5) FIVE:

Griffith (0-4) at Hanover Central (2-2):

CEDAR LAKE (09-20-2019)
This is a test game for Griffith. They have been heavy underdogs for four weeks in a row. The Panthers may feel this is the ‘turning point,’ this is the night when the playing field is level. QB Carson Crowe fired three TD passes last week. Of course, Hanover, a 33-8 winner over River Forest last week, isn’t trying to hear any of that. Is this Griffith’s week to win? They’re getting close. But no, not yet.

Hanover Central 28, Griffith 21

Munster (0-4) at Highland (2-2):

HIGHLAND (09-20-2019)
Long time rivals meet in a year when Munster badly needs any win. The Mustangs have scored only 14 points in four games and they have four of their final five games on the road. Highland has allowed just 19 points a game and 32 of them were at Lansing, Illinois power T.F. South. I don't see a Munster regular season win this year if they don't win Friday. And they won't win Friday.

Highland 28, Munster 7

Hobart (2-2) at Andrean (2-2):

MERRILLVILLE (09-20-2019)
I think the 59ers are limited on offense without WR Nick Flesher, who is injured. But the 59er losses are to New Prairie (4-0) and Merrillville (4-0), teams they weren't going to beat even if they brought back last year’s team. With that said, Hobart has lost only to Chesterton (3-1) and Merrillville (4-0). This is very close.

Hobart 28, Andrean 24

Lake Station (0-4) at Bishop Noll (0-0):

HAMMOND (09-20-2019)
I believe this is the first varsity game for Bishop Noll since 2017. The Warriors cancelled last season due to a lack of players and games they have played so far this season have been junior varsity matchups. So Noll will try to break their 4-year, 33-game losing streak against a Lake Station team that has lost 14 in a row. You will have boys on the field Friday who have never won a varsity football game so when the game ends, somebody is going to be very happy. I think it will be Noll.

Bishop Noll 28, Lake Station 12

Lake Central (2-2) at LaPorte (0-4):

LaPORTE (09-20-2019)
In LC’s two losses, they were shut out by Morton and Crown Point. But LaPorte has scored just 28 points all year. The Slicers are obviously a team under construction with a new coach and a new offense. But they have faced powerful teams in Penn (most years), Valparaiso (4-0), New Prairie (4-0) and Chesterton (3-1). Doesn't LaPorte win one game this year? Is this the week? Uh, No.

Lake Central 21, LaPorte 14

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

WEST LAFAYETTE (09-20-2019)
Rensselaer gets another fun test from an elite air express. West Lafayette quarterback Kyle Adams has thrown for 6,000 yards and 70 TDs in his career. The Red Devils average 575 yards and 54 points per game. The last two years, West Lafayette has defeated Rensselaer 55-6 and 69-14. But this is a significantly better Rensselaer team right? The Bombers need blizzard conditions to stop Adams and its going to be 80 degrees Friday.

West Lafayette 42, Rensselaer 28

LOWELL (2-2) at Kankakee Valley (2-2):

WHEATFIELD (09-20-2019)
Lowell has given up almost 1,000 yards passing in four games, but the Kougars average 16 points a game and they don't throw that much. Lowell is 2-0 at home and 0-2 on the road, but KV has not beaten Lowell in five years. The Kougars have to think they have a chance on this night. Give me a few more days on this one.

Check back here Thursday for the pick.

CROWN POINT (2-2) at Portage (2-2):

PORTAGE (09-20-2019)
Portage is better than they have shown. Good quarterbacking and a lot of speed, but the defense has allowed 31 points a game. Crown Point is better than they have shown. CP has an overtime loss to Merrillville (4-0) and a late 4th quarter loss to Lowell (2-2). I don't know who’s going to win here.

Give me until Thursday to think about this one, too.

Valparaiso (4-0) at Chesterton (3-1):

CHESTERTON (09-20-2019)
The numbers for Chesterton QB Chris Mullen: 54 of 104, 939 yards, 9 TDs. Friday, he gets a shot at the undefeated Vikings on his home field. The question may be how much Valpo’s running attack allows Mullen to be on the field. The Vikings have won every game by 20 points or more. That ends here. Barely.

Valparaiso 35, Chesterton 20

Merrillville (4-0) at Michigan City (2-2):

MICHIGAN CITY (09-20-2019)
I got to see the only close game Merrillville has played all season (the 27-24 overtime win at Crown Point) and they dominated most of that game. The Pirates are physically imposing and if they don't turn the ball over two or three times, things usually go their way. Michigan City is a very good team. It's just that late Friday night, they’re going to be a good team with a losing record.

Merrillville 28, Michigan City 14

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Revised: September 16, 2019 .