Week 6 Picks - 2018 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 18, 2018


With their upset of arch-rival Munster last week, Highland has won three games in arrow for the first time in 16 years. To get to 4-in-a-row, they have to win at home over Lowell (4-1) this Friday. (Photo by Mark Smith)

"Mr. Picker" - WEEK (6) SIX:

VALPARAISO (09-21-2018)
When does the weather change? We need real football weather. I wonder if the 85-degree days (including each days’ practice) are wearing some teams out.

I know they're wearing me out. I don't know how practice is done at every school. But once school begins, it's impossible to totally avoid the late afternoon hours when the heat peaks.

High school football is almost two games. The one you play in summer weather and the one you play in the post-season in cold conditions. We’re still in summer mode. Who’s in condition. Higher scores. Pass friendly nights. More blowouts. But it's going to change.

Some predictions this week seem fairly obvious: Morton (3-2) vs. Gavit (1-4). Calumet vs. Lake Station (0-5). Michigan City vs. Lake Central. Anybody vs. Purdue.

Not fair to predict results that are obvious. How about CP at Valparaiso ? What about Lowell’s trip to Highland? Let's save those picks for later. Check back here Thursday for those games.

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

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-5, 2018 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 14-15, 2018

Wrong - 4; Right - 8 = 75.0%

The Pick The Result

Bowman Academy 34, Gary Roosevelt 12  

Bowman 42-24

Munster 27, Highland 20  

(wrong) Highland 30-20

New Prairie 35, Mishawaka 28  

(wrong) Mishawaka 27-21

Griffith 34, Wheeler 14  

Griffith 53-17

Clark 28, Hammond 14  

Clark 31-12

Boone Grove 33, Hanover Central 20  

Boone 41-26

LaPorte 28, Lake Central 23  

LaPorte 28-13

ANDREAN 31, Hobart 21  

Andrean 41-7

West Lafayette 35, Rensselaer 14  

West Lafayette 69-14

MERRILLVILLE 20, Michigan City 14  

(wrong) Mich City 42-21

CP 17, Portage 14  

(wrong) Portage 14-12

LOWELL 24, Kankakee Valley 7  

LOWELL 13-10


Week Five Review:  Other than New Prairie vs. Mishawaka, the three ‘wrong' selections are games where it would have been hard to go the other way. Portage and CP was a ‘coin flip’ and it was decided on a blocked kick. After Michigan City lost for a second time at home, there was no way to pick them on the road at Merrillville. It was a tough week.

BEST PICK: Clark over Hammond by 14 (they won by 19) when Clark only had two wins in three years. LaPorte over LC was a good one. LaPorte started the season 0-3.

WORST PICK: Merrillville over Michigan City when MC won by 21. Really, if you look at their first four games, there was no logic in picking Michigan City to win. On the other hand, I might have seen Highland over Munster coming. It's been a good year for the Trojans.

‘Mr. Picker’  2018 RESULTS
WEEK (5) 8 of 12 = 75.0%
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: 49 of 64 = 76.6%

'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 (6) SIX:

Gary West Side (0-5) at Hammond (0-4):

HAMMOND (9-21-2018)
Hammond has only scored 20 points all season. West Side has allowed 248 points in five games. Here’s a week where you have to be convinced you can win. Hammond lost 31-12 to Clark last week, while West Side lost 52-6 to Morton. But just like somebody has to lose a match of unbeaten teams, somebody has to win a matchup of winless teams. I like the home team.

Hammond 24, West Side 18

Boone Grove (4-1) at Griffith (3-2):

GRIFFITH (9-21-2018)
Griffith got off to a slow start, but that was then and this is now. Boone averages over 40 points a game, but Griffith is the largest school they play. On a bad weather night, Boone has a chance, but I think the Panthers win their fourth game in a row.

Griffith 33, Boone Grove 20

Hobart (4-1) at Kankakee Valley (3-2):

WHEATFIELD (9-21-2018)
The Brickies got smoked out 41-7 last week and they’re looking for the bounce back. But KV, which has gone four weeks without their best player Donald Nannenga, put out a big effort after a 13-10 loss at Lowell. I’m uneasy with this. But the Brickies will get out of town with a narrow win.

Hobart 20, Kankakee Valley 16

Hanover Central (3-2) at Whiting (5-0):

WHITING (9-21-2018)
I’m looking for a reason HC can pull an upset here, but you’re going to have to throw to beat the Oilers and I don't think HC has a good enough air attack. Whiting only has eight regular season games and this one is the last stop between the Oilers and an 8-0 finish.

Whiting 27, Hanover Central 16

Rensselaer (3-2) at Lafayette Catholic (1-4):

LAFAYETTE (9-21-2018)
I guess all the good Lafayette players are staying at West Lafayette (5-0) and Jefferson (4-1) these days. Lafayette Catholic, which was 12-1 in 2016, was 4-8 in 2017 and has allowed 150 points this season in five games with a young, inexperienced roster. Rensselaer needs this one after a 69-14 loss at West Lafayette last week.

Rensselaer 27, Lafayette Catholic 14

Clark (2-3) at East Chicago (2-3):

EAST CHICAGO (9-21-2018)
EC has lost three weeks in a row and they were upset 18-7 by Gavit (1-4) last Friday. Clark allows almost 40 a game, but they have won the games they should have won, which is a start. EC won 28-21 last year, but I think the Pioneers get back to the .500 mark for the first time since 2014.

Clark 35, East Chicago 28

South Central (2-3) at Wheeler (2-2):

UNION TOWNSHIP (9-21-2018)
Two hard losses to Whiting and Griffith have dragged Wheeler back to the .500 mark. South Central averages 25 points a game and gives up 29 a game. I think the Bearcats are better, but not by much. Don’t bet anything on this game that you can't afford to lose.

Wheeler 14, South Central 12

Adams (2-3) at New Prairie (3-2):

NEW CARLISLE (9-21-2018)
I didn’t notice that New Prairie suddenly plays an elite schedule. The Cougars used to play some 1As and 2As in the old Northern State Conference. Now in the Northern Indiana Conference, they play four 4As and three 5As, along with Andrean and Penn. And they’re still winning. And they have too much for Adams. Barely. But a little too much.

New Prairie 35, Adams 28

Portage (3-2) at Chesterton (2-3):

CHESTERTON (9-21-2018)
Portage got a little lucky last week running back a blocked kick to win at Crown Point. But they are in second place in the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) with a chance to stay there this Friday. Chesterton has only scored 54 points (10.8 per game) all season so they can't figure to score a bucket of points on the Portage defense.

Portage 23, Chesterton 7

Merrillville (3-2) at LaPorte (2-3):

LaPORTE (9-21-2018)
I’m a little lost on this one. Merrillville stopped the run all year until Michigan City gained over 300 yards on them last week in a 42-21 win. All LaPorte does is run the ball. The Slicers have gained over 500 yards rushing in the last two weeks in wins over Chesterton 29-14 and Lake Central 28-13. I still like Merrillville, but I’m not 100% sure about it.

Merrillville 20, LaPorte 12

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Revised: September 17, 2018 .