Week 6 Picks - 2019 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 23, 2019

Rensselaer welcomes their old pals from Lafayette Catholic into Jasper County Friday night. Rensselaer had to beat Lafayette Catholic twice to win the 2014 state championship they're talking about on that sign. (Photo by Mark Smith)


Mr. Picker - WEEK (6) SIX:

VALPARAISO (09-27-2019)
Locally, many of us are looking ahead to the week seven matchup of Merrillville (5-0) and Valparaiso (5-0), but are there other ‘showdowns’ on the horizon? Not in the regular season. But let's extend our field of interest beyond that.

In Class 2A what happens when Andrean (2-3), which has played a top class schedule, faces Boone Grove (5-0), which has not?

In Class 6A Sectional 1, don't 6A No. 4 Jefferson (4-1) and Merrillville (5-0) have to meet? It's a four-team sectional. The answer is "yes, they do." In Sectional 18, 4A No. 1 New Prairie (5-0) will eventually confront 4A No. 8 Plymouth (4-1).

Also, in 5A, assuming second-ranked Valpo wins 5A Sectional nine and fourth ranked Concord (5-0) wins 4A Sectional 10, those two have to find a way to decide their differences.

One correction from last week. Class 5A No. 1 New Palestine (5-0) is in sectional 14 which, I believe, puts them in the southern half of the Class 5A bracket. No. 2 Valparaiso vs. No. 1 New Palestine could not match up until the state championship game. New Pal was in the northern half of the Class 5A bracket last season.

This week, let's leave out Griffith (0-5) vs. Calumet (4-1). We know where that’s going. Also Morton (4-1) vs. Gavit (1-4) is live and local but the score coming out of Hammond Friday will not be pretty.

And Munster (0-5) has only scored 17 points all season. I can't, in good conscience, pick their game against anybody.

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

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-5, 2019 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 20-21, 2019

Wrong - 2; Right - 8 = 80.0%

The Pick The Result

Hanover Central 28, Griffith 21  

Hanover 44-21

Highland 28, Munster 7  

Highland 30-3

Hobart 28, Andrean 24  

Hobart 33-10

Bishop Noll 28, Lake Station 12  

(wrong) Lake Station 50-41

Lake Central 21, LaPorte 14  

(wrong) LaPorte 31-14

West Lafayette 42, Rensselaer 28  

West Lafayette 44-6

LOWELL 23, KV 14  

LOWELL 21-14

CROWN POINT 20, Portage 14  


Valparaiso 35, Chesterton 20  

Valparaiso 40-6

Merrillville 28, Michigan City 14  

Merrillville 46-7

‘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 FOUR: 10 of 10, 100.0%
WEEK FIVE: 8 of 10, 80.0%
SEASON TOTAL: 41 of 59, 69.4%

ANALYSIS: I had a chance to go 10 of 10 again. Really did.

But Lake Station won for the first time in two years and LaPorte won for the first time this season. I didn't see that coming.

Note to self: West Lafayette is really good again.

Question: When does Griffith (0-5) play Munster (0-5)? Answer: They don't anymore.

And Hanover just had to add a couple of fourth quarter TDs or I’d have had that game 100% correct. The Wildcats did lead 28-21 (my prediction) after three quarters.

'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 (6) SIX:

Bowman Academy (2-3) at River Forest (2-3):

HOBART TOWNSHIP (09-27-2019) River Forest beat Whiting 40-14 last week, while Bowman stomped on Gary Roosevelt 50-6. Did you know that Bowman has scored 166 points (33.2 per game) this season? I didn't. There could be an athletic mismatch here. River can score. Bowman can score more.

Bowman Academy 41, River Forest 27

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

HOBART (09-27-2019)
KV has lost three games by seven points or less and they led Lowell 14-0 before losing 21-14 last week. Hobart lost to Chesterton (3-2) and Merrillville (5-0) and now has won three in a row. The Kougars will keep it close, but they don't have enough offense to win here.

Hobart 24, KV 14

Hanover Central (3-2) at Boone Grove (5-0):

PORTER TOWNSHIP (09-27-2019)
Boone has averaged 42 points a game and I do not believe thy have trailed in any game. But Hanover hasn't lost to a public school (they lost to Andrean and Culver Academy) yet and they average 27 points a game. So, this game will be close, right? Uh. No.

Boone Grove 35, Hanover Central 14

Whiting (2-3) at Wheeler (2-3):

VALPARAISO (09-27-2019)
Wheeler just got beat 40-0 by Boone Grove. But Whiting just lost 40-14 to River Forest. Whiting has allowed 32 points a game, but Wheeler averages a little more than 17 a game. Whiting is the only team to beat Clark, but the Oilers have lost to Mater Dei (4-1) and Calumet (4-1). Just between you and me? Who gets the ‘W’ here? I have no ideas.

Whiting 21, Wheeler 20

Michigan City (2-3) at Lake Central (2-3):

ST. JOHN (09-27-2019)
I’m not sure what is happening at Michigan City. They are better than 2-3. They should have lost to Merrillville last week, but not by six touchdowns. The Wolves have issues. But LC has been shutout twice and they lost 31-14 to winless LaPorte last week. LC has issues, too. Michigan City probably has less issues.

Michigan City 35, Lake Central 14

LaPorte (1-4) at Merrillville (5-0):

MERRILLVILLE (09-27-2019)
LaPorte won their first game of the season last week. And they won by 17 points. And they seem to be improving. Am I serious? Seriously, why am I picking this game? The Pirates have dominated everybody but Crown Point. The only team that can beat Merrillville this Friday is Merrillville.

Merrillville 42, LaPorte 14

Chesterton (3-2) at Portage (1-4):

PORTAGE (09-27-2019)
I don't know why Portage is losing. They are better than 0-3 in the DAC. Chesterton has lost only to Michigan City and Valparaiso and the Viking loss was 40-6. I really don't have a good feeling for this game one way or another, but Portage is better than this. I’m still calling for an ‘Indian summer’ Friday night.

Portage 24, Chesterton 21

Highland (3-2) at LOWELL (3-2):

LOWELL (09-27-2019)
Highland’s only averaging 15 points a game but Lowell, which has a young team and some injury issues, has allowed 26 points a game. The Trojans are the only team to beat Morton (4-1) this season, but Highland has not beaten Lowell in 17 years. Do I think they can do it this Friday? I need time. I just don't know.

Check back with me here Thursday.

Valparaiso (5-0) at CROWN POINT (3-2):

CROWN POINT (09-27-2019)
The mean green team will try to lay the smack down on a Crown Point defense that has allowed only 64 points (12.8 per game) in five weeks. Valparaiso averages 36 points a game and the Vikings have won 13 Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) games in a row. The last DAC team to beat Valparaiso? It was Crown Point, 21-6 on September 22, 2017. Two years ago this week. Does that mean anything? I can't tell you. Why not?

Because I want you to check back with me here Thursday for the pick.

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

RENSSELAER (09-27-2019)
Lafayette Catholic is hard to predict because their schedule is extreme. When they won five state titles in six years a decade ago, they added some powerhouse teams to the schedule and those teams (like four-time state champ Tri-West (3-2), 3A No. 9 Guerin Catholic (4-1) and 3A No. 1 West Lafayette (5-0) are spanking LC now that they’re not the superpower they once were. My point? Lafayette Catholic’s 2-3 record is deceptive. These schools have split their last six meetings. Rensselaer got rolled on 44-6 at West Lafayette last week so this may be a wish more than a prediction. Bombers bounce back.

Rensselaer 28, Lafayette Catholic 21

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Revised: September 23, 2019 .