Week 7 Picks - 2018 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 24, 2018


Michigan City and Portage are tied for second place in the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) but they'll be headed in opposite directions after Friday night's game in Portage. (Photo by Mark Smith)

"Mr. Picker" - WEEK (7) SEVEN:

VALPARAISO (09-24-2018)
We saw some wide margins of victory last week: 61-0, 52-0, 48-0, 42-0 in Northwest Indiana. Outside of our area, I counted 13 teams that were shut out by a score of 45-0 or more.

It's not fair to say this as a general statement, but to me, to get shutout, you have to be totally outmanned or you have to give up in the second half. You hope some teams haven't been beaten down mentally or physically because that’s what can happen late in the year.

NWI teams should get a ‘second wind’ this week. Not only will it be cooler on game night, but the weather will be cool all week, which has to help the boys at practice.

There are some games which mighty defy analysis this week. Andrean (5-1) seems destined to do well at Kankakee Valley. I have an omen that Benton Central (0-6), which has allowed 347 points in six weeks, might fall just short at Rensselaer. Hammond (0-5) may be just a tad up against it against Morton (4-2).

I’ll let you guys pick those games yourselves. What about Crown Point’s visit to LaPorte? Or Lowell’ s home game with Munster? Check back with me later in the week for those picks.

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


'Mr. Picker' WEEK-6, 2018 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 21-22, 2018

Wrong - 3; Right - 9 = 75.0%

The Pick The Result

Hammond 24, West Side 18  

(wrong) West Side 14-12

Griffith 33, Boone Grove 20  

Griffith 29-14

Hobart 20, Kankakee Valley 16  

Hobart 31-6

Whiting 27, Hanover Central 16  

Whiting 61-0

Rensselaer 27, Lafayette Cath. 14  

(wrong) L.C. 26-21

Clark 35, East Chicago 28  

(wrong) EC 42-0

Wheeler 14, South Central 12  

Wheeler 21-7

New Prairie 35, Adams 28  

New Prairie 35-14

Portage 23, Chesterton 7  

Portage 20-14

Merrillville 20, LaPorte 12  

Merrillville 35-7

Valpo 24, CROWN POINT 13  

Valpo 38-7

LOWELL 20, Highland 7  




Week Six Review: I easily could have been 12-0. At the start of the year, I’d have picked EC over Clark, but I got swayed by Clark’s two wins in the first half of the season. Hammond-Gary West could have gone either way and I should have been a little more respectful to Lafayette Catholic, which upset Rensselaer. But if they played again, I’d still take the Bombers.

BEST PICK: None. Not one of the nine I picked correctly were a surprise or upset at all.

WORST PICK: Clark over East Chicago. Who picks that? It's like picking the Bears to beat Green Bay. It may happen someday. But ‘someday’ is not this year.

‘Mr. Picker’  2018 RESULTS
WEEK (6) 9 of 12 = 75.0%
WEEK (5) 8 of 12 = 66.7%
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: 59 of 76 = 76.3%

'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 (7) SEVEN:

Gavit (1-5) at Clark (2-4):

HAMMOND (9-28-2018)
Clark getting beat by six TDs last week makes me wonder if they suffered an injury or two. The Pioneers had played well until that point and, except for the loss to Lowell, they’d put points on the board. Gavit has really struggled all year (only 45 points scored) and none of the Clark seniors have ever beaten Gavit. They will be reminded of that this week.

Clark 26, Gavit 12

Bowman (4-2) at Crispus Attucks (4-2):

INDIANAPOLIS (9-28-2018)
Attucks will get to Gary with a three-game win streak, but Bowman’s only loss is 19-16 to East Chicago and they would be 5-1 if they didn’t have a game cancelled due to the week three storms. One of Attucks’ losses is to 1A No. 14 Covenant Christian (6-0). This is the third year of the Attucks football program and they are in the state tournament for the first time. Bowman was ineligible for the state tourney last year so they must be excited to be headed for sectional play as well. I think the Eagles will fly on the road.

Bowman 33, Attucks 22

Lake Station (0-6) at Rver Forest (1-5):

River Forest got their first win, 32-22 over Gary Roosevelt, while Lake Station was shut out for the fourth week in a row. To be shut out four weeks in a row after losing a game 34-26 in week two suggests somebody key got hurt on offense, but I don't know that. River Forest won this game 14-8 last season and the Ingots average 21 points a game this year.

River Forest 28, Lake Station 6

Highland (3-3) at Hobart (5-1):

HOBART (9-28-2018)
The Brickies average 23 points a game, which is low for a team that’s won five of six. Highland has allowed just 70 points all season, but they just can't score on good teams.
This is the home regular season finale for Hobart and they won't be losing it.

Hobart 27, Highland 7

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

CEDAR LAKE (9-28-2018)
I don’t know how Hanover lost 61-0 last week to Whiting. That should not have happened. So Wheeler, a team that’s lost only to Griffith (4-2) and Whiting (6-0) needs to be ready for a team that was embarrassed seven days earlier. These teams could meet a second time in 3A Sectional 25. Wheeler came back strong last week to beat South Central after two losses in a row. This one should be close.

Wheeler 21, Hanover Central 14

Whiting (6-0) at Calumet (4-1):

GARY (9-28-2018)
Calumet hung in a lot closer to Griffith than I thought they might. But Whiting has dominated everyone they’ve played except Boone Grove (the IHSAA gave them that win) and the Oilers’ ‘Touchdown’ Tommy Davenport scored six TDs last week. The only thing stopping Whiting from going 9-0 in the regular season is the fact that they only play eight games.

Whiting 35, Calumet 14

New Prairie (4-2) at Penn (5-1):

OSCEOLA (9-28-2018)
I’m guessing that when New Prairie joined the Northern Indiana Conference two years ago they must have agreed to play Penn. This Friday, Penn’s going to hold them to it.
Penn has allowed 66 points all year, but New Prairie averages 37 points a game and no one has held them to less than 21. Are we going to see a major upset? Or are we going to see the difference between Class 6A Top-10 football and how the game is played in the other five classes? More the latter.

Penn 28, New Prairie 0

Michigan City (4-2) at Portage (4-2):

PORTAGE (9-28-2018)
The records are the same but the offenses are not. Portage has major problems scoring. A blocked kick beat Crown Point 14-12. Portage won in overtime over Chesterton 20-14. Michigan City has lost only to Valparaiso (4-2) and Homewood-Flossmoor (5-0). Portage has only scored 73 points in six games.

Michigan City 28, Portage 0

Chesterton (1-5) at Lake Central (2-4):

ST. JOHN (9-28-2018)
The ‘Hard Times’ bowl is right here. Both teams have lost four in a row. The Trojans have scored 78 points all year. LC has only scored 75. Michigan City has scored 91 points the last two weeks. I get the feeling that LC has lost all hope, but this is a game they could win. LC plays Merrillville and Valparaiso the next two weeks. Those are NOT games they can win. I like LC to break the streak.

Lake Central 26, Chesterton 14

Valparaiso (4-2) at Merrillville (4-2):

MERRILLVILLE (9-28-2018) Valpo has won their last four and shut out the last two teams they’ve seen. Merrillville has lost only to Michigan City (4-2) and Penn (5-1). I didn’t like the way Michigan City ran the ball on Merrillville. This should be a low-scoring game, but the Pirates have to prove they can stand in physically against a large Valpo offensive line.

Valparaiso 24, Merrillville 14

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Revised: September 24, 2018 .