Week 7 Picks - 2017 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

September 29, 2017

Crown Point likes to run the ball. LaPorte does too. That means a quick game Friday when the Slicers travel to Crown Point in the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC). (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (7) SEVEN:

LOWELL (09-29-2017)
The final third of the regular season begins Friday and I've always thought this is the secret road to redemption. If you've been losers for six weeks, everybody outside the building has given up on you and is waiting for basketball.

But if a team can win the last three or two of the last three, they head into sectional play lifted, especially if they get one of those bye weeks in Class 5A and 6A.

A candidate is Gavit (1-5) which was supposed to have a winning season. The Gladiators have found the road slower and more difficult to navigate than I-65 at night this fall. But they close with Clark, Hammond and Gary West Side. They can win all three and be ready to roll come playoff time.

River Forest was 1-4 after five games and they were lower than a dog digging up bones in the basement. But they won last week. They have Lake Station, Calumet and Whiting left. If they win 2-out-of-3, they'll carry some hope into 2A Sectional 33.

I always think that one hasn't decided much in football until the final third of the season. Of course, I also thought that the Bears had a really good chance to beat the Green Bay Packers Thursday. Not every thought is worth repeating.

Football weather returned this week and some NW Indiana teams may break out of their low-scoring ways.

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-6, 2017 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 22-23, 2017

Wrong - 2; Right - 9 = 81.8%

The Pick The Result
HANOVER 20, Whiting 14 (wrong) Whiting 26-14

New Prairie 49, Riley 20  

New Prairie 42-32

Morton 35, Gavit 20  

Morton 26-6

LOWELL 42, Highland 14  


ANDREAN 28, Munster 27  


Hobart 34, Kankakee Valley 16  

Hobart 34-21

Portage 28, Chesterton 14  

Portage 31-21

Valparaiso 14, CROWN POINT 9  

(wrong) CP 21-6

Griffith 49, BOONE GROVE 14  

Griffith 55-12

LaPorte 35, MERRILLVILLE 28  

LaPorte 42-20

Michigan City 41, LC 31  

Michigan City 56-14


WEEK (1) ONE (8 of 12, 66.7%)

WEEK (2) TWO (9 of 12, 75.0%)
WEEK (3) THREE (7 of 12, 58.3%)
WEEK (4) FOUR (11 of 12, 91.7%)
WEEK (5) FIVE (6 of 12, 50.0%)
WEEK (6) SIX (9 of 11, 81.8%)
2017 TOTAL: 50 of 71, 70.4%


ANALYSIS: I talked like I wanted to pick CP over Valparaiso, but I didn't do it and there was a lot of thought that Whiting would get by Hanover. There was a perfect 11-0 available last week. It was not a difficult week to pick the games. Few surprises, if any.

WORST PICK: Hanover over Whiting. Hanover won this game last year and there was a lot of thought that the Oilers would be pointing to the rematch. I'm not sure who I'd pick if there was a rematch.

BEST PICK: None, really. The nine games picked correctly were all fairly obvious, one any experienced 'picker' would have selected. Nothing there worth bragging about.


'Mr. Picker' (Through the Years)
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 2017 WEEK (7) SEVEN:

South Central (4-2) at Griffith (5-1):

GRIFFITH (09-29-2017)
Upon further review, there's no one in the Greater South Shore Conference (GSSC) that can hang with Griffith. No one has come within six TDs of the Panthers the last four weeks. SC is out of their league here.

Griffith 56, South Central 14

Whiting (4-2) at Calumet (2-4)

CALUMET (09-29-2017)
Whiting makes their first visit to the 'new house on Calumet'. The Warriors have won their last two, but defensively they have had issues. Friday, they will have more issues.

Whiting 34, Calumet 14

River Forest (2-4) at Lake Station (1-5):

LAKE STATION (09-29-2017)
The Eagles have been here before. A long season with one chance for redemption against the arch rivals. River Forest has won 33-0 and 39-0 the last two years.
It would sure be nice to see Lake Station win this one and break a 5-game losing streak. But football is not nice.

River Forest 28, Lake Station 14

HANOVER CENTRAL (4-2) at Wheeler (3-3):

UNION TOWNSHIP (09-29-2017)
I thought the Bearcats 28-16 win over South Central last week was an upset, as I thought was Hanover's loss. Hanover has hit on offensive troubles the last two weeks. I think HC is the better team but I'm thinking Wheeler is ready for this. Not sure.

HANOVER 28, Wheeler 20

Gavit (1-5) at Clark (1-6):

HAMMOND (09-29-2017)
Clark is born-again after breaking a 27-game losing streak last week with a 28-21 upset of East Chicago. Gavit has lost their last five and I don't really know why. They've played some good teams in that stretch, but there's something here that is not obvious. Gavit is the better team but they may have issues here.

Gavit 28, Clark 21

Morton (4-2) at Hammond (3-3):

HAMMOND (09-29-2017)
Quietly the Governors have done very well this year with losses only to Lowell (6-0) and Plymouth (5-1). I don't think Hammond is an equal this fall. In Morton's last eight games, they have lost to Plymouth and Lowell twice. The other five games have been wins.

Morton 35, Hammond 28

Kankakee Valley (3-3) at ANDREAN (4-2):
MERRILLVILLE (09-29-2017)
Here's an offensive showcase. Andrean lost one game when they had five players suspended and they lost the other one in overtime. Neither of those things will happen Friday.


LOWELL (6-0) at Munster (2-4):

MUNSTER (09-29-2017)
I don't know how the Mustangs got whipped up on 34-0 last week. They figured to get beat, but not by that margin. Final home game for the wild horses but for some reason (probably the defense), Lowell is 14-2 on the road the last 2-1/2 seasons.

LOWELL 28, Munster 7

MERRILLVILLE (1-5) at Valparaiso (5-1):

VALPO (09-29-2017)
Both teams may be without their starting QB, but Valparaiso has been without their guy for three weeks. Valpo has scored only 55 points all season, but Merrillville has lost three in a row and is one of those teams is looking for that 'secret road' I was talking about.

Valparaiso 27, MERRILLVILLE 16

LaPORTE (4-2) at CROWN POINT (3-3):

CROWN POINT (09-29-2017)
There will be more people running in this game than there were in the last presidential election. LaPorte runs for almost 400 yards per game and CP allows just over 3.2 yards a carry. Those numbers will change Friday. I like the Bulldogs at home to win the race.

CP 28, LaPorte 21

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

MICHIGAN CITY (09-29-2017)
The Wolves have played a very tough schedule and they need this game to have a chance to finish first in the Duneland Athletic Conference. But everybody thinks they can stop Portage QB Anthony Maceo until they play the Indians. Portage has won four in a row and they are 7-1 on the road the last two years.

Portage 28, Michigan City 21

New Prairie (5-1) at (Mishawaka) Marian (4-2):

MISHAWAKA (09-29-2017)
The game of the week as the 4A No.11 Cougars carry a 5-game win streak in to play the 3A No.15 Knights. New Prairie has only lost to LaPorte and is averaging 46 points a game. Marian has lost the last two after a 4-0 start, but they've allowed only 55 points all season. Marian won 21-17 at New Prairie last year. The Cougars have not forgotten.

New Prairie 27, Marian 21

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Revised: September 29, 2017 .