Week 7 Picks - 2019 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

October 1, 2019

The 'Viking' welcomes undefeated Merrillville to Porter County this Friday for a long-awaited matchup. Merrillville (6-0) at Valparaiso (6-0) will put the winner in first place in the Duneland Athletic Conference. (Photo by Mark Smith)


Mr. Picker - WEEK (7) SEVEN:

VALPARAISO (10-04-2019)
The matchup of Valparaiso and Merrillville dominates the notice in this region but it's not the biggest game in the state.

That matchup will be in Cass County where a rare matchup of top-ranked teams sends 3A No.1 West Lafayette (5-1) to Class 2A No. 1 Lewis Cass (6-0). Cass lost 57-7 to West Lafayette last season when West Lafayette went 15-0 and won the state championship.

This year, Cass averages 45 points a game while West Lafayette, which has lost only once (an incredible 74-66 loss to 6A No.1 Jefferson (6-0), averages 55 points a game.

Note to Class 2A Boone Grove (6-0). Get somebody down there to scout Cass. Might be beneficial next month.

I’m going to leave out Morton (5-1) vs. Hammond (0-5). Griffith (0-5) and Boone Grove (6-0) is a mismatch and Gary Roosevelt (0-6) has no chance on the road in Harvey, Illinois against Thornton (3-2) and Benton Central (0-6) hosting Rensselaer (4-2). All the best to them.

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

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-6, 2019 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 27-28, 2019

Wrong - 5; Right - 5 = 50.0%

The Pick The Result

Bowman Academy 41, River Forest 27  

(wrong) RF 43-28

Hobart 24, KV 14  

Hobart 49-10

Boone Grove 35, Hanover Central 14  

Boone 42-13

Whiting 21, Wheeler 20  

(wrong) Wheeler 31-6

Michigan City 35, Lake Central 14  

(wrong) LC 13-7

Valparaiso 28, CROWN POINT 16  

Valpo 31-14

Merrillville 42, LaPorte 14  

Merrillville 21-0

Portage 24, Chesterton 21  

(wrong) Chesterton 26-7

LOWELL 20, Highland 14  


Rensselaer 28, Lafayette Catholic 21  

(wrong) Lafayette Catholic 20-17

‘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%
WEEK SIX: 5 OF 10, 50%
SEASON TOTAL: 46 of 69, 66.3%

ANALYSIS: Okay, now if they’d played all these games Friday night, they’d have all gone the way I predicted. But No. We had to postpone all the NW Indiana games from Friday to Saturday (because of a few raindrops and a few lightning bolts) and then strange things happened. Michigan City, a Top-10 team at the start of the year, lost to Lake Central, which had been previously shutout twice. And Bowman Academy gave up 43 points to River Forest. I did not see that coming. I need a late-season run here to get to 70%.

'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 (7) SEVEN:

Kankakee Valley (2-4) at ANDREAN (3-3):

MERRILLVILLE (10-04-2019)
The 59ers seem to be on the rise, even though their only wins are over Hanover (3-3), Munster (0-6) and Hammond (0-5). In six KV games, the Kougars have scored more than 14 points only once, but they are physically strong enough to match up with the 59ers. Match up with them, Yes. Score on them, No.

Andrean 27, KV 10.

Hanover Central (3-3) at Whiting (2-4):

WHITING (10-04-2019)
The Oilers seem out-manned defensively. In four losses, they have allowed 163 points. But this is their first home game in four weeks. Hanover lost 61-0 to Whiting last year and I don't have to ask. They have not forgotten that score.

Hanover 28, Whiting 20

Hobart (4-2) at Highland (3-3):
HIGHLAND (10-04-2019)
Highland had a chance against Lowell last week, but they got worn down in the second half. Hobart has won four in a row, scoring 42, 30, 33 and 49 points. Did you know that Hobart has beaten Highland 18 times in the last 16 years? That has to end some day, doesn't it? ‘Some day’ is not this Friday.

Hobart 27, Highland 14

River Forest (3-3) at South Central (1-5):

UNION MILLS (10-04-2019)
What is going on at River Forest? The last two weeks: 40-14 over Whiting. 43-28 over Bowman. The last time River Forest scored 40 or more in back-to-back games was 18 years ago. South Central did beat Lake Station 50-0 last week. But when the ‘river’ is running, you just can't stop it.

River Forest 28, South Central 20

Lake Central (3-3) at Chesterton (4-2):

CHESTERTON (10-04-2019)
Two weeks ago, this seemed like a mismatch. Then LC beat Michigan City to get back to the .500 mark. I can't explain this team. The Indians lost 31-14 to LaPorte (1-5) but they defeated Portage and Michigan City. If LC beats Chesterton they could be in third place in the DAC with two weeks to go. But that won't happen.

Chesterton 35, Lake Central 14

Portage (1-5) at Michigan City (2-4):

MICHIGAN CITY (10-04-2019)
Two weeks ago, this was also a mismatch. Then Michigan City lost 46-7 and 13-7. I’m waiting for a rebound by the Wolves, but I’ve been waiting for a Portage rebound all season. That team just cannot be 1-5. I’ve been riding the ‘Portage train’ all season and I'm going to buy one more ticket.

Portage 20, Michigan City 14

LaPorte (1-5) at CROWN POINT (3-3):
CROWN POINT (10-04-2019)
LaPorte is getting better. The Slicers have allowed 31 points a game on the season, but just 14 and 21 the last two weeks. LaPorte has scored just 58 points all season. Crown Point only averages 18 points a game. I have to think about who wins here.

Give me until Thursday night on this one.

Lowell (4-2) at Munster (0-6):
MUNSTER (10-04-2019)
I believe this is Munster’s Homecoming and they probably wanted to pick a softer foe. Lowell has won three in a row and they ran for 16 first downs last week at Highland.
Munster has lost all six games, but in their defense, all six of the teams they have lost to are .500 or better. Can I talk myself into Munster making this a close game?

Check back here Thursday for the pick.

Penn (3-3) at New Prairie (6-0):

NEW CARLISLE (10-04-2019)
Penn’s record is deceptive because of the schedule they play. But quarterback Ron Powlus is out for the Kingsmen and his loss is not a deception. No one has stopped New Prairie running the ball. Senior Chase Keterer (6-1, 195 ) has run 107 times for 1,139 yards and 19 TDs. Senior Chris Mays (5-11, 175) has run 93 times for 839 yards and 14 TDs. Can Penn stop them, both? No.

New Prairie 28, Penn 21

Merrillville (6-0) at Valparaiso (6-0):

VALPARAISO (10-04-2019)
The showdown for the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) championship will be a defensive struggle. Valparaiso has allowed 55 points (9.2) in six games, while Merrillville has given up just 58 points (9.7) in six weeks. I like the Vikings and it may not be close.

Valparaiso 27, Merrillville 14

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Revised: October 01, 2019 .