Week 9 Picks - 2018 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

October 8, 2018


If you aren't actually playing, you'll need to be prepared for the 'fresh air' this Friday night. The thrill of the chill is predicted to arrive for the final night of the high school football regular season. (Photo by Mark Smith)

"Mr. Picker" - WEEK (9) NINE:

VALPARAISO (10-08-2018)
Eventually, when you play football outdoors it gets cold. Not cool. Cold.
‘Eventually’ is this week.

Barring a massive reversal in the weather forecast (and that never happens in Northwest Indiana) we’ll be playing with temperatures in the mid-40s for the first time Friday night. When its 45 degrees outside and the wind is blowing, your friends in the student section find something else to do on Friday night. And your sister apologizes for missing this week’s game.

And that’s your mom and dad up there in the stands with seven blankets on, secretly wishing you had taken up golf.

We may see now which teams get a second wind and an extra player. When it's 45 degrees and the wind is blowing 15 miles-an-hour, the defense gets a 12th player. His name is ‘Jack Frost’ and he plays in the secondary. If all you can do is run the ball, your team gets an advantage when the weather makes it difficult to throw it.

All NW Indiana teams have to have an all-weather plan for November. They will get a chance to rehearse that plan this Friday night.

Games I won't be picking because they are not in NW Indiana match up arch rivals Penn (7-1) and Mishawaka (7-1). Also the Hoosier Conference title game between Tipton (8-0) and West Lafayette (8-0). I also don’t think I’ll pick River Forest (2-6) at Whiting (8-0) or Valparaiso (6-2) at Lake Central (2-6).

You guys can handle those choices on your own.

What about Crown Point's trip to the faraway land of Michigan City? Or Hobart’s invasion of Lowell? I need more time to think about those two. Check back here Wednesday or Thursday. In the meantime, a review of last week's 'Mr. Picker' results:

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-8, 2018 Football Picks in Review:
Oct. 5-6, 2018

Wrong - 2; Right - 10 = 83.3%

The Pick The Result

Morton 34, East Chicago 14  

Morton 56-9

Clark 32, West Side 12  

Clark 31-20

Hanover 28, South Central 7  

Hanover 54-21

New Prairie 42, Riley 28  

New Prairie 35-13

Kankakee Valley 17, Highland 14  

(wrong) Highland 20-19

Calumet 42, River Forest 28  

Calumet 30-0

Boone Grove 28, Wheeler 14  

Boone Grove 35-14

CP 16, Chesterton 3  

(wrong) Chesterton 17-14

Whiting 28, Bowman 21  

Whiting 50-0

Michigan City 27, LaPorte 7  

Michigan City 52-8

Valparaiso 21, Portage 0  

Valparaiso 17-7

Andrean 27, Lowell 14  

Andrean 36-15



Week Eight Review: I could have been 11-1 if I’d have bought in on Highland, who won by a point. Given a second chance, I’d still pick Crown Point over Chesterton so I didn’t have a real chance to go 12-0 this week. Still, back-to-back 10-2s keeps my hopes for 80% alive.

BEST PICK: Two. Boone over Wheeler 28-14 with Boone winning 35-14. Andrean over Lowell 27-14 when the final score was 36-15. The 59ers got a vey late TD or the final would have been 29-15. Pretty close.

WORST PICK: KV over Highland 17-14 at Highland with Highland winning 20-19. I was close on the score but Highland’s played fairly well all year. I should have picked them.

‘Mr. Picker’  2018 RESULTS
WEEK (8) 10 of 12 = 83.3%
WEEK (7) 10 of 12 = 83.3%
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: 78 of 100 = 78.0%

'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 (9) NINE:

Kankakee Valley (2-6) at Munster (1-7):

MUNSTER (10-12-2018)
It's been a hard ride on an angry horse for both teams this year. KV lost a tough one 20-19 last week and Munster has lost five in a row. This is the final home game for Mustang seniors, but I think they’ve given all they have to give. I’ll pick KV on the road for the second week in a row.

Kankakee Valley 24, Munster 16

Calumet (5-2) at Wheeler (4-3):

UNION TOWNSHIP (10-12-2018)
Calumet has lost only to Griffith (6-2) and Whiting (8-0) and they have good size up front. It's hard to stop them running the ball. Wheeler lost a big one to Boone last week. Can they stay strong in the final home game?

Wheeler 20, Calumet 16

Morton (6-2) at Clark (3-5):

HAMMOND (10-12-2018)
Clark has had somewhat of a turn-around after 2017 (1-9), 2016 (0-10) and 2015 (0-10). It must mean something to their seniors who play their final home game Friday against Morton. If I can count correctly, Morton has defeated Clark 20 times in a row. The last three years the scores have been 50-0, 34-0 and 63-0. Can Clark score this time? Can they possibly win??? Well, yes and no.

Morton 35, Clark 14

Gavit (3-5) at Gary West Side (1-7):

Here’s another revival. Gavit hasn’t won more than six games in 13 years and they started this fall with four losses in a row. I don’t know what happened, but the Gladiators have won three of their last four. Gary West Side has only a 14-12 win over Hammond to talk about this fall, but they scored a season-high 20 points in last week’s loss to Clark. I like Gavit to win again.

Gavit 28, West Side 12

Highland (4-4) at Andrean (7-1):

MERRILLVILLE (10-12-2018)
Highland has fought hard all year long and one victory is all they need for their first winning season in four years. Too bad Andrean has won seven in a row. The 59ers' passing attack may face their first cold weather challenge here. Will Highland win? No. Will it be close? No.

Andrean 38, Highland 14

Rensselaer (5-3) at Lewis Cass (4-4):

WALTON (10-12-2018)
This is part of the Hoosier Conference playoffs where the third place team in the North division (Rensselaer) faces the third place team in the south Division (Cass). Cass has four wins but three are against Northwestern (0-8), Benton Central (0-8) and Hamilton Heights (1-7). The Bombers run attack will travel well.

Rensselaer 42, Cass 21

Hanover Central (4-4) at Griffith (6-2):

GRIFFITH (10-12-2018)
Griffith has shut out its last two opponents while HC comes in off a 54-22 win over South Central. Hanover has never defeated Griffith since they rebooted the program (2014) or when they previously played (1968-1971). Two things we know:

1.) One day Hanover Central will defeat Griffith
2.) This Friday is not ‘one day’.

Griffith 28, Hanover Central 7

Elkhart Central (4-4) at New Prairie (5-3):

NEW CARLISLE (10-12-2018)
A high scoring game here for sure. Elkhart Central junior Michael Brownlee (5-11, 210) has carried the ball 189 times for 1,462 yards and 15 touchdowns. New Prairie quarterback Chase Ketterer (6-1, 175) has run 170 times for 1,041 yards and 13 touchdowns. Never mind junior Chris Mays (5-9, 170) who has run 18 times for 931 yards and 14 TDs. Warm up that scoreboard.

New Prairie 42, Elkhart Central 35.

Merrillville (5-3) at Chesterton (3-5):

CHESTERTON (10-12-2018)
The Trojans have won two in a row in the DAC for the first time since 2015 and they have beaten Merrillville in each of the past two seasons. But this is a different Merrillville team, especially against the run. The Pirates have only lost to Valpo (6-2), Michigan City (6-2) and Penn (7-1). It's hard to see them eventually not overpowering the Trojans.

Merrillville 31, Chesterton 17

LaPorte (2-6) at Portage (4-4):

PORTAGE (10-12-2018)
LaPorte runs well but cannot stop the run. Portage has played a schedule that includes four Top-10 state rated teams, which might explain why they’ve only scored 84 points (11.8 average) all season. On what could be a cold night, the points won't be flying up on the scoreboard here.

Portage 17, LaPorte 14

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Revised: October 07, 2018 .