Week 9 Picks - 2017 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

October 13, 2017

Hobart is one of the towns (Griffith and Michigan City are the others that immediately come to mind) where they put pictures if the varsity athletes up on the street lights downtown. Hobart's pride will also be on display at the football field Friday when they take on top-ranked Lowell. (Photo by Mark Smith)

Mr. Picker - WEEK (9) NINE:

LOWELL (10-13-2017)
The final night of the regular season is a chance for the teams with a bye next week (all of 6A, most of 5A and a couple of others like Lake Station) to erase whatever bad memories they had of the regular season. A win by teams like Merrillville (1-7), Chesterton (3-5) or Munster (3-5) lets the winner sit on that win for two weeks before the 'second season' begins. Lake Station, which has a small roster, gets the most benefit. For reasons I do not know (Maybe they didn't want to play on Friday the 13th?) and they won last week 8-6 over Bishop Noll. The Eagles now get 15 days to prepare for Whiting (5-2) or North Newton (5-3). Do they have a chance? Do they have more of a chance than if they had six days to prepare? I know that there was a real reason Lake Station and Bishop Noll played on Thursday night but it might be a scheduling plan in the future to allow an extra day of playoff preparation. The extra time to get ready has to help.

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-8, 2017 Football Picks in Review:
Oct. 6-7, 2017

Wrong - 3; Right - 9 = 75.0%

The Pick The Result

Clark 27, Gary West Side 14  

(wrong) West Side 22-14

HANOVER 28, South Central 20  


Wheeler 26, BOONE GROVE 20  

(wrong) BOONE 28-7

River Forest 14, Calumet 12  

River Forest 30-8

Gavit 28, Hammond 26  

Gavit 54-0

Morton 35, East Chicago 14  

Morton 42-10

Portage 20, Valparaiso 17  

(wrong) Valpo 23-20


LC 27-23

CROWN POINT 27, Chesterton 14  

CP 21-7

Rensselaer 35, Lafayette Catholic 27  

Rensselaer 19-0

LaPorte 35, Michigan City 28  

LaPorte 58-56




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%)
WEEK (7) SEVEN (10 of 12, 83.3%)
WEEK (8) EIGHT (9 of 12, 75.0%)
2017 TOTAL: 69 of 95, 72.6%


ANALYSIS: Portage almost defeated Valpo. Clark almost beat Gary West Side. Wheeler, obviously, didn't 'almost' beat Boone Grove. I could have gone 11-1 realistically. Last week keeps the season average above 70%, but it's time to get over 75%.

WORST PICK: Wheeler over Boone Grove. That didn't come close to happening. I'm not surprised that a rivalry game could go either way, but the 21-point spread was a little much. Don't know what I was thinking here.

BEST PICK: Lake Central over Merrillville 28-20. LC wins 28-23. Hey, these teams were both 1-6. To get the score close and the result correct. Not too bad. Hanover over South Central by a TD was pretty good, too.


'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 (9) NINE:

Gary West Side (2-6) at Gavit (2-6):

HAMMOND (10-13-2017)
Despite the problems Clark has had this year, West Side posted a semi-impressive win last week, breaking a 6-game losing streak. The Cougars return to Hammond seven days later, but Gavit has posted back-to-back big number wins 44-12 and 55-0 and they seem to be on the rise.

Gavit 34, Gary West Side 14

Andrean (5-3) at Highland (3-5):

HIGHLAND (10-13-2017)
Highland won 22-20 over KV last week, but they step up in class here. The 59ers have only lost to New Prairie (7-1), Hobart (6-2) and Lowell (8-0). Even on the road, Andrean is a big favorite.

Andrean 28, Highland 7

Munster (3-5) at Kankakee Valley (3-5):

WHEATFIELD (10-13-2017)
The Kougars have lost four in a row but three of them have been one-TD games. Munster upset Hobart 7-0 last week and I can't explain that score. This might be the toughest game of the week to pick. I can see KV breaking the losing streak at home.

Kankakee Valley 24, Munster 21

Wheeler (4-4) at Calumet (2-6):

GARY (10-13-2017)
Wheeler should bounce back from last week's loss to Boone. Calumet has only defeated Noll (0-7) and Clark (1-7). Calumet's only two wins are at home.

Wheeler 35, Calumet 12

Griffith (7-1) at HANOVER CENTRAL (5-3):

CEDAR LAKE (10-13-2017)
First time ever for Griffith at Hanover and I'd like to think it would be close. But I'd like to think the Bears will win at Baltimore this Sunday, too. That's not happening either. No Greater South Shore Conference (GSSC) team has stayed anywhere close to Griffith.

Griffith 42, Hanover 7

Whiting (5-2) at River Forest (4-4):

HOBART TOWNSHIP (10-13-2017)
Whiting got a bye last week when Bishop Noll had to forfeit. 55-0 and they seem to be on the rise. River Forest has won three in a row but the time off this late in the year has to help Whiting a lot.

Whiting 35, River Forest 14

Jimtown (4-4) at New Prairie (7-1):

NEW CARLISLE (10-13-2017)
The Cougars average 45 points a game and have won seven in a row. Jimtown has lost to Angola (8-0), Concord (7-1), Northwood (5-3) and Riley (5-3). This won't be an easy win, but New Prairie should win again.

New Prairie 42, Jimtown 21

Portage (4-4) at LaPorte (5-3):

LaPORTE (10-13-2017)
Portage has lost to Lowell (8-0), Valparaiso (7-1), Michigan City (5-3) and Mishawaka (5-3). They got a good sectional draw. But LaPorte averages almost 400 yards rushing a game and the Indians may not have an answer for that.

LaPorte 35, Portage 28

Chesterton (3-5) at Merrillville (1-7):

MERRILLVILLE (10-13-2017)
It's been a long year for Merrillville, which is winless at home. But the Pirates may have found a victim here against Chesterton, which has lost five of their last six.

MERRILLVILLE 27, Chesterton 20

Lake Central (2-6) at Valparaiso (7-1):

VALPO (10-13-2017)
Lake Central broke a 6-game losing steak last week, but Valpo needs this one to clinch the DAC title. The Vikings don't have a great offense, but no one has scored more than 21 points against them.

Valpo 27, Lake Central 14

LOWELL (8-0) at Hobart (6-2):

HOBART (10-13-2017)
The Brickies' defense has allowed just 45 points the last six weeks. Lowell has allowed 48 points all year. Everything points to a low-scoring game here. Hobart takes a half share of the Northwest Crossroads Conference title with a win. Second place isn't so bad.

LOWELL 21, Hobart 7

Michigan City (5-3) at CROWN POINT (5-3):

CROWN POINT (10-13-2017)
The Wolves' 31 points per game offense against a CP defense that has held four teams to seven points or less. MC gave up 500 yards rushing last week, but they bounce back here in a close one.

Michigan City 21, CROWN POINT 17

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Revised: October 13, 2017 .