Week 11 Picks - 2016 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

October 28, 2016

Undefeated Hanover Central warms up the bus for their longest road trip of the season Friday to play at No. 2 Marian in Mishawaka. (Photo by Mark Smith)

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-10, 2016 Football Picks in Review:
Oct. 21-22, 2016

Wrong - 1; Right - 19 = 95.0%

The Pick The Result

Pioneer 35, Tri-County 14  

Pioneer 49-13

Lake Station 20, North White 14  

Lake Station 28-12

North Judson 28, South Newton 6  

North Judson 27-14

South Central 35, West Central 8  

South Central 28-0

Whiting 35, Boone Grove 6  

Whiting 36-6

North Newton 56, Bowman Academy 0  

No. Newton 42-0

Knox 42, Gary Roosevelt 0  

Knox 42-6

River Forest 35, Bishop Noll 12  

River Forest 41-6

Griffith 34, Glenn 14  

Griffith 48-7

Rensselaer 28, Calumet 7  

Rensselaer 38-7

HANOVER 28, Hammond 8  


Marian 42, Wheeler 14  

Marian 57-8

LOWELL 42, Gary West Side 7  


Gavit 27, Morton 20  

(wrong) Morton 18-12 (OT)

Munster 27, East Chicago 24  

Munster 28-22

Highland 56, Clark 0  

Highland 57-6

KV 28, Clay 14  

KV 49-8

Hobart 42, Washington 14  

Hobart 33-14

ANDREAN 31, St. Joseph's 14  


New Prairie 56, Riley 0  

New Prairie 42-14


WEEK (10) TEN (19 of 20, 95.0%)
WEEK (9) NINE (6 of 10, 60.0%)

WEEK (8) EIGHT (8 of 10, 80.0%)

WEEK (7) SEVEN (7 of 10, 70.0%)

WEEK (6) SIX (5 of 10, 50.0%)
WEEK (5) FIVE (5 of 10, 50.0%)
WEEK (4) FOUR (7 of 10, 70.0%)
WEEK (3) THREE (7 of 10, 70.0%)
WEEK (2) TWO (7 of 10, 70.0%)
WEEK (1) ONE (7 of 12, 58.3%)
SEASON TO DATE: (78 of 112, 69.6%)


ANALYSIS: Should have been 20 of 20. I had a feeling that Morton was sandbagging Gavit when they lost to them 30-7 on the final week of the regular season and it turns out they were. In the interest if full disclosure, the first week of the post-season in Indiana high school football is very easy to predict because there are many obvious mismatches. It isn't difficult to pick games where one team is 0-9.

WORST PICK: Obviously, Gavit over Morton 27-20 when Morton won in overtime by six. If I had it to do over again I'd have taken Morton. I got fooled by Morton's 'effort' in the meaningless regular season finale.

BEST PICK: None, really. Most of the 20 games were obvious. Maybe Whiting over Boone 35-6 when they won 36-6. Knox over Roosevelt 42-0 when they won 42-6. Andrean over St. Josephs 31-14 when they won 30-13. There were some chances to pick exact scores that got away here.


'Mr. Picker' (Through the Years)
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 2016 WEEK (11) ELEVEN:

It takes two weeks in a six week single-elimination playoff to weed out the teams that shouldn't be here. This is the second week. I hate to be so cold about it, but I'd really like to see the better teams in all six classes get a first round bye. To do that, we've got to get away from the idea that even an 0-9 team deserves a playoff berth. No winless teams in Northwest Indiana won a game last week in the sectional quarterfinals and that's a good thing. There's nothing good to be said about going 0-9 and then winning when you get a 'second chance'.

The unknown this week is how the bye week teams in classes 5A and 6A will perform. My hope is that, no matter how bad their situation was when week nine ended, that two weeks later, all will have regrouped and can produce a significant effort. By 10 p.m. Friday night, we'll know the definition of 'significant effort.'

Good weather in Northwest Indiana (mid 50s, no rain) should allow the high offense teams to do what they do.


(1A) Pioneer (10-0) at Lake Station (4-6):

LAKE STATION (10-28-2016)
Can the Eagles contain sophomore QB Jack Kiser (6-2, 192) who has rushed and passed for 1,000 yards?. Nobody has had an answer for him so far.
Even if they do, Pioneer has another sophomore Danny Gregorich (5-9, 170), who has run 124 times form 989 yards. He has six 100-yard games. Pioneer only has 260 kids and half of them are probably girls. Where do they get two players like that in the same class.?

Pioneer 42, Lake Station 14

(1A) North Judson (4-6) at South Central (7-3):

UNION MILLS(10-28-2016)
South Central's Kyle Schmack (6-0, 215) is 88 of 169 for 1,382 yards and 15 TDs. Big Garrett Hewlett (6-4, 225) has caught 11 of those 15 TDs.
That's what Judson is up against. Its too much.

South Central 28, North Judson 14

(2A) Whiting (9-1) at North Newton (8-2):

MOROCCO (10-28-2016)
Class 2A in the north is not a difficult bracket. The winner of this game could go a long way. Whiting has allowed 114 points in 10 games. Even with my public school education that's 11.4 points a game. North Newton has allowed just 81 points. Hey, that's 8.1 per game. The Spartans have to dominate time of possession here all night with John Harrell (236 carries, 1,401 yards). For a while? They can. All game? Probably not. Might be the best matchup of the night here.

Whiting 21, North Newton 14

(2A) River Forest (4-6) at Knox (8-2):

KNOX (10-28-2016)
Knox has only lost to Pioneer (10-0) and Laville. (9-1). LaVille has only lost to Pioneer. Good thing for everybody here that Pioneer is in the 1A playoffs. River Forest is overmatched here a long way from home. Knox should win easily.

Knox 35, River Forest 12

(3A) Griffith (7-3) at Rensselaer (7-3):

RENSSELAER (10-28-2016)
Great matchup of two teams with a lot of history that includes Griffith's 15-14 win over Rensselaer last year. That was the first meeting for these two schools since 1947. It's all about the running. The Bombers have run for 2,500 yards and 33 touchdowns. Griffith has to stop Rensselaer all night and I don't see it.

Rensselaer 27, Griffith 16

(3A) HANOVER CENTRAL (10-0) at (Mishawaka) Marian (9-1):

MISHAWAKA (10-28-2016)
This is just a very unfortunate match for Hanover, the Greater South Shore Conference champ. They have not seen anyone like 3A No. 2 Marian with Alexander Horvath (6-3, 225), who has 1,573 yards gained (on 177 carries), eight 100-yard games and 24 touchdowns. Marian is 4-0 against 4A schools. Hanover hasn't played anyone larger than 3A. HC has not allowed more than 20 points in any one game all season, but they will on this night.

Marian 35, HANOVER 14

(4A) Kankakee Valley (3-7) at Hobart (8-2):

HOBART (10-28-2016)
This is a rematch of an earlier game won big by Hobart 27-7 and it's one of those 'first 2 playoff week' games I was referring to earlier. I don't see how KV can turn this one around on the road. Hobart fullback Nick Ray has 173 carries for 1,276 yards. The Brickies haven't won a sectional since 1997, but they will advance to the sectional title game on this night.

Hobart 31, KV 7

(4A) ANDREAN (5-5) at New Prairie (8-2):
NEW CARLISLE (10-28-2016)
Andrean averages almost 30 points a game. New Prairie averages almost 40 a game. New Prairie beat Andrean 38-28 back in September and this rematch will be very similar. In good weather, it may be Saturday morning before all the scoring is over.

New Prairie 42, ANDREAN 35

(4A) Munster (5-5) at Highland (5-5):

HIGHLAND (10-28-2016)
Highland was 2-0 when they hosted Munster on September 2. Munster won 47-6 and the Trojans haven't been the same since, despite a 57-6 win over Clark (0-10) last week. Munster has three losses by four points or less. They're better than a .500 team.

Munster 27, Highland 21

(4A) LOWELL (6-4) at Morton (4-6):

HAMMOND (10-28-2016)
Morton topped Gavit 18-12 in overtime last week seven days after Gavit had defeated Morton 30-7. This is the sixth meeting of Lowell and Morton in three years so there won't be many surprises for either side. Lowell has won four games in a row, all by 20 points or more including a 33-6 win at Morton last month. The Governors will do better this time but not much better.

LOWELL 31, Morton 14

(5A) South Bend Adams (6-3) at Mishawaka (8-2):

MISHAWAKA (10-28-2016)
Mishawaka has lost only to Penn (10-0) and Cathedral (6-4). Adams has won their last four, but they have already lost to Mishawaka 42-13. There is little chance Adams can make up 29 points on that first meeting. Mishawaka eliminated Adams 27-6 last October, 45-15 in October of 2014 and 27-0 in October of 2013. There is no obvious reason to think this game will be any different.

Mishawaka 28, (South Bend) Adams 13

(5A) Elkhart Central (2-7) at Michigan City (6-3):

MICHIGAN CITY (10-28-2016)
The Wolves have run for 2,500 yards. Elkhart has allowed 318 points in nine games. EC isn't equipped to stop MC halfback Aryuan Cain Veasey (159 carries, 1,226 yards, 17 TDs). After two losses, the Wolves need a less challenging playoff opener. Here's another one of those early post-season mismatches with a team that didn't earn the right to get this far.

Michigan City 35, Elkhart Central 14

(6A) LaPorte (8-1) at Chesterton (2-7):

CHESTERTON (10-28-2016)
LaPorte has 3,000 yards and 38 TDs rushing while Chesterton has lost seven in a row. Imagine you are the Trojans' coaches during the bye week trying to figure out a way to reverse LaPorte's 49-14 victory over Chesterton in September. Let's see if the bye week helped Chesterton.

LaPorte 35, Chesterton 7

(6A) Valparaiso (5-4) at Penn (9-0):

OSCEOLA (10-28-2016)
Valpo lost 27-7 to Penn in August and the Kingsmen have allowed just 76 points all season. Penn has toped Valpo seven times in a row. The Vikings needed two weeks to get ready for this after they gave up six turnovers in a 29-28 loss at Lake Central on October 14. Penn is 45-4 in the last four years and they won't lose here.

Penn 34, Valparaiso 14

(6A) MERRILLVILLE (4-5) at Portage (6-3):

PORTAGE (10-28-2016)
Portage starts the offense with QB Anthony Maceo (210 carries, 1,269 yards) and I don't believe injured Merrillville QB Cam Wright (90 of 162, 1,340 yards) will be able to play. Merrillville defeated Portage 20-14 in September but if Wright can't go, this looks like a Portage win.

Portage 28, MERRILLVILLE 14

(6A) Lake Central (4-5) at CROWN POINT (4-5):

CROWN POINT (10-28-2016)
Both teams have the same record and both have lost to the same four teams in DAC play. CP's Grayson Lynk scored a career best four TDs rushing two weeks ago at Michigan City. But LC has won three in a row. CP won the earlier meeting 17-3, but this game will be much closer.

CROWN POINT 21, Lake Central 17

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Revised: October 28, 2016 .