Week 12 Picks - 2016 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

November 4, 2016

Could be a big night in Munster as the Mustangs try to win a sectional championship for the first time in 20 years when they take on two-time defending sectional champ Lowell in the 4A Sectional 17 championship game. (Photo by Mark Smith)

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-11, 2016 Football Picks in Review:
Oct. 28-29, 2016

Wrong - 3; Right - 13 = 81.4%

The Pick The Result

Pioneer 42, Lake Station 14  

Pioneer 62-0

South Central 28, North Judson 14  

(wrong) North Judson 27-22

Whiting 21, North Newton 14  

Whiting 21-12

Knox 35, River Forest 12  

Knox 12-7

Rensselaer 27, Griffith 16  

(wrong) Rensselaer 28-21

Marian 35, HANOVER 14  

Marian 43-6

Hobart 31, KV 7  

Hobart 55-21

New Prairie 42, ANDREAN 35  

New Prairie 28-14

Munster 27, Highland 21  

Munster 36-15

LOWELL 31, Morton 14  


Mishawaka 28, (South Bend) Adams 13  

Mishawaka 43-14

Michigan City 35, Elkhart Central 14  

Mich. City 49-33

LaPorte 35, Chesterton 7  

LaPorte 17-7

Penn 34, Valparaiso 14  

Penn 35-7

Portage 28, MERRILLVILLE 14  

(wrong) MERRILLVILLE 22-21

CROWN POINT 21, Lake Central 17  



WEEK (11) ELEVEN (13 of 16, 81.4%)
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%)
PLAYOFFS: (32 of 36, 88.8%)
SEASON TO DATE: (91 of 128, 71.0%)

ANALYSIS: The first two weeks of the playoffs are relatively easy because they involve some mismatches, games I'd take off the board during the regular season. Also, you get some rematches, which are easier to predict because of the real track record. Griffith scored the deciding TD late to beat Rensselaer. That game could have gone either way. I am very surprised that Merrillville topped Portage. I could not have predicted that. And I still don't know how North Judson (5-6) defeated South Central (7-4).

WORST PICK: None. The three missed selections are games I would pick the same way if they played again this week. And if somebody knows how North Judson beat South Central, could you please let me know?

BEST PICK: Probably Whiting over North Newton 21-14 when the final score was 21-12. CP over Lake Central 21-17 wasn't near the correct score but the 10-6 final was a four-point spread.


'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 (12) TWELVE:

Here is the first week where teams actually play for something worthwhile. A conference title is significant to coaches and players only if you don't win the sectional. Here's another one of those nights where you wish that half the tournament played on Saturday afternoon (there is nothing that prevents that) so LaPorte, New Prairie, Griffith, Merrillville and Munster would not be hosting games on the same night at the same time.

Tell me again why if classes 2A, 4A and 6A play for state championships on Friday, November 25 while 1A, 3A and 5A play on Saturday, November 26, why would the IHSAA not play the ENTIRE 2A, 4A and 6A tournament on Friday and the ENTIRE 1A, 3A and 5A tourney on Saturday? More people would be able to watch. Press coverage would be better. Radio and TV stations cold air games Friday and Saturday instead of having to choose between local teams to cover. Large amounts of teenagers and parents would not be traveling long distances in the dark on Friday nights.

Eventually someone will see the logic, safety, advantage and money benefits of using BOTH Friday and Saturday in the IHSAA state football tournament. When you bring up the idea now (or anytime in the last 20 years), folks speak romantically of 'Friday Night lights' and how they don't want to change. But especially in November after state tournaments for tennis, soccer, cross country and volleyball have all been completed (after this weekend), I have hopes that some day soon Saturday afternoon daylight sectional, regional and semistate championship games would at least, be considered.

Week 12 is the week you want to be playing when you begin summer workouts. No matter what your record is: If you are a winner this Friday, you had a successful season.


(1A) No. 3 Pioneer (11-0) at North Judson (5-7):

NORTH JUDSON (11-4-2016)
Judson pulled off a big upset over South Central last week, but they are in deep weeds here. Pioneer has allowed just 66 points all season while Judson has allowed 30 points a game. These teams met three weeks ago and Pioneer won 48-0. Even in Starke County, that dog won't hunt.

Pioneer 56, North Judson 0

(1A) Attica (8-3) at No. 1 Lafayette Catholic (11-0):
LAFAYETTE (11-4-2016)
Lafayette Catholic has allowed 114 points all season and they've played only one close game, a 28-25 win over 3A No. 4 West Lafayette (9-2). Attica averages 46 points a game led by 190-pound senior all-stater Logan Hermeson (147 of 251, 2,059 yards, 26 TDs , 7 interceptions) who has run 135 times for 1,336 yards and 22 TDs. Now, I think Lafayette Catholic is going to win by six touchdowns, but one boy on Attica has been responsible for 3,400 yards and 48 touchdowns??? Really?

Lafayette Catholic 55, Attica 27

(2A) No. 8 Bremen (8-3) at Winamac (7-4):
WINAMAC (11-4-2016)
Bremen's Grant Kluckow (5-10, 160) has rushed 220 times for 1,152 yards, but Winamac's Matt Shorter (6-1, 195) has carried 176 times for 1,338 yards. Bremen is trying to win the sectional for the fourth consecutive season. Winamac was 12-1 and in Class 1A in 2014. This is their second consecutive season in 2A.

Bremen 28, Winamac 14

(2A) No. 2 Whiting (10-1) at No. 8 Knox (9-2):

KNOX (11-4-2016)
Whiting has 43 rushing touchdowns so Stuart Glascow (45 of 72, 624 yards, 5 TDs) hasn't had to throw much. He might have to Friday. Knox has only lost to LaVille (10-1) and Pioneer (11-0). Whiting won this game 31-21 last season. I'm not sure how close this will be.

Whiting 35, Knox 21

(3A) Jimtown (7-4) at Garrett (10-1):

GARRETT (11-4-2016)
When the old Northern States Conference broke up, Jimtown began playing 'up,' meaning that as a small 3A school, they face 4As and 5As on most regular season nights. So Jimtown's 7-4 record is highly misleading. Garrett plays almost all 3As and 2As. Jimtown has lost to 4A New Prairie (9-2), 4A Northwood (11-0), 3A Mishawaka Marian (10-1) and 5A power Mishawaka (9-2). What I' trying to say is: The Garrett Railroaders may get railroaded here.

Jimtown 35, Garrett 14

(3A) No. 2 (Mishawaka) Marian (10-1) at Griffith (8-3):

GRIFFITH (11-4-2016)
The Panthers face the ultimate test here as Alexander Horvath (6-3, 225) brings Division 1 power to town to the tune of 192 carries, 1,857 yards and 28 touchdowns. On defense OLB Zack Whitfield (6-0, 195) has 16 tackles for losses. Griffith won a big one on the road last week at Rensselaer, but here comes the pain. Marian has allowed 98 points all year and their sectional wins so far are 57-8 over Wheeler and 43-6 over Hanover Central. Griffith is tough, but they don't have enough.

Marian 28, Griffith 7

(4A) Hobart (9-2) at New Prairie (9-2):

NEW CARLISLE (11-4-2016)
These teams have been on a collision course all season. Fullback Nick Ray (6-0, 210) has 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns on 181 carries, but New Prairie option QB Nick Wilson (5-10, 165) has 1,617 yards and 20 TDs on 271 carries. I think that New Prairie is too tricky on offense for the Brickies, but who knows? These teams have never met in varsity football.

New Prairie 35, Hobart 17

(4A) LOWELL (7-4) at Munster (6-5):

MUNSTER (11-4-2016)
When these teams met on October 7th, Lowell won 41-10 in Lowell. How much closer will the rematch be? Munster has to find a way to run the ball. They had 70 yards rushing until late in the fourth quarter. Munster also has to get the ball away from Lowell, which ran for 261 yards in the first meeting. One of those things may happen, but both probably won't.

LOWELL 20 Munster 7

(5A) No. 1 Snider (10-0) at Goshen (8-2):

GOSHEN (11-4-2016)
Goshen gets their shot at the undefeated champion of the Summit Athletic Conference. Goshen has lost only to Warsaw (6-4) and Northwood (11-0). Snider has the best name in the state in senior halfback Money Woods (139 caries, 971 yards). Division I receiver Mac Hippenhammer has 37 catches for 487 yards. Goshen QB CJ Detweiler (6-3, 170) has completed 108 of 164 for 1,664 yards, 15 TDs and reportedly, 'no interceptions.' Snider, the defending 5A state champ, won this matchup last year 42-10. I have a feeling this game will be much closer, but 'much closer' doesn't mean Goshen wins.

Snider 34, Goshen 24

(5A) Michigan City (7-3) at No. 6 Mishawaka (9-2):

MISHAWAKA (11-4-2016)
Here's another one where these two teams have known this sectional matchup was coming all year. MC's Aryuan Cain-Veasey has 1,700 yards rushing, but the problem with Mishawaka is getting the ball away from them. Mishawaka, which has lost only to Cathedral (6-4) and Penn (10-0), is very difficult to defend and the Wolves have allowed 26 points a game. This is just a bad matchup for the visiting Wolves.

Mishawaka 42, Michigan City 28

(6A) Penn (10-0) at LaPorte (9-1):

LaPORTE (11-4-2016)
LaPorte has rushed for 3,200 yards in 10 games, but they lost to Penn 49-21 in sectional play in 2015. Penn is 69-7 the last six years and they have allowed just 83 points all season. LaPorte has to throw the ball to beat them and the Slicers have thrown just 65 passes all season. At home, the Slicers have a chance but this isn't a good matchup for them.

Penn 30, LaPorte 17


MERRILLVILLE (11-4-2016)
Both teams are using their No.2 quarterback so this can't be a high scoring game. Merrillville has scored 246 points in 10 games and allowed 249. The CP defense has 16 turnovers, but the CP offense has scored only 166 points and won last week just 10-6. Merrillville won the earlier game 41-28, but again, neither QB who played that night will be in uniform this Friday.


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Revised: November 04, 2016 .