Week 13 Picks - 2016 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

November 11, 2016

Lowell and Hobart is the only regional title game matching NW Indiana teams this Friday. (Photo by Mark Smith)

(Editor's note: Please accept our apologies for our unavoidable posting of 'Mr. Picker's Week-13 Picks' a day after the games were played. Please be assured this story was written prior to the Nov. 11 regional football games being played. -DW)

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-12, 2016 Football Picks in Review:
Nov. 4-5, 2016

Wrong - 3; Right - 9 = 75.0%

The Pick The Result

Pioneer 56, North Judson 0  

Pioneer 47-7

Lafayette Catholic 55, Attica 27  

Lafayette Catholic 57-29

Bremen 28, Winamac 14  

(wrong) Winamac 21-14

Whiting 35, Knox 21  

Whiting 17-14

Jimtown 35, Garrett 14  

(wrong) Garrett 29-26

Marian 28, Griffith 7  

Marian 49-14

New Prairie 35, Hobart 17  

(wrong) Hobart 35-14

LOWELL 20 Munster 7  

LOWELL 42-14

Snider 34, Goshen 24  

Snider 56-16

Mishawaka 42, Michigan City 28  

Mishawaka 18-7

Penn 30, LaPorte 17  

Penn 42-21


CP 24-19


WEEK (12) TWELVE (9 of 12, 75.0%)
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: (41 of 48, 85.4%)
SEASON TO DATE: (100 of 140, 71.4%)

ANALYSIS: The Hobart-New Prairie game was a complete surprise to me. New Prairie fumbled five times when I thought they were the better team. Garrett at home over Jimtown was a strength of schedule situation that didn't work out. Jimtown had played the superior schedule and it didn't help them. I still don't know what happened in the Bremen-Winamac game.

WORST PICK: Hobart and New Prairie. New Prairie had not lost a game by more than four points all season and they lost by 21. I obviously did not see that coming. I'd bet that even Hobart was surprised how easily they won.

BEST PICK: Lafayette Catholic over Attica 55-27 when they won 57-29. The score wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, but the game was.


'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 (13) THIRTEEN:

What you get in week 13 a lot of times is a reevaluation of where you are and what you wanted originally. Many, many teams have the sectional championship as their goal. You work all year to win the sectional and it's a 3-week trip. So now you've won and it's two weeks from Thanksgiving. How motivated are you to continue, and the better question: Are you more motivated than the team you are about to face?

Many times, teams lose at the week 13 regional because they got what they wanted in week 12. No one says that. No one suggests that after the game is over. But look at this week's games and decide. Who has reached their goal and who is still in need?

The weather is cold but very playable in most of the state and is projected to stay that way through the semistate weekend. Remember the 2A, 4A and 6A state title games are set for Friday, Nov. 25. It's the 1A, 3A and 5A title games that will be played on Saturday, Nov. 26.


(1A) No. 6 Adams Central (11-1) at Southwood (9-3):

WABASH (11-11-2016)
Okay, where is Southwood? Well, it's in Wabash and the reason I don't know is: They haven't won a sectional football title in 14 years. Okay now, who is Carson Blair (6-0, 185)? I don't know but he has completed 203 of 336 passes for 3,217 yards, 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He's also run 88 times for 392 yards and seven more TDs. Peyton Trexler (6-0, 165) has 53 receptions for 1,281 yards and 15 TDs. The Flying Jets have only lost to Woodlan (10-1) and they are the better team, but Adams Central has beaten Southwood consistently for years. On a mid-summer night, I'd take Southwood in an upset. It's a dark November night.

Adams Central 35, Southwood 20

(1A) No. 1 Lafayette Catholic (12-0) at No. 3 Pioneer (12-0):

ROYAL CENTER (11-11-2016)
Lafayette Catholic has won 27 games in a row. They were 15-0 in 2011, 2014 and 2015. The legend of Jack Kiser (6-2, 195) continues at Royal Center. Kiser has completed 65 of 114 passes for 1,162 yards and 23 touchdowns. Kiser has run 149 times for 1,296 yards and 27 more touchdowns. On defense he has 74 tackles and four interceptions. He's runback 10 kickoffs for a 28 yard average. Jack Kiser ran for 22 TDs as a freshman. But Lafayette Catholic has won 27 games in a row and they were 15-0 in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

Lafayette Catholic 35, Pioneer 14

(2A) South Adams (8-4) at No. 3 Eastbrook (11-1):

MARION (11-11-2016)
Okay, where is Eastbrook? I should know this because Eastbrook is 11-1 for the second consecutive season. The Eastbrook Panthers average 43 points a game and they beat Norwell 72-13 in August. Eastbrook has scored 73 touchdowns and they average 368 yards rushing. South Adams topped Churubusco 29-27 last week and this may be one of those cases where they achieved their season goal and may not have the motivation Eastbrook does.

Eastbrook 28, South Adams 14

(2A) Winamac (8-4) at No. 2 Whiting (11-1):

WHITING (11-11-2016)
Whiting has only lost to Hanover Central (10-1) and they're the defending 2A semistate champs. But Winamac, after beginning the season 0-4, has won eight games in a row. Three of the teams they lost to were Knox (9-3), LaVille (10-2) and Pioneer (12-0). But are they going to make the 100-mile trip to Whiting and beat beat the Oilers, who have won 53 of their last 60 games? I don't see it.

Whiting 21, Winamac 7

(3A) No. 4 West Lafayette (10-2) at No. 7 (Fort Wayne) Concordia (10-2):

FORT WAYNE (11-11-2016)
Concordia has won nine games in a row after losing to Homestead (9-2) and Snider (11-0), but this is the last rodeo for West Lafayette's Mikey Kidwell (221 of 352, 3,192 yards, 37 TDs and 10 INTs). For his career, Kidwell (they've got to stop calling him 'Mikey' eventually) has thrown 1,036 passes, completing 658 of them for 8,797 yards, 98 touchdowns and just 38 interceptions. I'm thinking Concordia wins a high scoring game.

Concordia 35, West Lafayette 34

(3A) Garrett (11-1) at No. 3 (Mishaswaka) Marian (11-1):

MISHAWAKA (11-11-2016)
This is the easiest game on the board. Garrett got what they wanted last week with the upset of Jimtown. Now they travel and get to try to stop 'Alexander the Great', Marian's 6-foot-3, 225 pound tailback Alexander (Zander) Horvath, who has rushed 224 times for 2,104 yards and 33 touchdowns. Horvath has averaged 8.2 yards per carry his entire career. Garrett reached their season goal last week.

Marian 35, Garret 14

(4A) No. 4 New Haven (11-0) at No. 2 Northwood (12-0):

NAPANNEE (11-11-2016)
Tough one to pick. North Haven's Kenny Moore has passed for 2,101 yards and 24 TDs while halfback Nishawn Jones has run for 1,495 yards and 27 TDs. They will try to match points with Northwood QB Trey Billinski (6-3, 189) who has completed 174 of 281 for 2,982 yards and 37 TDs. Northwood has scored over 50 points in seven games, but so has New Haven and these schools have not met in 15 years. This game is dead even on the Sagarin computer rankings. I'll go with basic football. Passing teams are usually lesser in colder weather. But there's no big edge here.

New Haven 28, Northwood 21

(4A) LOWELL (8-4) at No. 11 Hobart (10-2):

HOBART (11-11-2016)
Hobart won their first sectional in 19 years when they topped New Prairie last week. But Lowell has lost the regional championship game by one point in each of the last two seasons. Hobart, led by 1,300 yard rusher Nick Ray, has won nine in a row and Lowell, paced by 1,500-yard rusher Trevor Espravnik, has won six in a row. This is regional match on conference foes and Hobart won the earlier meeting 18-12 at Lowell. But the Devils have changed quarterback and re-added injured safety Jordan Jusevitch since then. Here's another possible example of one team reaching its goal last week and another team which has pointed all year to this night.

LOWELL 31, Hobart 14

(5A) No. 9 Kokomo (8-2) at No. 5 Westfield (9-2):

WESTFIELD (11-11-2016)
Kokomo back Keenan Wheeler has 221 carries for 1,634 yards, but Westfield has easily played a more difficult schedule. They lost to 6A Brownsburg 29-28 in overtime and 6A Hamilton Southeastern 21-20. Kokomo, which had one nonconference game cancelled, only played one 6A school: Chesterton (2-8) and Chesterton defeated Kokomo in August.

Westfield 34, Kokomo 12

(5A) No. 5 Mishawaa (10-2) at No.1 (Fort Wayne) Snider (11-0):

FORT WAYNE (11-11-2016)
Probably the best game on the board. Two state powers. Mishawaka is 77-25 the last eight years and a two-time defending sectional champ. Snider is one of the franchise players in Indiana high school football with 24 sectional titles and the Greyhounds are the defendng state champs in 5A. Snider defeated Mishawaka 42-32 at the regional last season and I think that kind of high-scoring run-oriented game happens again.

Snider 34, Mishawaka 31

(6A) No. 7 Carmel (7-4) at No. 9 Homestead (9-2):

FORT WAYNE (11-11-2016)
The note here is that Carmel was seventh in the final weekly state poll even with four losses. That's because three of the losses are to No. 1 Warren Central (10-1), No. 3 Center Grove (10-1), No. 9 Hamilton Southeastern (6-4). But Homestead has lost only to Bishop Dwenger (9-4) and Snider (11-0). Homestead sophomore halfback Jordan (Elvis) Presley (5-10, 175) has run 197 times for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns. "The King' averages 8.4 yards per carry. I think Carmel will be 'All Shook Up.'

Homestead 28, Carmel 20

(6A) CROWN POINT (6-5) at No. 2 Penn (12-0):

OSCEOLA (11-11-2016)
The only 6-5 team still in the tournament has a tall order. Win at Penn where the Kingsmen have lost only eight games (overall) in seven years. And do it with backup QB Ryan Bolda who threw three TD passes last week. Penn senior Matt Kominkiewicz has four punt return TDs and the Penn defense has allowed only 933 yards rushing in 11 games. Crown Point's defense has allowed just 101 first downs, 1,245 passing yards and 77 completed passes all year. You don't have to be a prediction wizard to say that this looks like a low-scoring defensive struggle.

Penn 14, CROWN POINT 9

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Revised: November 12, 2016 .