Week 8 Picks - 2016 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

October 7, 2016

LaPorte (7-0) carries a seven game winning streak to Michigan City (6-1) Friday night in the pivotal game in the Duneland Athletic Conference. (Photo by Mark Smith)

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-7, 2016 Football Picks in Review:
Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2016

Wrong - 3; Right - 7 = 70.0%

The Pick The Result

Lake Station 14, River Forest 12  

(wrong) RF 33-0

Marian 28, New Prairie 21  

Marian 21-17

Griffith 33, Highland 20  

Griffith 24-6

Munster 23, Hobart 20  

(wrong) Hobart 19-14

ANDREAN 27, KV 14  


LOWELL 21, Morton 7  


Lake Central 28, Chesterton 6  

Lake Central 38-0

Portage 21, Michigan City 20  

(wrong) MC 35-14

LaPorte 14, CROWN POINT 10  

LaPorte 34-16

Valparaiso 30, MERRILLVILLE 20  

Valpo 20-15

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: (45 of 72, 62.5%)


ANALYSIS: Could have been 9-1 if I'd have gone with the 'flow' on Michigan City and if a last minute Hobart drive had failed. I don't think River Forest is 33 points beTter than Lake Station and I wonder if there are some injury situations there.

WORST PICK: Portage over Michigan City by one when MC won by 21. MC ran the opening kickoff back all the way and rolled from there.

BEST PICK: Marian over New Prairie 28-21 when the final was 21-17. Score was close and in the right range.


'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 (8) EIGHT:

This is a week which has changed with the changes to the state tournament format this season. For all 6A schools and most 5A schools, there is a bye week coming up in week 10 on October 21. So, there are no longer any fears of playing key boys in the final two weeks because you have a little vacation coming up. It's fair to say that the smaller schools that need the bye the most won't get it. Unless you want to get way from the all-inclusive (everyone qualifies for the post-season) state tournament, there is no way to have a bye week for all teams. The IHSAA could start the season a week earlier, but the only reason anyone would support that would be to add a 10th game, not a bye week.

The state tournament games on Thanksgiving weekend works so well for the IHSAA and they are highly unlikely to extend the season a week beyond Thanksgiving. We're a basketball state. Florida and Texas have high school football playoff games in December, but I'd bet my Hoosier ID card that Indiana isn't ever going there. Whiting (6-1) at Bishop Noll (0-7) is not competitive. I'll leave North Newton (6-1) and Lake Station (2-5) alone as well. I'll pass on Portage and Valparaiso, too. Also, KV and Highland don't make the 10-game pick list.


River Forest (2-5) at Calumet (3-4):

GARY (10-07-2016)
Calumet opens their new stadium against a River Forest team that has won big the last two weeks. None of the four teams to defeat Calumet have a losing record. Everyone should be allowed to win their first varsity game ever in a new stadium. It ought to be the law.

Calumet 28, River Forest 21

Morton (3-4) at Hobart (5-2):

HOBART (10-07-2016)
I'm not sure if Hobart's Nick Ray is going to play on offense. He was used largely on the defensive side last week. It matters. He has 914 yards and nine TDs on 124 carries. The Governors still have play makers on the offensive side, but they may have lost some confidence after three losses in a row. On a windy night, Morton's pass attack may shut down. Hobart has won 18-12 and 19-14 the last two weeks.

Hoabrt 27, Morton 12

HANOVER CENTRAL (7-0) at South Central (5-2):

UNION MILLS (10-07-2016)
Hanover averages 270 yards rushing per game, including 94 for 700 (with 10 TDs) for senior Dustin Lindley (5-8, 165) and 66 for 617 (and 10 more TDs) for junior Justin Delange (6-0, 160). But SC's quarterback Kyle Schmack (6-0, 215) has been good and SC's losses are 22-21 to Calumet and 13-12 to North Newton (6-1).

HANOVER 21, South Central 20

Rensselaer (5-2) at Lafayette Catholic (7-0):

LAFAYETTE (10-07-2016)
Lafayette Catholic QB Avery Denhart was 24 of 41 for 376 yards last week in a come-from-behind 28-25 win over West Lafayette. Rensselaer scored 45 points in the first half of a 52-8 romp over Benton Central. West Lafayette ran for 200 yards on Lafayette Catholic last week and it'll be interesting to see if the Bombers can run for half of that.

Lafayette Catholic 28, Rensselaer 14.

Clark (0-6) at Gary West Side (0-7):

GARY (10-07-2016)
West Side has lost eight in a row, while Clark has lost 19 in a row. But it ends for somebody on this night and it's probably the home team. West Side has played a more difficult schedule, but Clark showed a little life in last week's 56-20 loss to Gavit. What I don't know is who is hurt and who is still playing hard after all this losing.

West Side 30, Clark 16

ANDREAN (4-3) at Griffith (5-2):

GRIFFITH (10-07-2016)
Griffith has won four in a row and this is their final home game. Andrean has won three in a row and they average 33 points a game. Halfback Teely Rhyne has 866 yards on 123 carries for the 59ers and he'll meet Griffith linebacker Kadafi Coleman, who has 101 tackles. I think the 59ers step in here to create a first place tie in the Northwest Crossroads Conference. Before the season began, this would not have been considered an upset.

ANDREAN 27, Griffith 21

Munster (3-4) at LOWELL (3-4):

LOWELL (10-07-2016)
Long time rivals try to gets back to .500 and wait to see how the Griffith-Andrean game comes out. Lowell's Trevor Espravnik (101 carries, 735 yards, 11 TDs) is closing in on 1000 yards while Munster's Jaylyn Scott (37 catches, 500 yards) has half of that through the air. On a cold, windy night this one won't take long.

LOWELL 16, Munster 13

Chesterton (2-5) at CROWN POINT (2-5):

CROWN POINT (10-07-2016)
Chesterton has lost five in a row. CP has lost three in a row. CP averages 12.3 points a game. Chesterton averages 11.3 per game. Both sides have to keep the faith that the offense still has time to turn around. Crown Point's defense shines again in the Bulldogs' final regular season home game.

CROWN POINT 24, Chesterton 0

Lake Central (2-5) at MERRILLVILLE (3-4):

MERRILLVILLE (10-07-2016)
Here's another game where we don't know who is playing. Merrillville QB Cam Wright (88 of 159, 1,314 yards, 11 TDs) was hurt last week and top receiver James Kirklen (20 catches, 420 yards) was hurt the week before. Lake Central is and has been better than their record.

Lake Central 28, MERRILLVILLE 14

LaPorte (7-0) at Michigan City (6-1):

MICHIGAN CITY (10-07-2016)
The LaPorte County championship has MC halfback Aruyan Cain Veasey (136 rushes, 1,079 yards, 15 TDs) going against LaPorte's 300-yards-per-game rushing attack. LaPorte isn't a good run defense team, but nobody has stopped LaPorte running the ball all season. That means it'll be a high-scoring game.

LaPorte 42, Michigan City 28

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Revised: October 07, 2016 .