Week 11 Picks - 2018 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

October 22, 2018


They'll fire up the scoreboard down in Lowell Friday night when old rival Griffith gets off the bus to play a Class54A Sectional 17 semifinal. (Photo by Mark Smith)

"Mr. Picker" - WEEK (11) ELEVEN:

VALPARAISO (10-26-2018)
All six classes are in action in sectional semifinals week and there’s only going to be 96 teams left in the state tournament come Saturday morning.

All four top-ranked teams (5A and 6A did not play) won last week. 4A Northwood, 3A Evansville Memorial, 2A Western Boone and 1A Pioneer to move to 10-0 on the season. Pioneer defeated winless South Newton 86-0 and the Panthers posted their fourth consecutive shutout.

The big game in 5A this week is No. 1 New Palestine (9-0) playing on the road at No. 7 Zionsville (6-4), the team that eliminated New Pal last season.

Zionsville played eight Class 6A schools (they went 4-4) this season so they won't be intimidated. But maybe they should be. New Palestine has scored 548 points (65.8 per game, on 82 touchdowns) this season.

New Palestine junior Charlie Spegal (5-10, 221) has run 191 times for 2,164 yards and, according to the official New Pal statistics, 48 touchdowns.

I’ve never heard of anybody scoring 48 touchdowns in nine big school varsity football games. There is more than an outside chance that New Palestine will play Michigan City in the Class 5A semistate championship on November 17.

As always, check back with me on Thursday for the Crown Point-Portage game and the Lowell-Griffith matchup. We want to keep you in suspense.

Under the present Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) post-season format, they don’t hand out any championships until November so let’s see which schools will still be playing for something next month. In the meantime, a review of last week's 'Mr. Picker' results:


'Mr. Picker' WEEK-10, 2018 Football Picks in Review:
Oct. 19-20, 2018

Wrong - 3; Right - 16 = 84.2%

The Pick The Result

Class 1A Sectional 41

Triton 28, Culver 21  

Triton 34-12

Winamac 42, Caston 6  

Winamac 38-16

LaVille 27, North Judson 7  

(wrong) North Judson 21-6

West Central 35, South Central 14  

(wrong) South Central 50-30

Class 2A Sectional 33

Boone Grove 42, Bowman Academy 14  

Boone 71-20

Whiting 42, North Newton 20  

Whiting 34-7

River Forest 16, Gary Roosevelt 14  

(wrong) Roosevelt 46-34

Class 3A Sectional 25

Hanover Central 21, Wheeler 13  

Hanover 34-14

Andrean 56, Benton Central 0  

Andrean 49-0

Twin Lakes 28, Clark 21  

Twin Lakes 43-12

West Lafayette 42, Calumet 12  

West Lafayette 43-12

Class 4A Sectional 18

New Prairie 56, Washington 0  

New Prairie 56-7

St. Joe 40, Kankakee Valley 14  

St. Joe. 38-21

Riley 49, Clay 0  

Riley 40-6

Mishawaka 31, Hobart 17  

Mishawaka 35-7

Class 4A Sectional 17

East Chicago 42, Hammond 0  

East Chicago 28-12

Morton 30, Gavit 0  

Morton 55-20

Griffith 42, Gary West Side 0  

Griffith 53-0

LOWELL 21, Highland 0  

LOWELL 34-14


Week Ten Review: Just OK. North Judson lost to LaVille 27-0 in week eight and then came back to defeat them 21-6 in week 10. Roosevelt lost to River Forest 32-2 in week six and then came back to defeat them 46-34 in week 10. It happens. But South Central had lost four in a row going into the sectional and they beat West Central 50-30. I did not see that coming at all. And I picked seven shutouts in 19 results. Odds are against that under almost any circumstances.

BEST PICK: West Lafayette over Calumet 43-13 when the final was 43-12. Almost an exact score. Andrean over Benton Central 56-0 when the final was 49-0? Really? Benton Central scored 38 points all season. It didn’t take a genius to pick a shutout. I forgot to include Rensselaer last week just because the IHSAA banished them to Sectional 35 a couple of years ago and with faraway away schools like Taylor and Oak Hill.

WORST PICK: West Central over South Central 35-14 when the final was 50-30 for South Central. I don't have an excuse or an explanation. South Central lost to 1A Triton and beat 1A Culver (2-8) by two points.

‘Mr. Picker’  2018 RESULTS
WEEK (10) 16 of 31 = 84.2%

WEEK (9) 8 of 12 = 75.0%
WEEK (8) 10 of 12 = 83.3%
WEEK (7) 10 of 12 = 83.3%
WEEK (6) 9 of 12 = 75.0%
WEEK (5) 8 of 12 = 66.7%
WEEK (4) 10 of 11 = 90.9%
WEEK (3) 9 of 13 = 69.2%
WEEK (2) 12 of 15 = 80.0%
WEEK (1) 10 of 13 = 76.1%
Season so far: 102 of 131 = 77.8%

'Mr. Picker' (13 Years)
2017 (final) OVERALL: 137 of 184 = 74.4%
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' 2018 - WEEK (11) ELEVEN:

Class 2A Sectional 33

(2A) Lake Station (0-8) at Boone Grove (8-2):

PORTER TOWNSHIP (10-26-2018)
Once again, here’s a game that should not be be played. Lake Station shouldn’t be here. It's not punishment for going 0-8. Playing impact and injury friendly sports, you should have to qualify to advance and play state tournament games. It shouldn’t be a requirement that you go out there and get beat up one more time. Boone scored 71 points last week.

Boone Grove 56, Lake Station 0

(2A) Whiting (10-0) at Gary Roosevelt (4-6):

GARY (10-26-2018)
The Panthers did score a season high 46 points last week in the 46-34 win over River Forest. I didn’t think they have the offensive or defensive lines to stay even with Whiting very long. The Oilers are 10-3 in post-season games the last four seasons.

Whiting 42, Gary Roosevelt 0

Class 2A Sectional 35

(2A) Rensselaer (6-4) at Lewis Cass (6-4):

WALTON (10-26-2018)
Cass beat Rensselaer 20-14 in week nine and that should not have happened. The Bombers 1ed 14-0 but three fumbles turned the game around and the Kings (6-4) have won three in a row since a 57-7 loss to West Lafayette (10-0). Cass rushed for 500 yards last week in a 56-0 win over Eastern. Rensselaer stopped 2A No. 9 Delphi (9-1) by a 21-6 score and they could easily have won by more. I’m shaky on this one, but the Bombers have fumble issues.

Lewis Cass 27, Rensselaer 20

(2A) Eastbrook (9-1) at Rochester (8-2):

ROCHESTER (10-26-2018)
Fifth-ranked Eastbrook won 49-14 in the quarterfinals, the sixth time they’ve scored 40 points or more. I don’t know what kind of boys they’ve got out there, but Eastbrook is 10-0 for the third time in four seasons. Rochester won 55-8 last week and they haven't reached the sectional championship game in 18 years. I thought Eastbrook was going to win the state title last season.

Eastbrook 28, Rochester 7

Class 3A Sectional 25

Twin Lakes (5-5) at West Lafayette (10-0):

(3A) WEST LAFAYETTE (10-26-2018)
Class 3A No. 2 West Lafayette won 56-13 over Twin Lakes in week eight. Can the Indians reverse that result in week 11? In short. No. West Lafayette is 43-8 over the last four seasons.

West Lafayette 49, Twin Lakes 14

Hanover Central (5-5) at Andrean (9-1):

(3A) MERRILLVILLE (10-26-2018)
Same question here. Andrean defeated Hanover Central 24-0 in week two. Can the Wildcats reverse that result in week 11? Honestly? No. The 59ers have won nine in a row and they have scored 40 or more in six of those wins. Five of the wins have been shutouts. We’d all like it if Purdue beat Ohio State once in 'awhile.’ But it doesn't happen.

ANDREAN 34, Hanover Central 14

Class 4A Sectional 18

(4A) Riley (6-4) at Mishawaka (9-1):

MISHAWAKA (10-26-2018)
Class 4A No. 2 Mishawaka almost never throws the ball, but their running attack averages 275 yards a game. Riley has not yet defeated anyone with a winning record and it isn't going to happen this week either.

Mishawaka 42, Riley 7

(4A) New Prairie (7-3) at St. Joseph’s (6-4):

SOUTH BEND (10-19-18)
In week four, New Prairie won in South Bend 41-28 over St. Joseph’s in the Northern Indiana Conference (NIC). Can that score turn around seven weeks later? It might.
St. Joe has lost to Culver Academy (6-3), New Prairie (6-4), Penn (7-2) and Mishawaka (9-1). But New Prairie has lost only to Mishawaka (9-1), Andrean (9-1) and Penn (8-2). If there is an upset this Friday, here it is.

St. Joseph’s 34, New Prairie 28

(4A) East Chicago (6-4) at Morton (8-2):
HAMMOND (10-26-2018)
Here is a game that looks close, but shouldn’t be. Morton has won seven in a row, including a week seven win over EC 56-9. The Governors have scored 40 or more for four consecutive weeks and EC just hasn’t played the schedule Morton has. Morton lost in week 11 last year and they need to go one week deeper into the post-season.

Morton 35, East Chicago 6

Class 5A Sectional 9

(5A) LaPorte (3-6) at Adams (3-6):

SOUTH BEND (10-26-2018)
Adams quarterback Iraken Armstead has thrown the ball almost 300 times this season. LaPorte has run the ball 459 times in nine games. This game should be fun. Both of these teams have had defensive problems. They both allow about 29 points a game. I think the Eagles win with a two-point conversion.

Adams 29, LaPorte 28

(5A) Munster (2-7) at Michigan City (7-2):

MICHIGAN CITY (10-26-2018)
Munster has scored only 128 points all year. Michigan City averages 40 points a game. It's hard to see this being a close game. In the 5A Sectionals 9 and 10, there is only one team with a winning record. All MC has to do is show up ready to play.

Michigan City 42, Munster 7

Class 6A Sectional 2

(6A) Chesterton (3-6) at Valparaiso (7-2):

VALPO (10-26-2018)
In week five, Valpo won over Chesterton 23-0. The Trojans have improved since then in wins over Lake Central 15-0 and Crown Point 17-14 and close losses to Portage 20-14 and Merrillville 28-16. I think this would have been a closer game had there not been a bye week.

Valparaiso 27, Chesterton 10

(6A) Warsaw (7-2) at Penn (7-2):

OSCEOLA (10-26-2018)
Warsaw plays a Class 4A and 5A schedule. Penn will be the first Class 6A team Warsaw has seen this year. Warsaw is a hard-running team, but they will find out that 6A is the ‘major leagues’ and they have gone 7-2 against ‘Triple A.’ Penn is coming in off a 49-42 loss to arch rival Mishawaka, Penn’s first loss to the Cavemen since 2010. Penn lost the Northern Indiana Conference title and, for them, that puts more weight on winning the sectional.

Penn 28, Warsaw 7

Class 6A Sectional 1

(6A) MERRILLVILLE (6-3) at Lake Central (2-7):

ST. JOHN (10-26-2018)
Merrillville is 3-0 on the road. Lake Central has lost seven straight. In week eight, Merrillville beat LC 31-14 in Merrillville. With three weeks and a change of location can the verdict be reversed here? No. That answer is ‘no.’

MERRILLVILLE 28, Lake Central 7

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Revised: October 21, 2018 .