Week 13 Picks - 2018 NW Indiana High School Football

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

November 5, 2018


Crown Point winning the sectional was big news around town. The Bulldogs are in the regional championship game for the third year in a row. (Photo by Mark Smith)

"Mr. Picker" - WEEK (13) THIRTEEN:

VALPARAISO (11-09-2018)
Then first number one team was eliminated last week with 4A No.1 Northwood falling to Angola 27-26.

I’m not sure that makes the 4A path easier because Bishop Dwenger is still there. All five of the other Number ones won big.

Results this month will shape the class locations for 2019. Most of you know that teams are reclassified every two years and while I'm not exactly sure how it works, the following is being said.

With Cathedral losing a 5A Sectional championship game to Decatur Central, Cathedral drops from 5A to 4A next season. If New Palestine does not reach the 5A state finals, they also drop to 4A, which is their true enrollment level.

If Brebeuf beats West Lafayette and gets to the 3A state finals, they move up to 4A. If Lowell reaches the state finals for the second consecutive season, they move up to Class 5A.

And Andrean may drop down to their true enrollment level, which may be Class 2A.

Lowell vs. Michigan City? Andrean vs. Whiting?

It could happen in next year’s playoffs.

For the dozen picks this week, let's go with two games in 2A, 3A and 5A and three games in 4A and 6A. Very, very cold conditions (mid-30s temperatures) in the northern part of the state this week. It could affect the games.

Teams change every year but there is more than one regional rematch from 2017 coming up.

What about 4A Lowell and Mishawaka? What about Crown Point at 6A No. 10 Valpo? I’m just not ready to say. Check back with me later in the week. In the meantime, a review of last week's 'Mr. Picker' results:

'Mr. Picker' WEEK-12, 2018 Football Picks in Review:
Nov. 2-3, 2018

Wrong - 5; Right - 7 = 58.3%

The Pick The Result

Pioneer 28, Lafayette Catholic 14  

Pioneer 70-7

North Judson 28, Triton 20  

(wrong) Triton 29-17

Whiting 34, Boone Grove 28  

Whiting 37-19

Bremen 28, Bluffton 13  

Bremen 42-13

Brebuef 35, Blackford 17  

Brebeuf 42-13

West Lafayette 42, ANDREAN 21  

West Lafayette 51-24

St. Joseph’s 21, Mishawaka 20  

(wrong) Mishawaka 27-23

LOWELL 24, Morton 7  

LOWELL 20-14

Elkhart Central 27, Concord 14  

(wrong) Concord 17-14

Michigan City 35, LaPorte 7  

Michigan City 49-7


(wrong) CP 17-13

Penn 16, Valparaiso 13  

(wrong) Penn 21-0


Week Twelve Review: The sectional finals are annually tough to call and it proved that way this time, too. After Penn lost to Valpo 21-0, I heard a lot of people say they predicted that result. I didn’t and I didn’t hear anybody who did. My upset pick, which was St. Joseph’s over Mishawaka, faded at the end. And I did not see Crown Point beating Merrillville or Triton topping North Judson.

BEST PICK: None, really. The seven correct picks were how those games should have gone. None of the scores were especially close. Not a good week.

WORST PICK: Penn over Valpo when Valpo won 21-0. The Vikings had won most games decisively in the last two months and I didn’t give that enough consideration. Also, Penn losing to Mishawaka should have been a red flag about them. Penn’s only lost to the Cavemen two or three times in the last two or three decades.

‘Mr. Picker’  2018 RESULTS
WEEK (12) 7 of 12 = 58.3%
WEEK (11) 15 of 16 = 93.7%
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%

Playoffs (3 weeks) 38 of 47, 80.8%
Season Total (12 weeks): 124 of 159 = 77.9%

'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 (13) THIRTEEN:

Class 2A

No. 5 Eastbrook (11-1) at Lapel (8-4):

LAPEL (11-09-2018)
Lapel has won six in a row and they are at home, but I’m not liking them much here. Strong sectional wins over Cass (7-5) and Rochester have Eastbrook in the regional for the third year in a row. This is a rematch of last year’s regional, won by Eastbrook 56-26. I have never heard of Lapel junior quarterback Cole Alexander (6-2, 195). Not surprising. I I had to get a map out to find where (it's in Madison County northwest of Noblesville) Lapel is. But Alexander has completed 158 of 290 passes for 2,713 yards and 32 TDs. Eastbrook’s double-wing formation has run for 4,314 yards and 65 touchdowns in 12 games. November seems made for them.

Eastbrook 42, Lapel 28.

Class 2A

No. 3 Whiting (12-0) at Bremen (10-2):

BREMEN (11-09-2018)
Bremen’s big Nate Mullen (6-2, 200) has run 174 times for 1,256 yards while little Ryan Caldwell (6-0, 150) has thrown for 1,400 yards and 20 TDs. But nobody’s stopped Whiting. The Oilers have run for 48 TDs, passed for 11 TDs and scored 13 TDs in ‘other ways’. Seven kick return TDs and six interception or fumble recovery TDs. That’s a very large total of defense and special teams TDs. It's hard to stop all that.

Whiting 28, Bremen 20

Class 3A

No. 7 Brebeuf Jesuit (10-2) at No. 1 West Lafayette (12-0):

WEST LAFAYETTE (11-09-2018)
This is the rematch of the 13-10 Brebeuf upset on West Lafayette last season and it won't happen again. Junior QB Kent Adams has thrown for 40 touchdowns for WL and fullback Sage Hood (6-2, 215) has run for 22 TDs. Brebuef is a card carrying member of the Indianapolis ‘Catholic school mafia’, the group of Indy private schools that wins more state titles than anybody else. This isn't a mismatch. But West Lafayette was the better team last year when they got beat. It won't happen again.
West Lafayette 35, Brebeuf 21

Class 3A

(Mishawaka) Marian (8-4) at Bishop Luers (8-4):

FORT WAYNE (11-09-2018)
Powerhouse private schools with records that are misleading because of the schedules they play. Luers has lost to 6A sectional champ Snider (9-2) and 4A Sectional winner Bishop Dwenger (11-1). Marian has lost to 4A No. 2 Mishawaka (11-1) and 6A No. 9 Penn (8-3). Tall Luers QB Norm Knapke (6-3, 170) has thrown for 30 TDs and Jordan Presley has run for 1,000 yards. Luers wins decisively here.

Bishop Luers 35, Marian 14

Class 4A

No. 6 Mooresville (11-1) at No. 4 Marion (12-0):

MARION (11-09-2018)
Marion was 0-10 in 2015 and now they are 12-0. They have allowed a total of 92 points all season. Mooresville wins shootouts. They average 41 points a game and they allow 21 per game. But Marion is trying to finish off a rags to riches comeback at a traditional basketball school. The Giants have never won a football state title and they haven't won a regional in 28 years. To be fair, Mooresville hasn’t won a regional in 29 years. Somebody here goes one step beyond.

Marion 27, Mooresville 20

Class 4A

No. 8 Evansville Central (11-1) at No. 3 East Central (11-1):

ST. LEON (11-09-2018)
The defending state 4A champ East Central Lions are back with state champ QB Alex Maxwell (6-1, 185) who has passed for 1,000 yards and rushed for 1,000 yards. Evansville Central has scored 63 touchdowns in 12 games. No one has held them to less than four TDs in any game. This is a one-point game on the computer. East Central has won tough playoff games over South Dearborn (8-3) and Edgewood (8-4). But Evansville handed both No. 10 Northview (10-1) and No. 9 Booneville (11-1) their first loss in the last two weeks. I really don’t have a good idea about this one.

East Central 28, Evansville Central 27

Class 4A

No. 6 Bishop Dwenger (11-1) at No. 5 Angola (12-0):

ANGOLA (11-09-2018)
Angola plays a very soft schedule including four 3A schools and Class 1A Eastside, but they did upset 4A No. 1 Northwood last week to win their first sectional title in 25 years. Dwenger hasn’t allowed more than 21 points in any game all season against an elite Summit Athletic Conference schedule that includes four 6A schools. I'm guessing that Angola reached their goal last week. Dwenger has state finals hopes. On paper, this is not especially close.

Bishop Dwenger 27, Angola 7

Class 5A

Concord (6-5) at No. 3 Michigan City (9-2):

MICHIGAN CITY (11-09-2018)
The Minutemen have allowed more points than they’ve scored and I think last week’s 17-14 win over rival Elkhart Central was their goal. Michigan City was a 4A sectional and regional champ last year. The Wolves have won seven in a row, but they have yet to reach their goal. Concord has allowed 25 points a game. This is not a difficult choice. MC has almost certainly already been preparing quietly for New Palestine since the regular season ended.

Michigan City 42, Concord 0

Class 5A

No. 1 New Palestine (11-0) at (West Lafayette) Harrison (6-5):

WEST LAFAYETTE (11-09-2018)
New Palestine has lost three games in five years and fullback Charlie Spegal (5-10, 220) leads the nation in touchdowns. Not the state. The nation. Spegal has scored 59 touchdowns in 11 games. 240 carries. 2,666 yards. 59 touchdowns. He scored seven TDs last week in a 78-0 win over Anderson. I don’t understand how a 5A team playing a schedule with 4A, 5A and 6A teams can average 63 points a game. How do they do what they do? What does Harrison have? It doesn’t matter what Harrison has.

New Palestine 56, Harrison 0

Class 6A

Snider (9-2) at No. 3 Carmel (9-2):

CARMEL (11-09-2018)
Carmel has lost only to Center Grove (8-3) and Warren Central (11-0). Snider lost 38-14 to Carroll (3-7) in a game I can't explain, but they may have defensive issues. Snider has won its two playoff games so far by scores of 49-30 and 49-35. Carmel is 5-0 at home, they won this regional matchup 22-21 last season and some of these boys played on the 2016 state championship team. I don’t think this Snider team can go on the road and win against a Top-10 team like Carmel.

Carmel 27, Snider 8

Class 6A

No. 8 Avon (9-2) at No. 7 Center Grove (8-3):

GREENWOOD (11-09-2018)
I do not know who 205-pound, 6-foot-2 Center Grove sophomore Carson Steele is, even though he ran for 1,700 yards as a freshman. In the first game of this season, Steele gained 86 yards on 26 carries against top-ranked Warren Central. Since then, he has run for 100 or more in every game. Steele has 295 carries for 1,905 yards and 27 touchdowns. CG has lost three games. To North Central (9-2), Warren Central (11-0) and New Palestine (11-0). Avon has held eight teams to 13 points or less but they’ll give up more than 13 this Friday. Avon beat CG 32-21 in the 2017 regional and soph QB Henry Hesson (6-2, 193) has thrown for 1,800 yards.

Center Grove 27, Avon 14

Class 6A

No. 1 Warren Central (11-0) at (Indianapolis) North Central (9-2):

INDIANAPOLIS (11-09-2018)
This is a rematch and Warren Central won the earlier game 58-27 and it will go the same way this week. WC is the undisputed No. 1 team in any class. The Warriors average 525 yards per game and they have scored 74 touchdowns. Senior QB Jayden George (6-2, 195) is 159 of 249 for 2,679 yards and 38 touchdowns. Senior halfback Romier Elliott (5-7, 185) has run 220 times for 2,226 yards and 32 TDs. In an out-of-state game in Bowling Green, Kentucky last month, Elliott ran 19 times for 433 yards. Can North Central reverse a 31-point loss two months later? Uh. No.

Warren Central 49, North Central 21

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Revised: November 04, 2018 .