The season began on a decent note as I went 21-6, which was good for 78 percent, last week. All games are Friday unless noted.
NORTHERN INDIANA CONFERENCE
Bremen (1-0) at Riley (0-1) (Jackson Field): The Lions escaped with a 21-19 win over Riley last year. Jacob Wunder ran for 85 yards and a touchdown in Bremen’s 41-13 win over Tippecanoe Valley. Anthony Collier scampered for 84 yards and a score in Riley’s 38-24 loss to Leo. Matt’s pick: Bremen 28, Riley 20.
Clay (0-1) at New Prairie (0-1): The Colonials suffered 49-0 setback to New Prairie a season ago. Tecory Gordon’s 67-yard touchdown romp was Clay’s lone highlight in a 42-8 loss to Marian. Chris Mays managed just 66 yards on the ground and one score in the Cougars’ 41-12 setback at LaPorte. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 48, Clay 12.
Elkhart Central (1-0) at Goshen (0-1): The RedHawks claimed a 35-28 win against Elkhart Central a year ago. Jackson Wiltfong tossed for 127 yards in the Blazers’ 21-20 win over rival Elkhart Memorial. Austin Bontrager mustered just three yards through the air in Goshen’s 19-0 loss at Fairfield. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Central 26, Goshen 18.
Jimtown (0-1) at Washington (1-0) (School Field): The Jimmies cruised to a 30-13 victory over Washington last season. Tony Pletcher came up with two receptions for 57 yards in Jimtown’s 31-0 loss at NorthWood. Donya Harris had 22 rushes for 148 yards and one score in the Panthers’ 22-0 blanking of Hammond. Matt’s pick: Jimtown 30, Washington 29.
Marian (1-0) at Glenn (1-0): The Knights crown Glenn, 41-7, in their last meeting. Tyler DeBoe accounted for 77 yards rushing and a touchdown for Marian against Clay. Collin Barker racked up 11 tackles for the Falcons in their 23-12 win over Boone Grove. Matt’s pick: Marian 46, Glenn 22.
Merrillville (0-1) at Penn (0-1): The Kingsmen rolled to a 35-2 win at Merrillville in 2016. Cameron Wright threw for 171 yards and ran for a score in the Pirates’ 42-13 loss to Andrean. Before leaving with an undisclosed injury, Ryan Lynch passed for a 34-yard touchdown in Penn’s 12-7 loss at Valparaiso. Matt’s pick: Penn 24, Merrillville 13.
Mishawaka (1-0) at Valparaiso (1-0): The Vikings eliminated Mishawaka from the 2010 playoffs with a 21-14 victory in the Class 5A regional. Chris Harness rambled for 204 yards and three touchdowns in Mishawaka’s 47-45 victory over Portage. Jake Leffew threw for 133 yards and one touchdown and ran for another tally in Valparaiso’s upset of Penn. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 34, Valparaiso 32.
Notre Dame (Ill.) (0-0) at Adams (0-1) (Saturday at School Field): The Dons are taking on Adams for the first time on the gridiron. Coming off last season’s 6-5 finish, Notre Dame is looking for its third straight winning campaign. Jaydin Miller came up with a 14-yard touchdown pass in the Eagles’ 26-14 loss to Northridge. Matt’s pick: Notre Dame 33, Adams 21.
Saint Joseph (0-1) at Northridge (1-0): The Indians were a 35-6 winner over Northridge in the 1995 playoffs. Ashton Ruszkowski tallied almost 200 yards of offense with two touchdown passes in Saint Joseph’s 31-30 loss to Concord. Nick Hooley racked up 106 yards through the air in the Raiders’ win over Adams. Matt’s pick: Northridge 23, Saint Joseph 19.
NORTHERN LAKES CONFERENCE
Elkhart Memorial (0-1) at Concord (1-0): The Minutemen breezed to a 55-7 triumph at Elkhart Memorial a season ago. In addition to having five catches for 86 yards, Nolan Grose also came up with an interception for the Chargers against Elkhart Central. Making his first varsity start, sophomore Ethan Cain passed for 111 yards and one score for Concord against Saint Joseph. Matt’s pick: Concord 44, Elkhart Memorial 19.
Fairfield (1-0) at NorthWood (1-0): On their way to the Class 4A state title game, the Panthers earned a 54-6 win at Fairfield last fall. Connor Kitson ran for 56 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons in their win over Goshen. Landon Gessinger accounted for nearly 200 total yards and a score in NorthWood’s triumph over Jimtown. Matt’s pick: NorthWood 45, Fairfield 16.
Hammond Morton (1-0) at Plymouth (1-0): The Governors are making their first visit to Plymouth’s Rockpile. Timothy Johnson returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown in Morton’s 27-23 win over Highland. Benji Nixon scampered for 84 yards and a score in the Rockies’ 22-18 upset of East Noble. Matt’s pick: Plymouth 37, Hammond Morton 25.
Warsaw (1-0) at East Noble (0-1): The Tigers came up on the short end a 47-42 decision to East Noble a year ago. Tristan Larsh ran for 105 of his 130 yards in the first half in Warsaw’s 21-6 win over Columbia City. Andrew McCormick threw for 230 yards and one score for the Knights against Plymouth. Matt’s pick: East Noble 28, Warsaw 26.
Wawasee (1-0) at West Noble (1-0): The Chargers dropped a 48-7 contest Wawasee last season. Will Geer recorded 15 tackles in the Warriors’ 53-34 victory over Lakeland. Chase Wroblewski tossed for 196 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another tally in West Noble’s 32-14 win at Central Noble. Matt’s pick: Wawasee 36, West Noble 23.
HOOSIER NORTH CONFERENCE
Caston (1-0, 0-0) at North Judson (0-1, 0-1): The Bluejays soared to a 17-6 win against Caston a year ago. Kasey Ault had 105 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Comets’ 13-8 win over West Central. North Judson is trying to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2008. Matt’s pick: North Judson 13, Caston 12.
Culver (1-0) at South Central (1-0): The Satellites rocketed past Culver, 26-12, a season ago. Alecks McBee had 10 tackles and fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Cavaliers’ 12-0 victory over North Judson. Wes Battleday ran for 47 yards and a score in South Central’s 33-6 win over Lake Station. Matt’s pick: South Central 20, Culver 14.
Knox (1-0) at West Central (0-1): The Redskins blanked West Central, 47-0, last year. Dawson Patrick ran 13 times for 91 yards and three touchdowns for Knox in a 41-12 win over Winamac. Cameron Pratt had a 28-yard touchdown reception for the Trojans against Caston. Matt’s pick: Knox 41, West Central 8.
LaVille (1-0) at Triton (1-0): The Lancers came away with a 55-18 win against Triton in 2016. Andrew Dill collected an interception in LaVille’s 3-0 triumph at North Newton. Tye Orsund caught three passes for 91 yards with two touchdowns in the Trojans’ 70-0 blanking of South Newton. Matt’s pick: LaVille 17, Triton 10.
Pioneer (1-0, 0-0) at Winamac (0-1, 0-1): The defending Class 1A state runner-up Panthers pounced past Winamac, 41-12, last season. Ezra Lewellen found the end zone twice in Pioneer’s 30-0 blanking of Lewis Cass. Ethan Rogers’ 172 yards rushing with a touchdown was not enough for the Warriors against Knox. Matt’s pick: Pioneer 43, Winamac 18.
Highland (0-1) at Crown Point (0-1): The Bulldogs marched past Highland, 19-3, in the 1992 season. Dean Foundos rambled for 134 yards and one score and threw for 131 yards in the Trojans’ loss to Hammond Morton. Ryan Bolda tossed for 155 yards and a touchdown for Crown Point in a 27-13 loss at Lowell. Matt’s pick: Crown Point 25, Highland 13.
Lake Central (1-0) at Lincolnway Central (Ill.) (0-0): The Knights handed Lake Central a 24-21 setback a year ago. Josh Williams raced for 119 yards and one score in the Indians’ 33-14 triumph at Munster. Lincolnway Central closed its 7-4 campaign last fall with a 23-13 loss to Rolling Meadows in the second round of the Class 7A Illinois football playoffs. Matt’s pick: Lincolnway Central 35, Lake Central 30.
LaPorte (1-0) at Hobart (0-1): The Brickies suffered a 27-10 defeat at the hands of LaPorte a season ago. Drayson Nespo collected 103 yards on the ground and a score for the Slicers against New Prairie. Sam Ehrlich rushed for 129 yards with a touchdown and threw for 137 yards and a score in Hobart’s 35-21 loss to Chesterton. Matt’s pick: LaPorte 38, Hobart 21.
Lowell (1-0) at Portage (0-1): The Indians slipped past Lowell, 28-27, in their last matchup. Payton Schreiber threw for 130 yards and two touchdowns for the Red Devils against Crown Point. Cody Russell rolled up 120 yards rushing and a score for Portage against Mishawaka. Matt’s pick: Lowell 31, Portage 26.
Michigan City (1-0) at Homewood Flossmoor (Ill.) (0-0): The Wolves are taking on the Vikings for the first time. Zennon Wilhelm caught five passes for 129 yards and one score in Michigan City’s 25-20 victory over Griffith. Flossmoor, which is coached by former Michigan City and Portage skipper Craig Buzea, finished with a 10-1 mark in 2016, losing 28-21 to Glenbard West in the Class 8A Illinois playoffs. Matt’s pick: Homewood Flossmoor 40, Michigan City 20.
Munster (0-1) at Chesterton (1-0): The Trojans posted a 25-22 victory over Munster last year. Raheem Butler registered 93 yards rushing and one score for the Mustangs against Lake Central. Ryan Klespies accounted for 61 yards on the ground and a score in Chesterton’s win over Hobart. Matt’s pick: Chesterton 32, Munster 19.