I am back for my ninth season picking high school football and boys’ basketball games for RRSN. My goal is to improve on last year’s mark of 264-75, which was good for 78 percent, and reach that elusive 80 percent plateau. Records indicated were final for 2018.
NORTHERN INDIANA CONFERENCE
Concord (6-6) at Saint Joseph (7-5): The Indians posted a 28-14 win at Concord last season. Ethan Cain was 94-of-174 for 1,225 yards and nine touchdowns for the Minutemen. John Driscoll ran 140 times for 926 yards and 10 scores for Saint Joseph. Matt’s pick: Concord 23, Saint Joseph 20.
Elkhart Memorial (3-7) at Elkhart Central (6-6): This is the final battle for the Mangy Lion as the two schools will consolidate next year. The Blazers were a 38-7 winner over Memorial a year ago. Tyler Lehner tossed for 1,316 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Chargers. Isaiah Chandler completed 88-of-174 for 1,409 yards with seven scores for Central. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Central 35, Elkhart Memorial 21.
New Prairie (7-4) at LaPorte (4-7): The No. 6 (Class 4A) Cougars rolled to a 42-14 win over LaPorte a season ago. Ian Skornog recorded 43 tackles for New Prairie. Matt Neff racked up 64 stops for the Slicers. Former Penn standout and Paoli coach Jeremy Lowery takes over for David Sharpe at LaPorte. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 38, LaPorte 14.
Northridge (5-6) at Adams (3-7) (School Field): The Raiders registered a 21-12 victory against Adams last year. Caid Lacey scampered 83 times for 615 yards and three touchdowns for Northridge. Miguel Zyniewicz amassed 64 tackles for the Eagles. Matt’s pick: Adams 30, Northridge 24.
Penn (8-3) at Valparaiso (10-3): The No. 7 (Class 5A) Vikings earned a Class 6A sectional title with a 21-0 triumph at No. 6 Penn, while the Kingsmen claimed a 21-3 decision over Valparaiso to open the 2018 campaign. Ron Powlus went 117-of-221 for 1,389 yards and 14 touchdowns for Penn. C.J. Opperman completed 94-of-210 for 1,187 yards and five scores for Valparaiso. Matt’s pick: Valparaiso 17, Penn 14.
Portage (4-6) at Mishawaka (12-2): The Indians are looking to make amends for a 35-14 loss to No. 8 (Class 5A) Mishawaka in their last meeting. Zach Warchus was 54-of-122 for 798 yards and five touchdowns for Portage. Donovan Snyder raced 61 times for 454 yards with a score for the Cavemen. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 33, Portage 13.
Boone Grove (9-3) at Glenn (1-9): The Falcons came up on the short end of a 40-12 decision to Boone Grove in 2018. Brae’ton Vann ran 164 times for 1,702 yards with 32 scores for the Wolves. Michael Lawler came up with 29 tackles for Glenn. Matt’s pick: Boone Grove 39, Glenn 12.
Jimtown (5-5) at NorthWood (11-1): The No. 5 (Class 4A) Panthers blanked Jimtown. 26-0, a season ago. Trey Washington scampered 142 times for 831 yards and eight touchdowns for the Jimmies. Jaden Miller came up with 62 carries for 622 yards and six scores for NorthWood. Matt’s pick: NorthWood 26, Jimtown 22.
LaVille (6-4) at Bremen (11-3): The Lancers escaped with a 20-19 win over Bremen in the 2014 campaign. Kolby Watts accumulated 74 rushes for 516 yards and seven scores for LaVille. Bryce Wogomon tallied 47 carries for 187 yards and three touchdowns for the Lions. Matt’s pick: LaVille 25, Bremen 16.
Marian (8-5) at Clay (0-9): The Colonials suffered a 56-0 loss to No. 6 (Class 3A) Marian last year. Mitchell Nagy was 31-of-65 for 371 yards and five touchdowns for the Knights. Quintin Gordon is one of the leaders out of the backfield for Clay. Matt’s pick: Marian 41, Clay 8.
Riley (6-5) at New Haven (5-6): The Wildcats slipped past New Haven, 26-20, during the 2018 campaign. Senator Brown completed 107-of-176 passes for 1,474 yards and 12 scores for Riley. D’Andre Wright recorded 88 tackles for the Bulldogs. Matt’s pick: New Haven 27, Riley 21.
Washington (3-7) at Hammond (0-9): The Panthers earned a 48-0 win over Hammond a season ago. Kenyon Grant romped 159 times for 913 yards and seven touchdowns for Washington. Ci’Ye Golden racked up 48 tackles for the Wildcats. Todd Stammich takes over for Jay Johnson at Washington. Matt’s pick: Washington 34, Hammond 10.
NORTHERN LAKES CONFERENCE
East Noble (9-2) at Plymouth (6-4): The Knights crowned Plymouth, 16-6, last season. Bailey Parker was 134-of-233 for 1,597 yards and 13 touchdowns for East Noble. Seth Rundell hauled in 45 passes for 692 yards and seven scores for the Rockies. Matt’s pick: Plymouth 19, East Noble 15.
Goshen (1-9) at Fairfield (0-9): The RedHawks earned their lone victory last year with a 49-0 decision against Fairfield. Bryant Grewe had 122 carries for 692 yards and six scores for Goshen. Cory Lantz returns for his second campaign at quarterback for the Falcons. Matt’s pick: Goshen 14, Fairfield 7.
Huntington North (4-6) at Warsaw (7-3): The Tigers came up on the short end of a 24-21 contest to Warsaw in 2008. Isaac Hill is back again at linebacker for the Vikings. Gage Lyon accounted for 34 tackles for Warsaw. Bob Prescott replaces Rick Burnau at the top man at Huntington North. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 29, Huntington North 14.
Lakeland (6-4) at Wawasee (1-9): The Lakers claimed a 28-7 win against Wawasee a year ago. Nathan Grossman ended up with 28 tackles for Lakeland. Justin Castro finished with 28 tackles and two fumble recoveries for the Warriors. Jon Reutebuch has taken over for Mike Eshbach at Wawasee. Matt’s pick: Lakeland 18, Wawasee 12.
Andrean (10-2) at Merrillville (7-4): The Pirates slipped past No. 4 (Class 2A) Andrean, 20-14, in their last meeting. Nick Flescher came up with 79 receptions for 952 yards and 12 touchdowns for the 59ers. Jeremiah Howard tallied 38 catches for 598 yards and six scores for Merrillville. Matt’s pick: Andrean 28, Merrillville 23.
Chesterton (3-7) at Hobart (7-3): The Brickies held on for a 10-9 win over Chesterton in 2018. Bryce Pickering ran 32 times for 219 yards for the Trojans. Riley Johnston completed 72-of-142 passes for 806 yards and six touchdowns for Hobart. Matt’s pick: Hobart 31, Chesterton 13.
Crown Point (5-7) at Lowell (10-3): The No. 10 (Class 4A) Red Devils were a 17-7 winner over Crown Point a year ago. Alec Barancyk accounted for 71 tackles for the Bulldogs. Aaron DuBord notched 59 tackles for Lowell. Matt’s pick: Lowell 19, Crown Point 9.
Griffith (8-3) at Michigan City (10-3): The No. 4 (Class 5A) Wolves blanked Griffith, 53-0, last year. Carson Crowe went 77-of-154 for 1,066 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Panthers. Mike Bradford rambled 64 times for 429 yards and four scores for Michigan City. With the departure of Ben Geffert, Adam Musielak is now at the controls at Griffith. Matt’s pick: Michigan City 35, Griffith 6.
Lake Central (2-8) at Munster (2-8): The Indians posted a 10-3 decision over Munster in their last meeting. Zach Rangel recorded 30 tackles for Lake Central. Mike Dywan raced for 314 yards and four scores for the Mustangs. Matt’s pick: Lake Central 20, Munster 17.