My upward trend continued as I went 13-2 (87 percent) last week. Heading into the second half of the season, my overall record is now 69-20, which improves me to 78 percent.
NORTHERN INDIANA CONFERENCE
Mishawaka (3-2, 1-1 NIC) at Elkhart Central (5-0, 1-0 NIC): The Cavemen have beaten No. 6 (Class 5A) Elkhart Central 13 straight times, including a 22-15 triumph last season. Ethan Fowler ran five times for 34 yards in Mishawaka’s 28-27 loss to New Prairie. Roderick Ballard caught five passes for 78 yards in the Blazers’ 35-0 blanking of Saint Joseph. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Central 30, Mishawaka 28.
New Prairie (5-0, 2-0 NIC) at Adams (0-5, 0-2 NIC) (TCU School Field): The No. 1 (Class 4A) Cougars rolled to a 35-14 win over Adams a year ago. Tyler Graeber recorded 14 tackles and a fumble recovery for New Prairie against Mishawaka. Lynn King had three receptions for 37 yards in the Eagles’ 62-32 loss to Penn. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 46, Adams 20.
Penn (2-3, 1-0 NIC) at Saint Joseph (0-5, 0-2 NIC): The Kingsmen edged Saint Joseph, 21-13, a season ago. Alec Hardrict ran 16 times for 85 yards with three touchdowns for Penn against Adams. Matt Eck was just 7-of-17 for 30 yards for the Indians against Elkhart Central. Matt’s pick: Penn 35, Saint Joseph 13.
Bremen (2-3, 1-2 NIC) at Marian (5-0, 4-0 NIC): The Lions have won the last two contests against No. 4 (Class 3A) Marian by the score of 21-14. Sam Huffman hauled in five passes for 126 yards with a score in Bremen’s 41-0 win over Clay. Colin Kerr caught a 24-yard touchdown pass in the Knights’ 17-3 win at Jimtown. Matt’s pick: Marian 36, Bremen 12.
Jimtown (2-3) at Concord (5-0): The Jimmies rolled to a 27-7 win over No. 3 (Class 5A) Concord last year. Cole Thompson scampered 15 times for 29 yards for Jimtown against Marian. Ethan Cain went 10-of-17 for 132 yards and three scores for the Minutemen in their 45-0 blanking of Goshen. Matt’s pick: Concord 24, Jimtown 14.
Riley (3-2, 1-2 NIC) at Clay (1-4, 0-3 NIC): The Wildcats roared to a 45-10 win over Clay in their last matchup. Jalen Cummings ran three yards for a score in Riley’s 32-14 loss to Washington. Macey Ginzer completed 6-of-13 passes for 31 yards for the Colonials against Bremen. Matt’s pick: Riley 44, Clay 9.
Washington (4-1, 2-1 NIC) at Glenn (1-4, 1-2 NIC): The Panthers edged Glenn, 27-22, a season ago. Ta’Ron Bradshaw tallied 142 yards on the ground with a score for Washington against Riley. Nathan Creed tossed a nine-yard touchdown pass for the Falcons in their 35-7 loss at Knox. Matt’s pick: Washington 38, Glenn 6.
NORTHERN LAKES CONFERENCE
Culver Military (2-3) at Elkhart Memorial (1-4): The Chargers suffered a 13-0 loss to Culver Academy a year ago. Ryan Tompos threw for 74 yards with a touchdown and ran for 40 yards and a score in the Eagles’ 21-14 loss to Brebeuf Jesuit. Christian Santiago booted a 36-yard field goal in Elkhart Memorial’s 42-24 loss to Plymouth. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Memorial 33, Culver Academy 29.
NorthWood (3-2, 2-1 NLC) at Northridge (3-2, 1-2 NLC): The Panthers clawed past Northridge, 63-30, last season. Kaden Lone completed 7-of-10 for 67 yards with two touchdowns and ran 13 times for 118 yards in NorthWood’s 40-10 win against Wawasee. Jett Gott registered seven catches for 77 yards in the Raiders’ 28-13 loss to Warsaw. Matt’s pick: NorthWood 39, Northridge 34.
Plymouth (4-1, 3-0 NLC) at Wawasee (1-4, 0-3 NLC): The No. 8 (Class 4A) Rockies cruised to a 28-14 win over Wawasee in 2018. Jake Reichard racked up a 10-yard scoring reception for Plymouth against Elkhart Memorial. Evan Dippon kicked a 39-yard field goal for the Warriors against NorthWood. Matt’s pick: Plymouth 43, Wawasee 10.
Warsaw (4-1, 2-1 NLC) at Goshen (1-4, 0-3 NLC): The Tigers blanked Goshen, 35-0, last year. Jackson Dawson came up with a 16-yard touchdown catch for Warsaw against Northridge. Andrew Pletcher tallied four catches for 39 yards for the RedHawks against Concord. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 42, Goshen 7.
Chesterton (3-2, 1-2 DAC) at Portage (1-4, 0-3 DAC): The Indians posted a 20-14 victory over Chesterton last season. Bryce Pickering recorded a 17-yard touchdown reception for the Trojans in their 40-6 loss to Valparaiso. Zach Warchus went 13-of-27 for 179 yards and a score in Portage’s 22-16 loss to Crown Point. Matt’s pick: Chesterton 22, Portage 18.
LaPorte (1-4, 1-2 DAC) at Merrillville (5-0, 3-0 DAC): The No. 7 (Class 6A) Pirates clubbed LaPorte, 35-7, a season ago. Jeremiah Ruiz romped 28 times for 154 yards and a score in the Slicers’ 31-14 win over Lake Central. Peter Rodriguez found the end zone three times in Merrillville’s 46-7 win at Michigan City. Matt’s pick: Merrillville 37, LaPorte 15.
Michigan City (2-3, 1-2 DAC) at Lake Central (2-3, 1-2 DAC): The Wolves roared past Lake Central, 49-6, a year ago. Kaydarious Jones came up with three catches for 106 yards and a touchdown for Michigan City against Merrillville. Mateo Cedano was 12-of-22 for 135 yards and a score for the Indians against LaPorte. Matt’s pick: Michigan City 31, Lake Central 13.
Valparaiso (5-0, 3-0 DAC) at Crown Point (3-2, 2-1 DAC): The No. 2 (Class 5A) Vikings earned a pair of wins over Crown Point last year by scores of 38-7 and 23-6. Elias Sewell converted a 30-yard field goal for Valparaiso against Chesterton. Will Pettit completed 12-of-23 for 164 yards for the Bulldogs against Portage. Matt’s pick: Valparaiso 34, Crown Point 11.