Forecasting the high school football sectionals
October 16, 2012 11:10PM
Hutton, Michael 2004 Post-Tribune sportswriter Michael Hutton
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For Steve T. Gorches’ sectional predictions, visit his blog at blogs.post-trib.com/gorches/
Updated: November 18, 2012 7:17AM
Time for me to pick the winners of all six sectionals that we cover, giving readers and fans one more reason treat us with disdain and scorn.
This column comes with a disclaimer: The picks are mine and mine only. That said, I take zero responsibility for the picks. It’s all someone else’s fault if I pick against your team and your team wins.
Class 5A, Sectional 1
Valparaiso at Crown Point: I’ll take the Vikings here for no other reason than they played Lake Central tough at home last week and they were once ranked as high as No. 3 in the Post-Tribune poll after close losses to Carmel (a point) and Penn (seven). Sound good?
Portage at Lake Central: Upset special. The Indians will win. Ha, ha. Got you there. I think Wally McCormack comes up with the game plan of his life and finds a way to score against the other Indians’ steel curtain of a defensive line. Yep, you heard it. Portage wins even though the dusty field at LC is a huge advantage for the home team. Note: Looks like LC will play without David Yancey, who missed school Monday because of his knee injury against Valparaiso.
Merrillville at Munster: Well, the good thing for the Mustangs is that they only get one more year of playing-in-the-largest-class misery. They remain in 5A next year when a sixth class moves in. No way the Pirates lose this one, especially after they semi-imploded last week against Chesterton.
Michigan City at Chesterton: Trojans in a landslide.
Valparaiso at Portage: The Vikings make up for a disappointing midseason run by eking out a victory over the Indians.
Chesterton at Merrillville: In part two of the great rematch, the Pirates don’t lay the ball on the ground and they don’t throw a pick-six and they win when it matters most, though it’s another classic.
Merrillville at Valparaiso: The unfortunate part about the Vikings winning their first two is that they have to play the Pirates. They just can’t stop the offensive juggernaut that Merrillville has built up.
Class 4A, Sectional 9
Morton at Clark: Sorry, I just don’t have that much to say about that one. Let’s go with the Governors.
East Chicago Central at Hammond: The Cardinals dominated the Wildcats the first time around. This is the best team EC has had since 1991, when the Cardinals finished 10-1 but lost to Crown Point in the second round of the state tournament. EC wins.
Highland at Griffith: The Panthers get a good draw after a lousy regular season. They should win this one.
Roosevelt at West Side: The Cougars are the best team in Gary. Period. Hard to see Roosevelt erasing a 51-point deficit in a week. Give it to West Side.
Morton at East Chicago: This will be a dynamite high school football game. I like the Governors’ experience in big games even though it’s been a disappointing season for them.
Griffith at West Side: The Cougars get the home-field advantage. They have just enough players to get back into the sectional finals.
West Side at Morton: All the stars line up correctly for the Cougars and they get their first sectional title ever.
Class 4A, Sectional 10
Hobart at Kankakee Valley: Best game of the bunch. The Brickies pull off the upset here.
Lowell at Mishawaka: Another close one. Give the edge to Mishawaka.
South Bend Clay at New Prairie: The magic ends here for Russ Radtke.
South Bend Washington at South Bend Riley: In a battle of 1-8 teams, go with the home team.
Mishawaka at Hobart: The Brickies get to the sectional final for first time since 2009.
South Bend Riley at South Bend Clay: Clay wins easily.
Hobart at SB Clay: Hobart wins its first sectional since 1997.
Class 3A, Sectional 17
Knox at SB St. Joseph’s: This is where it starts to get real hazy. St. Joe’s has played some real good teams. I like the Indians here.
Gavit at Calumet: Calumet is winless and already lost to Gavit. Do I really have to pick the winner here ?
Culver at Glenn: Pretty good game. Culver (7-2) beat Glenn (4-5) earlier this year. Look for Culver to make it two straight.
Lew Wallace at Mishawaka Marian: Marian has won some pretty big games this year. Wallace won’t be in this one for long.
St. Joe’s at Gavit: The Indians should scoot into final with a victory here.
Marian at Culver: Toss-up game. Let’s go with Marian.
St. Joe’s at Marian: The Knights get the win in the rematch. They lost by 14 earlier against St. Joe’s.
Class 2A, Sectional 25
River Forest at Bowman: The Ingots don’t match up well with Bowman. Give this one to Eagles.
Rensselaer at North Newton: North Newton lost 56-7 to Rensselaer this season. Don’t see the Spartans making up 49 points.
Boone Grove at Lake Station: The Wolves get their first ever playoff win after a nice season.
Andrean at Wheeler: The rematch from last year’s seismic upset won’t be close. Andrean in a landslide.
Bowman at Rensselaer: The Bombers will take down the Eagles.
Boone Grove at Andrean: The 59ers end the Wolves’ best season ever.
Rensselaer at Andrean: The 59ers get back to the regionals again in a close game against the Bombers.
Class A, Sectional 33
South Newton at Bishop Noll: The Warriors scratch out a victory.
Tri-County at Winamac: Winamac beats the Cavaliers easily.
Culver Community at West Central: The Trojans wallop Culver for the second time this year.
South Central at Whiting: The undefeated Oilers stay undefeated.
Noll at Winamac: The Warriors’ luck ends.
West Central at Whiting: The Oilers are no longer undefeated after they lose to the Trojans.
Winamac at West Central: The Trojans get back to the regionals for first time since 2005.