High School Football Previews Week 9
Chesterton (3-5, 2-4) at Merrillville (7-1, 6-0)
Associated Press Class 6A No. 7 Merrillville needs a win to secure the outright Duneland Athletic Conference title as the Pirates host Chesterton. Last season, the Pirates entered this game in a similar scenario, one victory away from completing a perfect conference season, only to see Chesterton come away with a 40-35 victory. The Pirates would later end Chesterton’s season in the sectional semifinal. Chesterton has dropped four straight games, while the Pirates have won six in a row.
Lake Central (6-2, 5-1) at Valparaiso (3-5, 3-3)
In order to notch a share of the DAC, Lake Central needs help from Chesterton. However, the Indians have an important game of their own as they visit Valparaiso. The Vikings opened conference play with three straight victories but have since dropped three in a row. Valparaiso’s offense has been limited to just 12.9 points per game this season.
Michigan City (2-6, 0-6) at Crown Point (5-3, 3-3)
After a 2-0 start to the season, Michigan City has lost six straight including a disappointing defeat to LaPorte last week. The Wolves have still only won one DAC game in the last four years, a 20-16 upset of Lake Central in 2012. Crown Point has quietly won three straight over Valparaiso, LaPorte and Chesterton. The Bulldogs will look to build their momentum entering a much-anticipated trip to Lake Central to start sectional play.
Portage (5-3, 4-2) at LaPorte (1-7, 1-5)
LaPorte is coming off a surprising 48-21 victory over Michigan City, the Slicers first win of the season, snapping a nine-game losing streak. Portage has won three consecutive meetings with LaPorte and five of the last six. The Indians will attempt to avoid a trap game as they look ahead to a tough matchup with Penn in the sectional opener. Portage is the only team in the conference other than Merrillville that holds a four-game winning streak.
Andrean (8-0, 5-0) at Lowell (6-2, 5-0)
Lowell is the only team standing between AP Class 3A No. 1 Andrean and an undefeated regular season. However, the Red Devils have rapped off six-straight wins and are also perfect in Northwest Crossroads Conference play. The winner of this game will take the NCC title. A year ago, the 59ers edged out a 20-19 win over Lowell. Andrean’s offense is averaging 44 points per game this season.
Bowman Academy (4-4) at Griffith (1-7)
Griffith finished Northwest Crossroads Conference play winless with last week’s loss to Andrean. The Panthers close the regular season slate with a nonconference matchup with Bowman Academy. This marks the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Hobart (4-4, 2-3) at Highland (4-4, 1-4)
The Hobart season has been a tale of two halves. The Brickies appeared to be an NCC-title contender when they strung together four victories to open the season, but since then they have lost four in a row. The Brickies must get back on track against a young Highland squad if they want any type of momentum entering the postseason tournament. Hobart is 13-0 against the Trojans since the two teams started meeting in 2003.
Munster (5-4, 3-2) at Kankakee Valley (4-4, 2-3)
Munster is looking to rebound from a 17-7 loss to Lowell last week, while Kankakee Valley used a prolific ground game to steamroll Highland 49-26. The Kougars need a victory to finish above .500 for the second straight season. Last year, KV came away victorious to stop a seven-game losing streak to the Mustangs.
Bishop Noll (4-4, 4-2) at North Newton (1-7, 0-6)
North Newton will try to stop a seven-game skid and bookend the regular season with wins. Bishop Noll’s 21-19 loss to Wheeler last week cost the Ingots a chance for a share of the Greater South Shore Conference. The Spartans defense has allowed 41.4 points per game this season.
River Forest (5-3, 4-2) at South Central (4-4, 4-2)
The River Forest Ingots are coming off a 30-20 upset of Whiting. A puzzling Greater South Shore Conference picture now has River Forest, Bishop Noll, South Central and Wheeler all tied for second at 4-2. All four of those squads are still chasing the 5-1 Oilers. This showdown will help sort out the top half of the GSSC.
Whiting (7-1, 5-1) at Lake Station (2-6, 2-4)
Despite last week’s upset loss to River Forest that ruined Whiting’s chances of a second consecutive perfect season, the Oilers are still a win away from securing the outright GSSC crown. Lake Station defeat North Newton last week, but has not won back-to-back games since 2004. Whiting is now ranked eighth in Class 1A by the AP.
Clark (2-6, 1-1) at Hammond (2-6, 1-1)
Hammond will host Clark in what seems to be the battle for second place in the Great Lakes Athletic Conference. The Pioneers have won two straight games and are in search of their longest winning streak since 2010. The Wildcats have won the head-to-head matchup each of the last two years.
Gavit (2-6, 0-2) at Morton (7-1, 2-0)
Morton is in position to latch down another Great Lakes Athletic Conference title with a win over Gavit. The Governors have won 12 straight games against the Gladiators. Morton is on an impressive three-game winning streak with victories over East Chicago Central, West Side and Hobart.
West Side (4-4, 1-0) at Roosevelt (0-8, 0-1)
Like Morton, West Side is all but guaranteed a victory this week to sew up a conference title. The Cougars have a date with struggling Roosevelt. The Panthers have lost 10 straight games including back-to-back defeats to West Side to close out the 2012 season. Roosevelt is averaging 5.1 points per game, as opposed to West Side’s 54.0 points per game.