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Week 7 High School Football Previews

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Lake Central (5-1, 4-0) at Chesterton (3-3, 2-2)
Lake Central enters the week tied with Merrillville for the top spot in the Duneland Athletic Conference in what has been a wacky season in the DAC.  The Trojans are coming off a surprising 45-14 defeat to Portage, while the Lake Central Indians are riding high with five straight wins after dropping the season opener to Munster, a team Chesterton defeated a week later.

LaPorte (0-6, 0-4) at Crown Point (3-3, 1-3)
The Slicers will attempt to ease back into their regular routine a week after an emotional Friday night that saw the LaPorte, Merrillville and teams all across the region honor Jake West, who died after collapsing at practice last week.  LaPorte has lost 17 of its last 18 games dating back to 2011.  The Bulldogs have had a befuddling start to conference play, losing three straight including a 31-3 loss to Portage before walloping Valparaiso 26-3 last week.  Crown Point has won eight straight regular season meetings with LaPorte since Oct. 1, 2004.

Merrillville (5-1, 4-0) at Valparaiso (3-3, 3-1)
After a one-point victory over Crown Point in Week 3, the Pirates have rolled to three straight Duneland victories over Portage, Michigan City and LaPorte.  However, the level of competition heats back up as the Pirates collide with a Valparaiso team that is one of the Duneland’s many mysteries this season.  The Vikings are averaging just 13.7 points per game on offense, but they managed to come away with three straight wins to start conference play before being knocked off by Crown Point, 26-3 last week.

Portage (3-3, 2-2) at Michigan City (2-4, 0-4)
The Portage Indians are perhaps the hottest team in Northwest Indiana after coming away with convincing wins over Crown Point and Chesterton by the combined score of 76-17.  Michigan City has made strides in its third season under Michael Karpinski, but the Wolves are still seeking their first conference victory of the season. Michigan City has dropped seven straight to Portage since Sept. 30, 2005.  The Indians were bolstered by the return of running back Hashim Simpson, who made his season debut last week.

Griffith (1-5, 0-4) at Highland (3-3, 0-3)
The loser will be all alone in the cellar of the Northwest Crossroads Conference as Griffith and Highland both seek their first conference wins.  The Trojans have yet to score a point in a conference game after being shut out by Munster, Lowell and Andrean by the combined score of 94-0.  This is a rematch of last year’s sectional opener, a 20-18 Highland triumph.

Hammond (1-5) at Lowell (4-2)
The Lowell Red Devils hold a 14-game winning streak in head-to-head matchups between the two teams since Oct. 27, 2000.  Hammond has not topped Lowell in a regular season game since Sept. 18, 1998.  George Fields ran for 177 yards and two touchdowns to lead Lowell to a 21-20 victory over Hobart last week.  The Lowell defense has allowed just 13 points per game this season.

Kankakee Valley (3-3, 1-2) at Andrean (6-0, 3-0)
Indiana High School Coaches Association Class 3A No. 1 Andrean will look for their 12th straight regular season win on Friday night at home against Kankakee Valley.  Andrean is expected to cruise through the next two weeks against KV and Griffith before the unofficial NCC championship game against Lowell in Week 9.  The 59ers offense has averaged 43.5 points per game this season.  Andrean is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings with the Kougars.

Munster (4-2, 2-1) at Hobart (4-2, 2-2)
The Munster Mustangs have already bounced back from a two-win 2012 season by taking four of their first six, with the only defeats coming to Andrean and Chesterton.  Hobart started the season with four straight victories before back-to-back defeats to Andrean and Lowell the last two weeks.  With Lowell and Andrean on a collision course for a first-place matchup to close out the regular season, this game could very well determine third place in the conference.

Calumet (2-4, 1-3) at Whiting (6-0, 4-0)
The Whiting Oilers will look to remain unbeaten and extend a 16-game regular season winning streak that dates back to Oct. 7, 2011 on Friday night as they host Calumet.  The Oilers are ranked fifth in the Indiana Football Coaches Association Class 1A Poll.  After producing just 107 yards of total offense last week in a 24-0 loss to Bishop Noll, the Warriors have no easy task as they try to snap a three-game skid.

Bishop Noll (3-3, 3-1) at River Forest (4-2, 3-1)
The winner will take over sole possession of second place behind Whiting in the Greater South Shore Conference as Noll visits River Forest.  The Ingots have surrendered just 12.7 points per game this season.  The Warriors have won three straight games in the head-to-head series and are riding high after last week’s shutout of Calumet. If River Forest can pull out a victory, it will have a chance to take over a share of the GSSC next week against Whiting.

Lake Station (1-5, 1-3) at Wheeler (2-4, 2-2)
After losing last week’s game against South Central 42-14, Lake Station coach Rich Lunsford said he was outcoached by Dan Klimczak.  This week, he will have a different Klimczak to deal with in Wheeler coach Tony Klimczak.  Wheeler has won eight straight games over Lake Station dating back to Oct. 1, 2004.

South Central (2-4, 2-2) at North Newton (1-5, 0-4)
Kyle Sturdy led the South Central Satellites to last week’s victory over Lake Station.  South Central appears to be in the process of turning its season around after back-to-back victories.  The next test for South Central is a scuffling North Newton squad that has dropped five straight since a season-opening win against South Newton.

Clark (0-6, 0-1) at Gavit (2-4, 0-0)
The Clark Pioneers are hopeful that this is the week they finally pick up their first victory since Week 2 of 2012.  Clark came up just a touchdown shy against Bowman Academy last week.  The Gladiators, who own victories over Roosevelt and Calumet, fell 12-6 to Delphi last week.

Morton (5-1) at West Side (3-3)
This has the makings of a competitive nonconference showdown as West Side has rapped off three straight blowout victories since falling to Andrean in Week 3.  Morton is coming off a 19-6 triumph over East Chicago.  Morton is 8-0 against West Side since the two teams started meeting in 2007.

Lew Wallace (2-1) at East Chicago (4-2)
The Lew Wallace Hornets has played only three games this season due to an incomplete schedule, but they have won two straight including a 24-6 victory over Roosevelt last week.  East Chicago’s offense has averaged 37 points per game this season despite scoring a combined six points in its two losses.

-Brandon Vickrey

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