The 2020 campaign began on a sour note as I went 11-5 (69 percent) last week. I am hoping things are better the second time around, so here are my thoughts for this week’s contests.
NORTHERN INDIANA CONFERENCE
Concord (8-2) at Jimtown (7-5): The Minutemen rolled to a 29-9 win over Jimtown a year ago. Wyatt Stringer registered 27 tackles for Concord in 2019. Ethan DeVol ran 135 times for 1,047 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Jimmies. Cory Stoner took over for Mike Campbell as Jimtown’s top man. Matt’s pick: Concord 24, Jimtown 13.
Glenn (1-0) at Riley (0-1) (Jackson Field): The Wildcats posted a 26-14 win against Glenn a season ago. Nathan Creed accounted for six scores (four rushing and two passing) in the Falcons’ 41-0 victory at Boone Grove. Sylvester Orozco came up with a 31-yard reception in Riley’s 55-0 loss to Michigan City. Matt’s pick: Glenn 19, Riley 9.
Goshen (1-9) at Clay (1-0): The RedHawks cruised to a 47-7 win over Clay in the 2000 Class 4A sectional opener. Colin Turner was 120-of-256 for 1,161 yards with two touchdowns for Goshen. James Johnson scampered for 60 yards and the lone score in the Colonials’ 7-0 victory over Osceola Grace. Matt’s pick: Clay 12, Goshen 10.
Knox (0-1) at Marian (1-0): The No. 2 Knights blanked Knox, 17-0, to claim a Class 3A regional crown last season. Zac Rose had a five-yard touchdown run in the Redskins’ 29-26 loss to No. 5 (Class 1A) Southwood. Jayson Johnson hauled in four passes for 110 yards and two scores in Marian’s 44-43 win over Mishawaka. Russ Radtke replaced John Hendryx on the Knox sidelines. Matt’s pick: Marian 34, Knox 20.
Mishawaka (0-1) at Elkhart (0-0): With the merger of Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial, this is the first contest for the Lions. Milan Burris had a 23-yard reception for a score for the Cavemen against Marian. Derrick Woods rambled for 890 yards and eight touchdowns for Elkhart. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 28, Elkhart 23.
New Prairie (1-0) at Culver Academy (1-0): The No. 6 Cougars clawed past Culver Academy, 49-3, in last year’s Class 4A sectional semifinals. Brandon Kasinger tallied eight tackles and three quarterback sacks in New Prairie’s 14-0 win over LaPorte. Jimmy Pisani rushed 12 times for 103 yards with a touchdown and threw a pass for another tally in the Eagles’ 16-0 blanking of Tippecanoe Valley. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 34, Culver Academy 30.
Northridge (4-6) at Saint Joseph (0-1): The Raiders claimed a 31-16 victory over Saint Joseph a year ago. Breckin Judd came up with 605 yards rushing and six scores for Northridge. Asante Anglin caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the Indians’ 21-7 loss at Bremen. Matt’s pick: Northridge 29, Saint Joseph 19.
Penn (0-1) at LaPorte (0-1): The Kingsmen crowned LaPorte, 33-6, in their previous meeting. Ron Powlus threw for 66 yards in Penn’s 17-16 loss to No. 2 (Class 5A) Valparaiso. Colin Berquist registered 17 carries for 62 yards for the Slicers against New Prairie. Matt’s pick: Penn 32, LaPorte 14.
Washington (0-1) at Bremen (1-0): The Panthers slipped past Bremen, 28-25, during the 2019 campaign. Tyrone Davis accounted for 48 yards rushing in Washington’s 33-0 loss to Adams. Trevor Devine came up with three carries for 100 yards and a score for the Lions against Saint Joseph. Matt’s pick: Bremen 22, Washington 6.
Woodlan (0-1) at Adams (1-0) (TCU School Field): The Warriors and Adams are meeting for the first time on the football field. Jacob Roemer had seven runs for 23 yards in Woodlan’s 50-0 setback to Leo. Gavin Pulling recorded 13 rushes for 139 yards with a score and also threw a touchdown pass for the Eagles against Washington. Mike Smith replaced Sherwood Haydock at Woodlan. Matt’s pick: Adams 36, Woodlan 7.
NORTHERN LAKES CONFERENCE
East Noble (1-0) at NorthWood (7-4): The No. 9 Panthers roared to a 46-35 win over No. 2 East Noble in the 2018 Class 4A sectional semifinals. Rowan Zolman recorded a pair of interceptions in the Knights’ 31-0 victory over Plymouth. Eddie Hildebrant racked up 70 tackles for NorthWood. Matt’s pick: East Noble 38, NorthWood 34.
Michigan City (1-0) at Warsaw (1-0); The Tigers rallied for a 20-19 win over No. 9 (Class 5A) Michigan City a year ago. Makiyel Woodard raced 20 yards for a score for the Wolves against Riley. Juan Jaramillo carried the ball 31 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns in Warsaw’s 42-35 win at Huntington North. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 42, Michigan City 40.
Plymouth (0-1) at Kokomo (0-1): The Rockies registered a 41-20 victory against Kokomo a season ago. Ivan Winkle came up with 19 carries for 92 yards for Plymouth against East Noble. Plez Lawrence ran 18 times for 168 yards and a score in the Wildkats’ 34-19 loss to Western. Matt’s pick: Plymouth 30, Kokomo 26.
West Noble (0-1) at Wawasee (1-0): The Chargers marched past Wawasee, 21-6, last year. Jalen Gonzalez returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown in West Noble’s 27-14 loss to Central Noble. Jacob Meek hauled in a pair of scoring receptions in the Warriors’ 42-0 triumph over Lakeland. Matt’s pick: Wawasee 41, West Noble 18.
Andrean (0-1) at Lake Central (1-0): The No, 4 (Class 2A) 59ers earned a 20-3 win over Lake Central during the 1997 campaign, Dhmari Wright amassed eight tackles in Andrean’s 40-13 loss to No. 6 (Class 6A) Merrillville. Max Creasbaum registered 21 rushes for 120 yards and a score in the Indians’ 38-0 win over Munster. Matt’s pick: Andrean 31, Lake Central; 17.
Chesterton (0-1) at Pioneer (1-0): The Trojans are taking on No. 2 (Class 2A) Pioneer for the first time on the gridiron. Jackson Syren converted a 27-yard field goal in Chesterton’s 24-10 loss to No. 1 (Class 4A) Hobart. Brock Robinson had 11 carries for 43 yards with a score in the Panthers’ 44-0 blanking of Lewis Cass. Matt’s pick: Pioneer 37, Chesterton 24.
Crown Point (0-1) at Highland (4-7): The Bulldogs blanked Highland, 24-0, last year. Reilly Granger managed 10 tackles in Crown Point’s 6-0 loss to Lowell. Jonah Tillman finished with 504 yards on the ground and four touchdowns for the Trojans. Matt’s pick: Crown Point 25, Highland 12.
Merrillville (1-0) at Hobart (1-0): The Brickies are looking to avenge a 21-0 loss to Hobart a year ago. Angel Nelson was 10-of-17 for 83 yards with a touchdown for the Pirates against Andrean. Zach Vode returned an interception 97 yards for a touchdown and caught a 25-yard pass for another tally for Hobart against Chesterton. Matt’s pick: Hobart 33, Merrillville 32.
Portage (1-0) at Lowell (1-0): The Indians recorded a 35-9 win against Lowell last season. Jermaine Mead had 13 carries for 81 yards with two scores for Portage in its 42-40 win over Hanover Central. Caleb Miranda caught an 18-yard pass for a touchdown for the Red Devils against Crown Point. Matt’s pick: Lowell 20, Portage 15.