A column by The Pigskin Prophet, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 10, 2016 12:01 AM
Sometimes, the football gods shine down upon you and grant you good fortune.
Sometimes, The Pigskin Prophet just proves he's smarter than everyone else.
The latter was the case last week as Ol' Porkchop went perfect in his sectional championship picks.
Don't act so surprised, it's what he does for a living.
Can he do it again? Let's give it a try...
Last week: 8-0 (don't lie, you're impressed)
CARMEL (7-4) AT HOMESTEAD (9-2). Let's get the positives out of the way first. The Spartans looked plenty good once again last week, jumping all over Warsaw early and eventually winning by 25.
Homestead is a very good program, very likely the second-best squad in northeast Indiana this year.
However, much like how we chuckle when lower-quality teams think they have a shot against a Bishop Luers or Concordia purely because they have a better record, that's what the elite of 6A Indy football thinks when Fort Wayne folks get optimistic.
Yes, Carmel's record isn't stellar. However, it is still good. Very good. Maybe on another planet good compared to Homestead.
The Pig hopes he is wrong. He begs it to be so. He just doesn't see it. THE PIG SAYS CARMEL BY 21.MISHAWAKA (10-2) AT SNIDER (11-0). So who watched Navy's defeat of Notre Dame last weekend? Remember what that option looked like? Prepared to see a prep version of that on Friday.
Mishawaka rolls with the familiar triple option, the unique scheme that forces defenses to focus on discipline and vision.
Good thing for the Panthers, their defense is not only capable of being very focused, but also very disruptive. If the defensive front-7 of Snider is ready to play, it should be able to take Mishawaka out of its game enough for the Panthers to advance. THE PIG SAYS SNIDER BY 8.NEW HAVEN (11-0) AT NORTHWOOD (12-0). Consider The Pig very, very concerned with this road trip for the Bulldogs. Sure, New Haven earned its sectional crown by beating Bishop Dwenger last week, but it was far from an impressive performance.
Meanwhile, NorthWood was demolishing East Noble by 28.
Sure, New Haven demolished East Noble as well, but in the Bulldogs' first game against a truly elite opponent last Friday, it struggled with mental miscues and turnovers. The saving grace was the fact that the New Haven D was able to force (and score off of) some Saints miscues.
New Haven has a shot against the Panthers if it plays an all-around solid game. Question is, can the Bulldogs do it? THE PIG SAYS NORTHWOOD BY 4.GARRETT (11-1) AT MISHAWAKA MARIAN (11-1). To The Pig, this game comes down to one thing: Can the Railroaders stop Marian running back Alexander Horvath?
The senior has rushed for 2,107 yards and 33 touchdowns on the season. He is averaging 9.4 yards PER CARRY. That's nearly a first down every time the ball is handed off to him.
So, can Garrett slow him down?
The Pig isn't sure.
The key for the Railroaders here is keeping the scoring down. If they can hold Marian in the teens to early 20s, Coach Chris DePew's team has a shot. If the Knights are able to score 25 or more points, Garrett's chances at a victory decline dramatically. THE PIG SAYS MISHAWAKA MARIAN BY 7.WEST LAFAYETTE (10-2) AT CONCORDIA LUTHERAN (10-2). These two teams played in a tough, physical regional showdown in 2013, a game West Lafayette was able to win 25-21 at home.
The Pig expects another close game on Friday, but with a touch more scoring. Concordia Lutheran QB Peter Morrison 38 TD passes, 4 INTs) and West Lafayette's Mikey Kidwell (37 TD passes, 10 INTs) are near clones of one another, with both having solid arms with some scat when the pocket breaks down.
The Cadets have been through the wars of the regular season, slugfests that are meant to prepare the team for games like this. Concordia wins ugly. THE PIG SAYS CONCORDIA BY 4.SOUTH ADAMS (8-4) AT EASTBROOK (11-1). Figuring out what Eastbrook is going to do isn't complicated. After all, its only completed a total of 28 passes all season long. The Panthers are going to run the ball on you and it's your job to stop it.
Can the Starfires rise to the challenge?
South Adams rose to the occasion in beating Woodlan, but can it compete in the trenches for four quarters against a team intent on grinding away in the trenches? THE PIG SAYS EASTBROOK BY 8.ADAMS CENTRAL (11-1) AT SOUTHWOOD (9-3). It's not often we talk about a prolific Southwood quarterback, but that is exactly what The Pig is going to do right now.
Junior Carson Blair has been absolute money all year for the Knights. By no means a freak physically at 6-foot, 185 pounds, Blair has thrown for 3,217 yards and 42 touchdowns this season.
Sure, the competition isn't the best, but those are some serious numbers at any level.
Adams Central has its own offensive force in Drew Schultz, who mauled the vaunted Monroe Central defense last week for 160 yards on 36 carries.
The Flying Jets need to limit Southwood possessions by extending their drives and eating up clock, preferably with points being scored at the end.
Simple, play keep away from Carson Blair. THE PIG SAYS ADAMS CENTRAL BY 6.