ON THE EDGE: Boone Grove (5-2), Crown Point (3-4), Morton (5-2), EC Central (4-3)
KO’D: Portage (4-3)
LAST WEEK: NR
It’s not too often a team enters the RSN Top 10 off of a loss, but the Warriors’ performance in the Oil City was impressive enough to earn them a spot in the rankings for the first time in….forever. We’re big fans of the job Rick Good is doing on Calhoun Street and 2018 has to be considered a success with definite signs of progress. Can they continue it moving forward will be the big question.
LAST WEEK: #9
A week after losing to Lowell by a single score, Highland played Hobart tough on the road before falling short. While the Trojans can be happy with their effort, moral victories can only take teams so far – eventually they have to turn into W’s on the field. There’s a good chance for a win this week as KV comes to the Zipper this week. Highland will have to shake off the results of the last two weeks, but keep that same intensity.
LAST WEEK: #8
The ride back from Union Mills was probably a fun one after the Panthers demolished GSSC rival South Central 41-0, continuing Griffith’s undefeated streak in the conference. Since joining the Greater South Shore a year ago, they have yet to lose a conference game. That run will likely continue this week as they travel to Lake Station to take on the winless Eagles in another epic rivalry matchup.
LAST WEEK: #6
Losing to Valpo not only essentially eliminates the Pirates from the DAC race (the best they can do is tie at this point), but it means Merrillville has dropped two of their last three games as we inch closer and closer to the tournament, where momentum is so important. Thankfully for the Bucs, they have two winnable games to close out the year as they host Lake Central this week before traveling to Chesterton to end the regular season. A pair of wins would turn the ship around, but a single misstep could mean they’ll sink to the bottom of the rankings – or worse.
LAST WEEK: #7
The Brickies move up a spot after doubling up Highland at home last week. Hobart is still a game behind both Lowell and Andrean in the NCC race, so even though their attention will be focused on Munster this Friday night, don’t be surprised if you see someone on the Brickie sideline checking the Strack & Van Til Hometown Scoreboard to get updates from Andrean.
LAST WEEK: #5
Make that five straight weeks of scoring 40 or more points for an Andrean offense that’s absolutely cruising right now. While some (ok…most) of those performances haven’t come against the toughest of defenses, the Niners have a chance to show the rest of the state how dangerous this offense is when they host Lowell on Friday night. The Red Devils are only giving up 5.1 points per game, so this will be by far the biggest test Andrean has faced all year.
MICHIGAN CITY WOLVES
LAST WEEK: #4
So much for Michigan City possibly having a tough time against a stout Portage defense. The Wolves trampled all over the Indians to make a statement that the offensive struggles were left behind in Week #4, as City has scored 42 or more in three straight games. Expect to see lots of offensive fireworks this week as the LaPorte Slicers come to town in a county rivalry matchup. Ames Field is always rocking on Friday nights, but it’s going to be standing room only for this one.
LOWELL RED DEVILS
LAST WEEK: #3
The return of Ethan Igras at quarterback should breath new life into the Lowell offense (not that his backup did a bad job), as the senior leader returned under center in last week’s closer-than-expected win over Munster. The Red Devils are still built around defense and running the football, and both will have to be at their best on Friday when they head to 5959 Broadway to take on Andrean. The winner guarantees themselves at least a share of the NCC crown.
LAST WEEK: #1
It didn’t take a loss to move the Oilers out of the top spot in the rankings, but it did take a narrow win over Calumet combined with the new #1 dominating on the road. While the Oilers do fall in the rankings, it doesn’t lower our expectations or thoughts about this team. They are still dominant when they hit the field and have a great chance of making some serious noise come tournament time.
LAST WEEK: #2
The Vikings have now come full circle, as they’re back at #1 which is where they started the season. Valpo’s running game has led the charge with a 1-2 combo of Jackson Kurth and Jesse Harper that’s as good as there is in the enitre northwest corner of the state. Combine that with a defense that’s given up a total of 28 points over the course of the last five weeks and you not only have the ingredients for a conference title, but for a chance at a long post-season run.