Just when it looked like the Trojans were going to drop their third straight after KV kicked a field goal with 20 seconds left, Highland dug deep with late heroics of their own. A good kickoff return, followed by a big pass and a last second field goal of their own rescued the Trojans from what looked to be a crushing defeat. They’ll need that resiliency, and then some, as they travel to 5959 Broadway to battle Andrean this week. With the Niners leading Lowell and Hobart by a game in the NCC standings, we know two towns outside of Highland that will be rooting for the Blue and Gold to pull off the upset.
All the Governors have done since their 1-2 start to the season is rip off a five game winning streak in which they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined 225-34 while clinching at least a share of the GLAC title. A win over Clark this week gives them the championship outright. This is the Morton team we expected to see when we ranked them ranked #6 in the first Top 10 of the season, which is not a good sign for the rest of the field in Sectional #17.
The Griffith defense has posted back to back shutouts, blanking both South Central and Lake Station. Now, is that a sign of the dominance of the Panther defensive unit, could it be going up against a favorable schedule, or a combination of the two? They’ll be pushed a little more with Hanover Central in town this week, but the real litmus test for this team begins in a couple of weeks when the post-season gets underway and the Panthers go from playing 2A and 3A opponents to Class 4A sectional 17 – a big jump, as they found last year.
The sea has been a bit choppy for the Pirates as they’ve alternated wins and losses over the course of the last five weeks, with three victories and two defeats over that span. Merrillville took care of business against Lake Central in Week #8, as they should have, and now play in a rare road game (only two so far this season) as they head to Chesterton to take on a Trojan team that’s won two straight. Can Merrillville find some consistency before they start sectional play on the 26th?
After picking up single digit wins in each of the first three weeks of the season, the Brickies haven’t played in a close game yet, as their average margin of victory since Week #4 has been 32 points and they also have a 34 point loss mixed in. Don’t expect a blowout either way this week when Hobart heads to “The Inferno” as both teams desperately need a win and a Highland victory over Andrean to grab a share of the NCC crown. Speaking of the Red Devils…
How rare was it to see Lowell give up a 36 spot to another team? It’s the most amount points scored against the Red Devils since August of 2014 and it’s the largest margin of defeat for Lowell since October of 2013. There’s not time for the Red Devils to wallow in defeat though as they have a tough one this week with Hobart coming into “The Inferno” for the regular season finale. Lowell followed up their only other defeat this year with a 38-0 shutout of Morton, we’ll see how they respond this time as they take on a rival.
For the past few years, the LaPorte County rivalry between City and LaPorte has featured some high scoring ballgames. The Wolves held up their end of the bargain last week, putting up 52 against the Slicers, but the City defense didn’t feel like playing in a shootout, holding LaPorte to just eight points. With a favorable sectional and regional (no teams with winning records heading into Week #9), the biggest hurdle for the Wolves over the course of the next few weeks might be staying motivated in games in which they’ll be heavily favored.
We can hear the fans from the Oil City now as they see Whiting drop a spot once again, despite a victory, but falling to #3 has much more to do with the teams at #2 and #1 than it does with the undefeated Oilers. Whiting’s 50-0 victory over Bowman ups their average margin of victory to 36.13, the eighth best mark in the state. They close out the regular season with River Forest at home before they have a chance at revenge against North Newton, the team that eliminated Whiting last year, in the sectional opener.
All the Niners have done against their two biggest competitors for the NCC title (Hobart and Lowell) is beat them by a combined 77-22. Not too shabby, if we do say so ourselves. Andrean can clinch the outright conference title with a win over Highland at home on Friday, so while Chris Skinner’s club has their eyes on some post-season hardware, there is no shortage of motivation in Week #9.
County rival Portage put a little bit of a first half scare into the Vikings, but once again the Valpo defense stood tough in the second half to secure the double-digit win. Speaking of double digits, how many times have teams scored 10 or more against the Vikes during their six game winning streak? The answer is a big fat ZERO, as no team has scored more than eight against Gang Green since LaPorte did it on September 1. A win over Lake Central this week gives Valpo the outright DAC title for the second straight year.