September 19, 2019

FOOTBALL: RSN Top 10 – Week #3

So which Lowell team are we going to see this Friday against Morton? The one from the opening week of the season where they moved the ball effortlessly through the air and played tough defense against Crown Point? Or the one last week that gave up a ton of yards to Portage and struggled to score? If Red Devil fans want to see their team stay in the rankings it better be the former, because Lowell might fall out of the Top 10 for the first time in a long time if there’s a repeat of that Portage performance.

Now that was the Portage team we thought we were getting entering the 2019 season. Shaking off a one-sided loss to Mishawaka to begin the season, the Indians dominated Lowell last week to pick up one in the “W” column, and get back in the rankings. Zack Warchus was a one man wrecking crew from his QB spot last week and he’ll need to continue that as DAC play gets started this week when the Indians head to LC.

Quietly, the Wolves have had a great run during the regular season in the last few years. Since the 2017 season, when Dan Kukulski took over as head coach, Boone Grove has gone 15-4 in regular season games (throwing out that abbreviated Whiting game last season), and have averaged 34 points a game during that span. Expect that run continue to as the Wolves host South Central this week, where they should put up a big number on the scoreboard.

The Governor defense has stepped up huge this season, shutting out Lake Central in Week #2 one week after playing really good defense against Highland (Morton turnovers led to most of Highland’s points). They’ll have a big test this week as the Lowell Red Devils come to the “Governors’ Mansion” and it will for sure be a fired up Lowell squad after last week’s loss. With expectations high in Hessville, and this being the first home game of the season, the stadium should be rocking.

Are the Brickies playing up to their lofty pre-season rankings and expectations? No. Are they as bad as their 0-2 record indicates? The answer to that question is also no. After falling to two DAC opponents (Week #1 to Chesterton, Week #2 to Merrillville) that are ranked in the top five of the RSN Top 10, the Brickies look to get back to their winning ways as they renew their rivalry against Griffith on Friday night. 

The good news for the Trojans is that this is the program’s third 2-0 start in the last four years….the bad news is none of those hot starts have translated a winning season. This year feels a bit different however, as Chesterton’s defense has played tough and they have a young standout at quarterback to lead the offense. DAC play hasn’t been to kind to Chesterton where they’ve won only four conference games combined in the last three seasons, and starting Duneland action against a sure to be angry Michigan City squad isn’t exactly ideal.

For all the talk about how good Crown Point’s offense was going to be, it was the defense that stepped up in a big way last week, shutting out Highland 24-0. It was the first shutout for a Crown Point defense since September of 2017, so this young squad is headed in the right direction. A shutout, or holding their opponent to single digits, this week would be even more impressive as high powered Merrillville invades the County Hub.

Turnovers and costly mistakes helped cause the Wolves to drop their Week #2 matchup at home against Warsaw and cause them to take a slight dip in the rankings. Still, this team is loaded with firepower on both sides of the ball and you know they’re going to be extremely motivated to get back to their winning ways. Last season, the Wolves went on a tear after a loss to Valpo – maybe that’s what last weeks loss to Warsaw will do. If that’s the case, look out DAC.

The Pirates plunder the #2 spot away from Michigan City thanks to a 21-0 victory over Hobart at Demaree Stadium last week. The offense is clicking thanks to their two-quarterback system and the defense is playing better than expected after key graduation losses. Merrillville can plant their flag even deeper as one of the Duneland’s elite with a win on the road (their first away game of the year) at Crown Point on Friday.

Of course the 63-0 win over Griffith was nice, but injuries marred the win just a bit as Valpo’s defense will be a little short-handed moving forward after Peyton Krutz got hurt in the game. With the Week #4 showdown against Michigan City looming, Valpo has to be careful not to get caught looking ahead, because they still have a date against the LaPorte Slicers this Friday night.  

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