THE PIGSKIN PROPHET: The Pig’s Picks, Week 13
Isn’t it funny how things work out?
All the predictions. All the expert prognostications. All the games.
Yet, here we are in regional week with the usual suspects — Snider, Dwenger, Luers and Woodlan.
Oh, and toss in The Pig’s Angola Hornets, of course.
The more we expect things to be different, the more they really just stay the same.
So, which of our sectional champions can advance deeper into the postseason? Allow The Pig to answer your queries. He is, after all, quite smart.
LAST WEEK: 5-1
CARMEL VS. SNIDER
The Pig wrote a little about this showdown last Friday night, but let’s delve into it a bit more.
Casual followers of football are going to glance at Carmel’s 7-4 record and assume that such a pedestrian mark means that the Greyhounds are far from an elite 6A squad.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
You only have to look back one season to see the absurdity of such a belief. Carmel entered the postseason with a 5-4 regular-season record, then beat Hamilton Southeastern, Fishers, Homestead, Penn and Center Grove to win the state title.
As for this year, the Greyhounds’ three in-state losses came to Ben Davis, Warren Central and Center Grove, three of the top four teams in the state, according to the Sagarin Ratings.
Oh, and the fourth loss was at Louisville Trinity, a squad ranked by MaxPreps as the No. 12 team in THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
That said, The Pig is of the mind that Snider has a great shot to pull off a victory on Friday. The Panthers must be able to move the ball on the ground, which is the strength of the team’s offense. That will open things up for quarterback Michael Haupert, who picked apart SAC defenses in the latter half of the season.
The Snider defense has been absurdly good over the past three games. Will that continue in the unit’s stiffest test of the season? It has to.
Don’t hate The Pig, just hate the pick.
THE PIG SAYS CARMEL BY 2.
BISHOP DWENGER AT ANGOLA
Four years ago, these two teams met for the first-time ever in the opening round of sectional play. The Saints triumphed 45-7 in a lopsided matchup.
But that was pre-Andy Thomas. The fourth-year Angola coach has turned a squad that had not won a postseason title of any kind in a quarter of a century into a legitimate Class 4A program.
Speaking of legit programs, Bishop Dwenger has been that for decades. Does the new kid on the block have a shot against the seasoned veteran?
No one in their right mind can say Angola doesn’t after seeing what it did the last two weeks against NorthWood and Culver Academy. This is a confident program that plays loose and sanguine (yes, that’s a word) against seemingly more-powerful teams.
Here is what this game comes down to: Angola’s offense. Can the Hornets get a push and move the chains from the beginning of the game onward?
The Pig believes.
THE PIG SAYS ANGOLA BY 3.
MISHAWAKA MARIAN AT BISHOP LUERS
It feels like a lifetime since we mentioned Bishop Luers and regionals in the same sentence.
For a program with 18 regional crowns to their name, it may as well be.
Mishawaka Marian presents a challenge, but how big of one exactly? They don’t pass the ball much, and their run game isn’t exactly intimidating.
The big issue for Luers in The Pig’s mind is the mental mindset of the Knights. Too frequently this season, Luers appeared to be going through the motions on the field. The lack of effort issue has seemingly evaporated this postseason, but the worry is that it will appear again in a game sandwiched between an emotional victory over Concordia and a potential showdown with West Lafayette.
Here’s thinking Luers is locked in on Friday.
THE PIG SAYS BISHOP LUERS BY 9.
WOODLAN AT NORTH NEWTON
Something doesn’t jive when a team minutes away from the Indiana-Ohio border has to travel to a program minutes away from the Indiana-Illinois border.
That’s the situation Friday when Woodlan takes the long, long bus trip west to North Newton.
The Spartans are a running team, throwing for only 468 yards for the entire season. The rushing attack is centered around a trio of running backs — Colin Wagner, Colt Wagner and J.J. Eller. Collectively, they have rushed for over 2,800 yards.
Woodlan failed the test against Adams Central in Week 9, a team that was built around a running game and a physical defense. Even without running back Jack Rhoades, the Warriors should be able to rise to this challenge.
THE PIG SAYS WOODLAN BY 6.