Full disclosure: I was not attacked by a pterodactyl, nor was anybody. I just really needed a good title for my article and I knew “pterodactyl” would draw people in. So, thanks for stopping by and keep reading!
Things just keep getting better. Last week we were able to welcome back football on the prep level and this week we can get geared up for the return of college football. This time of the year is really better than Christmas in a lot of ways. Certainly I cannot be alone with that thought.
Some good things happened since last Thursday, Grace announced it will be adding a women’s golf program. I honestly think that is great and just adds to the appeal in that athletic department that AD Chad Briscoe has worked so hard to build up. Grace is doing pretty well with all of its athletic team so far this fall. Check out our Grace page to catch up on what the teams have been doing.
The other big news from this past week was that I drafted my first fantasy team of the year. (Yes, this is big news, don’t judge.) My team is looking stout with Montee Ball, Eddie Lacy and Alshon Jeffery. I will be hoisting my league’s trophy by December. Oh, right, my team name? Lacy Page Online. (Get it?)
Also, not to be outdone by top rival Norte Dame’s issues, USC shot to the top of ESPN with showing how ridiculous it players can be with this gem from defensive back Josh Shaw.
Finally, congratulations to Warsaw graduate Jake Rogers who signed with the Miami Dolphins this past week. Rogers has been in camp with a few different teams but has yet to kick in an NFL game, given the lethargic kicking situation going on with the Dolphins Rogers stands a good shot at finally getting his chance. Needless to say, we wish him the best.
Speaking of kicking, let’s get to kicking off these picks.
Last Week: 3-1
High School Football Week 2 8/29
Columbia City (1-0) at Whitko (0-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: I’m just cutting to the chase, I was shocked by Columbia City last week. Shocked. I’m not trying to take anything away from City in its win but I really thought Warsaw would tear it up. Whitko made a lot of costly mistakes against Wawasee which prevented the Wildcats from ever really having a chance early on.
Whitko could not get its run game going early and that was huge. Tanner Hughes needs to come out like a man possessed and set the tone for this game behind his o-line. We already know that City can score and play well but I’m think that beginning of the season hype has worn off and Whitko will rebound.
The Pick: Whitko 27, Columbia City 20.
No. 7 (4A) East Noble (1-0) at Warsaw (0-1), 7 p.m. *Game of the Week*
The Scoop: This game got ugly last year. Warsaw scored just 14 points in a 49-14 loss to the Knights. The good news is that Warsaw should score more than that this season with a more spread-oriented offense. The bad news is that East Noble is still very talented.
The Knights walloped on 6A school Fort Wayne Northrop last week, but that really isn’t saying much as Northrop hasn’t had a winning season since 2003.
Jake Mangas had his moments last week and showed that this offense can be dangerous but he will need to have a solid game from start to finish if the Tigers plan on winning.
Same verdict as last year, the Tigers have to prove they belong in one of these games before I pick them to win.
The Pick: East Noble 41, Warsaw 28.
Triton (1-0) at Northfield (1-0), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: How about the Triton Trojans? Winning is one thing but the Trojans went on the road, like really far, down to Caston and pitched a 34-0 shutout against the Comets. I don’t care who you’re playing or where you’re playing them, a shutout is always impressive.
I don’t see that defensive effort holding up this week, just because of the level of difficulty to get back-to-back shutouts. But offensively you better believe Triton will be potent again. Grant Stichter will make plays with his feet and Joey Corder will again present a big mismatch for the defense at the receiver position to help lead Triton to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2008.
The Pick: Triton 28, Northfield 20.
West Noble (1-0) at Wawasee (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: I picked Wawasee to hang 35 on Whitko, the Warriors scored 34. Clearly I have my pulse on this team. Or do I? Not long after posting my article last week I was called out on Twitter for not giving any love to the Warrior defense by Wawasee’s Maclain Herr. The defense has a chip on its shoulder this year since everyone, including myself, is talking about Wawasee’s offensive attack.
Well, this week the Warriors really have an opportunity to impress. It’s the home opener and the visiting Chargers put up 45 points in their victory last week, so they can score. But that scoring was done on a not-so-talented Central Noble team.
I’m calling out Herr and the Warrior’s defense this week to up the ante and get the shutout. Do the Warriors have it in them? I’m not so sure, but they will still roll in the two team’s first meeting since 1973.
The Pick: Wawasee 49, West Noble 6.
Tippecanoe Valley (0-1) at Bremen (0-1), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: The Vikings had a rough start to the season after dropping their opener to a visiting Culver Academy team last Friday, 36-13. Bremen is a solid team that is receiving votes in 3A and, quite frankly, the Lions are just more talented.
Once Valley gets a rhythm going, there will be some wins in Death Valley but I don’t see that happening this weekend.
The Pick: Bremen 35, Valley 13.
College Football Week 1 8/30
Indiana State at Indiana, 12 p.m.
The Scoop: I’m not spending much time breaking down these opening college games. IU scored 73 points on the Sycamores last season. That is ridiculous and it might actually happen again. IU’s offense is even better this season so I don’t expect any type of competition in this game. The thing to look for is the Hoosier defense. IU was putrid on defense last season. State score 35 points last season, clearly not enough to stay with IU, but that is still too much for a Big Ten team to surrender. Shane Wynn scores three times for the Hoosiers in an ugly loss for the Sycamores.
The Pick: Indiana 66, Indiana State 14.
Western Michigan at Purdue, 12 p.m.
The Scoop: I really hope that Purdue will over this team. Not because I like Purdue, but because it is embarrassing that Purdue’s only victory in 2013 was over Indiana State, by six points. So, there is improvement to be made and that has to start this Saturday for
Danny Hope Darrell Hazell (Sorry, I got the two confused for a season.) If Purdue drops this game, Hazell will be lucky to get out of the stadium. It seems dumb to call this a “must win” but it really is and I think the Boilers will be just fine behind a nice day from quarterback Danny Etling.
The Pick: Purdue 38, Western Michigan 10.
Colgate at Ball State, 2 p.m.
The Pick: The Cardinal were a potent offensive team in 2013. Unfortunately most of the play makers from that stellar offense graduated, including quarterback Keith Wenning. Jahwan Edwards, a senior tailback, will be the focus of the offense this year and I expect him to great things and maybe even be drafted late next May. Ball State should not struggle with Colgate, especially in the first game of the season. The Cardinals have a solid defense this season and that should be on display this weekend.
The Pick: Ball State 49, Colgate 17.
Rice at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Brian Kelly’s head will literally explode in a fit of rage if the Irish lose this game. Rice, well, okay I honestly don’t have any idea what Rice has coming into this game and it shouldn’t matter. Notre Dame has an .818 win percentage in season openers all time. Everett Golson will play in his first game since Nick Saban and Alabama spanked him in the National Championship two years ago, I expect him to play with a chip on his shoulder. Cam McDaniel is one of my favorite players and he is scoring twice in this one, once on the ground and another on the receiving end of a Golson pass. ND wins big or Kelly’s face gets so colorful, it goes plaid.
The Pick: Notre Dame 45, Rice 21.