La Porte (1-4, 1-2 Duneland Athletic Conference) at Class 6A No. 7 Merrillville (5-0, 3-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last week: La Porte 31, Lake Central 14; Merrillville 46, Michigan City 7

Last season: Merrillville 35, La Porte 7

Players to watch: La PORTE — RB Jeremiah Ruiz (69-338 rushing, 2 TD); QB Collin Bergquist (51-251 rushing; 1-4-2 passing, 3 yards; 239 kick return yards, 3 TD); RB Jayden Parkes (24-127 rushing); TE Brady Bernth (4-70 receiving, TD); LB Gavin Zolvinski (26 tackles, 1 caused fumble); LB Jaden Browder (21 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 sack); LB Zach Purnell (15 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TFL); DL Matt Neff (15 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 blocked kick); DB Isaac Alexander (13 tackles). MERRILLVILLE — QB Aahric Whitehead, QB Peter Rodriguez, RB Darius Schultz, WR Armani Glass, WR Jeremiah Howard, DB A'veyawn Madry.

Outlook: After posting their first victory of the year, the Slicers face a daunting task this week. They meet undefeated Merrillville, who is winning by an average of 26 points per game and routed Michigan City last Friday. Still, La Porte built substantial momentum by beating Lake Central and is feeling good about itself. “It's huge. The first one's the hardest one,” LP coach Jeremy Lowery said. “We've been preaching for weeks how we want to do things. We've been preaching trust and belief in our systems and belief in each other. Sooner or later, you've got to have a win to keep everybody on track. We've really challenged our kids to grind and to not listen to negative noise.” Merrillville is tied atop the DAC with Valparaiso and the Pirates travel to the Vikings next week. But first, they face the Slicers. "They've got great athletes, great team speed,” Lowery said. “They've had a bunch of different guys contributing in their offense. They're certainly not a one-trick pony. They have lots of weapons.”

Michigan City (2-3, 1-2 DAC) at Lake Central (2-3, 1-2)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last week: Merrillville 46, Michigan City 7; La Porte 31, Lake Central 14

Last season: Michigan City 49, Lake Central 6

Players to watch: LAKE CENTRAL — Mateo Cedano (42-82-4 passing, 483 yards, 3 TD), Sir Felix Garcia (89-520 rushing, 5 TD), Max Creasbaum (36-204 rushing, 3 TD), Curtis Gills (8-115 receiving, TD), Dan Nykiel (8-109 receiving, TD), Mel Hay (50 tackles, 2 INT). MICHIGAN CITY — QB Gio Laurent, RB Jonathon Flemings, WR Kaydarious Jones, WR Demetrius Garrett Jr.

Outlook: What does City have left? It looked like a beaten team, physically and emotionally last week, and with no conference aspirations remaining, can the idea of regrouping before the postseason motivate the Wolves? They are in a 'get well' portion of their schedule with only one plus-.500 team left (Crown Point), so the potential to finish strong is there should they find the want-to. "We are just concerned about us taking care of the little thing, getting our heads on straight, getting the fight back in our play, execution on both sides of the ball," Wolves coach Phil Mason said. "A one play at a time, one day at a time focus."

Class 4A No. 1 New Prairie (5-0, 2-0 Northern Indiana Conference) vs. South Bend Adams (0-5, 0-2)

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.

Last week: New Prairie 28, Mishawaka 27; Penn 62, South Bend Adams 32

Last season: New Prairie 35, South Bend Adams 14

Players to watch: SOUTH BEND ADAMS -- QB Ira Armstead; NEW PRAIRIE -- Chase Ketterer (16-32-1, 293 yards, 4 TD; 92-977 rushing, 15 TD), Chris Mays (73-644 rushing, 12 TD), Ian Skornog (5-106 receiving, 2 TD), Brandon Kasinger (32 tackles, 5 TFL), Tyler Graeber (30 tackles), Bobby Siford (29 tackles. 3 TFL), Ben Fronk (4 TFL).

Outlook: The Cougars defense goes from one extreme to the other, facing the pass-happy Eagles a week after ground-and-pound Mishawaka. Dual threat quarterback Ira Armstead, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound Virginia commit, can throw it a mile and beat defenses with his legs, too. The problem is, there isn't a whole lot around him, especially on the defensive side, where teams are scoring an average of 40 points a game on the winless Eagles, who lost to Mishawaka 43-7 in week four. The state's top-ranked Cougars have their own prolific signal-caller in Ketterer, who gets it done mostly on the ground. He and Mays should run wild again in this one in what promises to be a busy night for the scoreboard operator.

Lake Station (1-4, 1-1 Greater South Shore Conference) at South Central (0-5, 0-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last week: Lake Station 50, Bishop Noll 41; Calumet 40, South Central 0

Last meeting: (Aug. 18, 2017) South Central 33, Lake Station 6

Players to watch: SOUTH CENTRAL — Brady Glisic (27-62-4 passing, 262 yards, 3 TD; 27-106 rushing, TD), Jake Osburn (79-521 rushing, 3 TD; 30 tackles), Zack Christy (16-121 rushing; 14-112 receiving, 2 TD; 38 tackles), Matt Mulligan (34 tackles), Logan Notaro (3 TFL); LAKE STATION — Nate Dukich (18-72-3 passing, 264 yards, 2 TD; 66-273 rushing, 4 TD; 2.5 sacks), Di'jon Newell (28-237 rushing, 2 TD), Tony Santana (21-150 rushing, TD), Isaak Cuellar (30 tackles, 2 TFL)

Outlook: Despite being outscored 121-7 in the last three weeks, S.C. has its best chance at a win to date against an Eagles team that had six points in four games before getting well versus Noll. "If we play hard and do what we are capable of doing, we should be just fine," Satellites coach Buzz Schoff said.  They won last week so they should be ready to go and ruin our homecoming, but we should be able to take care of business come Friday night."

-- compiled by Zack Eldridge, Jim Peters and Jack Parodi 

Zack Eldridge

Last week's/overall record: 7-2/26-9

This week's picks:

Merrillville 42, La Porte 17

Michigan City 31, Lake Central 20

New Prairie 45, S.B. Adams 14

South Central 21, Lake Station 20

Notre Dame 33, Virginia 24

Michigan St. 29, Indiana 23 

Purdue 32, Minnesota 28

Bears 23, Vikings 21

Colts 30, Raiders 16


Jim Peters

Last week's/overall record: 5-4/28-9

This week's picks:

Merrillville 34, La Porte 13

Michigan City 33, Lake Central 14

New Prairie 56, S.B. Adams 28

South Central 26, Lake Station 22

Notre Dame 28, Virginia 20

Michigan St. 30, Indiana 17 

Purdue 31, Minnesota 28

Missouri 45, Troy 24

Bears 23, Vikings 21

Colts 34, Raiders 23


Jack Parodi

Last week's/overall record: 6-3/22-8

This week's picks: 

Merrillville 49, La Porte 7

Michigan City 28, Lake Central 21

New Prairie 48, S.B. Adams 17

Lake Station 21, South Central 14

Notre Dame 34, Virginia 20

Michigan St. 20, Indiana 14 

Purdue 38, Minnesota 24

Missouri 56, Troy 13

Bears 20, Vikings 13

Colts 41, Raiders 17 

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