Portage (1-7, 0-6 Duneland Conference) at La Porte (1-7, 1-5)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last week: Michigan City 7, La Porte 3; Valparaiso 46, Portage 7

Last season: La Porte 22, Portage 19

Players to watch: La PORTE — QB Collin Bergquist (98-459 rushing; 3-15-4 passing, 76 yards; 239 kick return yards, 3 TD); RB Jeremiah Ruiz (88-374 rushing, 2 TD); RB Jayden Parkes (51-276 rushing, TD); QB Robbie Kiner (29-80 rushing, 6-21-1 passing, 125, 2 TD); QB Jack McGuire (2-4 rushing, 0-2-1 passing); RB Isaac Alexander (31-143, TD); TE Brady Bernth (4-70 receiving, TD); LB Gavin Zolvinski (44 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 caused fumble); LB Jaden Browder (36 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks); DB Isaac Alexander (26 tackles, 1 INT); DL Matt Neff (24 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 blocked kick); LB Zach Purnell (23 tackles, 7 TFL, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 1 caused fumble); PORTAGE — QB/RB Zack Warchus; RB/WR Jakar Gordon; QB Tylee Swopes, CB/FS/RB Isaac Hegwood; FS/RB Scott Hansen; ILB Xavier Alverez.

Outlook: After scoring only 13 combined points in their last three games, and averaging just 8.9 points per contest this season, one of the primary goals for the Slicers is to get their offense on track for the postseason, and hopefully, earn their second win in the process. They've got one last chance before the sectional when they host Portage to close the regular season, another team with one victory. “We've just got to execute better,” LP coach Jeremy Lowery said. “Our younger quarterbacks are going to have to step up and play a little bit better. I expect them to do that. Those guys get a ton of reps at practice every week. We've got to throw the ball better. We've got to pass protect better.” Lowery added Bergquist is day to day with a left leg injury he hurt in last week's game. If he can't play, McGuire or Kiner will likely start at signal caller. The Indians' lone win was over Lowell, 35-9, in Week 2. Since, they've dropped six straight and four times in that stretch they've been held to seven points or less. “Schematically, they're going to make you defend the whole field,” Lowery said. “Defensively, they're aggressive. Their linebackers really get after it.”

Michigan City (4-4, 3-3 Duneland Conference) at Crown Point (4-4, 3-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last week: Michigan City 7, La Porte 3; Chesterton 27, Crown Point 14

Last year: Michigan City 48, Crown Point 0

Players to watch: MICHIGAN CITY -- RB Jonathon Flemings, QB Gio Laurent, RB-LB Mike Bradford, WR Demetrius Garrett, WR Kaydarious Jones, DB Brian Walker. CROWN POINT -- QB Will Pettit, WR Tysen Cazy, WR David O'Toole, TE Ben Uran, RB Matt Walters.

Outlook: City's defense has sparked a mini-turnaround, allowing just a field goal over the last two weeks. That's comes against the bottom teams in the conference, though C.P. has been pedestrian offensively all season, scoring no more than 24 points in a game. Lacking the power running back they have had in recent years, the Bulldogs rely on mismtaches in the passing attack with the 6-5 Uran, the 6-3 Cazy and the 6-2 O'Toole. Pettit isn't an efficient thrower, but does hit the occasional big play. C.P. took Merrillville to OT and was tied with Valpo after three quarters, though it struggled to get past Portage and was dominated statistically by Chesterton. MC needs the win to ensure its fourth winning regular season in a row.

New Prairie (8-0, 4-0 Northern Indiana Conference) at Elkhart Central (6-2, 2-2)

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.

Last week: New Prairie 48, South Bend Riley 14; Penn 23, Elkhart Central 21

Last season: New Prairie 49, Elkhart Central 0

Players to watch: NEW PRAIRIE -- QB Chase Ketterer (24-48-1 passing, 459 yards, 6 TD; 173-1,556 rushing, 22 TD), RB Chris Mays (113-951 rushing, 16 TD), WR Wyatt Kmiecik (7-147 receiving, 4 TD), LB Brandon Kasinger (52 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks), DB Tyler Graeber (45 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries), DE Jake Weinberg (36 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 sacks). ELKHART CENTRAL -- QB Isaiah Chandler (78-129-5 passing, 1,021 yards, 2 TD), RB Mark Brownlee (175-1,440 rushing, 23 TD), RB-WR Dominic Davis (48-478 rushing, 9 TD; 21-230 receiving, TD), WR Roderick Ballard (21-273 receiving), DE Rodney McGraw (48 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 15 TFL), LB Sean Holman (62 tackles, 11 TFL), DL Jonathon Decker (51 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 sacks).

Outlook: The school's first NIC title and second unbeaten regular season (2013) are at stake as the Cougars take on the Blue Blazers in the latter's final regular-season home game as a school before they consolidate with Elkhart Memorial next season. Elkhart Central's losses have come to Mishawaka (22-17) and Penn, both narrow victories for New Prairie, so the numbers suggest a close game. The Blue Blazers are the most balanced team NP will have faced with quarterback and running back both over 1,000 yards.

South Central (2-6) at Hanover Central (5-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last week: South Central 48, Bishop Noll 12; Hanover Central 17, Wheeler 7

Last year: Hanover Central 54, South Central 21

Players to watch: SOUTH CENTRAL -- QB Brady Glisic, WR-DB Zack Christy, RB-LB Jake Osburn, DB-K Andrew Karsten, LB Matt Mulligan. HANOVER CENTRAL -- QB Blaze Cano (57-115-3 passing, 901 yards, 11 TD), RB Andy Graham (23-431 receiving, 5 TD), WR-DB Jack Kuiper (17-399 receiving, 6 TD; 5 INT), WR Bryan Hoover (24-289 receiving, 4 TD), LB Max Warchol (4.5 sacks, 9.5 TFL), DE Michael Simon (9 TFL), DE James Kelly (8 TFL, 3 sacks).

Outlook: Hanover has won the last four meetings, including last year's rout. While S.C. is still an underdog, the size and strength disparity isn't what it was. A power running team last year, Hanover averages 22 passes a game, has a 50-50 split in running-passing, and averages just 3.4 yards per carry. The 6-2, 185-pound Kuiper is a playmaker on both sides of the ball. "It's not the Hanover we've seen in the past," SC coach Buzz Schoff said. "On paper, we probably match up pretty well. We usually play them tough for three quarters, then their size and demeanor just wore us out. I don't think will be the case this week. They look at a lot of second and longs, third and longs. If we can keep them from converting those, we've got a chance. We have to control the tempo offensively and hold the ball."

-- compiled by Zack Eldridge and Jim Peters

Zack Eldridge

Last week's/overall record: 6-1/43-17

This week's picks:

La Porte 15, Portage 14

Michigan City 21, Crown Point 17

New Prairie 35, Elkhart Central 24

Hanover Central 37, South Central 13

Indiana 31, Maryland 27

Iowa 19, Purdue 14

Missouri 40, Vanderbilt 23

Saints 31, Bears 21

Colts 28, Texans 27

Jim Peters

Last week's/overall record: 6-1/46-16

This week's picks:

La Porte 10, Portage 7

Michigan City 21, Crown Point 17

New Prairie 35, Elkhart Central 27

Hanover Central 27, South Central 14

Maryland 35, Indiana 34

Iowa 24, Purdue 20

Missouri 42, Vanderbilt 24

Saints 23, Bears 16

Texans 31, Colts 28

Jack Parodi

Last week's/overall record: 6-1/39-16

This week's picks:

La Porte 13, Portage 7

Michigan City 28, Crown Point 21

New Prairie 42, Elkhart Central 27

Hanover Central 28, South Central 7

Maryland 31, Indiana 24

Iowa 24, Purdue 3

Missouri 45, Vanderbilt 21

Bears 17, Saints 14

Texans 31, Colts 21

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