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Tournament Upsets/Darkhorses


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Define them how you will but who are some dogs flying under the radar that could cause chaos in the tournament?

I’ll drop a few:

6A:  Merrillville.  Yes I know they are up there in the polls but they still seem to be getting little respect outside of northwest Indiana.  I think they sneak by Westfield this time around.

5A:  Michigan City.  Gimme the Wolves to redeem themselves after letting Valpo pull away late in the regular season contest.  MC gets to the semi state.

4A:  Chatard.  Once again, I know a familiar name but after the 0-4 start, they are playing great football.  Calling them to upset Roncalli.

2A:  Heritage Christian.  Seems not too many folks are talking about these guys.  A solid outfit that could upset the apple cart and make a run in 2A.

Whatcha got?

Edited by temptation
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Harrison, 5A, isn't on anyone's radar screen.  Heck, Harrell's even has Kokomo with better odds of winning the sectional and regional than Harrison even though Harrison beat Kokomo a couple of weeks ago by three TDs.  Harrison's loss this season comes against 6A Westfield who Harrison was trailing 19-11 going into the 4th before succumbing.  Harrison drew a bye in the first sectional round and will likely face Zionsville.  Lat season, Zionsville dispatched Harrison 33-21 in the first round of sectionals.  I think the game will be tighter this season.

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What have you seen from Merrillville or Westfield that makes you think the Pirates can get over the hump? The Pirates sailed through the regular season last year (minus Chatard) and sailed through this year (no Chatard). Westfield again goes undefeated in a competitive HCC. This is like saying this is the year the MIC does not win it all. The odds are about the same for Merrillville. 

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13 minutes ago, Staxawax said:

What have you seen from Merrillville or Westfield that makes you think the Pirates can get over the hump? The Pirates sailed through the regular season last year (minus Chatard) and sailed through this year (no Chatard). Westfield again goes undefeated in a competitive HCC. This is like saying this is the year the MIC does not win it all. The odds are about the same for Merrillville. 

Maybe just a hunch or I am reaching?

1.  The Duneland seems better in 2021 than it was in 2020.  Chesterton emerged as a solid squad, Valpo seems better, even Crown Point was fairly formidable.  All that being said, Merrillville ran roughshod to though the conference unscathed.

2.  Their two non conference wins were over teams that should be playing well into November.  That should not be overlooked.

3.  Maybe, just perhaps chemistry was an issue in 2020 with the transfers they obtained?  (This is a complete shot in the dark as I have no actual evidence.)

4.  Experience.  The majority of their players have a sectional/regional title under their belts and have experience in the semi state round.  They’ll be prepared.

5.  The disrespect/fuel factor.  While I don’t think kids/coaches are reading any bulletin board nonsense here, in this day of social media it’s impossible to miss.  Teams from outside of central Indiana HAVE to be sick and tired of hearing how they cannot compete.

Listen, I could be way off base here and as recently as 3-4 weeks ago, I’d call Westfield in a walk over but I just have a feeling about this Merrillville team.  Their disposal of a good Valpo team on their home field and destruction of a damn fine Chesterton team really opened my eyes.

Westfield is a damn fine football team and deserves all of the respect and accolades they are receiving.  This is by no means disrespect to them at all.

Many folks on here paint me as someone who stirs the pot (and I sometimes deserve it) but I’ll also be the first one on here to admit I’m wrong next month if that’s the case.

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In addition to your #4:

Merrillville got a taste last year of what big boy football really is when they played Chatard and Westfield. As you said, they'll be better prepared this time around.

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1 hour ago, foxbat said:

Harrison, 5A, isn't on anyone's radar screen.  Heck, Harrell's even has Kokomo with better odds of winning the sectional and regional than Harrison even though Harrison beat Kokomo a couple of weeks ago by three TDs.  Harrison's loss this season comes against 6A Westfield who Harrison was trailing 19-11 going into the 4th before succumbing.  Harrison drew a bye in the first sectional round and will likely face Zionsville.  Lat season, Zionsville dispatched Harrison 33-21 in the first round of sectionals.  I think the game will be tighter this season.

The schedule strength gives me pause.  That Westfield game was a long time ago…and they travel TO Zionsville.

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3A…really whoever gets out of 32.  For dark horses/underdogs you have MT. Vernon, Heritage Hills and Southridge. 
 

If you take out the losses to Gibson Southern, these teams are a combined  20-4 

Mt. Vernon beat Heritage Hills by 8 points in week 1.  Heritage Hills beat Southridge by 7 just a few weeks ago…everyone has their opinions on who is the best of the these 3, but I think they are all pretty good teams and fairly close. 
 

For Gibson Southern to win Sectional 32, it likely requires beating all 3 of these teams again.  
 

winner from 32 will be battle tested as always….and that brings me to the other 3A dark horse I have 

Lawrenceburg.  They are like 8-1…their QB is like a 3/4 year starter and pretty dang good.  And their OT is going to Notre Dame next year.  I don’t know much about them but they certainly are a team that doesn’t get mentioned a lot for how well they have played the last few years 

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18 minutes ago, DumfriesYMCA said:

3A…really whoever gets out of 32.  For dark horses/underdogs you have MT. Vernon, Heritage Hills and Southridge. 
 

If you take out the losses to Gibson Southern, these teams are a combined  20-4 

Mt. Vernon beat Heritage Hills by 8 points in week 1.  Heritage Hills beat Southridge by 7 just a few weeks ago…everyone has their opinions on who is the best of the these 3, but I think they are all pretty good teams and fairly close. 
 

For Gibson Southern to win Sectional 32, it likely requires beating all 3 of these teams again.  
 

winner from 32 will be battle tested as always….and that brings me to the other 3A dark horse I have 

Lawrenceburg.  They are like 8-1…their QB is like a 3/4 year starter and pretty dang good.  And their OT is going to Notre Dame next year.  I don’t know much about them but they certainly are a team that doesn’t get mentioned a lot for how well they have played the last few years 

My personal opinion that the biggest challenge that will be offered to GS as they move through the South comes from Lawrenceburg.

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41 minutes ago, temptation said:

Maybe just a hunch or I am reaching?

1.  The Duneland seems better in 2021 than it was in 2020.  Chesterton emerged as a solid squad, Valpo seems better, even Crown Point was fairly formidable.  All that being said, Merrillville ran roughshod to though the conference unscathed.

2.  Their two non conference wins were over teams that should be playing well into November.  That should not be overlooked.

3.  Maybe, just perhaps chemistry was an issue in 2020 with the transfers they obtained?  (This is a complete shot in the dark as I have no actual evidence.)

4.  Experience.  The majority of their players have a sectional/regional title under their belts and have experience in the semi state round.  They’ll be prepared.

5.  The disrespect/fuel factor.  While I don’t think kids/coaches are reading any bulletin board nonsense here, in this day of social media it’s impossible to miss.  Teams from outside of central Indiana HAVE to be sick and tired of hearing how they cannot compete.

Listen, I could be way off base here and as recently as 3-4 weeks ago, I’d call Westfield in a walk over but I just have a feeling about this Merrillville team.  Their disposal of a good Valpo team on their home field and destruction of a damn fine Chesterton team really opened my eyes.

Westfield is a damn fine football team and deserves all of the respect and accolades they are receiving.  This is by no means disrespect to them at all.

Many folks on here paint me as someone who stirs the pot (and I sometimes deserve it) but I’ll also be the first one on here to admit I’m wrong next month if that’s the case.

As much as it pains me (given the Merrilville lunacy over on Facebook) I think that for the reasons you and BTF have cited, they are more credible than last year.  They saw the elephant a couple of times last year so that might suffice in terms of them being more prepared in what they likely face v. Westfield (assuming no upset occurs in the case of Westfield).

Even so, I think they are still very much the underdog.

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6A - Homestead. Although I think Carroll will come out of that sectional, don't sleep on the Spartans. They were just on the brink of beating Carroll, Snider, and Luers. We're talking about a total margin of 13pts in those defeats. They also waxed a Dwenger team that is better than most are giving them credit for. With a good balance of offense and defense, don't be surprised to see them tangle with Westfield for the second straight year. 

5A - Dwenger. Most people see a 5-4 team and think that the Saints are way down this year. This is probably the best 4 loss team I've ever seen in the SAC. Though they didn't perform well against Homestead and Carroll, they were leading Luers late in the 4th before a last minute score by the Knights. They also gave Snider a scare with a nice comeback late in the game. They have just enough pieces of the puzzle to put together a couple of good games for the right to play Zionsville in a rematch from last year.

4A - Leo. They're undefeated, so why not. Outside of East Noble, they really haven't had a close game this year. And it still would have taken a touchdown and a two point conversion by the Knights to send that game into overtime. Don't be surprised if they grit it out all the way to state. 

3A - West Lafayette. Football seems to be pretty hard nosed in Lafayette. I'm kind of out of my league in this class, but I'll roll with the Red Raiders.

2A - Andrean. There was a lot of talk at the beginning of the season about how they were the team to beat in this class. Maybe that team comes together in the playoffs.

1A - Churubusco. I've got three other Fort Wayne area teams on my list, so why not add a fourth. Let's see what the boys of Turtle Town are made of over the next few weeks. 

 

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The thought crossed my mind this afternoon that Columbus north will have 3 full weeks to prepare for their next opponent. Their last reg season game was oct 15th vs terre haute south. They get a bye on top of a bye week and are granted an appearance in the sectional title game vs center Grove most likely . Cn played some tough teams this year Gibson southern cathedral and roncalli. I mean I don't think there is much of a chance but 3 weeks to prep. All that has to happen is cg lose a player or two to injury and play a bad game and for cn to play the best game they have played in years. Very unlikely but the thought did cross my mind

....

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1 hour ago, BTF said:

3A - West Lafayette. Football seems to be pretty hard nosed in Lafayette. I'm kind of out of my league in this class, but I'll roll with the Red Raiders.

Come on man! 😂 9-0 #1 ranked WL can’t be a dark horse/underdog 

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7 minutes ago, DumfriesYMCA said:

Come on man! 😂 9-0 #1 ranked WL can’t be a dark horse/underdog 

You did see what happened to them against Guerin last season?

Lord, I apologize for that there.

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5 hours ago, temptation said:

Define them how you will but who are some dogs flying under the radar that could cause chaos in the tournament?

I’ll drop a few:

6A:  Merrillville.  Yes I know they are up there in the polls but they still seem to be getting little respect outside of northwest Indiana.  I think they sneak by Westfield this time around.

5A:  Michigan City.  Gimme the Wolves to redeem themselves after letting Valpo pull away late in the regular season contest.  MC gets to the semi state.

4A:  Chatard.  Once again, I know a familiar name but after the 0-4 start, they are playing great football.  Calling them to upset Roncalli.

2A:  Heritage Christian.  Seems not too many folks are talking about these guys.  A solid outfit that could upset the apple cart and make a run in 2A.

Whatcha got?

Heritage Christian is on my upset alert.... vrs Scecina ....

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8 hours ago, DumfriesYMCA said:

Come on man! 😂 9-0 #1 ranked WL can’t be a dark horse/underdog 

Agree. I was stumped on this class. Gibson Southern is definitely the favorite though.

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21 minutes ago, BTF said:

Agree. I was stumped on this class. Gibson Southern is definitely the favorite though.

Dismissing Brebeuf, West Lafayette Lawrenceburg and Danville huh?  I don’t disagree that GS may be the favorite but it’s slight at best.

I maintain this is the most competitive class.

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10 hours ago, Lysander said:

My personal opinion that the biggest challenge that will be offered to GS as they move through the South comes from Lawrenceburg.

3 out of the last 4 seasons, Lawrenceburg has played a PAC/SIAC team coming out of the GS sectional.  Lost by 3 TDs every time.

I think GS makes it 4/5.

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I’m going to throw Jasper into the thread here. Although they might not get out of their sectional. Relatively quiet for the last decade or so they seem to be thriving in their new conference. They certainly aren’t as show time tested as East central, Chatard or Roncalli or even teams in their own conference.  But they do have a coach who has been and knows the scenery in high profile match ups.  The Germans have the athletes in their school , winning the big boy baseball state this year. I don’t know , but they seem to be going about their business down there in a workman like fashion. 

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57 minutes ago, temptation said:

Dismissing Brebeuf, West Lafayette Lawrenceburg and Danville huh?  I don’t disagree that GS may be the favorite but it’s slight at best.

I maintain this is the most competitive class.

 

57 minutes ago, temptation said:

Dismissing Brebeuf, West Lafayette Lawrenceburg and Danville huh?  

I'm retreating. I don't know enough about 3A to stay engaged. Stating that Gibson Southern is "definitely" the favorite was nothing more than speculation. 

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12 minutes ago, BTF said:

 

I'm retreating. I don't know enough about 3A to stay engaged. Stating that Gibson Southern is "definitely" the favorite was nothing more than speculation. 

Many Gibson Southern fans will be the first to tell you they’ve been here before.

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