Local Sports

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pigskin Picks
It's getting to be crunch time in the 2012 prep football season.

Every play of every game can have a huge impact on whether a championship is won or lost. Key matchups circled on the calendar months ago will soon be remembered only by a "W" or an "L" in the record books.

And we're only talking about the Pigskin Picks.

With three weeks left in the regular season, it's almost a dead heat between pigskin prognosticators Dave Hanneman and Jamie Baker.

Baker, gunning for his first-ever Pigskin Picks title, is itching to get his mitts on the coveted Norm Nutman Trophy that goes to the winner of the annual contest. Bubba took a big lead with an 18-0 record in Week 4 and has been holding onto it ever since.

But just barely.

Hanneman trimmed what was a four-game deficit to one with a strong showing in Week 6. The gridiron gurus both went 13-4 last week, giving Baker a 99-19 record for the season and leaving Hanneman a game back at 98-20.

This one could go to the wire. One thing Baker knows is that he'll definitely maintain his lead for another week. There are 17 games on the area schedule and our fearless forecasters, amazingly, have agreed on every one of them.

Hanneman's Picks

Findlay over OREGON CLAY -- Findlay's last three games are all win-able. Depending on which team shows up, they're all lose-able, too.

McCOMB over Arcadia -- Last home game for the Panthers ... until the playoffs.

LEIPSIC over Cory-Rawson -- Leipsic's last game before Showdown I (L-B) and Showdown II (McComb).

ARLINGTON over Hardin Northern -- Red Devils will win out. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of computer points hanging on the vine in Weeks 8, 9 and 10.

LIBERTY-BENTON over Pandora-Gilboa -- P-G has been red-hot, but the Eagles will bring the Rockets back to earth.

VAN BUREN over Vanlue -- Knights' offense has been a bit sluggish lately, but it should get back on track Friday.

Carey over NORTH BALTIMORE -- You can't dispute the numbers: Carey scored 59 points last week, North Baltimore gave up 52.

HOPEWELL-LOUDON over Seneca East -- Tough call. Took the Chieftains at home.

LAKE over Fostoria Senior -- Lake gives up tons of points. But Fostoria has really struggled on the road, scoring just three TDs in four away games.

Rossford over ELMWOOD -- Elmwood has allowed 175 points in the last three games. That won't cut it against a Rossford team that is bigger (D-III) and has played a brawnier schedule.

Riverdale over BUCYRUS -- Falcons have won three of four, Brats have lost three of four.

Upper Sandusky over LUCAS -- Rams only losses are to three 6-1 teams. Lucas (1-6) doesn't fall into that category.

Ada over ALLEN EAST -- Mike Abbey and the Mustangs got their first win last week. Ada won't let them make it two in a row.

LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC over Bluffton -- Common opponents give LCC the edge. The T-Birds have beaten two teams that beat Bluffton.

COLUMBUS GROVE over Paulding -- Bulldogs are looking to sink their teeth into a defense that has held only one opponent under 35 points.

PATRICK HENRY over Archbold -- Patriots let one slip away last week. If I know Bill Inselmann, no way does he let that happen two weeks in a row.

Ottawa-Glandorf over ST. MARYS MEMORIAL -- For some reason, St. Marys always seems to have O-G's number. The only numbers that matter this week, though, are 7-0 vs. 0-7.

Baker's Picks

Findlay over OREGON CLAY -- Trojans still have a shot at the playoffs but they are all must-wins the rest of the way.

McCOMB over Arcadia -- I'm still not over last year's game when Jerry Brown hurdled two Arcadia defenders.

LEIPSIC over Cory-Rawson -- Glad to see the Hornets pulled one out last week against Vanlue. Leipsic isn't Vanlue.

ARLINGTON over Hardin Northern -- Beginning of the playoff push starts for the Red Devils.

LIBERTY-BENTON over Pandora-Gilboa -- Eagles can't afford to get caught looking ahead to Leipsic, 'cause the Rockets have some playmakers.

VAN BUREN over Vanlue -- Time for Van Buren to right the ship.

Carey over NORTH BALTIMORE -- Carey's youngsters are beginning to come of age.

HOPEWELL-LOUDON over Seneca East -- It's a shame this rivalry will likely end next season when the Tigers move to the N-10.

LAKE over Fostoria -- Could be another record-setting day for Lake's high-flying offense.

Rossford over ELMWOOD -- Watch out NBC, I hear Rossford has the talent to make a run at the title the next couple of years.

Riverdale over BUCYRUS -- A Riverdale win would set up a NCC Silver Division showdown with Colonel Crawford next week.

Upper Sandusky over LUCAS -- Tough loss for the Rammies last week. I think they rebound big.

Ada over ALLEN EAST -- Bulldogs keep rolling toward their upcoming matchup with the Thundebirds.

LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC over Bluffton -- Better days are ahead for the young Pirates.

COLUMBUS GROVE over Paulding -- Think there will be a little more breathing room for the Bulldogs.

PATRICK HENRY over Archbold -- Gotta believe the Patriots will be ready to play after last week's stunning loss.

Ottawa-Glandorf over ST. MARYS MEMORIAL -- After Friday night, the Titans will be two games away from perfection.

Home team in caps.

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