The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021

Pigskin Pick’Em: Week No. 6

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

The second half of the 2021 regular season kicks off on Friday night. Some teams are coming off big Week No. 5 wins so we’ll see how they follow up, while other teams will try to bounce back after losses. 

Additionally, league and conference races sometimes start to take shape as early as the midway point of the season, but it’s safe to say this is not one of these years. However, in the Northwest Conference, one team will have a one game lead and will be in the driver’s seat after Friday night. Races in the Western Buckeye League, Green Meadows Conference Midwest Athletic Conference will likely go until Week No. 10. 

Last week I went 18-2, missing on Van Wert at St. Marys Memorial and Leipsic at Spencerville. My overall season record now stands at 98-24 (80.3 percent). 

On to this week’s picks.

Games of the Week

Columbus Grove (5-0) at Leipsic (3-2)

It’s a matchup of the only two teams unbeaten in NWC play (2-0) and the winner will enjoy a one-game lead after Friday night. 

As expected, Leipsic has proven to be a worthy addition to the conference and many people considered the Vikings the favorite to win the NWC title this year. Meanwhile, after graduating a lot of talent no one was quite sure to make of Columbus Grove, the three-time defending conference champions. 

Until someone knocks them off, the Bulldogs are champs and I’m sticking with them in this one.

The pick: Columbus Grove

Paulding (0-5) at Hicksville (0-5)

A pair of teams searching for win No. 1. Obviously it’s been a struggle for both teams, given younger faces and tough schedules. 

The Panthers did score 30 points last week so that’s encouraging, while Hicksville has been outscored 158-18 over the last three games. Before last week’s game, Paulding was scored 122-7 in the previous three games. 

These games can be unpredictable but I decided to go with the Panthers in this one.

The pick: Paulding 

Spencerville (2-3) at Allen East (3-2)

It’s a classic case of two teams that are better than their respective records indicate. It’s also a game in which the winner will cling to title share hopes (with some help), while the loser will all but drop out of the title race. 

In my mind this is a toss-up game but after thinking and overthinking and going back and forth, I’ve decided to go with the home team, knowing full well it could go either way. 

The pick: Allen East 

Crestview (4-1) at Bluffton (4-1)

Another toss-up game, at least in my mind. 

Bluffton has an option attack that seems to be humming along while Crestview has used a balanced offense to get to 4-1. Here’s the thing about option teams, especially old school ones – they’re very difficult to prepare for. You literally have to stop what you’re doing to prepare specifically for it and it’s difficult to replicate in practice.

That’s why I’m giving a slight edge to the Pirates in this one. It’s probably not a popular pick but I think it’s the right one.

The pick: Bluffton

Ottawa-Glandorf (3-2) at Van Wert (4-1)

The last four matchups have gone right down to the wire and this one may as well.

How will Van Wert respond after last week’s loss to St. Marys Memorial? Will any of it spill over to Friday night or will the Cougars bounce back? How will the defense respond after a couple of tough games? 

Whichever team wins will stay in a first place tie for at least a week. 

If the Cougars shore up their defense a bit, I like their chances to win this game.

The pick: Van Wert 

Best of the Rest

WBL

Celina at Bath: Bath

Defiance at Elida: Elida

Kenton at Wapakoneta: Wapakoneta

Shawnee at St. Marys Memorial: St. Marys Memorial

NWC

Ada at Delphos Jefferson (Saturday): Delphos Jefferson 

GMC 

Fairview at Edgerton: Edgerton

Tinora at Ayersville: Tinora 

Wayne Trace at Antwerp: Antwerp 

MAC 

Coldwater at Anna: Coldwater

Fort Recovery at St. Henry: St. Henry

Parkway at Minster: Minster

Marion Local at Delphos St. John’s: Marion Local 

New Bremen at Versailles: New Bremen 

Others

Lima Sr. at Toledo Central Catholic: Toledo Central Catholic

Worthington Christian at Lima Central Catholic: Lima CC

POSTED: 09/22/21 at 9:01 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports