No. 4 Chesterton (2-0) at No. 3 Michigan City (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday, www.rrsn.com.

What to know: Both teams have plenty to prove in this Duneland Athletic Conference opener.

Chesterton has a pair of solid wins — a road victory at Hobart and a home blowout against Munster — and has a strong passing game led by quarterback Chris Mullen. But can the Trojans hang with the DAC's best?

Michigan City took a tough loss to Warsaw last week and will be hungry to show why it opened the season as the Region's top-ranked team by the IFCA in any class.

No. 2 Merrillville (2-0) at No. 4 Crown Point (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday, www.USA-365.com, www.Indiana-Sports.com.

What to know: Crown Point ended Merrillville's season a year ago with a mild road upset of the Pirates in the sectional championship. Merrillville has looked strong in convincing wins over Andrean and Hobart, but CP and junior quarterback Will Pettit will test the Pirates' defense.

The Bulldogs dropped a road game to Lowell before protecting home field in a comfortable win over Highland last week. Will this look more like Week 1 or Week 2 for CP?

No. 7 Lowell (1-1) at No. 10 Morton (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday, www.rrsn.com (video).

What to know: These teams look like they'll battle it out for another sectional title this year, but this game may not be such a relevant postseason preview.

Morton senior quarterback Credell Prather remains out with a wrist injury, but former backup Paris Hewlett threw for 156 yards and two touchdowns against Lake Central on Friday. What will Hewlett do against a step up in competition?

Lowell's defense will need to be better after allowing 35 points and 434 yards to Portage last week.

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No. 7 Andrean (1-1) at New Prairie (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

What to know: Andrean got back on the ball with a 44-23 win over Hanover Central on Friday after a tough opening loss to Merrillville. New Prairie will provide a massive test, as the Cougars rank fifth in Class 4A and 22nd overall in the state by John Harrell's sagarin computer ratings.

Junior tailback Ryan Walsh is off to a hot start for the 59ers with 393 yards and seven touchdowns on over 11 yards per carry so far. New Prairie, however, outscored LaPorte and South Bend Clay 110-21 combined and brings an intimidating run game of its own with senior backs Chase Ketterer and Chris Mays.

Wheeler (1-1) at Calumet (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

What to know: These teams could be two of the best in the Greater South Shore Conference and will look to rebound from losses to bigger programs last week.

Wheeler competed with Kankakee Valley before ultimately falling 35-21, while Calumet took a 42-0 loss at Mount Carmel (Ill.). Dual-threat quarterback Bryce Catherman leads the Bearcats offense, and Calumet has allowed an average of 35 points in two games.

Calumet has won this matchup each of the last two seasons, however, and has weapons in the backfield. Bellcow running back C.J. Cooper ran for 101 yards in a 46-28 win over Bowman Academy in Week 1, and Phil Collins added 131 yards and two scores on just eight carries.

Highland (1-1) at TF South (1-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

What to know: Highland opened with an upset win over Morton before being shut out by Crown Point in Week 2. Can the Trojans' offense get back on track? Junior running back/linebacker Christian Rios should make an impact on both sides of the ball.

The Rebels, who cruised past Gavit 48-7 last week, are opening the season with two cross-border games for the first time in recent memory. They rely on a potent and deep ground game that averaged 10 yards per carry in the opener. JaMarrion Gaines, back after missing time last season with a broken fibula, had 190 all-purpose yards on 12 touches.

Times Night/Sports Mike Clark contributed to this report.

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Times football top 10

Here are the top 10 prep football teams in the Times’ coverage area, with records, last week’s rankings and rankings points:

1. Valparaiso 2-0 1 40

2. Merrillville 2-0 3 36

3. Michigan City 1-1 2 32

t4. Chesterton 2-0 7 25

t4. Crown Point 1-1 5 25

6. Portage 1-1 NR 18

t7. Andrean 1-1 8 15

t7. Lowell 1-1 4 15

9. Boone Grove 2-0 NR 7

10. Morton 1-1 NR 4


Porter County Sports Reporter

Robbie Weinstein covers Porter County prep sports and Valparaiso University athletics for The Times. You can find the Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University grad posted up on the nearest field of play or in front of the TV.