Mother Nature is bringing the heat this week.

Courier Sports Editor Jamie Baker is too.

With the mercury reaching an unseasonably warm 90 degrees earlier in the week and gametime temperatures Friday night expected to be in the 80s, it’s appropriate that The Courier’s Pigskin Picks are heating up heading into high school football’s Week 5.

Baker, who knows a little bit about football from his playing days at St. Wendelin High School when the Mohawks were feared on the gridiron under longtime coach Gene Peluso instead of an afterthought before the school closed in 2016, cut into Hanneman’s three-game lead.

Baker netted wins in two games when he picked Otsego to beat Fostoria and correctly selected Patrick Henry to win its Northwest Ohio Athletic League opener against Delta.

Hanneman, a native of a town known more for futbol than football — Kalida — did manage to beat Baker in one game when he picked Ada to knock off Delphos Jefferson to open Northwest Conference play.

Baker hopes to turn up the heat on Hanneman even more this week as The Courier’s pigskin pickers disagreed on two games.

Hanneman thinks Findlay will turn things around against Toledo St. Francis while Baker picked the Knights. Hanneman also selected Mohawk to knock off Seneca East in a battle of Northern 10 unbeatens while Baker is taking the Tigers.

Who will be cool as a cucumber or hot under the collar?

We’ll find out Friday night.


Hanneman’s Picks
LAST WEEK: 13-6; OVERALL: 59-18

  • Findlay over TOLEDO ST. FRANCIS — Face it, the breaks have not gone in Findlay’s favor this season. The Trojans will have to make their own breaks to turn it around.
  • Cory-Rawson over ARCADIA — I think the Hornets can get that first win this week. But don’t forget, this is an Arcadia team that put 60 points on the scoreboard two weeks ago.
  • LEIPSIC over Hopewell-Loudon — Vikings were not at their best last week, but they still got a “W”. Sometimes you just have to grind it out.
  • Liberty-Benton over NORTH BALTIMORE — A lot of young Eagles will get their first varsity victory.
  • McComb over ARLINGTON — Game of the week between two 4-0 BVC leaders. Should be a dandy, right Feathers?
  • PANDORA-GILBOA over Van Buren — Scary pick. P-G is 4-0, but the Rockets’ opponents so far are a combined 3-13, and they’re facing a Van Buren club that just gave a really strong Leipsic team a heckuva battle.
  • WHARTON over Vanlue — Falcons rebound from one-sided loss to McComb with a convincing win of their own.
  • UPPER SANDUSKY over Buckeye Central — Bucks are 0-4 and have scored just three touchdowns all season. That won’t get it done against the Rams.
  • Carey over BUCYRUS — Carey’s been on this win-loss-win-loss trend. It’ll continue this week.
  • MOHAWK over Seneca East — Huge N10 test for the Warriors. And if they pass this one, they get Colonel Crawford in another one next week.
  • LAKE over Elmwood — Both teams coming off a murderous stretch of games against some powerhouse programs. Flyers (2-2) have a better resume overall, though.
  • FOSTORIA over Woodmore — If the Redmen are at full strength, I can see it. If not …
  • Bluffton over PAULDING — Pirates make the long trek north, but the ride home should be a happy one.
  • CONVOY CRESTVIEW over Columbus Grove — Crestview can light up a scoreboard, but the Knights defense has been pretty solid as well.
  • Spencerville over ADA — Bearcats know that if they stumble here, next week’s showdown with Crestview takes on a whole different dimension.
  • Archbold over PATRICK HENRY — Defending NWOAL champs are unbeaten heading into this matchup with the Patriots.
  • Celina over OTTAWA-GLANDORF — Bulldogs have been putting up some big numbers lately.
  • Riverside over HARDIN NORTHERN — Pirates are coming off impressive wins over Division VI Elgin and Division V Indian Lake.
  • SANDUSKY ST. MARY’S over Lakota — Toss up. Both 2-2. Going with the home team.
  • TIFFIN CALVERT over Fremont St. Joseph — I used the “common opponent” equation for this pick. Calvert beat Norwalk St. Paul; St. Joe didn’t.

Baker’s Picks
LAST WEEK: 14-5; OVERALL: 57-20

  • TOLEDO ST. FRANCIS over Findlay — Gotta believe the way they have lost has taken a toll on the Trojans.
  • Cory-Rawson over ARCADIA — The battle between the bottom four teams in the BVC is honestly just as entertaining as the battle between the top four teams.
  • LEIPSIC over Hopewell-Loudon — Hopewell-Loudon righted the ship last week and could be a handful for Leipsic.
  • Liberty-Benton over NORTH BALTIMORE — Eagles get their first win in a big, big way.
  • McComb over ARLINGTON — This is what high school football is all about. Two unbeaten teams, big crowd, homecoming, school pride on the line. Panthers win a nailbiter.
  • PANDORA-GILBOA over Van Buren — I wouldn’t bet against the Black Knights in this one. Well, on second thought, I guess I am.
  • WHARTON over Vanlue — The last of three Heritage Games for Riverdale. The Wharton Dragons are victorious once again.
  • UPPER SANDUSKY over Buckeye Central — The young Rams are scuffling a bit right now and with much bigger numbers some Upper fans are wondering why. Believe me when I tell you it takes time and Coach Hall has them on the right track.
  • Carey over BUCYRUS — Look for Carey to clean a few things up this week and take care of business in Bratburg.
  • Seneca East over MOHAWK — Rivals the McComb-Arlington contest for the area’s game of the week. Just a hunch in taking the Tigers in this backyard brawl.
  • LAKE over Elmwood — Lake is riding a two-game losing streak but their last two defeats were close losses to 4-0 Archbold and Genoa.
  • FOSTORIA over Woodmore — Fostoria is like that mystery meat they served you at the school cafeteria when you were a kid. You never know what you’re going to get.
  • Bluffton over PAULDING — Long trip for the Pirates but a fun ride home after a Northwest Conference win.
  • CONVOY CRESTVIEW over Columbus Grove — After this one Grove has the ability to run the table. Crestview is just too explosive.
  • Spencerville over ADA — Winner stays in the hunt in the NWC race and Bearcats will prevail.
  • Archbold over PATRICK HENRY — Nice win over Delta last week for the Pats. There’s no breathers the rest of the way for Patrick Henry though.
  • Celina at OTTAWA-GLANDORF — Tough OT loss last week for the Titans against Van Wert. Might be feeling the effects of that difficult defeat.
  • Riverside over HARDIN NORTHERN — Can’t possibly pick the Bears this week after they gave up 75 to Lima Perry last week.
  • SANDUSKY ST. MARY’S over Lakota — I thought just maybe Lakota could play a role in the SBC River Division race. Last week’s 48-7 pasting by Willard showed me the Raiders aren’t quite ready for prime time just yet.
  • TIFFIN CALVERT over Fremont St. Joseph — Old rivals battle once again and the Senecas should have little problem with the Crimson Streaks.

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