It proved to be another average week as I went 18-6 (75 percent) choosing the regional contests. Heading into the final two weeks of the season, my overall record is 213-67, which keeps me at 76 percent for the season.
Penn (11-1) at Carmel (8-4): The Greyhounds downed Penn, 21-10, in last year’s semistate. Hunter Whitlow’s one-yard scoring run got the Kingsmen off and running to a 33-3 win at Crown Point. Will Schmidt accounted for all three touchdowns in Carmel’s 22-21 win over Fort Wayne Snider. Penn’s last semistate crown came in 2015, while Carmel is going for two in a row. Matt’s pick: Penn 24, Carmel 20.
Avon (10-2) at Ben Davis (12-0): The Giants rolled to a 52-20 win over Avon on August 25. Isaac Guerendo caught six passes for 147 yards with two touchdowns and ran three times for 87 yards and one score in the Orioles’ 33-20 win against Center Grove. Reese Taylor was 13-of-20 for 207 yards and four touchdowns in Ben Davis’ 50-7 win at Fishers. Avon has never won a semistate title, while Ben Davis is looking for its first crown since 2014. Matt’s pick: Ben Davis 35, Avon 21.
Michigan City (9-3) at Kokomo (8-4): This marks the first meeting on the gridiron between the Wolves and Kokomo. Mason Kaletha found the end zone three times in Michigan City’s 21-7 victory at Concord. Noah Hurlock ran for a score, caught a pass for another tally, and recorded 13 tackles for the Wildkats in their 35-21 win at Zionsville. Both Michigan City and Kokomo are in pursuit of their first semistate title. Matt’s pick: Michigan City 38, Kokomo 34.
Columbus East (12-1) at Indianapolis Cathedral (7-5): The Irish cruised to a 49-14 win over Columbus East in the 2012 Class 4A semistate. The game will be played at Indianapolis Tech’s Howard Longshore Stadium. Jamon Hogan scampered nine times for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Olympians’ 49-18 win over Terre Haute North. Alec Hobson raced for 88 yards and two scores in Cathedral’s 35-21 win over Bloomington South. Columbus East is trying for back-to-back semistate titles, while Cathedral’s last championship came in 2014. Matt’s pick: Cathedral 32, Columbus East 29.
Lowell (13-0) at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (10-3): The Red Devils slipped past Bishop Dwenger, 24-21, in the 2009 semistate. This contest will be played at Homestead’s Walters Stadium. Jaegar Gill had five receptions for 145 yards and one score and also threw a 25-yard touchdown pass in Lowell’s 25-20 win over New Prairie. Patrick O’Keefe was 7-of-11 for 169 yards with a touchdown in the Saints’ 34-0 blanking of Angola. Lowell has not claimed a semistate crown since 2009, while Bishop Dwenger’s last championship occurred in 2015. Matt’s pick: Lowell 23, Bishop Dwenger 22.
Greenwood (11-2) at East Central (10-3): The Woodmen suffered a 41-26 loss to East Central in the 2014 sectional opener. Isaiah Drew returned an interception 20 yards for a score in Greenwood’s 34-27 win over Mississinewa. Alex Maxwell romped for 187 yards and four touchdowns on 33 carries in the Trojans’ 35-13 win over Evansville Central. Greenwood has never won a semistate trophy, while East Central is going for its first since 2015. Matt’s pick: East Central 31, Greenwood 24.
Brebeuf Jesuit (9-4) at Marian (9-4): The Braves and Marian are meeting for the first time in football. Miles McIlwain returned a kickoff 78 yards for a score with 1:03 left to help Brebeuf to a 13-10 win over West Lafayette. Zach Whitfield ran for 97 yards with a touchdown in the Knights’ 30-7 victory at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers. Brebeuf’s lone semistate title came in 2013, while Marian is going after its first championship. Matt’s pick: Marian 17, Brebeuf 14.
Evansville Memorial (12-1) at Danville (13-0) (Saturday): The Tigers and Danville are getting together for the first time on the football field. Branson Combs caught six passes for 104 yards with two touchdowns and also returned an interception 65 yards for a score in Evansville Memorial’s 56-35 win over Lawrenceburg. Ben Stevens caught a touchdown pass and added a 95-yard interception for another tally in the Warriors’ 38-7 win against Indianapolis Bishop Chatard. Evansville Memorial is trying for its first semistate since 2009, while Danville’s last title came in 1999. Matt’s pick: Evansville Memorial 42, Danville 40.
Woodlan (11-2) at Eastbrook (13-0): The Warriors and Eastbrook have never met on the gridiron until now. Amarion Hicks scampered 15 times for 234 yards and three touchdowns in Woodlan’s 40-26 victory at North Newton. Davon Wallace ran 25 times for 124 yards and three scores for the Panthers in their 56-26 win over Lapel. Woodlan is going for its first semistate crown, while Eastbrook is looking to make it two in a row. Matt’s pick: Eastbrook 33, Woodlan 26.
Southridge (11-2) at Indianapolis Scecina (12-1) (Saturday): The Raiders earned a trip to the 2002 state title game with a 28-17 win over Scecina. This game will take place at Indianapolis Tech’s Howard Longshore Stadium. Colin Smith had eight carries for 108 yards in Southridge’s 47-7 victory over Providence. Andrew Lowery ran for a score and returned a kickoff 87 yards for another tally in the Crusaders’ 48-33 win over Western Boone. Southridge is trying for its first semistate title since 2006, while Scecina’s last crown came in 2012. Matt’s pick: Scecina 34, Southridge 22.
Monroe Central (12-1) at Pioneer (13-0): The Golden Bears are paying their first visit to Pioneer for football. This game will take place at Logansport’s Berry Stadium. Wyatt Snyder caught six passes for 127 yards and one touchdown for Monroe Central in a 28-21 win over Southwood. Jayson Mersch contributed nine tackles for the Panthers in their 38-0 blanking of LaVille. Monroe Central is playing in its first semistate contest, while Pioneer is looking for its second straight title. Matt’s pick: Pioneer 44, Monroe Central 36.
Eastern Greene (10-3) at Indianapolis Lutheran (11-2): The Thunderbirds are getting together with Lutheran for the first time on the gridiron. Ethan Helton had two receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns in Eastern Greene’s 42-19 win over Fountain Central. Trevor Russell ran seven times for 123 yards in the Saints’ 50-15 triumph at Indianapolis Arlington. Eastern Greene and Indianapolis Lutheran are both looking for their first semistate championship. Matt’s pick: Lutheran 43, Eastern Greene 41.