Things didn’t go so well last week as I finished up with a 17-7 (71 percent) record. My overall mark is now 248-73, which leaves me at 77 percent for the year.
Carmel (10-2) at Valparaiso (10-2) (8 p.m. Friday): The No. 3 Greyhounds edged No. 10 Valparaiso, 21-20, during the 2012 season. Dylan Downing scampered 24 times for 159 yards in Carmel’s 20-6 win over No. 11 Fort Wayne Snider. Jesse Harper raced 13 times for 83 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 23-6 win over Crown Point. Carmel is looking for its first semistate since 2016, while Valparaiso’s last crown came in 2001. Matt’s pick: Carmel 28, Valparaiso 23.
Center Grove (9-3) at Warren Central (12-0) (7 p.m. Friday): The No. 7 Trojans suffered a 27-15 loss to top-ranked Warren Central on August 17. Matt Pence returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown in Center Grove’s 17-0 blanking of No. 8 Avon. In addition to having six receptions for 106 yards and a score, David Bell also had a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Warriors’ 42-32 win over No. 4 North Central (Indianapolis). Center Grove has not won a semistate since 2016, while Warren Central has not celebrated a trip to the state finals since 2013. Matt’s pick: Warren Central 37, Center Grove 30.
Michigan City (10-2) at New Palestine (12-0) (4 p.m. Saturday): Lyric McFarrin rambled 19 times for 221 yards and five touchdowns in the No. 3 Wolves’ 62-21 win over Concord. Charlie Spegal recorded 27 carries for 282 yards and four scores in the top-ranked Dragons’ 31-7 decision over Harrison (West Lafayette). Michigan City has never won a semistate, while New Palestine’s last championship came in 2015. Matt’s pick: New Palestine 42, Michigan City 22.
Decatur Central (11-1) at Columbus East (11-2) (7 p.m. Friday): Will Gibson racked up 10 carries for 105 yards and two scores in the No. 2 Hawks’ 28-0 blanking of No. 13 Bloomington South. Cole Gilley was 17-of-25 for 245 yards and two scores in the No. 3 Olympians’ 20-13 win over No. 12 Castle. Decatur Central is in pursuit of its first semistate title, while defending state champion Columbus East is going for three in a row. Matt’s pick: Decatur Central 21, Columbus East 14.
Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (12-1) at Mishawaka (12-1) (7 p.m. Friday): Brenden Lytle went 4-of-10 for 112 yards and three touchdowns in the No. 6 Saints’ 40-7 victory against No. 5 Angola. C.J. Fisher accounted for 10 tackles for the No. 2 Cavemen in their 28-14 triumph over No. 11 Lowell. Bishop Dwenger is trying for its first semistate since 2015, while Mishawaka’s last championship came in 2012. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 30, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger 28.
Marion (13-0) at Evansville Central (12-1) (3 p.m. Saturday): Brayden Burkett came up with a pair of interceptions for the No. 4 Giants in a 19-13 win over No. 6 Mooresville. Brennan Schutte registered 19 carries for 128 yards on the ground with a score in the No. 8 Bears’ 28-24 win at No. 3 and defending state champion East Central. Marion has not claimed a semistate title since 1990, while Evansville Central has never experienced one before. Matt’s pick: Evansville Central 17, Marion 13.
West Lafayette (13-0) at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers (9-4) (7:30 p.m. Friday): The No. 2 Red Devils cruised to a 27-7 win over No. 10 Bishop Luers in the 1993 Class 2A semistate. Sage Hood rambled 32 times for 151 yards and also caught an 18-yard touchdown pass for West Lafayette in its 24-10 win over No. 6 Brebeuf Jesuit. Jordan Presley hauled in four passes for 111 yards with three touchdowns and rushed 13 times for 75 yards and a score in the Knights’ 42-6 decision over No. 14 Marian. West Lafayette is looking for its first semistate crown since 2015, while Bishop Luers’ previous title came in 2012. Matt’s pick: West Lafayette 35, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers 20.
Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (11-2) at Evansville Memorial (13-0) (7:30 p.m. Friday): The No. 1 and defending state champion Tigers roared to a 37-21 victory against No. 5 Bishop Chatard for the 2009 Class 3A semistate. Mark Nondorf was 15-of-20 for 226 yards with three touchdowns in the Trojans’ 56-14 triumph against Tri-West. Colton Pence came up with four catches for 96 yards and two scores in Evansville Memorial’s 56-14 victory over No. 7 Brownstown Central. Bishop Chatard’s last semistate championship occurred in 2015, while Evansville Memorial is going for back-to-back titles. Matt’s pick: Evansville Memorial 34, Bishop Chatard 21.
Bremen (11-2) at Eastbrook (12-1) (7:30 p.m. Friday): Nathan Mullen raced 37 times for 195 yards and a touchdown for the No. 11 Lions in their 42-13 win over No. 3 Whiting. Edward Keasling carried the ball seven times for 57 yards with three scores and also returned a blocked punt 30 yards for a touchdown in the No. 5 Panthers’ 52-21 win over Lapel. Bremen has not claimed a semistate title since 1995, while Eastbrook’s last crown came in 2016. Matt’s pick: Eastbrook 29, Bremen 24.
Southridge (10-3) at Western Boone (13-0) (2 p.m. Saturday): Colson Montgomery went 7-of-10 for 133 yards and two touchdowns in the No. 10 and defending state champion Raiders’ 42-35 win against No. 7 Paoli. Brett Wethington recorded 17 rushes for 173 yards and two scores in the No. 1 Stars’ 19-7 triumph over No. 2 Indianapolis Scecina. Southridge is going for two consecutive semistate championships, while Western Boone has not captured one since 1998. Matt’s pick: Western Boone 36, Southridge 18.
Adams Central (13-0) at Pioneer (13-0) (7:30 p.m. Friday at Logansport): The top-ranked and defending state champion Panthers earned a trip to the 2016 state finals with a 22-8 win over No. 2 Adams Central in the Class 1A semistate. Jalen Hammond contributed 19 carries for 109 yards in the Flying Jets’ 38-12 victory over No. 11 Monroe Central. Danny Gregorich scampered 14 times for 109 yards and three touchdowns in Pioneer’s 66-0 blanking of Triton. Adams Central is looking to earn a semistate crown for the first time since 2000, while Pioneer is going for three in a row. Matt’s pick: Pioneer 38, Adams Central 19.
North Vermillion (12-1) at Indianapolis Lutheran (10-3) (7:30 p.m. Friday): The No. 7 Falcons eliminated No. 10 Indianapolis Lutheran, 55-37, in the 2015 Class 1A regional. Wyatt Reynolds exploded for 237 yards and three scores on 24 attempts in North Vermillion’s 34-14 win over No. 5 North Central (Farmersburg). Marcus McFadden raced 19 times for 206 yards with two scores and caught two passes for 49 yards in the Saints’ 36-20 win over South Putnam. North Vermillion’s previous semistate title came in 2014, while Indianapolis Lutheran has never experienced one before. Matt’s pick: North Vermillion 32, Indianapolis Lutheran 27.