My late-season surge continued as I went 11-2 (92 percent) last week. Heading into the state finals, my overall mark is now 259-74, which leaves me at 78 percent for the year.
Eastbrook (13-1) vs. Western Boone (14-0) (Noon): Justin Singer rambled 14 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the No. 5 Panthers’ 34-33 triumph over No. 11 Bremen. Joe Hendrix hauled in three passes for 111 yards and three scores for the top-ranked Stars in their 48-7 victory over No. 10 and defending state champion Southridge. Eastbrook is back in the title game for the first time since 2016, while Western Boone’s last trip came in 1998. Matt’s pick: Western Boone 31, Eastbrook 17.
Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (13-1) vs. Evansville Central (13-1) (3:30 p.m.): Devon Tippmann scampered 22 times for 112 yards for the No. 6 Saints in their 24-6 victory at No. 2 Mishawaka. Joe Boberg ran five times for 53 yards in the No. 8 Bears’ 30-14 win against No. 4 Marion. Bishop Dwenger returns to Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since 2015. Evansville Central is making its first appearance in the finale. Matt’s pick: Bishop Dwenger 24, Evansville Central 20.
Warren Central (13-0) vs. Carmel (11-2) (7:05 p.m.): The No. 1 Warriors posted a 41-17 victory over No. 3 Carmel on October 5. Jayden George was 11-of-20 for 93 yards and a score in Warren Central’s 27-20 win over No. 7 Center Grove. Sam Rogers came up with two receptions for 23 yards in the Greyhounds’ 14-10 triumph at No. 10 Valparaiso. Warren Central is back in the title game for the first time since 2013, while Carmel’s last appearance came in 2016. Matt’s pick: Warren Central 35, Carmel 21.
North Vermillion (13-1) vs. Pioneer (14-0) (Noon): The No. 7 Falcons hung on for a 27-26 win over top-ranked and defending state champion Pioneer in the 2014 state title affair. Corey Buchhass registered 10 tackles for North Vermillion in its 14-7 win at No. 10 Indianapolis Lutheran. Ezra Lewellen came up with three catches for 28 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ 38-7 win over No. 2 Adams Central. North Vermillion’s lone trip to the state finals came in 2014, while Pioneer is making its third straight and fourth visit in five years. Matt’s pick: Pioneer 42, North Vermillion 14.
West Lafayette (14-0) vs. Evansville Memorial (14-0) (3:30 p.m.): The No. 2 Red Devils were a 24-10 winner over No. 1 and defending state champ Evansville Memorial in 2009 state finale. R.J. Erb had 14 receptions for 86 yards in West Lafayette’s 27-14 win over No. 10 Fort Wayne Bishop Luers. Michael Lindauer went 16-of-30 for 164 yards with a score in the Tigers’ 42-17 triumph over No. 5 Indianapolis Bishop Chatard. West Lafayette was state runner-up in 2015, while Evansville Memorial is going for back-to-back state crowns. Matt’s pick: Evansville Memorial 39, West Lafayette 34.
Decatur Central (12-1) vs. New Palestine (7:05 p.m.): Parker Harrington completed 10-of-16 for 199 yards with two scores and ran 20 times for 80 yards and a touchdown in the No. 2 Hawks’ 27-24 win over No. 3 and defending state champion Columbus East. Ryker Large caught a 76-yard touchdown pass in the top-ranked Dragons’ 35-10 victory against No. 3 Michigan City. Decatur Central is making its first appearance in the title affair. Matt’s pick: New Palestine 33, Decatur Central 23.