Things went better as I went 14-3 (82 percent) last week. Heading into the final round, my overall record is 128-35, which has me at 79 percent for the year.
Lafayette Jeff (10-0) at Merrillville (8-1): The No. 7 Pirates claimed a 27-20 win over No. 3 Lafayette Jeff in last year’s sectional semifinals. Thomas Hogan ran seven times for 187 yards and four touchdowns in the Bronchos’ 45-7 win over Lake Central. Lavarion Logan had 18 carries for 119 yards and three scores in Merrillville’s 39-0 blanking of Crown Point. Matt’s pick: Merrillville 35, Lafayette Jeff 32.
Chesterton (5-4) at Elkhart (8-0): The Trojans and No 5 Elkhart are playing on the gridiron for the first time. Jackson Westmoreland hauled in 11 passes for 111 yards with a touchdown in Chesterton’s 20-14 win over Penn. Cameron Wiltfong was 8-of-13 for 145 yards with a score in the Lions’ 67-33 win over Portage. Matt’s pick: Elkhart 43, Chesterton 20.
Warsaw (8-2) at Homestead (9-1): The No. 8 Spartans captured a sectional crown in 2016 with a 52-27 win over Warsaw. Patrick Zollinger scampered eight times for 142 yards with two scores in the Tigers’ 42-35 win over Carroll (Fort Wayne). Nathan Anderson caught seven passes for 113 yards in Homestead’s 28-10 win over Fort Wayne Snider. Matt’s pick: Homestead 40, Warsaw 33.
Fishers (3-7) at Westfield (9-1): The No.2 Shamrocks cruised to a 45-6 win over Fishers on October 9. Carson Dunn rambled 20 times for 193 yards with two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 34-29 win over No. 10 Hamilton Southeastern. Carson Voorhis recorded seven tackles in Westfield’s 35-0 win over Noblesville. Matt’s pick: Westfield 41, Fishers 13.
Carmel (8-2) at Brownsburg (8-1): The No. 6 and defending state champion Greyhounds are traveling to No. 4 Brownsburg for the first time. Zach White came up with 15 carries for 101 yards in Carmel’s 38-22 win over Indianapolis Pike. Cade Garner raced 12 times for 50 yards with two scores in the Bulldogs’ 34-31 win over Avon. Matt’s pick: Brownsburg 31, Carmel 28.
Indianapolis Ben Davis (5-5) at Perry Meridian (1-9): The Giants stormed past Perry Meridian, 37-0, in last year’s sectional semifinals. Rylan Richardson registered seven receptions for 139 yards with two touchdowns in Ben Davis’ 54-14 win over Southport. Aiden Warren had 16 rushes for 132 yards with a score in the Falcons’ 35-0 win over Indianapolis Tech. Matt’s pick: Ben Davis 42, Perry Meridian 12.
Lawrence North (7-3) at Warren Central (3-5): The No. 9 Wildcats clawed past Warren Central, 34-13, on October 2. Travon Hegler rambled 11 times for 105 yards with a touchdown in Lawrence North’s 52-19 win over Lawrence Central. Prince Powell tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the Warriors’ 20-17 win over North Central (Indianapolis). Matt’s pick: Lawrence North 36, Warren Central 34.
Columbus East (8-2) at Center Grove (10-0): The No.1 Trojans marched to a 31-0 win over Columbus East in last season’s sectional semifinals. Parker Harrison caught two passes for 78 yards with two scores in the Olympians’ 41-14 win over Franklin Central. Drew Wheat raced four times for 33 yards with two touchdowns in Center Grove’s 42-7 win over Columbus North. Matt’s pick: Center Grove 39, Columbus East 19.
Valparaiso (6-0) at LaPorte (4-6): The No.3 Vikings marched to 37-7 win over LaPorte on September 4. Tommy Burbee came up 26 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns in Valparaiso’s 21-14 win over No. 10 Michigan City. R.J. Anglin was 5-of-6 for 119 yards with two scores in the Slicers’ 56-9 win over Munster. Matt’s pick: Valparaiso 44, LaPorte 14.
Mishawaka (6-3) at Adams (4-5): The No. 9 Cavemen posted a 43-7 win over Adams a year ago. Chase Gooden recorded 12 carries for 50 yards with a score in Mishawaka’s 45-6 win over Goshen. Sidney Jeffries scampered seven times for 24 yards and caught three passes for 21 yards in the Eagles’ 53-14 loss to Penn. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 46, Adams 16.
Fort Wayne North (5-5) at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (9-1): The No. 2 Saints were a 27-14 winner over Fort Wayne North on August 28. The winner takes on Zionsville (5-5) in the regional final. Ju’suan Lambert came up with 34 carries for 347 yards with three touchdowns in the Legends’ 42-21 win over Fort Wayne Northrop. Gavin Groves finished with four rushes for 20 yards with a score in Bishop Dwenger’s 42-6 win over Anderson. Matt’s pick: Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger 38, Fort Wayne North 15.
Decatur Central (8-2) at Indianapolis Cathedral (9-1): The top-ranked Irish notched a sectional crown a season ago with a 42-12 win over No. 6 Decatur Central. Kaleb Hicks raced 17 times for 125 yards with a score in the Hawks’ 56-37 win over Plainfield. Jake Langdon finished with 14 rushes for 165 yards with two touchdowns in Cathedral’s 57-18 win over Terre Haute South. Matt’s pick: Indianapolis Cathedral 43, Decatur Central 22.
New Palestine (8-1) at Whiteland (9-1): The No. 5 and two-time defending state champion Dragons scampered past No. 4 Whiteland, 35-7, in last year’s sectional semifinals. Blake Austin recorded seven catches for 230 yards with a touchdown in New Palestine’s 31-27 win over Franklin. Chase Valentine rambled 15 times for 200 yards with five scores in the Warriors’ 66-0 blanking of Seymour. Matt’s pick: Whiteland 31, New Palestine 30.
Castle (6-3) at Bloomington North (5-4): The Knights needed overtime a year ago to come away with a 28-21 win over Bloomington North in the sectional semifinals. Peyton Guerzini had 26 rushes for 205 yards with two scores in Castle’s 28-0 win over Bloomington South. Reece Lozano threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more tallies in the Cougars’ 55-41 win over Evansville North. Matt’s pick: Castle 28, Bloomington North 25.
Jeffersonville (4-5) at New Albany (6-2): The Bulldogs clawed their way to a 26-7 win over Jeffersonville on September 4. Jordan Ferguson ran 24 times for 169 yards with three touchdowns in the Red Devils’ 35-28 upset of No. 7 Floyd Central. Myles Johnson scampered 10 times for 208 yards and two scores in New Albany’s 49-3 win over Jennings County. Matt’s pick: New Albany 30, Jeffersonville 10.
Lowell (4-6) at Hobart (8-2): The No. 7 Brickies blanked No. 9 Lowell, 20-0, in last season’s sectional finale. Cameron Stojsncevich went 6-of-18 for 120 yards with a touchdown in the Red Devils’ 48-14 win over Highland. Tyler Turley ran four times for 49 yards with two scores in Hobart’s 70-0 blanking of Gary West. Matt’s pick: Hobart 34, Lowell 21.
Culver Academy (5-5) at Logansport (5-6): The Eagles are traveling to Logansport for the first time. Eli Pack rambled 16 times for 115 yards with a touchdown in Culver Academy’s 24-14 win over Plymouth. Garrett Barron completed 2-of-3 for 64 yards and two scores in the Berries’ 36-7 win over Saint Joseph. Matt’s pick: Logansport 39, Culver Academy 38.
East Noble (8-3) at Leo (10-1): The No. 6 Lions roared to a 24-0 win against East Noble on September 18. Jacob VanGorder racked up 19 tackles in the Knights’ 14-7 win over DeKalb. Dallen Wirtz accounted for 10 rushes for 62 yards with a touchdown in Leo’s 14-12 win over NorthWood. Matt’s pick: Leo 25, East Noble 19.
Delta (8-2) at Marion (8-3): The Giants recorded a 37-0 win over Delta in the 2018 sectional semifinals. Evan Conley recorded 13 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 49-18 win over Fort Wayne Wayne. Marques Smith ended up with 13 tackles in Marion’s 33-14 win over Fort Wayne South. Matt’s pick: Delta 32, Marion 30.
Mount Vernon (Fortville) (11-0) at New Castle (5-5): The top-ranked Marauders rolled to 48-6 win over New Castle on October 2. Rylan Cole wound up with 11 rushes for 48 yards with a touchdown in Mount Vernon’s 32-7 win over Pendleton Heights. Brandon Matney had seven receptions for 119 yards with a score in the Trojans’ 31-7 win over Connersville. Matt’s pick: Mount Vernon 45, New Castle 12.
Lebanon (4-4) at Indianapolis Roncalli (9-1): The No. 4 Rebels raced to a sectional title last year with a 34-14 win over Lebanon. Hunter Crow caught a 10-yard touchdown pass and then came up with an interception in the Tigers’ 29-25 win over Western. Caden Gore managed four catches for 54 yards with a score in Roncalli’s 57-7 win over Beech Grove. Matt’s pick: Roncalli 47, Lebanon 17.
Martinsville (5-6) at Mooresville (10-1): The No. 3 Pioneers cruised to a 41-24 win over Martinsville on October 9. Tyler Cox amassed 21 carries for 213 yards with three touchdowns in the Artesians’ 34-28 win over Greenwood. Breken Greene scampered 22 times for 141 yards with two scores in Mooresville’s 36-28 win over No. 5 East Central. Matt’s pick: Mooresville 44. Martinsville 11.
Evansville Central (11-0) at Evansville Memorial (8-3): The defending state champion Tigers are looking to avenge a 21-10 loss to No. 2 Evansville Central on September 4. Jacob Boberg ran four times for 124 yards with a touchdown in the Bears’ 56-18 win over Boonville. Colton Pence was 8-of-13 for 100 yards with a score in Evansville Memorial’s 45-21 win over Evansville Reitz. Matt’s pick: Evansville Central 25, Evansville Memorial 18.
Calumet (4-1) at Hanover Central (9-2): The Wildcats thrashed Calumet, 57-12, during the 2017 campaign. C.J. Cooper had 19 carries for 189 yards with two scores and caught two passes for 51 yards and another touchdown in the Warriors’ 34-18 win over Knox. Adam Graham added two catches for 88 yards in Hanover Central’s 41-6 win over River Forest. Matt’s pick: Hanover Central 37, Calumet 21.
Marian (9-0) at Jimtown (7-3): The No. 2 Knights registered their fifth straight sectional crown last year with a 14-13 win over Jimtown. Malcolm Anderson registered seven carries for 76 yards and two scores in Marian’s 41-24 win over Tippecanoe Valley. Landon Buchanan had a one-yard touchdown dive in the Jimmies’ 38-0 win over West Noble. Matt’s pick: Marian 42, Jimtown 20.
Norwell (10-1) at Fort Wayne Concordia (5-5): The Cadets eliminated No. 7 Norwell, 17-14, in last season’s sectional semifinals. Max Ringger came up with 10 rushes for 84 yards with a touchdown in the Knights’ 49-7 win over Maconquah. Cooper Harris registered eight tackles in Fort Wayne Concordia’s 24-0 win over Oak Hill. Matt’s pick: Fort Wayne Concordia 20, Norwell 17.
Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (9-1) at Brebeuf Jesuit (5-4): The top-ranked and defending state champion Trojans earned a 27-14 win over No. 10 Brebeuf Jesuit on August 21. Carter St. John went 6-of-7 for 76 yards with a score in Bishop Chatard’s 42-7 win over Guerin Catholic. Drake Hagerman was 12-of-14 for 147 yards with a touchdown in the Braves’ 35-13 win over Yorktown. Matt’s pick: Bishop Chatard 33, Brebeuf Jesuit 10.
Tri-West (9-2) at Danville (8-0): The No. 5 Warriors were a 28-7 winner against No. 8 Tri-West on September 28. Next up for the winner is a date with Sullivan (8-3) in the regional round. Jace Mohr caught a 69-yard touchdown pass in the Bruins’ 26-14 win over Greencastle. Kale Payne was 11-of-17 for 161 yards with three scores in Danville’s 38-0 win over Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter. Matt’s pick: Danville 36, Tri-West 11.
Lawrenceburg (10-1) at Franklin County (6-2): The No. 6 Tigers roared to a 41-7 win over Franklin County a year ago. Adam Burd carried the ball 12 times for 59 yards with a score in Lawrenceburg’s 50-20 win over Scottsburg. Hunter Tschaenn raced 16 times for 108 yards with two touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 19-18 win over Greensburg. Matt’s pick: Lawrenceburg 47, Franklin County 14.
Salem (7-2) at Southridge (11-0): The Lions and No. 4 Southridge have never met before on the football field. Porter Howey had 15 carries for 114 yards in Salem’s 28-14 win over North Harrison. Camden Gasser hauled in three passes for 80 yards and three scores in the Raiders’ 30-27 win over No. 9 Gibson Southern. Matt’s pick: Southridge 38, Salem 12.
Rensselaer Central (7-4) at Andrean (10-1): The top-ranked 59ers celebrated a sectional title a season ago with a 44-34 win over Rensselaer Central. Kelton Hesson registered nine carries for 111 yards and two scores in the Bombers’ 34-12 win over Wheeler. Joe Cimino completed all six of his passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns in Andrean’s 38-6 win over Whiting. Matt’s pick: Andrean 40, Rensselaer Central 16.
Pioneer (10-1) at Bremen (9-2): The Lions rambled to a 55-6 win over No. 3 Pioneer during the 1992 season. Addai Lewellen finished with six rushes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ 52-14 win over LaVille. Angel Estrada connected on nine extra-points in Bremen’s 63-13 win over Wabash. Matt’s pick: Pioneer 41, Bremen 21.
Eastside (10-1) at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers (5-6): The No. 4 Blazers downed Bishop Luers, 13-6, in last year’s sectional semifinals. Gavin Wallace recorded three catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns in Eastside’s 42-0 win over Prairie Heights. Brody Glenn accounted for five receptions for 153 yards and three scores in the Knights’ 49=12 win over No. 7 Fairfield. Matt’s pick: Eastside 42, Bishop Luers 39.
Lapel (9-2) at Tipton (8-2): The Bulldogs are getting together with Tipton for the first time on the gridiron. Tyler Dollar cashed in for 120 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries in Lapel’s 27-14 win over No. 6 Eastern (Greentown). Eli Carter raced 20 times for 73 yards and three scores in the Blue Devils’ 56-39 win over No. 2 Eastbrook. Matt’s pick: Tipton 33, Lapel 28.
Western Boone (7-4) at Seeger (8-2): The two-time defending state champion Stars dropped a 28-14 decision to Seeger in the 2002 sectional finals. Robby Taylor accounted for 17 rushes for 106 yards in Western Boone’s 37-14 win over North Putnam. Brock Thomason racked up eight tackles in the Patriots’ 30-11 win against Cascade. Matt’s pick: Western Boone 37, Seeger 21.
Heritage Christian (7-2) at Shenandoah (8-3): The No. 8 Eagles flew past Shenandoah, 41-21, on August 29. Harrison Waltz recorded 15 tackles in Heritage Christian’s 35-0 win over Winchester. Tanner Goff tallied 23 carries for 123 yards with three scores in the Raiders’ 20-7 win over Indianapolis Scecina. Matt’s pick: Heritage Christian 35, Shenandoah 18.
Providence (4-5) at Triton Central (9-1): The No. 5 Tigers came away with a sectional championship a year ago with a 20-0 win over Providence. Jeremy Gettelfinger rambled 15 times for 134 yards and a touchdown in the Pioneers’ 42-7 win over Union County. Ray Crawford ran 16 times for 166 yards and three scores in Triton Central’s 35-12 win over Paoli. Matt’s pick: Triton Central 46 Providence 10,
Evansville Mater Dei (7-4) at Linton-Stockton (8-3): The Wildcats roared past Linton-Stockton, 44-20, in last year’s sectional semifinals. Bryce Humphrey was responsible for the go-ahead touchdown in Evansville Mater Dei’s 30-19 win over North Knox. Tony Goodman registered five receptions for 71 yards with a score in the Miners’ 47-17 win over North Posey. Matt’s pick: Evansville Mater Dei 38, Linton-Stockton 14.
Winamac (6-2) at North Judson (9-2): The No. 10 Bluejays flew past Winamac, 29-0, on September 18. The survivor advances to meet defending state champion Lafayette Central Catholic (4-3) in the regional. Trent Fox compiled 11 carries for 66 yards with a score in the Warriors’ 21-14 win against South Central. J.J. Blount finished with five rushes for 35 yards and two touchdowns in North Judson’s 29-12 win over Culver. Matt’s pick: North Judson 25, Winamac 9.
Madison-Grant (3-5) at South Adams (10-0): The No. 1 Starfires recorded a sectional title a season ago with a 47-20 win over Madison-Grant. Jack Thompson found the end zone twice in the Argylls’ 28-12 win over Tri-Central. James Arnold was 10-of-13 for 193 yards and three touchdowns in South Adams’ 48-7 win over No. 9 Monroe Central. Matt’s pick: South Adams 49, Madison-Grant 7.
Southwood (11-0) at Adams Central (8-2): The No. 7 Flying Jets breezed to a 38-0 win over No. 3 Southwood in last year’s sectional semifinals. Morgan Lloyd ended up with two carries for 158 yards in the Knights’ 56-0 win over Caston. Nick Neuenschwander raced 13 times for 74 yards with a touchdown in Adams Central’s 38-14 win over Triton. Matt’s pick: Southwood 44, Adams Central 38.
Parke Heritage (6-1) at South Putnam (11-0): The No. 8 Wolves and No. 6 South Putnam are playing football for the first time. Anthony Wood hauled in three passes for 53 yards and two scores in Parke Heritage’s 57-6 win over Riverton Parke. Luke Switzer accounted for 10 carries for 107 yards with a touchdown in the Eagles’ 51-14 win over Attica. Matt’s pick: South Putnam 46, Parke Heritage 41.
Covenant Christian (11-0) at Indianapolis Lutheran (9-1): The top-ranked Saints secured a sectional title last season with a 28-15 win over No. 5 Covenant Christian. Micah Wilson ran 11 times for 78 yards with two touchdowns in the Warriors’ 44-12 win against Park Tudor. Bryce Lucas scampered seven times for 111 yards with a score in Lutheran’s 55-12 win over Sheridan. Matt’s pick: Lutheran 43, Covenant Christian 16.
Milan (7-3) at North Decatur (9-2): The Indians downed North Decatur, 25-7, on September 18. Adam Norman registered seven receptions for 180 yards with two touchdowns in Milan’s 35-21 win over Tri. Reid Messer ended up with 24 carries for 134 yards with two scores in the Chargers’ 42-0 win over Knightstown. Matt’s pick: North Decatur 26, Milan 24.
Perry Central (8-3) at West Washington (9-0): The No. 4 Senators posted a 39-22 win over Perry Central on October 2. Camiren Etienne amassed eight carries for 94 yards with a score in the Commodores’ 56-0 win over North Central (Farmersburg). Holden Bowsman tossed three touchdown passes in West Washington’s 45-0 win over Tecumseh. Matt’s pick: West Washington 40, Perry Central 15.