BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
(ALL GAMES ON FRIDAY UNLESS INDICATED)
CARMEL (7-4) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (11-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Spuller Stadium.
COACHES: John Hebert, 27-11 in third season at Carmel. Kurt Tippmann, 97-20 in ninth season at Fort Wayne Snider.
LAST CONTEST: Carmel beat Lafayette Jeff, 41-20. Fort Wayne Snider beat Carroll (Fort Wayne), 52-14.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Carmel, 10-7, on November 13, 2009 in Class 5A regional.
UP NEXT: Carmel hosts Penn (10-1) or Crown Point (7-4) in semistate. Fort Wayne Snider travels to Penn or entertains Crown Point.
DID YOU KNOW: Carmel is going after its fifth straight regional title, while Fort Wayne Snider is looking for its fourth in a row.
COACH TALK: “We’ve done a good job on the season in staying ahead in the turnover battle at plus-11 on the year. The cold conditions, the grass field, and Snider’s physicality will all increase the value of ball security and creating takeaways for us. They are so good in all three phases of the game, so we are expecting a tight, tough, and back-and-forth type of a game. I’m really proud of the attitude our team has adopted of learning to focus in the moment and take each game as an opportunity play Carmel Football with maximum effort. It should be a lot of fun!” – Carmel’s John Hebert.
“Playing the defending Class 6A state champs is going to be huge challenge. They are good in every aspect of the game, offense, defense and special teams. For us to be successful, our offensive line has to be more physical than their defense. We have to be effective blocking them. We have to be able to throw the ball efficiently and stay balanced as an offense. On defense, our front six have to be disciplined and gap sound and physical at the point of attack. We cannot turn the ball over and special teams have to be solid to win the battle for field position.” – Snider’s Kurt Tippmann.
BEN DAVIS (11-0) AT FISHERS (7-4)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Clarian Field.
COACHES: Mike Kirschner, 92-36 in 11th season at Ben Davis, 106-62 in 15th season overall. Rick Wimmer, 88-50 in 12th season at Fishers, 252-133 in 35th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Ben Davis beat Warren Central, 36-29. Fishers beat Pike, 28-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
UP NEXT: Ben Davis entertains Avon (9-2) or travels to Center Grove (6-5) for semistate. Fishers goes to Avon or Center Grove.
DID YOU KNOW: Ben Davis is trying for back-to-back regional championships, while Fishers’ last title came in 2010.
COACH TALK: “We have to get some players healthy and need to focus better. We are going on the road to play one of the best coached teams we have seen all year. For us to be successful, we are not going to be able to make mistakes.” – Ben Davis’ Mike Kirschner.
“Friday night’s game against Ben Davis will certainly be a big challenge for our football team. They have earned the No. 1 ranking as well as being mentioned as one of the top programs in the country because of the dominating fashion in which they have rolled through their schedule. For our defense to be successful, we always believe in stopping the running game first, so first down plays will be especially important. They have a great running back in (Johnny) Adams, but the player that makes them the most dangerous is quarterback Reese Taylor. Although he can beat you throwing the football, he is most dangerous as a runner and a scrambler. We will have to do a great job of containing him in the pocket and tackling him on designed runs or when he breaks loose from the pocket. They also have three excellent receivers, all with big play potential in (Broc) Thompson, (Jermaine) Hoskins, and (Kesean) Tunstill. Thompson is especially dangerous and seems to be the guy they look for in critical situations. As a defense, the challenge in defending this team is trying to defend everything, in which you defend nothing. Our number one goal defensively is to give no big play, quick, easy touchdowns. Make them work for everything by running multiple plays and try to force a mistake we can take advantage of. To win, I believe we will need to be able to force a couple of turnovers in this game. For our offense, we must do what we have been able to do in most of our wins and that is control the football with a running game and efficient passing. We will have to make some chunk plays as well as their team speed and physicality can make it tough to drive the ball with any consistency. Obviously, we must avoid turnovers and take advantage of any scoring opportunity we can get. We will need to score some points to beat this team. We have been very good in the kicking game this year, but their return teams are very dangerous, so we must not allow them any big returns and try to create a big play of our own on special teams.” – Fishers’ Rick Wimmer.
MICHIGAN CITY (8-3) AT CONCORD (10-1)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EST, Jake Field.
COACHES: Phil Mason, 15-7 in second season at Michigan City, 128-68 in 17th season overall. Craig Koehler, 24-8 in third season at Concord.
LAST CONTEST: Michigan City beat LaPorte, 38-10. Concord beat Goshen, 28-12.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
UP NEXT: Michigan City travels to Kokomo (7-4) or hosts Zionsville (7-5) in semistate. Concord plays at Kokomo or entertains Zionsville.
DID YOU KNOW: Michigan City is playing in its first regional game, while Concord’s last championship came in 2013.
COACH TALK: “Concord has a strong inside run game we will have to play great defense. Their defensive front is very active and their linebackers look to be physical. We need to be balanced offensively and clean with no mistakes and be able to match them physically.” – Michigan City’s Phil Mason.
“If we are going to win Friday, we have to possess the ball and finish drives with points. Defensively, we have to keep the ball in front of us and tackle well in space. We must win the turnover margin as well as the special teams’ battle.” – Concord’s Craig Koehler.
KOKOMO (7-4) AT ZIONSVILLE (7-5)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Eagles Stadium.
COACHES: Brett Colby, 88-30 in 11th season at Kokomo, 203-97 in 28th season overall. Pat Echeverria, 21-25 in fourth season at Zionsville, 44-39 in seventh season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Kokomo beat McCutcheon, 37-7. Zionsville beat New Palestine, 26-24.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
UP NEXT: Kokomo hosts Michigan City (8-3) or Concord (10-1) in semistate. Zionsville travels to Michigan City or Concord.
DID YOU KNOW: Kokomo’s lone regional crown came in 2015, while Zionsville is trying for its first title since 2000.
COACH TALK: “We need to be able to stay away from big plays. They have some really good players on offense, especially No. 1 (Jordan) Hull, No. 2 (Mitchell) Canada, and No. 8 (Tommy) Fossett, who are all big play guys for them. We must have success running the football and play action passing as well. We have to limit turnovers and penalties by being a disciplined team. These are all things you need to do to win big games. These are same things we have done in our first two tournament games so far this season.” – Kokomo’s Brett Colby.
“We have to play a clean game by avoiding turnovers, busted plays and penalties. They will try and eat up clock, so we need to win first down and force them into passing situations. We need to keep ourselves out of true passing downs and win the big play battle.” – Zionsville’s Pat Echeverria.
NEW PRAIRIE (11-1) AT LOWELL (12-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CST, The Inferno.
COACHES: Russ Radtke, 60-13 in sixth season at New Prairie, 350-133 in 41st season overall. Keith Kilmer, 63-29 in eighth season at Lowell.
LAST CONTEST: New Prairie beat South Bend St. Joseph, 42-7. Lowell beat Griffith, 42-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: New Prairie, 28-27, on November 14, 2014 in Class 4A regional.
UP NEXT: New Prairie entertains Angola (12-0) or plays at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (9-3) in semistate. Lowell goes to Angola or Bishop Dwenger.
DID YOU KNOW: New Prairie’s only regional championship was in 2014, while Lowell is going for two in a row.
COACH TALK: “There is no question that Lowell is an outstanding football team. Coach Kilmer and his staff do a great job preparing their players each and every week. Their defense has dominated all season long, so for New Prairie to have success, we must take care of the football, and match the level of intensity that they will bring. Defensively, we must be able to continue to have success in our secondary and keep the ball in front of us at all times. We look for this to be an outstanding football game.” – New Prairie’s Russ Radtke.
“We are going to have to play disciplined team football in all phases of the game. New Prairie is big, physical, fast, and is led by one of the best offensive players in the state (quarterback Nick Wilson). Offensively, we are going to have to grind out some long drives to give our defense a chance by taking advantage of each red zone opportunity we get.” – Lowell’s Keith Kilmer.
FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER (9-3) AT ANGOLA (12-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Angola Stadium.
COACHES: Chris Svarczkopf, 148-48 in 15th season at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger. Andy Thomas, 26-16 in fourth season at Angola, 116-83 in 18th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger beat Fort Wayne Wayne, 41-20. Angola beat Culver Academy, 31-30, overtime.
LAST MEETING: Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, 45-7, Nov. 1, 2013, sectional.
UP NEXT: Bishop Dwenger hosts New Prairie (11-1) or Lowell (12-0) in semistate. Angola entertains Lowell or travels to New Prairie.
DID YOU KNOW: Bishop Dwenger is going for its first regional since 2015, while Angola’s only championship came in 1992.
COACH TALK: “Our game at Angola is among the greatest challenges we have faced all season. They have an excellent offense, which is very balanced and averaging more than 30 points per game. Their quarterback (Chance Roddy) has completed 70 percent of his passes which is amazing. They do many things offensively to confound you, yet they can run it right at you as well. They are very, very good. On defense and in the kicking Game, they are very disciplined. They do not make mistakes and create turnovers to win. In addition, we see many great things in the media about their character, teamwork, and motivation. Coach Andy Thomas and his staff have built a proven winner, which is built on sound philosophy and fundamentals. They have won close games and have come from behind to win as well. They have been a team of destiny. We will need to play our best game of the season at Angola to have a chance.” – Bishop Dwenger’s Chris Svarczkopf.
“We need to have great intensity from the start of the game. We cannot turn the ball over and must limit big plays.” – Angola’s Andy Thomas.
EVANSVILLE CENTRAL (11-1) AT EAST CENTRAL (9-3)
KICKOFF: 8 p.m. EST, Trojan Field.
COACHES: Andy Owen, 78-44 in 11th season at Evansville Central. Justin Roden, 44-20 in fifth season at East Central.
LAST CONTEST: Evansville Central beat Evansville Bosse, 28-0. East Central beat Silver Creek, 24-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
UP NEXT: Evansville Central entertains Mississinewa (10-2) or Greenwood (10-2) in semistate. East Central travels to Mississinewa or hosts Greenwood.
DID YOU KNOW: Evansville Central is trying for its first regional crown, while East Central is trying for its third consecutive title.
COACH TALK: “East Central is a great team, so we have to win the turnover battle, stop the run, and be excellent in the kicking game.” – Evansville Central’s Andy Owen.
“Ironically Evansville Central was my pre-season pick to win Class 4A this year and the team I voted for each week of this year’s IFCA state poll. They are the biggest, most athletic and most talented group of young men that I have coached against in my 17-year career in both Ohio and Indiana. Coach Andy Owen has a monster of a team and on paper, they should beat us by four touchdowns. However, thank goodness the game is played on the mud and grass of St. Leon because they have an advantage of on us in every phase of the game. On Friday, I expect their offense to try and mash us. Their superior size is an extreme worry. We need to be creative in our approach to stop this. Their all-state right tackle Daron Pierce, who at 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds is just a physical specimen. His crew will block for Mr. Indiana football candidate, running back Tor’Jon Evans (2,521 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns. Their quarterback Brennon Harper has an amazing arm and has thrown for almost 1,500 yards with 18 touchdowns. His receiving core has speed everywhere and a tremendous size advantage on us. To say that I am concerned is a tremendous understatement. On defense, things don’t get any better. Upfront they are lead upfront by 6-6 200-pound defensive end Rayzel Joiner and 6-4 255-pound defensive lineman Joseph Space. Linebacker Kiave Guerrier leads them in tackles and is a physical presence, while in the secondary, two-way stars Reeder Pennell and Tre’Jon Evans are dangerous playmakers. Their offense is a combination of power football with the ability to spread it out and sling it. It’s a well-rounded scheme that has been effective all season. On defense, they are both an odd and even front and bring pressure from a variety of ways. They will play a large amount of man and load up the box. Our defense has been playing great, but the negative is that we are very young and maybe still a little too green. I am excited about their opportunity to play a special team Friday and what the future holds in the next few years. We will start three sophomores and one freshman Friday night on defense. That is never a good recipe for success in November. Alex Maxwell is our heart and soul. His attitude embodies Trojan football, humility, courage and fearlessness. I think our kids are not scared. They respect Central a great deal and are excited to play at home. In order for us to win, we need Central to struggle with the field conditions and the travel. In addition, we need them to make mistakes and turn the ball over. We will be well-prepared and battle to the last snap. However, our best might not be good enough. We need some luck and to make a few special plays. The beauty of high school sports is that it is a game played by kids. Anything can happen Friday night. I know our kids are excited and our community will be out in full force to support the boys, win or lose. A victory Friday would go down as one of the greats in Trojan history.” – East Central’s Justin Roden.
MISHAWAKA MARIAN (8-4) AT FORT WAYNE BISHOP LUERS (8-4)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Luers Field.
COACHES: Reggie Glon, 164-102 in 24th season at Mishawaka Marian. Kyle Lindsay, 35-28 in fifth season at Fort Wayne Luers.
LAST CONTEST: Mishawaka Marian beat Jimtown, 21-7. Fort Wayne Bishop Luers beat Fort Wayne Concordia, 20-14.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, 34-6, on September 21, 1990.
UP NEXT: Marian travels to West Lafayette (11-1) or hosts Brebeuf Jesuit (8-4) in semistate. Bishop Luers plays at West Lafayette or Brebeuf Jesuit.
DID YOU KNOW: Marian’s last regional title occurred in 2015, while Bishop Luers is going for its first since 2014.
COACH TALK: “For the Knights to beat the Knights, we will need great effort and focus this week in practice and on game night. They are very athletic and play hard for 48 minutes. We must play error-free football and continue to play well defensively as well as in the kick game. Our offense must get first downs, be able to run the football, and keep their offensive on the sidelines. They are well-coached, athletic, and a very good football team, so we will need our best performance of the year this Friday to move on.” – Marian’s Reggie Glon.
“We have seen success this year when we commit less than two turnovers. This time of year, it is imperative to take care of the ball. We did against Concordia (one turnover) and must continue to hold onto it against a solid Marian team. They have a strong defense and a big offensive line. We must control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The defense has to force them into second and long and third and long situations since passing the ball is not their strength. This would play into our strong secondary play. Special teams need to continue to be solid in coverage. We must take advantage of every point we can get since we’ve missed on five extra-point conversions the past two weeks after missing three all year prior to that.” – Bishop Luers’ Kyle Lindsay.
LAWRENCEBURG (11-1) AT EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (11-1)
KICKOFF: 4 p.m. CST Saturday, Enlow Field.
COACHES: Ryan Knigga, 61-22 in seventh season at Lawrenceburg. John Hurley, 70-53 in 10th season at Evansville Memorial.
LAST CONTEST: Lawrenceburg beat North Harrison, 35-29. Evansville Memorial beat Gibson Southern, 26-17.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Memorial, 29-28, on November 14, 1992 in Class 3A, regional.
UP NEXT: Lawrenceburg hosts Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (7-5) or Danville (12-0) in semistate. Evansville Memorial goes to Bishop Chatard or Danville.
DID YOU KNOW: Lawrenceburg is trying for back-to-back regional championships, while Evansville Memorial’s last one was in 2009.
COACH TALK: “Memorial is very explosive on offensive and they have an outstanding quarterback (Michael Lindauer) along with a great wide receiver (Branson Combs). I really like the way their offensive line plays and their running back (Kenyon Ervin) does not get enough credit. Memorial has an outstanding defense. Our defense and their defense are very similar in the way they play, fast and physical. For the Tigers to be successful in Evansville on Saturday, we will need to limit the big plays and contain their quarterback. No. 8 (Lindauer) must be marked and we must do a good job of slowing him down. He is an outstanding playmaker for them. We must have long drives on offense and possess the ball and grid it out. When we get opportunities, we must take our shots, but more importantly, we must make each possession count. Every possession needs to end with a kick. We can’t turn over the ball and expect to be successful, Memorial is too good!” – Lawrenceburg’s Ryan Knigga.
“Coach Knigga has done a great job at Lawrenceburg. They are the defending regional and semistate champs from last year and play a very physical style of football offensively and defensively. We will need stop the run to have a chance to win. Lawrenceburg dominates time of possession and has a strong offensive line and defensively front seven. We will need to be very efficient offensively and make plays against man coverage.” – Evansville Memorial’s John Hurley.
INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA (11-1) AT WESTERN BOONE (9-3)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Western Boone Field.
COACHES: Ott Hurrle, 180-128 in 26th season at Indianapolis Scecina, 181-137 in 28th season overall. Justin Pelley, 38-18 in fifth season at Western Boone.
LAST CONTEST: Indianapolis Scecina beat Triton Central, 14-0. Western Boone beat Park Tudor, 46-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Indianapolis Scecina, 12-8, on August 25, 2007.
UP NEXT: Scecina entertains Southridge (10-2) or travels to Providence (7-5) in semistate. Western Boone goes to Southridge or Providence.
DID YOU KNOW: Scecina is in pursuit of its first regional title since 2012, while Western Boone’s last crown was in 1998.
COACH TALK: “In order for us to compete with Western Boone, we must be able to match their physicality and control the line of scrimmage. Western Boone is a very talented, well-coached physical team which is playing very well right now.” – Scecina’s Ott Hurrle.
“Scecina is a very good football team and we will have to play well in all three phases in order to win. Special teams’ play could be the difference. Coach Hurrle will have his team ready to play and it is our job to make sure we are up to the task. Both teams will be playing with a lot of confidence and turnovers will be key for both teams. (David) Baker is an excellent wide receiver and we will need to limit his big play ability in order to come out on top on Friday night. Should be a great night of football and our entire community is anxious for the opportunity that awaits us. GO STARS!!!” – Western Boone’s Justin Pelley.
SOUTHWOOD (11-1) AT MONROE CENTRAL (11-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Monroe Central Field.
COACHES: Dave Snyder, 46-34 in seventh season at Southwood. John Hochstetler, 45-23 in sixth season at Monroe Central, 132-106 in 21st season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Indianapolis Lutheran beat Hagerstown, 19-12. Indianapolis Arlington beat South Putnam, 46-6.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
UP NEXT: Southwood hosts Pioneer (12-0) or LaVille (8-4) in semistate. Monroe Central travels to Pioneer or LaVille.
DID YOU KNOW: Southwood has not won a regional title since 2002, while Monroe Central is playing in its first regional contest.
COACH TALK: “Monroe Central appears to be a very good team. They are aggressive on defense and multiple on offense. The first thing we have to defend is the power game with three backs and two tight ends. From there, they have some really good athletes and spread you out to get them the ball with the pass and outside runs. They have a good line with good size. On defense, they run to ball and get after it up front. We have to recognize coverage, make adjustments with our formations, and find our best matchups.” – Southwood’s Dave Snyder.
“Southwood was in the regional last season and has an explosive group that can really play. We have to limit our mistakes, especially bad early possessions. Southwood has scored on everyone, so stopping them is not realistic. We have to try and contain them. Special teams’ play will also be critical to our success.” – Monroe Central’s John Hochstetler.
FOUNTAIN CENTRAL (11-1) AT EASTERN GREENE (9-3)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EST, Eastern Greene Field.
COACHES: Raymond Jones, 30-6 in third season at Fountain Central. Joey Paridaen, 32-14 in fourth season at Eastern Greene, 34-32 in sixth season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Fountain Central beat Attica, 43-0. Eastern Greene beat North Central (Farmersburg), 33-14.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
UP NEXT: Fountain Central hosts Indianapolis Lutheran (10-2) or Indianapolis Arlington (9-2) in semistate. Eastern Greene plays at Lutheran or Arlington.
DID YOU KNOW: Fountain Central’s last regional championship came in 2010, while Eastern Greene is going for its first title.
COACH TALK: “Eastern Greene is a very physical and very big team who has had a great season. They have the most size on film of anyone we have seen so far this season. Their quarterback (Caleb Hamilton) has does amazing things behind a big offensive front and is a great downhill runner with good speed. Defensively, we will have to make sure to contain and try to slow their rushing attack. Being able to tackle efficiently and effectively will play a big part in stopping their run. Looking forward to making the trip down to Eastern and a great night of football.” – Fountain Central’s Raymond Jones.
“We know this is going to be a hard fought game. Anytime you play an unfamiliar opponent this late in the post-season, there are going to be several unknowns until the ball is kicked. Fountain Central is a talented and aggressive team. They have good balance offensively and create havoc defensively. We know that we must play a near perfect game offensively and be fundamentally sound defensively against a quality opponent like Fountain Central. Once again, we will expect to establish our running game early on and try to make them become as one dimensional as possible. If we are able to limit mistakes and penalties, then this should be a very entertaining football game.” – Eastern Greene’s Joey Paridaen.