BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
FORT WAYNE SNIDER (9-2) AT CARMEL (9-2)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Greyhound Stadium.
COACHES: Kurt Tippmann, 106-23 in 10th season at Fort Wayne Snider. John Hebert, 37-14 in fourth season at Carmel.
LAST CONTEST: Fort Wayne Snider beat Homestead, 49-35. Carmel beat Lafayette Jeff, 41-21.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Carmel, 22-21, on November 10, 2017 in regional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Fort Wayne Snider (2016), Carmel (2017).
UP NEXT: No. 11 Fort Wayne Snider hosts No. 10 Valparaiso (9-2) or travels to Crown Point (5-6) for semistate. No. 3 Carmel plays at Valparaiso or Crown Point.
TOP PERFORMERS: J.D. Wells caught three passes for 29 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers against Homestead. Gabe Quigley was 11-of-13 for 146 yards and two scores for the Greyhounds against Lafayette Jeff.
COACH TALK: “Carmel is one of the top teams in the state this year as well as one of the top programs in the history of Indiana high school football. They are extremely well-coached, have very talented players, and have been well tested through playing a tough regular season schedule. For us to win, we have to eliminate self-induced mistakes. We cannot give the ball to Carmel on short fields and or squander any scoring opportunities. On the offensive and defensive lines, we have to play very well to have a chance. Offensively, we have to be able to throw the ball effectively and on defense, we have to stop the run game of Carmel. Special teams will be huge in determining field position and flipping the field.” – Fort Wayne Snider’s Kurt Tippmann.
“Coach Tippmann and his staff do such a great job preparing and developing their team. They play very hard and are physical on both sides of the ball, so we’ll have to establish our running game on offense and take care of the football by limiting turnovers. Defensively, Snider puts teams in a bind by running the ball behind their strong offensive line. They have athletic skilled players at receiver, running back, and an outstanding tight end. We hope our experience playing in the MIC (Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference) all season will have prepared us for a tough, competitive game like this. Special teams will be a big factor as well. When we have met our special teams’ goals, we have been victorious this season.” – Carmel’s John Hebert.
AVON (9-2) AT CENTER GROVE (8-3)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Ray Skillman Stadium.
COACHES: Mark Bless, 75-31 in ninth season at Avon, 224-98 in 29th season overall. Eric Moore, 187-65 in 20th season at Center Grove, 235-70 in 24th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Avon beat Brownsburg, 38-0. Center Grove beat Franklin Central, 23-6.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Avon, 32-21, on November 10, 2017 in regional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Avon (2017), Center Grove (2016).
UP NEXT: No. 8 Avon entertains No. 4 North Central (Indianapolis) (9-2) or goes to No. 1 Warren Central (11-0) for semistate. No. 7 Center Grove travels to North Central (Indianapolis) or Warren Central.
TOP PERFORMERS: Alex Griffith tallied 10 tackles and an interception for the Orioles against Brownsburg. Jack Moore went 9-of-13 for 66 yards for the Trojans against Franklin Central.
COACH TALK: “We have to eliminate our mental mistakes and must have great play execution. We need to take care of the football and play field position when needed. We also must win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.” – Avon’s Mark Bless.
“This will be the ninth time this season the Trojans will play a top-10 ranked team. It has been difficult, but except for injuries, it’s made us a better team. To beat Avon, the Trojans will have to play a perfect game as well as play our best of the year. Things that must happen to have success will be trying to eliminate Avon’s one-play drives. We must make them take several plays on drives, so eliminating the big offensive play is a must. It would help if the Center Grove offense made some big plays itself. First downs will be huge for us, so if we can convert on third downs it will enable us to keep their fantastic offense on the sideline. But if their awesome defense gets a three-and-out, it could be like a turnover for us. Last year, we had four turnovers and the game got away from us, so this year, the goal is to have zero turnovers and make them earn everything they get. All of the above will start on the offensive and defensive lines. Avon has a huge ball control offensive line with big play runners and their defensive line may be the fastest in the state., so we will have to be at our best on every play from scrimmage.” – Center Grove’s Eric Moore.
CONCORD (6-5) AT MICHIGAN CITY (9-2)
KICKOFF: 7:30 pm EST, Ames Field.
COACHES: Craig Koehler, 30-14 in fourth season at Concord. Phil Mason, 25-10 in third season at Michigan City, 138-71 in 18th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Concord beat Elkhart Central, 17-14. Michigan City beat LaPorte, 49-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Michigan City, 21-7, on November 10, 2017 in regional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Concord (2013), Michigan City (2017).
UP NEXT: Concord travels to No. 1 New Palestine (11-0) or entertains Harrison (West Lafayette) (6-5) for semistate. No. 3 Michigan City plays at New Palestine or Harrison (West Lafayette).
TOP PERFORMERS: Ethan Cain completed 10-of-12 for 192 yards and a touchdown for the Minutemen against Elkhart Central. Detrick Merriweather ran eight times for 70 yards and a score for the Wolves against LaPorte.
COACH TALK: “This will be the most explosive team we have seen this year. Defensively, we must limit big plays in order to have a chance to win the game. Offensively, we have to put some first downs together and try to keep their offense off of the field. This is easier said than done as their defense is outstanding as well, but we will really put ourselves behind the eight-ball if we have a bunch of three-and-outs. We will definitely need to win the turnover margin to give us our best chance as well.” – Concord’s Craig Koehler.
“We are in for a great challenge. Concord is a lot like us on offense. They run multiple formations with different personnel and have an experienced leader at quarterback (Ethan Cain). They will really test our defense. For the first time in eight weeks, we will face a four-man front which will bring us a great challenge to adjust and pick up blitz schemes. It’s regional time, though, and anything can happen. Weather looks to play a factor as well, so we’re glad we are at Ames Field.” – Michigan City’s Phil Mason.
CASTLE (7-4) AT COLUMBUS EAST (10-2)
KICKOFF: 8 p.m. EST, John Stafford Field.
COACHES: Doug Hurt, 98-52 in 13th season at Castle. Bob Gaddis, 196-36 in 18th season at Columbus East, 314-136 in 40th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Castle beat Terre Haute South, 55-34. Columbus East beat Bedford North Lawrence, 51-14.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Castle (2015), Columbus East (2017).
UP NEXT: No. 12 Castle entertains No. 2 Decatur Central (10-1) or Bloomington South (6-5) for semistate. No. 3 Columbus East goes to Bloomington South or hosts Decatur Central.
TOP PERFORMERS: Cameron Justus was 12-of-19 for 166 yards with a score for the Knights against Terre Haute South. Dalton Back hauled in five passes for 80 yards with two touchdowns for the Olympians against Bedford North Lawrence.
COACH TALK: “We will have to play very, very well in all three phases of the game. We are playing one of the premier programs in the state, and one that doesn’t beat itself. We are going to have to play mistake-free football and put together the most complete game of the year. Defensively, that means stopping the run and getting them off of the field on third down. Offensively, we are going to have to move the chains and avoid penalties and turnovers. They are a very good football team and are exceedingly well-coached. We have a great deal of respect for Coach Gaddis and their program and hope to be able to compete on their level.” – Castle’s Doug Hurt.
“We need to find a way to slow down their explosive, versatile offense, and find a way to consistently move the ball against their quick defense. As always, the kicking game and establishing field position will be important. Castle is very well-coached, fundamental, and will not beat themselves, so we need to match their execution.” – Columbus East’s Bob Gaddis.
ANGOLA (12-0) AT FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER (11-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, New Haven.
COACHES: Andy Thomas, 38-17 in fifth season at Angola, 128-84 in 19th season overall. Jason Garrett, 11-1 in first season at Bishop Dwenger.
LAST CONTEST: Angola beat NorthWood, 27-26. Bishop Dwenger beat Fort Wayne Wayne, 14-13.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Bishop Dwenger, 34-0, on November 10, 2017 in regional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Angola (1992), Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (2017).
UP NEXT: No. 5 Angola hosts No. 2 Mishawaka (11-1) or travels to No. 11 Lowell (10-2) for semistate. No. 6 Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger plays at Mishawaka or Lowell.
TOP PERFORMERS: Luke Honer had two receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown for the Hornets against NorthWood. Griffin Eifert racked up four tackles and an interception for the Saints against Fort Wayne Wayne.
COACH TALK: “Dwenger is fundamentally sound, and they have kids that know how to play the game of football. They are a great team which will not make mistakes. They will not beat themselves, so we have to beat them.” – Angola’s Andy Thomas.
“Angola is a veteran team, returning seven starters on both sides of the ball. They are very athletic, physical, and well-coached. We will need to have outstanding execution in all three facets of the game. We will need to stop their play action passing along with strong running game with gap sound and disciplined defense. We will need to be efficient and productive on offense and in special teams scoring points and maintaining good field position.” – Bishop Dwenger’s Jason Garrett.
MOORESVILLE (11-1) AT MARION (12-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Dick Lootens Stadium.
COACHES: Mike Gillin, 14-10 in second season at Mooresville, 319-127 in 40th season overall. Craig Chambers, 24-9 in third season at Marion, 47-22 in sixth season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Mooresville beat Greenwood, 49-14. Marion beat Mississinewa, 26-9.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Mooresville (1989), Marion (1990).
UP NEXT: No. 6 Mooresville hosts No. 8 Evansville Central (11-1) or No. 3 East Central (11-1) for semistate. No. 4 Marion entertains East Central or goes to Evansville Central.
TOP PERFORMERS: James Mabry scampered 12 times for 93 yards and three touchdowns for the Pioneers against Greenwood. Xavier Gee registered 10 tackles for the Giants against Mississinewa.
COACH TALK: “We have to deal with their speed on both sides of the ball. Special teams’ play will be a huge factor as well, and we also must win the turnover battle to have a chance.” – Mooresville’s Mike Gillin.
“We need to minimize mistakes, execute on offense, play well in the kicking game, and continue to play well on defense.” – Marion’s Craig Chambers.
BREBEUF JESUIT (10-2) AT WEST LAFAYETTE (12-0)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EST, Gordon Straley Field.
COACHES: Mic Roessler, 47-26 in sixth season at Brebeuf Jesuit. Shane Fry, 65-12 in sixth season at West Lafayette.
LAST CONTEST: Brebeuf Jesuit beat Blackford, 42-13. West Lafayette beat Andrean, 51-24.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Brebeuf Jesuit, 13-10, on November 10, 2017 in regional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Brebeuf Jesuit (2017), West Lafayette (2015).
UP NEXT: No. 6 Brebeuf Jesuit travels to No. 14 Mishawaka Marian (8-4) or hosts No. 10 Fort Wayne Bishop Luers (8-4) for semistate. No. 2 West Lafayette plays at Mishawaka Marian or Fort Wayne Bishop Luers.
TOP PERFORMERS: Jay Higgins racked up 20 tackles for the Braves against Blackford. Sage Hood had 14 touches for 39 yards and two touchdowns for the Red Devils against Andrean.
COACH TALK: “West Lafayette has a great team with plenty of talent. In order to beat a team like this, we need to finish drives with a kick for points or for field position. The game will be won on the defensive side of the ball, but our offense must score at least three touchdowns to have a chance to win it.” – Brebeuf Jesuit’s Mic Roessler.
“We need to play a great game Friday night to beat Brebeuf and advance to the semistate. We need to win the turnover battle and limit Brebeuf’s big plays. Another huge key to the game is special teams. They have two of the best kick returners we have seen this season in Gabe Wright and Adam VanderKooy. They also have a great kicker (Alex Potts) with outstanding field goal range, so we need to make plays on special teams and keep great field position throughout the game.” – West Lafayette’s Shane Fry.
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (11-1) AT EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (12-0)
KICKOFF: 8 p.m. EST, Enlow Field.
COACHES: Reed May, 259-51 in 26th season at Brownstown Central. John Hurley, 85-53 in 11th season at Evansville Memorial.
LAST CONTEST: Brownstown Central beat Batesville, 35-28. Evansville Memorial beat Gibson Southern, 56-28.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Brownstown Central, 30-7, on November 11, 2016 in regional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Brownstown Central (2016), Evansville Memorial (2017).
UP NEXT: No. 7 Brownstown Central entertains No. 5 Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (10-2) or goes to Tri-West (8-4) for semistate. No. 1 Evansville Memorial plays at Tri-West or hosts Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.
TOP PERFORMERS: Matthew Bell had five rushes for 27 yards to go along with 10 tackles for the Braves against Batesville. Colton Pence recorded four catches for 74 yards and two scores for the Tigers against Gibson Southern.
COACH TALK: “Memorial is a great team and the defending state champions. We will have to play a great game, control the football, and get some turnovers to be able to play with Memorial.” – Brownstown Central’s Reed May.
“Brownstown Central under Reed May has had tremendous success. Reed does a great job preparing his football teams and they have a very unique offense. In 2016, Brownstown dominated the football game on both sides of the ball, so in 2018, we will have to be discipline defensively and stop the run, as well as protect the football and make big plays on offense.” – Evansville Memorial’s John Hurley.
WHITING (12-0) AT BREMEN (10-2)
KICKOFF: 8 p.m. EST, Don Bunge Field.
COACHES: Jeff Cain, 194-82 in 25th season at Whiting. Jordan Leeper, 22-12 in third season at Bremen.
LAST CONTEST: Whiting beat Boone Grove, 37-19. Bremen beat Bluffton, 42-13.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Whiting, 28-21, on November 13, 2015 in regional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Whiting (2016), Bremen (2011).
UP NEXT: No. 3 Whiting hosts Lapel (8-4) or No. 5 Eastbrook (11-1) for semistate. No. 11 Bremen entertains Lapel or goes to Eastbrook.
TOP PERFORMERS: Thomas Knight came up with three receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown for the Oilers against Boone Grove. Justin Zumbrun registered two catches for 84 yards with a score as well as an interception for the Lions against Bluffton.
COACH TALK: “Bremen overall is an athletic group who plays a very physical style. We will need to match that type of play to stay with them. They have great balance on offense between the run and pass. Their quarterback (Ryan Caldwell) is a dual threat passing and running the football. On the defensive side, they run to the football and are very physical. Our line play on both sides of the football will need to be outstanding as well.” – Whiting’s Jeff Cain.
“We will have to play physical, disciplined football. We must not give them extra opportunities to put points on the board easily. We must execute offensively, and on defense make them earn everything. We must be extremely disciplined on special teams to handle the things they do in the kicking game.” – Bremen’s Jordan Leeper.
WESTERN BOONE (12-0) AT INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA (11-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Roncalli.
COACHES: Justin Pelley, 50-19 in sixth season at Western Boone. Ott Hurrle, 192-130 in 27th season at Indianapolis Scecina, 193-139 in 29th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Western Boone beat North Putnam, 49-8. Indianapolis Scecina beat Triton Central, 34-30.
LAST MEETING: Indianapolis Scecina, 48-33, on November 10, 2017 in regional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Western Boone (1998), Indianapolis Scecina (2017).
UP NEXT: No. 1 Western Boone welcomes No. 10 Southridge (9-3) or No. 7 Paoli (12-0) for semistate. No. 2 Indianapolis Scecina goes to Paoli or hosts Southridge.
TOP PERFORMERS: Spencer Wright went 13-of-17 for 199 yards and three touchdowns for the Stars against North Putnam. David Baker hauled in seven passes for 78 yards with two scores for the Crusaders against Triton Central.
COACH TALK: “I am very concerned about their size and their explosiveness. They have a very solid, fundamentally sound team and are very well-coached. We will have to play our best game on both sides of the ball to have any chance.” – Scecina’s Ott Hurrle.
“We are looking forward to the regional rematch against Scecina. In order to win, we must control the tempo of the game and limit the amount of big plays on defense. Special teams will definitely play a big part in the outcome of this game as well.” – Western Boone’s Justin Pelley.
ADAMS CENTRAL (12-0) AT MONROE CENTRAL (10-2)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Monroe Central Field.
COACHES: Michael Mosser, 79-39 in 10th season at Adams Central. John Hochstetler, 56-26 in seventh season at Monroe Central, 143-109 in 22nd season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Adams Central beat Southwood, 38-0. Monroe Central beat Union City, 29-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Adams Central, 15-12, on November 4, 2016 in sectional final.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: Adams Central (2016), Monroe Central (2017).
UP NEXT: No. 2 Adams Central plays at No. 1 Pioneer (12-0) or hosts Triton (9-3) for semistate. No. 11 Monroe Central goes to Pioneer or entertains Triton.
TOP PERFORMERS: Jake McCullough finished with 12 tackles for the Flying Jets against Southwood. Isaac Moles contributed 11 tackles for the Golden Bears against Union City.
COACH TALK: “This is another tough game for us, so we are going to have to executive efficiently on offense and play aggressive and stubborn defense. They definitely out size us for sure, so that could be a huge problem for us especially if they try to run up the middle. We are going to have utilize our speed to the best of our ability. We will also need to control the offensive line and run Jalen Hammond more than we have the last few weeks. That will be will be difficult, though, because they are bigger up front than us and have good linebackers. It will be a big challenge for us.” – Adams Central’s Michael Mosser.
“Adams Central will be a great challenge. Our team has evolved and hopefully is prepared to show that in this regional matchup. We have to play well in all three phases of the game in order to compete with them.” – Monroe Central’s John Hochstetler.
NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG) (9-1) AT NORTH VERMILLION (11-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Gibson Field.
COACHES: Travis Nolting, 60-27 in eighth season at North Central (Farmersburg). Brian Crabtree, 75-12 in seventh season at North Vermillion, 110-51 in 14th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: North Central (Farmersburg) beat West Washington, 14-0. North Vermillion beat Attica, 22-6.
PREVIOUS MEETING: North Vermillion, 77-7, on September 12, 2014.
LAST REGIONAL TITLE: North Central (Farmersburg) (none), North Vermillion (2015).
UP NEXT: No. 5 North Central (Farmersburg) hosts South Putnam (6-6) or No. 10 Indianapolis Lutheran (9-3) for semistate. No. 7 North Vermillion welcomes South Putnam or goes to Indianapolis Lutheran.
TOP PERFORMERS: Dawson Basinger accounted for 16 carries for 101 yards with a touchdown, nine tackles, and two interceptions for the Thunderbirds against West Washington. Wyatt Reynolds tallied 15 rushes for 79 yards with a score and 10 tackles for the Falcons against Attica.
COACH TALK: “It will come down to blocking and tackling as it always does. We have to play great defense and find ways to control the line of scrimmage to win.” – North Central’s Travis Nolting.
“In order to win this game, we will have to make sure we are aligned correctly on defense, with our eyes focused on reading keys. We must play disciplined assignment football and limit North Central’s big plays. On offense, we have to take care of the football and avoid costly penalties. Staying on schedule in regard to down and distance will be crucial as we try to grind out first downs. Finally, we can’t give up big plays in special teams.” – North Vermillion’s Brian Crabtree.