That’s it. Another weekend of high school football. A quick look at what you should know about this weekend’s six federal finals games at Lucas Oil Stadium:
Andrean (10-3) v Evansville Mater Dei (11-3), Friday 11am
Perhaps it was inevitable that these teams would meet again. This is a repeat of Andrea’s 21-9 win over Evansville Mater Dei in last year’s state championship. The fifth-ranked Fighting 59ers lost their first two games of the season to Merrillville and Crown Point and ended the regular season with what Drayk Bowen called a “tough loss” to Lowell. But Bowen, the Notre Dame recruit and potential frontrunner for IndyStar Mr. Football, was almost unstoppable in the tournament. On the season, Bowen has 1,689 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns and 137 tackles, including 19 for a loss and five sacks. Andrean, coached by Chris Skinner, has defeated three ranked teams in the tournament: #2 LaVille (28-6) in the section semifinals, #9 Lafayette Central Catholic (30-12) in the regional championship, and Fort Wayne Bishop Luers (48 -29) in the semi-state. Other notable Andreans include senior quarterback Billy Henry (1,837 passing yards, 23 TDs) and junior receiver Patrick Clacks III (74 catches, 1,075 yards, 14 TDs). The 59ers are seeking their fourth state title. Sixth-placed Mater Dei knocked out No. 5 (35-28) Triton Central in the regional championship and No. 1 Linton-Stockton (51-28) in the semi-state. The Wildcats are in championship play for the seventh time, but have only one title (2A in 2000). Quarterback Mason Wunderlich is ranked ninth in the state with 2,565 yards and 27 TD passes. His top target is senior Ethan Stolz (44 catches, 676 yards, nine TDs) and senior Joey Pierre has 1,015 rushing yards and 12 TDs. Aiden Scheu, a junior, leads Mater Dei with 119 tackles, including six losses. Mike Goebel, 70, is in his 26th year as a Mater Dei trainer and graduated in 1970 with a Mater Dei degree.
“We have a lot to be thankful for.”IHSAA Football Semistate What We Learned
New Prairie (13-1) vs. East Central (12-2), 3 p.m. Friday
Sixth-placed New Prairie, who lost to New Palestine in the 2014 state finals, is aiming for his first state championship in any sport. The Cougars, led by third-year coach Casey McKim, started 7-0 but then lost to 6A Penn and then won six straight games. New Prairie rebounded by 10 points in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 6 Kokomo 10-9 on the semi-state road. The Cougars are on a power-spread offense with senior running back Noah Mungia (1,868 rushing yards, 21 TDs) and junior quarterback Marshall Kmiecik (1,331 rushing yards, 14 TDs), both for well over 1,000 yards. Kmiecik doesn’t throw much but hits the big game in the passing game, averaging over 22 yards per completion (1,198 passing yards, 16 TDs). Tayvion Ortman, a senior linebacker, has 130 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. McKim, 36, was a student manager at Purdue under Joe Tiller. No. 4 East Central, who defeated second-seeded Roncalli 24-21 in overtime in the semi-state, are seeking their third state championship. Coach Jake Meiners has a strong junior class in his fourth season, led by running back Josh Ringer (2,197 rushing yards, 35 TDs), receiver Ryan Brotherton (33 catches, 841 yards, 11 TDs; 596 rushing yards, three TDs). ) and quarterback Cole Burton (1,744 yards, 22 TDs). The Trojans have an average total attack length of 383 yards and only allow 162.
Carroll (13-0) vs. Center Grove (11-2), Friday 7 p.m
Fifth-seeded Carroll is playing in his first football state championship game after beating top-seeded Hamilton Southeastern 21-15 in the semi-state. The Chargers only allow 9.8 points per game, which is second-best in 6A and 10th overall in the state. Carroll was 13 points behind Lafayette Jeff in the region before rallying for a 21-20 win and the program’s first regional championship. Coach Doug Dinan, in his 13th yearth season at Carroll, has a defense led by junior lineman Ashton Pesetski (86 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 11 sacks). The offense is balanced by second quarterback Jimmy Sullivan (2,630 passing yards) and second quarterback Nate Starks (1,127 yards, seven TDs). Senior Camden Herschberger (57 catches, 737 yards, seven TDs) is Carroll’s top receiver. Center Grove No. 4 is seeking its third straight state championship and is competing in its fourth straight state finals under coach Eric Moore, who is in his 24th yearth Season leads the Trojans. That ties Moore with three other coaches for the second-longest streak in State Finals history behind Cathedral’s Rick Streiff, who made five straight appearances from 2010-2014. Center Grove is led on offense by senior running back Micah Coyle (1,941 rushing yards, 21 TDs), junior quarterback Tyler Cherry (2,124 passing yards, 21 TDs), and junior receiver Noah Coy (57 catches, 1,081 yards, 13 TDs). Leading on defense are junior linebacker Owen Bright (69 tackles, 11½ tackles for loss) and senior defensive backer Gage Rees (61½ tackles, two interceptions).
Anyone doubt Center Grove?The Trojans take fourth place in a row in the state finals.
Adams Central (14-0) vs. Lutherans (14-0), 11 a.m. Saturday
Like the 2A game, this is a replay of last year’s state championship game. The senior Lutheran defeated Adams Central 34-28 for his first title a year ago. The Dave Pasch-coached Saints defeated No. 9 North Putnam 42-0 in the sectional opener and knocked off third-placed North Decatur 28-7 in the semi-state. Lutheran leads the state with 49.4 points per game and a 39.7 points per game margin. The Saints are joined on offense by second quarterback Jackson Willis (3,907 yards, 51 TDs), senior receivers Micah Mackay (65 catches, 1,403 yards, 16 TDs) and Cur’Brian Shelby (36 catches, 863 yards, 14 TDs) listed. Sophomore receiver DeVaun Jones (48 catches, 817 yards, eight TDs) and senior running back Joe Davis (1,769 rushing yards, 28 TDs). Junior linebacker Jonny Hall (105 tackles, four interceptions), senior linebacker Spencer Bauer (82 tackles, three sacks), and freshman lineman Cameron McHaney (73 tackles, four sacks) lead the defense. Second-ranked Adams Central is fourth in the state with 46.1 points per game and third in terms of wins (35.9). The Flying Jets are running a Wing-T offensive for coach Michael Mosser, who is in his 14th yearth season and 1993 Adams Central graduate. Senior quarterback Ryan Black is a returning starter, and there are six starters who are back on defense from last year’s runner-up, including junior linebacker Keegan Bluhm.
Bishop Chatard (10-4) vs. Lawrenceburg (13-1), 3 p.m. Saturday
Sixth-placed Bishop Chatard is the all-time leader at the state championships at 15 and is looking to win the 3A title for the third time in four years. Coach Rob Doyle led his team in his sixth season at Chatard, 49-13 in the section championship past No. 9 Guerin Catholic and 21-3 over leaders West Lafayette in the semi-state. The Trojans are led offensively by senior quarterback Drew VanVleet (2,732 passing yards, 28 TDs) and senior receivers Noah Dudik (66 catches, 816 yards, eight TDs) and Aiden Duncan (72 catches, 788 yards, seven TDs). The defense caught five passes in last week’s win against West Lafayette and is supported by junior linebacker Sam Feeney (74 tackles, five sacks), senior linebacker Nate Meyer (125 tackles, two interceptions) and junior linebacker Luke Purichia (58 tackles, three interceptions). ) led in nine games). No. 9 Lawrenceburg won state championships in 1975 and 1978 when teams had to qualify for the playoffs. The only time these programs have met before was in 1984 2A Semistate, which Chatard won 26-14. The Tigers, who defeated No. 9 Regionalliga Southridge 31-7, lead the state in 6.1 points per game in defense. Lawrenceburg is led defensively by veteran linebackers Jake Pierce (114 tackles, four interceptions), Niko Ferreira (95 tackles, seven tackles for losses, three forced fumbles), and linebacker Noah Knigga (79 tackles, 14 tackles for losses, four sacks). Coach Ryan Knigga runs a power spread offensive with Junior Teagan Bennett (1,410 rushing yards, 18 TDs) and Alex White (1,201 rushing yards, 18 TDs) leading the way with 248 rushing yards per game.
Valparaiso (10-3) vs. Whiteland (12-1), 7pm Saturday
No. 9 Valparaiso defeated fifth-seeded Merrillville in the regional league 15-14 and No. 1 Fort Wayne Snider in overtime 22-21 in the semi-state. The Vikings, led by fifth-year coach Bill Marshall, are looking to win their first state championship since winning the 3A title in 1975. Valparaiso is a strong running team with junior Travis Davis (863 rushing yards, 11 TDs) and junior quarterback Justin Clark (950 rushing yards, eight TDs) and second running back Thomas Burda (769 rushing yards, 11 TDs) sharing the load . The Vikings allow just 100 rushing yards per game, led by senior linebacker Alex Rodriguez (82 tackles, four tackles for losses), junior linebacker Ty Veen (63 tackles, 10 tackles for losses) and junior defensive back Tyler VerSchure (seven interceptions). ). Second placed Whiteland is led by Darrin Fisher, who is in his 18th yearth Season. The Warriors want to win their first state championship in any sport and be one of two teams making their first state final appearance (Carroll is the other in 6A). Whiteland is fourth in the 5A with 35.5 points per game and is one of the top rushing teams in the state at 304 yards per game. The defense is led by veteran linebackers Brady Stanifer (115 tackles, nine for losses) and Dalton Hughes (81 tackles, two interceptions). The offense is led by senior quarterback Kevin Denham (1,027 passing yards, 13 TDs), senior running back Peyton Emberton (1,297 rushing yards, 11 TDs), senior running back Jonathan Crowley (862 rushing yards, 10 TDs), and second running back Nyrius led by Moore-Smith (583 rushing yards, five TDs).
Call Star Reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.