It looks like the road to the IHSAA football 6A state title runs through the Metropolitan Conference again. Of the 8 teams remaining, 4 are from the Metropolitan.
Warren Central and Ben Davis will face each other next Friday. The Giants have all the weapons on offense. Warren Central boasts maybe the best defense in 6A but will be on the road. The Warriors have not allowed a point in the playoffs. I like Warren Central to hold the Giants explosive offense in check enough to edge past Ben Davis.
Southport travels to Center Grove and while I think Coach Peebles has done a great job with the Cardinals this season, the Trojans have been close to unstoppable since a week 4 shutout loss at Ben Davis. The Trojans have won seven straight since that game. I like them to make it 8 against the Cardinals
Carroll (Fort Wayne) travels to Carmel in a battle of unbeatens. The Chargers are up there with the Warriors in regards to their defensive strengths. But the Greyhounds continue to just systematically march through opponents. This should be a low scoring contest but I like the Greyhounds at home.
Head Coach Cory Yeoman’s Penn Kingsmen have been one of the best teams in the state over the past 4 seasons. Penn is 46-4 over the past 4 seasons and for the second season in a row, the Kingsmen began tournament play with an unblemished record. In two of the last 3 tournament appearances, the Kingsmen have lost to Carmel to end their season. Last year, Penn fell to the Greyhounds in the semi-state game and in 2011 they were routed by Carmel in the state final. Penn is likely to face their nemesis once again but will have to get past a scrappy Merrillville Pirates squad that has knocked off two of the heavyweights in the state. The 6-5 Pirates beat previously once beaten Crown Point in a shootout 45-42 in the sectional semi’s and followed that up by beating Duneland Conference champion Lake Central 21-19 to advance to the regional. The Pirates obviously are not intimidated by some of the big boys in 6A but Penn might be simply too much for Merrillville to handle. I like Penn to advance
That will set up the semi-state’s to include three Metropolitan teams. Warren Central vs. Center Grove and Carmel vs. Penn. I like Carmel to face Center Grove in the finals with the Greyhounds taking it all.