Class 6A Sectional Preview

The newest class in Indiana (6A) starts the tourney friday

IHSAA TOURNAMENT

Class 6A Preview

SECTIONAL 1

Lafayette Jefferson (1-8) at Merrillville (8-1)

Crown Point (6-3) at Lake Central (7-2)

KEY FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

Crown Point at Lake Central. The Indians beat the Bulldogs 23-0 back in week three. The Bulldogs are led by a now healthy Jake Jatis (verbal to Cornell) at quarterback and running back Tristan Peterson. Crown Point has ended the regular season with a four game winning streak. Lake Central is great on defense led by Purdue verbal Gelen Robinson. The Indians are now on their third quarterback of the season as sophomore Ethan Darter is now at the helm.

FAVORITE:

Merrillville. The Pirates beat Crown Point by one point and Lake Central by three. The continued development of D.J. Wilkins at quarterback is key.

DARKHORSE: Lake Central and Crown Point

MY PICK: Merrillville

SECTIONAL 2

Penn (9-0) at Portage (6-3)

Valparaiso (3-6) at Chesterton (3-6)

KEY FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

Penn at Portage. The Kingsmen walloped Portage in week two 32-0. Have the Indians improved enough since then to beat the Kingsmen. I am betting they are not.

FAVORITE: Penn. Could really end up a cakewalk for Penn as they have only allowed four touchdowns all season.

DARKHORSE: Portage- The Indians regained the services of RB Hashim Simpson (385 yards and 10 tds) late in the year.

MY PICK: Penn

SECTIONAL 3

Warsaw (6-3) at FW Northrop (2-7)

Carroll FW (7-2) at Homestead (5-4)

KEY FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

Carroll at Homestead. In week seven the Chargers beat the Spartans 51-34. If the Homestead defense led by D1 lineman Zach Swarts can step up and stop the Tranquill brothers then maybe Homestead can compete.
FAVORITE: Carroll- Simply put they have Drue Tranquill (1211 yards) and Justin Tranquill (1103 yards) and no one else in this sectional does.

DARKHORSE: Warsaw- The Tigers have a great two way player in Tristan McClone (1301 yards).

MY PICK: Carroll- Drue Tranquill, is averaging 15 yards per carry on offense.. He is still deciding between Notre Dame and Purdue.

SECTIONAL 4

Fishers (8-1) at Noblesville (5-4)

Carmel (6-3) at Hamilton SE (7-2)

KEY FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

BOTH. In week one Noblesville upset Fishers 27-24. Can the Millers and quarterback T.C. McKiernan do it again. Carmel and Hamilton SE have not played this season. You can name probably eight future D1 skill players on the field.

FAVORITE: Fishers. Record would say that, but truly a toss up. Noblesville, HSE and Fishers are all 1-1 vs their opponents in this sectional. Carmel has yet to play anyone else in sectional 4.

DARKHORSE: ALL
MY PICK: Carmel. The balanced offense with Chris Perkins and Shakir Paschall at running back combined with the passing combine of John Lampe (987) yards) to Austin Roberts (36 receptions) and Thomas Baldwin leads a talented offense. Versatile junior Isaac James, who holds an offer from Indiana, plays QB, RB and receiver.

SECTIONAL 5

Brownsburg (3-6) at Pike (5-4)

Avon (6-3) at Ben Davis (7-2)

KEY FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

Avon at Ben Davis. The Giants and Orioles have not met this year. Avon sophomore quarterback Brandon Peters (987 yards) will need to neutralize the performance of talented Giant QB Kyle Castner (1042 yards and 9 tds).

FAVORITE: Flip a coin????

DARKHORSE: Avon

MY PICK: Pike- The Red Devils have a talented passing combo in Bent Lyles to Dominique Booth. Ben Davis beat the Red Devils earlier in the year 49 to 48 in overtime. Could be a dandy championship should they rematch.

SECTIONAL 6

Lawrence Central (3-6) at Warren Central (6-3)

North Central (2-7) at Lawrence North (0-8)

KEY FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

Lawrence Central at Warren Central- The Warriors beat LC 2-8-7 in week 8. With that being said, Lawrence Central is still the defending state champions. Their coach from last year is coaching their opponent though as Jayson West went to Warren Central in the off season. The Bears have struggled mightily losing six straight games after beating national power Louisville Trinity. The LC offense will need to pick it up a notch to compete in this one.

FAVORITE: Warren Central- The Warriors are the only team with a winning record. Quarterback Jeff George Jr. (1140 yards and 16 tds) is key to tournament success.

DARKHORSE: They say a champion is still a champion until dethroned. LC could right the ship any pull of the upset.

MY PICK: Warren Central- Warren Central has played well down the stretch including beating St Xavier last week.

SECTIONAL 7

Franklin Central (4-5) at Ind. Tech (4-5)

Perry Meridian (5-4) at Southport (9-0)

KEY FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

Perry Meridian at Southport. These two longtime rivals could have a heck of one to open the tournament. The cardinals have put up a great season going 9-0. This one could be another high scoring shootout. Southport beat PM 55-31 in week 3. The good news for Perry Meridian is the play of quarterback Conner Smith (3013 yards and 38 tds) and an offense that puts up 44 points per game. The bad news is their defense gives up 42 a game.

FAVORITE: Southport. Great running game is key in the playoffs. The Cardinals have it.

DARKHORSE: Arsenal Tech. The Titans have had a strange year. First the Titans nearly beat Carmel in their opener 6-2. Tech then had an infamous fight with FW South. Both teams were later ruled to forfeit the game. They have some explosive weapons led by DB Jason Beck (verbal to Eastern Michigan), DE Rajshawn Mosely and junior Running back James Gilbert.

MY PICK: Southport

SECTIONAL 8

New Albany (6-3) at Center Grove (8-1)

Columbus North (3-6) at Jeffersonville (5-4)

KEY FIRST ROUND MATCHUP:

New Albany at Center Grove- New Albany has had a nice year behind speedy RB Tuwan Payton (2103 yards). Can they take it to the next level vs Metropolitan Co Champion Center Grove. The Trojans offense is led by efficient senior quarterback Luke Calvert (1542 yards and 18 tds) and junior running back Max Norris (788 yards and an eye popping 13 yards per carry).

FAVORITE: Center Grove. A key is how well their defense maintains led by Keegan McFatridge and Dillin Dallas.

DARKHORSE: Jeffersonville. The Red Devils have a great weapon in huge tight end Dionte Allen.

MY PICK: Center Grove. Center Grove has too much firepower here for anyone else in this sectional.

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