The post-season opened on an average note as I went 12-4 (75 percent) last week. Heading into the semifinal round, my overall record is 114-32, which keeps me at 78 percent for the year.
CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 1
Lake Central (1-8) at Lafayette Jeff (9-0): The Indians rolled to a 41-6 win over No. 3 Lafayette Jeff in the 2014 sectional semifinals. Luke Neidy was 12-of-21 for 130 yards with a touchdown in Lake Central’s 44-17 loss to Valparaiso. Thomas Hogan ran nine times for 78 yards and three scores in the Bronchos’ 63-0 win over Muncie Central. Matt’s pick: Lafayette Jeff 49, Lake Central 9.
Crown Point (3-3) at Merrillville (7-1): The No. 7 Pirates cruised to a 42-7 win over Crown Point on September 4. Will Pettit went 11-of-23 for 148 yards with a score in the Bulldogs’ 24-14 loss to LaPorte. Jo Jo Johnson had four catches for 124 yards with a touchdown in Merrillville’s 34-10 win over Chesterton. Matt’s pick: Merrillville 46, Crown Point 11.
CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 2
Penn (5-4) at Chesterton (4-4): The Kingsmen earned a sectional crown in 2015 with a 49-14 win over Chesterton. Hunter Mrozinski accounted for two touchdowns in Penn’s 53-14 win over Adams. Chris Mullen completed 18-of-37 for 233 yards with a score for the Trojans against Merrillville. Matt’s pick: Penn 30, Chesterton 23.
Elkhart (7-0) at Portage (3-6): The No. 5 Lions and Portage are meeting for the first time on the gridiron. Derrick Woods ran 16 times for 80 yards with two touchdowns in Elkhart’s 28-7 win over New Prairie. Terrell Craft raced 13 times for 75 yards with a score in the Indians’ 34-28 overtime win over LaPorte. Matt’s pick: Elkhart 44, Portage 14.
CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 3
Carroll (Fort Wayne) (7-2) at Warsaw (7-2): The Tigers roared to a 23-13 win over Carroll in the 2016 sectional semifinals. Jeffrey Becker was 13-of-19 for 186 yards with four touchdowns in the Chargers’ 56-12 win over Fort Wayne Wayne. Julius Jones ran 10 times for 50 yards with a score in Warsaw’s 35-17 win over Concord. Matt’s pick: Carroll 36, Warsaw 33.
Fort Wayne Snider (5-4) at Homestead (8-1): The No. 8 Spartans rolled to a 33-3 win over Fort Wayne Snider on September 18. Tyrese Brown raced 32 times for 289 yards and five touchdowns in the Panthers’ 35-13 win over Fort Wayne Bishop Luers. Evan Ormsby went 13-of-26 for 225 yards and three scores in Homestead’s 41-0 win over Fort Wayne South, Matt’s pick: Homestead 34, Fort Wayne Snider 23.
CLASS 5A SECTIONAL 9
Michigan City (4-2) at Valparaiso (5-0): The No. 3 Vikings registered a 41-21 win over No. 10 Michigan City a year ago. Jonathon Flemings rambled 24 times for 128 yards and two scores in the Wolves’ 14-13 overtime loss to LaPorte. Logan Lockhart was 6-of-11 for 144 yards with two touchdowns for Valparaiso against Lake Central. Matt’s pick: Valparaiso 41, Michigan City 18.
Munster (1-8) at LaPorte (3-6): The Mustangs are making their first visit to LaPorte’s Kiwanis Field. Ryan Gihooly had 14 carries for 31 yards in Munster’s 53-0 loss to No. 7 (Class 4A) Hobart. Jamaal Salary tallied four carries for 32 yards for the Slicers against Portage. Matt’s pick: LaPorte 22, Munster 8.
CLASS 5A SECTIONAL 10
Mishawaka (5-3) at Goshen (1-5): The No. 9 Cavemen posted a 35-7 win over Goshen in the 2010 sectional semifinals. Andrew Mason had 23 carries for 102 yards in Mishawaka’s 41-21 win over Northridge. Noah Alford caught 12 passes for 156 yards with a touchdown in the RedHawks’ 37-21 loss to Wawasee. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 45, Goshen 10.
Adams (4-5) at Concord (4-4): The Minutemen claimed a 40-20 win over Adams in the 1998 sectional semifinals. Chuck Worsham returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown for the Eagles against Penn. Jack D’Arcy hauled in six passes for 117 yards with a score for Concord against Warsaw. Matt’s pick: Concord 32, Adams 16.
CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 18
Saint Joseph (3-7) at Logansport (4-6): The Indians were a 56-13 winner over Logansport in last season’s sectional opener. Matt Eck threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for two scores for Saint Joseph in a 66-6 win over Clay. Noah LaGrange recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the Berries’ 40-3 win over Riley. Matt’s pick: Logansport 33, Saint Joseph 29.
Culver Academy (4-5) at Plymouth (2-5): The Rockies came away with a 42-14 win over Culver Academy in the 2000 season. Rory Sullivan came up with the go-ahead 36-yard touchdown reception in the Eagles’ 21-14 win over Kankakee Valley. Devante Garcia scampered 21 yards for a score in Plymouth’s 36-20 win over New Prairie. Matt’s pick: Plymouth 24, Culver Academy 20.
CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 19
East Noble (7-3) at DeKalb (2-5): The Knights crowned DeKalb, 42-14, in last year’s sectional semifinals. Cole Schupbach went 6-of-9 for 137 yards and three touchdowns in East Noble’s 35-7 win over Columbia City. Corey Price raced 35 yards for the game’s only touchdown in the Barons’ 7-0 win over Angola. Matt’s pick: East Noble 31, DeKalb 7.
NorthWood (4-3) at Leo (9-1): The No. 6 Lions edged NorthWood, 10-6, a year ago in the sectional semifinals. Ethan Evers rushed for 94 yards and two scores in the Panthers’ 20-7 win over Wawasee. Tanner Jackson ran seven times for 18 yards and a touchdown in Leo’s 14-7 win over Northridge. Matt’s pick: Leo 14, NorthWood 12.
CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 26
Marian (8-0) at Tippecanoe Valley (7-3): The No. 2 Knights notched a 39-24 win over Tippecanoe Valley in the 2008 sectional quarterfinals. Greg Atkinson tallied two carries for 102 yards with a touchdown and caught two passes for 51 yards and another score in Marian’s 40-6 win over Lakeland. Joel Cisneros registered 22 rushes for 128 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 49-22 win over Washington. Matt’s pick: Marian 40, Tippecanoe Valley 13.
West Noble (2-8) at Jimtown (6-3): The Jimmies marched to a 27-3 win against West Noble in the 2016 sectional semifinals. Peter Bradley ran 15 times for 98 yards with a touchdown in the Chargers’ 14-0 win over Glenn. Isaac Daniels booted field goals of 46 and 48 yards in Jimtown’s 26-3 win over Garrett. Matt’s pick: Jimtown 30, West Noble 6.
CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 34
Pioneer (9-1) at LaVille (6-1): The No. 3 Panthers celebrated a 36-14 win over LaVille last year. Addai Lewellen rushed six times for 93 yards and a touchdown in Pioneer’s 38-8 win over Delphi. Paul DeWitt accounted for 131 yards on the ground with a score in the Lancers’ 27-0 win over Lewis Cass. Matt’s pick: Pioneer 36, LaVille 19.
Bremen (8-2) at Wabash (6-4): The Apaches suffered a 35-14 loss to Bremen in the 2016 sectional opener. Blake Dingus had 21 rushes for 169 yards in the Lions’ 35-8 win over Rochester. Brock Casper was 12-of-28 for 198 yards with two scores in Wabash’s 16-12 win over Manchester. Matt’s pick: Bremen 29, Wabash 14.