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The Journal Gazette

Friday, November 09, 2018 1:00 am

4 Games to Watch

Just five area teams are alive in the state football tournament, and two of them, Bishop Dwenger and Angola, will face each other for a Class 4A regional championship. 

Class A

No. 2 Adams Central (12-0) at No. 9 Monroe Central (10-2): How did the Flying Jets handle a visit from undefeated Class A No. 3 Southwood? Easy: with a 38-0 win. Adams Central beat Monroe Central in sectional title games in 2015 and 2016. The Golden Bears throw the ball a bit more than Adams Central and many other Class A teams: Jackson Ullom has thrown for 1,570 yards and completed nearly 60 percent of his passes.

Still, they have 2,412 rushing yards, with both Seth Wilson and Taft Manship posting more than 500 yards this season. Monroe Central has two losses this season, one of them to South Adams – which Adams Central beat handily in September.

Class 3A

No. 17 Mishawaka Marian (8-4) at No. 9

Bishop Luers (8-4): Marian easily defeated Maconaquah, 35-7, to reach this battle of the Knights, while Bishop Luers beat Bellmont. Marian breezed past Luers in last season's regional, advancing to semistate with a 30-7 victory.

Two players, Mitchell Nagy and John Brach, have seen significant time at quarterback this season, but the Marian Knights have done most of their damage on the ground, running for nearly 2,200 yards. And aside from a 35-21 loss to Mishawaka, Marian has been fairly stingy on defense.

The Bishop Luers Knights, on the other hand, can be effective in the air or on the ground: The team has 2,735 passing yards this season, plus another 1,718 yards on the ground (over 1,100 of them by Jordan Presley). Still, Bishop Luers is giving up just over 28 points a game this season.

The game will begin at Bishop Luers at 7:30 p.m., a half-hour later than typical starts. 

Class 4A 

No. 3 Angola (12-0) vs. No. 2 Bishop Dwenger (11-1) at New Haven: Both teams reached regionals after one-point wins in sectional finals last week, as the Saints beat Wayne 14-13 and the Hornets won 27-26 over NorthWood. Despite Bishop Dwenger's defensive reputation (the Saints are sixth in Class 4A with just 12.3 points per game against), Angola has given up just 7.9. Aside from last week's win over No. 1 NorthWood, the Hornets haven't faced much of a challenge this season: their next closest result was a 31-20 win over DeKalb in the season opener. Bishop Dwenger has played many of its games much closer, and the offense has at times sputtered, including in the first half last week when the Saints did not record a first down. Still, the Hornets won't have seen a defense or offensive line with the sort of size and tenacity of Bishop Dwenger. 

Class 6A

No. 11 Snider (9-2) at No. 3 Carmel (9-2): The Panthers travel to Carmel, which trailed Lafayette Jefferson briefly last week before coming back to win 41-21. The Greyhounds have won eight state titles, most recently in 2016, and eliminated Snider in the regional round last season. Carmel has lost to Center Grove and Warren Central this season and needed three overtimes to beat North Central. Snider is fourth overall in scoring in Class 6A with 33.4 points per game and ninth in points against (Carmel isn't in the top 10 in either category). Still, the Greyhounds have won a regional title every season since 2012, even though they have gone undefeated in the regular season just once during that stretch. 

– Victoria Jacobsen, The Journal Gazette

vjacobsen@jg.net