BLITZ’S PICKS: Area semistate games

All roads lead to Lucas Oil Stadium this Friday night with four area programs looking to screw up their Thanksgiving week plans in the best way possible by moving on to state.

Who will do it? The most the area has had in a single state championship weekend has been three teams – most recently in 2002. Can all four move on? Will none?

Blitz gives you his picks.

Last week: 3-1 (.750)

Overall: 194-46 (.808)

MERRVILLE AT SNIDER. Make no mistake, the Pirates are good enough to beat Snider if the Panthers aren’t careful, but Blitz saw more warning signs last week at Mishawaka than he sees here. Merrillville does not have a prolific passing game and its running attack is solid but not spectacular. This is not a physically imposing team coming in to Spuller. The Panthers should have the edge and as long as it doesn’t make too many mistakes, it should return to the state championship game for the first time in eight seasons. BLITZ SAYS SNIDER BY 8.

NORTHWOOD AT LEO. The last time the Lions were on the wrong end of a score was early September, a Week 4 loss to New Haven. That Bulldogs team was laden with skill, athleticism and speed. Fast-forward to this matchup, where the Panthers bring to the table a more prolific group of playmakers – Georgia commit Nitro Tuggle, Michigan commit Jojo Edmond and dual-threat QB Owen Roeder (46 total touchdowns), among others. Leo has its own stars that will look to match up. The Lions have the more impressive body of work, but Northwood has hit its stride at the right time. BLITZ SAYS NORTHWOOD BY 2.

LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC AT BISHOP LUERS. Amazing that these two Indiana prep powers have never played one another, until now. And amazing that these squads were a combined 3-5 through the month of the season. There is advantages to playing bigger schools, for sure. What concerns Blitz the most in this one is the LCC defense, which is allowing just eight points per game to Class 2A foes this year. The Knights have gotten by with a good running game and solid defense. But what happens if Luers falls behind early on? Can this team come from behind against a quality foe? BLITZ SAYS LCC BY 4.

NORTH JUDSON AT ADAMS CENTRAL. The key matchup here is simple. The Bluejays average close to 300 yards per game on the ground. Adams Central’s defense is as stingy as they come in Class 1A. Can North Judson, losers of four games this season, find running room against the toughest team it has played all year? Blitz has been saying it all year and, for one more week, he will say it again – only way AC sees its season end on Friday is if the Flying Jets beat themselves with miscues. BLITZ SAYS ADAMS CENTRAL BY 28.

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