The Carmel-Pike high school football rivalry dates to 1952. The teams met for a state championship in 2007, with Carmel winning 16-7.
But over the course of six decades, the programs have met only 11 times. With Pike joining the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference last year, the teams played in the regular season for the first time since 1997. In that game, Carmel scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to rally from a 12-point deficit and win, 40-32.
Will there be more fireworks this year?
Class 6A sixth-ranked Pike (2-1, 0-1) makes its first visit to Carmel in 17 years, to face the top-ranked Greyhounds (3-0, 1-0) in a key midseason game. The Red Devils will attempt to put last week’s crushing 53-50 loss to Ben Davis behind them with an offense that has shown it can hit for big plays in the passing game with quarterback Beau Trudeau and receivers Rashad Medaris and Johnny William.
Carmel has been winning with a stingy defense and enough offense. All three of its wins — over Hamilton Southeastern, Louisville Trinity and Center Grove — have come by a touchdown or less. Junior quarterback Michael Viktrup (271 passing yards, 278 rushing yards) is still looking for his first touchdown pass, but has proven to be a strong runner to go with running back Shakir Paschall (254 rushing yards) and receiver Isaac James (17 catches, 114 yards).
We’ll see some big plays offense. Carmel makes a couple more. Carmel 27, Pike 23.
I took a step back last week, posting a 30-10 record (75 percent) to drop to 99-29 overall (77.3 percent) through three weeks. I’ve received a few e-mails this week from New Palestine fans about not giving the Dragons enough respect. So, one of them will challenge me on all of the area picks this week on the blog (check IndyStar.com) on Friday morning.
Here’s a look at predictions on some of the other top games this week (all games 7 p.m. unless noted):
Fishers (2-1) at Hamilton Southeastern (1-2): HSE struggled mounting any consistent offense last week in a 31-10 loss to Avon, committing three turnovers. Look for the Royals to attempt to establish Aaron Matio (255 rushing yards) on the ground. Class 6A No. 7 Fishers has leaned on senior Maurice Campbell (403 yards, six touchdowns), who has run for more than 100 yards in all three games. Fishers has a two-game winning streak in the series. Fishers 20, Hamilton Southeastern 17.
Cathedral (0-2) vs. Bishop Chatard (3-0), at Lawrence Central: With its game at South Bend St. Joseph wiped out by storms last Friday, Class 5A fourth-ranked Cathedral will be coming off a two-week layoff. Class 4A second-ranked Bishop Chatard managed just 138 yards of total offense last week in a 20-7 win over Roncalli. Cathedral has won 8-of-9 in the series. Cathedral 21, Bishop Chatard 20.
Center Grove (1-2) at Ben Davis (3-0): Quarterback Kyle Castner has passed for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns and five receivers have at least 12 catches and 135 yards. Can Center Grove keep up with that offense? The Trojans did account for 327 yards last week in a 21-14 loss to Carmel. Ben Davis 28, Center Grove 20.
Lawrence Central (1-2) at Warren Central (3-0): Lawrence Central is in a place where it could use a big win. Knocking off Class 6A third-ranked Warren Central would qualify. Going back to last year’s playoff run, the Warriors have allowed just 67 points in their last eight games. Warren Central 24, Lawrence Central 14.
Westfield (2-1) at Noblesville (2-1): Ryan Pepiot has completed 63 percent of his passes for 742 yards and five touchdowns for the Class 5A third-ranked Shamrocks. Noblesville took Fishers to the wire last week in a 16-13 loss. Westfield 24, Noblesville 21.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.