It wasn’t long after Ben Davis put the finishing touches on a 49-13 win over Brownsburg on Friday when Ben Davis coach Mike Kirschner asked the question: “Can we duplicate it?”
The Class 6A fourth-ranked Giants (7-3) will get their chance Friday versus Avon (6-4), a team it defeated easily back in August, 38-7, but also the site of its season-ending sectional loss a year ago. With a potential regional matchup against Cathedral or Lawrence Central on the horizon, Ben Davis won’t be looking past the Orioles in a Class 6A Sectional 5 championship game. Count on that.
“They beat us last year,” Ben Davis quarterback Reese Taylor said. “That game earlier this year we came as hard as we could. We have to do the same thing in this game and everything will come together.”
Taylor, a junior, rushed for 107 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 225 yards and a score in the win earlier this season over Avon. He was similarly elusive in last week’s win over Brownsburg, accounting for 424 yards of total offense and four TDs.
Prediction: Avon is good enough to push the Giants. Look for the Orioles to turn to Bryant Fitzgerald with the ground game. Fitzgerald only had two carries in the game earlier this year against Ben Davis. But it’s hard to see how Avon can keep the explosive Giants’ offense hemmed in all game. Ben Davis 31, Avon 21.
Here’s a look at all of the rest of the area predictions for this week. I was 29-2 last week to improve to 376-79 (82.6 percent) on the season. All games 7 p.m. Friday:
• Fishers (4-6) at Carmel (6-4), Class 6A Sectional 4: Carmel leads the all-time series 5-1. The one time Fishers did win was in 2010, a 17-14 win in the sectional semifinal that propelled the Tigers to an unexpected state championship run. The seventh-ranked Greyhounds have knocked the Tigers out each of the past three years. Carmel receivers Jalen Walker (46 catches, 601 yards, 12 TDs) and Ethan Merriweather (30 catches, 449 yards, eight TDs) form a tough combo. Carmel 24, Fishers 14.
• Lawrence Central (6-4) vs. Cathedral (6-4), Class 6A Sectional 6, at Tech: No. 10 Cathedral just did survive a 41-38 overtime win last week over Lawrence North, while the Bears rolled past North Central 43-13 as Donyell Meredith passed for 263 yards and five touchdowns. Expect a tighter game than last year’s 43-22 Cathedral win in the sectional. Cathedral 24, Lawrence Central 23.
• Warren Central (9-1) at Southport (6-4), Class 6A Sectional 7: Top-ranked Warren Central rolled to a 49-17 win over Franklin Central last week as Zach Summeier was 17-for-19 passing for 262 yards and two TDs. Southport hasn’t had a losing season since 2007, an amazing run considering where the program was at the time. Warren Central 42, Southport 20.
• Center Grove (9-1) at Columbus North (9-1), Class 6A Sectional 8: Hard to peg this one. Columbus North is having a great season and senior Mitchell Burton (1,575 yards, 21 TDs) is a tough running back. But can the Bull Dogs move the ball on Center Grove? The third-ranked Trojans are allowing just 12.3 points per game. Columbus North keeps it close for a while. Center Grove 31, Columbus North 14.
• McCutcheon (8-2) at Westfield (8-2), Class 5A Sectional 11: Fifth-ranked Westfield is gunning for its fourth consecutive sectional title. No. 7 McCutcheon also has a strong defense, allowing just 14 points a game. Evan Manley caught another TD pass in Westfield’s win last week over Lafayette Jeff, his ninth of the season. Westfield 21, McCutcheon 14.
• Zionsville (5-5) at Plainfield (6-4), Class 5A Sectional 13: One of the more eyebrow-raising scores of last week was Zionsville’s 48-23 win over Decatur Central. The Eagles have the offense to keep up with almost any team in 5A, averaging 34 points a game against a schedule loaded with 6A opponents. Zionsville 42, Plainfield 24.
• Whiteland (6-4) at Columbus East (10-1), Class 5A Sectional 14: Having seen fourth-ranked Columbus East up close (its 35-7 win over New Palestine two weeks ago), the Olympians have the look of a state title contender. Big and strong, tough on the offensive and defensive lines. Whiteland is better than its record shows. This will be good test. Columbus East 31, Whiteland 20.
• Roncalli (11-0) at Greenwood (8-3), Class 4A Sectional 21: Top-ranked Roncalli just did get past Lebanon last week, 34-33. Greenwood’s offense isn’t as explosive as Lebanon’s but the Woodmen have won four in a row. Roncalli 27, Greenwood 17.
• Mt. Vernon (8-3) at Delta (7-4), Class 4A Sectional 22: Mt. Vernon, a 20-19 winner over Delta earlier this season, has won seven in a row since a 1-3 start. It would be the Marauders’ fifth sectional title in program history. Mt. Vernon 26, Delta 20.
• Danville (9-2) vs. Bishop Chatard (6-5), Class 3A Sectional 29, at UIndy: Danville is one of the turnaround stories of the season with a seven-win improvement under first-year coach K.C. Woods. Chatard is coming off wins over Brebeuf and Tri-West. Bishop Chatard 38, Danville 16.
• Lapel (8-3) at Cardinal Ritter (7-4), Class 2A Sectional 37, at Marian: Hard to believe now that Ritter started the season 1-4. The fifth-ranked Raiders dominated Scecina 20-0 last week. Ritter 34, Lapel 20.
• Milan (9-2) at Triton Central (7-4), Class 2A Sectional 38: Milan has scored at least 51 points in each of its last seven games. Triton Central will be its toughest opponent during that stretch, however. Milan 42, Triton Central 35.
• Mitchell (7-4) at Monrovia (7-4), Class 2A Sectional 39: Monrovia defeated Mitchell 55-0 in last year’s sectional. Monrovia 38, Mitchell 21.
• Lutheran (8-3) at Hagerstown (7-4), Class A Sectional 46: Lutheran is capable doing some damage in the Class A tournament. Lutheran 36, Hagerstown 22.
Call IndyStar reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.