Updated: December 19, 2012 1:07PM
at FW Snider (13-0), 7 p.m.
Radio: 90.5-FM, 95.9-FM
The skinny: This is the fourth trip to semistate for Merrillville in the last eight years, third under head coach Zac Wells. The previous three times all resulted in losses to Indianapolis-area schools — Hamilton Southeastern in 2005 (under coach Jeff Yelton) and Carmel in both 2007 and 2009. This year is different in that not only are the Pirates in the semistate in an even-numbered year, but the opponent isn’t some Indy school with almost twice as much enrollment. But Snider isn’t a pushover as it’s working on an undefeated season. Snider had its toughest test of the campaign in the regional, edging Fishers 36-35 in overtime. Merrillville had a scare in the sectional opener (a 28-21 win over Munster), but it’s been fairly smooth sailing since then, thanks to a balanced offense that’s averaging more than 40 points per game.
Next: Winner of the Lawrence Central-Center Grove southern semistate game in the Class 5A state championship at 6 p.m. on Nov. 24 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Fort Wayne Luers (9-4)
at Andrean (11-2), 6:30 p.m.
Radio: 1370-AM, 88.5-FM
The skinny: This is Andrean’s sixth semistate appearance in the last 15 years. Four of the previous five resulted in a trip to the state final. The last time the 59ers made it this far was in 2004 when they won the state title. That postseason run had its own dramatic victory — a memorable 36-35 win over Griffith in the sectional final. But it’s hard for any team anywhere to top the drama of Andrean’s five-overtime, 67-66 victory at Lewis Cass last Friday that set a state record for most combined points in a football regional. Thankfully for the 59ers — and their fans, whose hearts might not be able to take another five OTs — there’s a week off to rest, and the semistate is at Father Eckert Field on Broadway. Luers has had an up-and-down season, which includes its longtime coach Matt Lindsey being fired after four games. But the Knights have bounced back in the postseason to win their 18th regional crown.
Next: Winner of the Indianapolis Ritter-Evansville Mater Dei southern semistate game in the Class 2A state championship at 6 p.m. on Nov. 23 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
— Steve T. Gorches