Semi-state preview: Many local high school teams vying to get to Lucas Oil

Ben Davis' Johnny Adams breaks free for a touchdown in the Giants week three win over Pike. (WXIN September 1, 2017)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s all come down to this. One final game on the road to Lucas Oil Stadium and the IHSAA state football finals Thanksgiving weekend.

There are semi-state matchups on the menu before the turkey is served next week, but the appetizer may be as appealing as next Thursday’s big dinner.

In 6A, upstart 10-2 Avon visits top-ranked and unbeaten Ben Davis in a rematch that the Giants easily won during the regular season. Expect a high-scoring affair with two of the best offensive attacks in the area.The Orioles need to find some way to slow down Reese Taylor and company to have any hope.

The other side of the bracket finds familiar foes 8-4 Carmel playing host to the 11-1 Penn Kingsmen. It’s the fifth consecutive year these two rivals will battle in semi-state action, with the Greyhounds winning three of the previous four. The Dogs are doing it with defense, and they’ve played a tougher schedule, so Carmel may be headed for another all-MIC title tilt.

In Class 5A, the 8-4 Kokomo WildKats will host Michigan City. Kokomo has quietly worked its way through the playoffs, but the school has never won a semi-state. Elsewhere in 5A, 12-1 Columbus East takes on 7-5 Cathedral. The Irish dropped back down a class after coming up short in 2016, and are heavy favorites to get back to the finals.

Greenwood is trying to make history, as the 11-2 Woodmen visit East Central in St. Leon in eastern Indiana. Greenwood has never been to the state finals, and has won only three regionals titles. The 3A finals could be an all-central Indiana battle, as 9-4 Brebeuf visits Mishawaka Marian, and unbeaten Danville takes on Evansville Memorial Saturday afternoon. The homestanding Warriors are also trying to make history in reaching the title game.

In 2A, 12-1 Scecina will host Southridge. The Crusaders won back-to-back state titles in 1990 and ’91, so coach Ott Hurrle, in his 26th year at the school would love to take his team back.

The final area school competing for a berth in the championship? 11-2 Lutheran in Class A will play host to Eastern Greene. The Saints also have never won a semi-state. Some very tasty matchups as the holidays draw near.