Gibson Southern may finally break through Indy private school barrier

SEMISTATE FOOTBALL PREDICTION BLOG
CLASS 5A
CASTLE (8-4) at NO. 1 NEW PALESTINE (12-0), 5 p.m. CST Saturday
After knocking off No. 3-ranked and previously undefeated Bloomington South 45-26 in the regional, all the Knights have to do in order to advance to the 5A state championship game is beat No. 1 and unbeaten New Pal on its home field. The Dragons have state-bests in scoring average (61.4), victory margin (49.6) and consecutive wins (27). QB Alex Neligh has thrown for 2,258 yards and 31 TDs and run for 1,718 yards and 30 more scores – just amazing. For their part, the Knights boast Noah McLean, the state’s leader in receiving yards (1,412) and fourth-leading passer Dayne Keller (2,961). If Castle’s offensive line holds and RB Jadrien Higginson can keep New Pal’s defensive line honest by picking up decent yardage on the ground, the Knights can score. But stopping the Dragons’ offense is such a daunting task, it just might not be possible.

Prediction: New Palestine 48, Castle 34

CLASS 3A
NO. 1 GIBSON SOUTHERN (13-0) vs. NO. 5 INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD (9-3), 5 p.m. CST Saturday at Lawrence North
After losing to Chatard and Brebeuf in the 3A semistate in 2012 and ’13, Gibson Southern’s current group of seniors have been waiting for this game for a long time. This is the Titans’ best team in school history and if they’re ever going to break through the Indy private school barrier, this is it. Since losing 59-7 to Chatard in 2012, Gibson Southern is 36-3. No team has come closer than 29 points to the Titans this season. Hopefully finally playing in a close game will not be their undoing.

Prediction: Gibson Southern 38, Chatard 31

Last week: 0-3.
Overall: 45-11.

Thanks for reading.

–Gordon Engelhardt

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