Indianapolis Cathedral is still considered by many the favorite to win the their consecutive 5A state championship. The Irish have been impressive all season and boasts an 8-1 record with their lone loss to 6A favorite Center Grove last Friday. However, throughout the season, there have been small indicators that Cathedral is not necessarily invincible and a great game by an opponent and a little luck, anything can happen on a Friday night.

Decatur Central

The Hawks finished the regular season with an 7-game win streak after a week two loss to 6A Center Grove. The Mid-State Conference champions rolled through their schedule and outscored their opponents by an average of two touchdowns. Senior playmaker Javon Tracy has stepped into the role of playing quarterback, after talented junior Aceyn Stevens went down with a season-ending injury. Tracy a Player of the Year candidate, has been spectacular in Steven’s absence. In 9 games, Tracy has scored 102 points. Surrounded by talent on the offense, the Hawks haven’t missed a beat. Their defense has been just as good. Since the Center Grove loss, the Hawks have given up an average of 10 points a game.

Fort Wayne Snider

The resurgence of the Snider Panthers makes for a good football season, traditionally in Indiana. A huge win over then undefeated Bishop Luers, the Panthers secured a piece of the Summit Athletic Conference championship. A one-point loss week two, separates Snider from being the undisputed and undefeated conference champs. After spending a few seasons at the 6A level, the Panthers are back in 5A and should be a favorite to represent the North side of the bracket in the state championship game. Led by Purdue recruit linebacker Domanick Moon and Indiana commit offensive lineman DJ Moore, the Panthers boasts a balanced team. Junior quarterback Luke Haupert is having himself a solid season and can make plays on the ground and through the air.

Harrison (West Lafayette)

As quietly kept, the Harrison team in West Lafayette is flying under the radar after compiling an 8-1 regular season record. The Raiders loss came at the hand of 6A no.2 ranked Westfield on week two of the season. Like the previous teams mentioned, the Raiders went on to dominate their conference, scoring 224 points while allowing 91, capturing the North Central Conference outright. The Terry Peebles coached team is not one that boasts big name recruits. it is a Raiders team that is blue collar tough, and has the right team chemistry to make a run in the tournament. The unconventional Flex-Bone offense correlates to the identity of this team. With a first-round sectional bye, Harrison awaits either McCutcheon or last year’s 5A North representative Zionsville in the next round. In 2020, the Raiders loss a tough one to the Eagles by 11.

Valparaiso Vikings are on the short list of contenders in Class 5A.