Class 6A state championship // Fort Wayne Carroll (13-0) vs. Center Grove (11-2)
When: 7 p.m. tonight
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis
Admission: $15 (children 5 and under free). All ticket sales will be digital only.
Gates open: 10 a.m. (one hour prior to Class 2A championship game)
TV: Bally Sports Indiana Extra
Webstream: IHSAATV.org ($15 for one game; $20 for all six championship games)
Radio: CG Sports Network
Recent history: This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Common opponents: None
Sagarin ratings: Carroll 96.06 (fifth in Class 6A, fifth in Indiana), Center Grove 102.48 (second/second)
Players to watch: Carroll — QB Jimmy Sullivan, RB Nate Starks, RB/DB Braden Steely, WR Camden Herschberger, WR Hansen Haffner, DL Ashton Pesetski, DL Royce Jones, DB Jorge Valdes; Center Grove — QB Tyler Cherry, RB Micah Coyle, RB/DB Jalen Thomeson, WR Noah Coy, DL Ryne Roehling, LB Owen Bright, DB Gage Rees, K Nolan Foley
What to look for: The Trojans are looking to become the first team ever to win three Class 6A championships in a row and the first large-school team to three-peat since Warren Central from 2004-06. This year’s team is a different cast of characters than the last two seasons, but plenty of new weapons have emerged. Coyle and Thomeson offer a solid 1-2 punch in the backfield, and Cherry has developed a lethal aerial connection with Coy. The Chargers have a strong passing attack of their own, led by Sullivan (2,203 yards, 27 TDs) and a balanced receiving corps featuring five players with 22 receptions or more. Carroll has one of the state’s stingier defenses (9.8 points allowed, three shutouts), but they’ve also not faced any power competition from the Indy area, so it’s hard to say for sure what that unit can handle. The Chargers are also breaking new ground — they’d never so much as won a regional before this month — so there’s the question of whether the moment will overwhelm them. Center Grove’s seniors, meanwhile, have no idea what it’s like to not end the season at Lucas Oil; will that familiarity prove to be an advantage? We’ll find out tonight. This is Eric Moore’s eighth dance here overall and sixth in the last eight years; it never gets old, and he’s never not ready.