Class 6A Sectional 1 Championship
No. 2 Merrillville (9-1) at No. 5 Crown Point (6-4)
What to know: The Pirates and Bulldogs have cultivated a fierce rivalry over the years and will square off for the sixth consecutive time in the postseason. Crown Point has been victorious in their last three meetings and has also claimed three straight sectional championships.
Merrillville pulled out a Week 3 overtime victory over Crown Point behind an incredible touchdown catch from senior wide receiver and Northern Illinois commit Jeremiah Howard on the last play of the game. He's reeled in 42 catches for 817 yards and eight touchdowns, and a big performance from him could guide the Pirates to their first sectional crown in four years.
Class 5A Sectional 9 Championship
No. 1 Valparaiso (10-0) at LaPorte (3-7)
When: 7 p.m. Friday, WEFM-FM (95.9), www.rrsn.com
What to know: LaPorte claimed a huge 14-10 win over Michigan City last week to take back LaPorte County bragging rights, and the team continues to improve under first-year coach Jeremy Lowery. The Slicers have won two in a row, although Valparaiso offers a different challenge.
The Vikings' heart-stopping 29-28 win over Merrillville on October 4 is still the only close game they've played. Valpo has had no problem going on the road and can claim its second straight sectional title with a win.
Class 4A Sectional 17 Championship
No. 9 Lowell (7-4) at No. 3 Hobart (9-2)
What to know: The Red Devils have won five straight sectional titles but will have their work cut out for them to clinch another one on the road against the Brickies. Hobart is on a nine-game winning streak and shut out Highland in the sectional semifinals to potentially claim its 21st sectional crown.
In Week 9, Hobart trounced Lowell 38-7 to secure its first outright Northwest Crossroads Conference Championship in school history. In that contest, senior running back DJ Lipke recorded 20 carries for 131 yards and four touchdowns.
Class 3A Sectional 25 Championship
Knox (10-1) at No. 7 Calumet (9-1)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
What to know: The Warriors have never won a sectional championship but have a chance to make history against the Redskins. Calumet rolled to a pair of lopsided victories to reach the sectional title game — outscoring their opponents 101 to 13 — but face a Knox squad that is also hungry for its first sectional crown.
Friday's matchup could be a defensive slugfest. Calumet has only given up 11.1 points per game, while Knox has held opposing teams to 8.3 points per game.
Class 2A Sectional 33 Championship
Rensselaer (9-2) at No. 9 Andrean (8-3)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
What to know: Andrean ended Boone Grove's undefeated season, and now, the 59ers face another strong opponent in Rensselaer. The Bombers haven't been tested since a 20-17 loss to Lafayette Central Catholic on September 28 and are outscoring opponents by nearly 20 points per game.
Andrean's defense has kicked it into high gear, however, with two straight shutouts. Expect plenty of runs, as Rensselaer is averaging 45 rushes per game, while Andrean star tailback Ryan Walsh continues to dominate.