No. 3 Chesterton (6-2) at No. 2 Merrillville (7-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday, WEFM-FM (95.9), www.rrsn.com

What to know: Merrillville remains mathematically alive for the Duneland Athletic Conference title, but this is more likely a battle for second place. Chesterton brings the Region's best passing offense, which will give Merrillville a great test before its sectional meeting against Lafayette Jefferson's high-octane offense.

The Trojans have struggled running the ball this season, and Merrillville defensive tackle Kenneth Grant is an elite run-stuffer. The Pirates feature some of the Region's top receivers in Jeremiah Howard and Armani Glass, but Ben Slatcoff and Kyle McWhirter have had nice seasons in the secondary for Chesterton.

No. 8 Michigan City (4-4) at No. 6 Crown Point (4-4)

What to know: A winning regular-season record is on the line, and Michigan City has only won one road game this season: a 7-3 slugfest at LaPorte last week. Crown Point's only two home losses are to Valparaiso and Merrillville.

The Wolves will test CP with their speed, however. And the Bulldogs' offense will have to deal with a strong City front seven.

Lake Central (3-5) at No. 1 Valparaiso (8-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday, www.rrsn.com

What to know: Valparaiso needs a win to clinch another outright DAC title, so don't expect the Vikings to sleepwalk here. Lake Central is allowing just under 22 points per game, but it might have to play its best offensive game of the season to hang.

Vikings running back Tommy Burbee has a chance to go over 1,000 rushing yards for the regular season, but LC has a nice ground game of its own thanks to senior tailback Sir Felix Garcia.

Lowell (5-3) at No. 5 Hobart (6-2)

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When: 7 p.m., Friday, WRTW-FM (90.5), Facebook.com/Regionsports (live video), www.rrsn.com (video)

What to know: The Brickies could clinch their first outright Northwest Crossroads Conference title in school history with a win over the Red Devils. Senior running back DJ Lipke has been the main catalyst of Hobart's offense with 824 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns and will be relied on once again.

Lowell had its four-game winning streak snapped in a shutout loss at home against No. 10 Andrean last week and is looking for a bit of momentum before the postseason begins. The Red Devils have defeated the Brickies in three of their last four meetings and another victory over their rival could help them get back on track before their sectional opener against West Side. *

Clark (4-4) at No. 4 Morton (7-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

What to know: The Pioneers will have their hands full against the Governors' high-powered offense. Morton is averaging 49 points per game and junior quarterback Paris Hewlett leads the way with 17 touchdowns passes and no interceptions.

In addition to Hewlett's production under center, senior quarterback Credell Prather Jr. is set to return after going down with a right wrist injury in Week 1. If he is fully healthy, Clark's chances at an upset and ending the regular season above .500 for the first time since 2010 will only get tougher.

No. 6 Boone Grove (8-0) at Whiting (2-6)

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Facebook.com/Regionsports (live video)

What to know: The Wolves and Oilers will square off two weeks in a row after drawing each other in their sectional opener. Friday's regular-season finale could serve as a preview, with Boone Grove bringing its explosive offense to Ray P. Gallivan Field.

Last week, the Wolves scored a season-high 66 points in a home victory over Lake Station. Senior Brae'ton Vonn rushed for one touchdown in the lopsided win and could eclipse 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season with a strong performance against Whiting, which has lost five straight games.

* Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version.

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Porter County Sports Reporter

Robbie Weinstein covers Porter County prep sports and Valparaiso University athletics for The Times. You can find the Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University grad posted up on the nearest field of play or in front of the TV.

Lake County Sports Reporter

James Boyd is the Lake County prep sports reporter for The Times. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a proud native of Romeoville, Illinois. Before anything else, his main goal in life is to spread love and light.