Week 7 football preview and picks: Carmel vs. Warren Central

September, 30, 2011
9/30/11
4:02
PM ET
Well, it's finally here — the Game of the Year for Indiana football (regular season edition). No. 1 Warren Central vs. No. 2 Carmel. Both teams are 6-0, both have state title aspirations, and both would like to make a statement tonight.

The Game:
No. 2 Carmel vs. No. 1 Warren Central
Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium

The Players:
Carmel — The Greyhounds rely on an explosive ground game to blow opponents away. Once the Carmel offensive line starts firing downhill, a stable of stud runners like RB Jalen Duncan, RB Chris Perkins and QB Brandon Denning are able to make huge plays.

Warren Central — If there's one defense in the state that could slow down the Carmel O-Line, it's Warren Central. Senior DT Sheldon Day is the best player in the state, and he's got talented teammates like DE Josh Posley and DE Jonathan Burt focused on stopping the run.

The Stakes:
Uh, this is kind of self-explanatory. It's No. 1 vs. No. 2, what more do you want? One of these teams will most likely be playing for the 5A state title at the end of the year.

The Prediction:
Both defenses are dominant, but I think in the end, Warren Central's offense is a little more well-rounded. The Warriors' strength is running it with Deionte Buckley and Shaquille Breeding, but they can also throw the ball with QB Kyle Faunce and WR Kevin Davis. I don't think Carmel will be able to pick up as many third-down conversions tonight, allowing Warren Central to win time of possession and eventually the game.
WARREN CENTRAL 28, CARMEL 17

Other notable games:

No. 3 Ben Davis at No. 6 Center Grove
Friday, 7 p.m.
If it weren't for Carmel-Warren Central, this game would be getting all the hype this week. As it stands, I think Ben Davis makes three or four big plays on offense and wins this one in the second half. BEN DAVIS 24, CENTER GROVE 18

Lawrence Central at Southport
Friday, 7 p.m.
Both teams are on the outside of the Indiana POWERADE Top 10 rankings, but the winner could make a case for being bumped up. Something tells me Southport comes up big at home. SOUTHPORT 31, LAWRENCE CENTRAL 23

No. 10 Brownsburg at Harrison
Friday, 7 p.m.
Don't sleep on Brownsburg — a win tonight puts them at 6-1 with Zionsville and Fishers left to close out the season. BROWNSBURG 35, HARRISON 20
Mike Grimala is an associate editor for ESPNHS. Follow him on Twitter at @MGrimalaESPN »

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