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Football preview: Sectional semis

The Game:

No. 2 Carmel (9-1) at No. 10 Lawrence Central (9-1)

Friday, 7 p.m.

The Players:

Carmel — The Lawrence Central defense has no choice but to load up against Carmel RB Jalen Duncan, but that should leave opportunities for Greyhounds' QB Brandon Denning. The senior has had a good season under center, proving to be a big-play threat as a passer and runner.

Lawrence Central — Much like the last few years, the Lawrence Central offense is built around a dual-threat quarterback. Senior Dre Townsend has thrown for 1,781 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, and he can also hurt the defense with his scrambling ability.

The Stakes:

Each team that makes it to the sectional finals can legitimately call itself a state championship contender. If Lawrence Central pulls the upset, no one will want to play them.

The Prediction:

Lawrence Central has played great football this season, coming into this contest riding an eight-game winning streak. But Carmel just has too many athletes, and sooner or later they'll wear down the defense and start hitting big plays.

CARMEL 42, LAWRENCE CENTRAL 21

Think I got it wrong? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).