Five things to know about the Class A high school football state final between Scecina and Lafayette Central Catholic at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium:
1. Lafayette Central Catholic and Scecina played for the championship last year.
LCC won last year's game 38-7. While most of Scecina's team is back, the Knights no longer have Danny Anthrop, who ran 23 times for 255 yards and three touchdowns in last year's game.
"I'm glad Anthrop is at Purdue, where he belongs," Scecina coach Ott Hurrle said.
Though it was a humbling loss, last year's experience helped the Crusaders this year.
"Last year was a big ride," Hurrle said. "Everything was exciting and everything was the first time in a long time, so this year, the kids knew what to expect and knew what it was going to take."
2. Lafayette Central Catholic doesn't lose often.
LCC lost to Culver Academies 14-12 earlier this season after having won 48 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in state history. Coach Kevin O'Shea had moved Timmy Mills from receiver to quarterback and changed their offense from the run and shoot to a zone-read early in the season. Late in the Culver game, O'Shea went back to what he knew best.
"I went to Timmy after the ball game and said, 'Hey, Timmy,' and he said, 'You don't need to say it. I need to play receiver,' " said O'Shea, whose team has won 10 consecutive games since the change.
3. Scecina likes to pound the ball.
The Crusaders have thrown the ball 127 times this season and three players have more than 100 carries. David Tarver leads the way with 1,136 yards and 15 touchdowns, followed by Rocky Leffler (623 yards), Jordan Brown (612), Thomas Allgood (598) and Curtis Henley (339).
"Our offensive line is going to need to be able to get off the ball," Hurrle said of playing LCC. "Central Catholic is so quick defensively. Their front guys and their linebackers are really, really good. I don't care if it's 1A or 5A, those guys can play football."
4. Lafayette Central Catholic is balanced.
Brad Schrader ran for 1,387 yards and 17 touchdowns, even though he missed 21/2 games with an ankle injury. He ran for 308 yards in a win over Heritage Christian in Week 7. Ty Preston has passed for 1,369 yards. Mills has 655 yards receiving, 469 yards passing and 431 yards rushing. He averages 17.7 yards per catch and has scored four touchdowns.
"You've got to be able to cover Mills," Hurrle said. "One lapse and he's gone."
5. O'Shea is approaching state football history.
O'Shea could become the first Indiana coach to win four consecutive titles. The Knights have a 23-game postseason winning streak.
"When I first arrived at Central Catholic, I think we had a culture change," O'Shea said. "I think there had always been talent here, but that talent hadn't come to fruition come playoff time. One of the things we wanted to do was to get our kids to understand that tournament time is when you need to be playing your best ball."