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Operation Football: Center Grove 29, Lawrence North 19

The Trojans will face Ben Davis Friday night for a trip to the state title game.

LAWRENCE, Indiana — Center Grove held off upset-minded Lawrence North 29-19 to move on to the Class 6A semi-states Friday night.

The Wildcats opened the scoring on the first drive of the game, taking a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown run by Ali Richardson. But less than five minutes later, the Trojans blocked a Lawrence North punt, which was scooped up by Jackson Griffin, who went in for the touchdown and an 8-7 lead after a Caden Curry two-point conversion.

Drew Wheat extended the Center Grove lead with a little over a minute left in the first quarter, running 26 yards to a 15-7 lead. Wheat scored again in the closing seconds of the quarter on a Lawrence North punt for a 22-7 lead.

The Wildcats would hang around, however. 

Richardson's second touchdown of the game brought Lawrence North within 22-13 at halftime, then Montez Jones ran for a touchdown midway through the third quarter to cut the lead to 22-19.

But Curry came up big again to put the game away in the fourth quarter. He scored with 5:19 remaining to push the lead to 10 points and the Trojan defense closed it out from there.

Center Grove will host Ben Davis Friday, Nov. 19 with a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium on the line. The Giants beat Brownsburg Friday night to win a regional title.

On the other side of the Class 6A bracket, Merrillville will travel to Westfield. The Shamrocks beat Carroll to advance to the semi-states.