FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – While they are two perennial powerhouse programs in the northern half of the state, Friday’s 5A semi-state showdown between Merrillville and Snider at Spuller Stadium will be the first time the Pirates and Panthers have met since Kurt Tippmann’s program beat Merrillville 42-39 at semi-state in 2012.

The Panthers are coming off a 19-18 victory over Mishawaka at regionals thanks to a last-second 45-yard field goal from kicker Mang Tung. Quarterback Ke’ron Billingsley and running back Uriah Buchanan led the Panthers offense, with Billingsley tallying 21 carries for 100 yards and Buchanan racking up 21 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Snider will host a sixth-ranked Merrillville team that knocked of fourth-ranked Valparaiso 24-20 last Friday night.

Kick is set for 7:30 p.m. at Spuller Stadium. Tune into the Highlight Zone at 11 p.m. Friday night for complete coverage of the Panthers on Fort Wayne’s no. 1 sports show!