Never before has the Northern Indiana Conference had more than one team play for a state championship.
This year, it will have three.
Penn, Washington and St. Joe all captured Semi-State championships Friday night and will play for the state tiles in their respective classifications next Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Kingsmen, now 14-0 on the season, defeated FW Snider 28-10 Friday night to capture the 5A Semi-State. Penn will face Carmel in the state championship at 7:30 Saturday in Indianapolis. It's Penn's first trip to the state finals since 2003.
Zach Oakley rushed for two touchdowns and Michael Mason returned the opening kickoff of the 2nd half 85 yards for a score for the Kingsmen.
In 4A, South Bend Washington becomes the first South Bend city school to head to the state finals since the Panthers won it all in 1973.
Washington beat Leo 13-3 to capture the Semi-State championship at Leo. The Panthers will face Indy Cathedral in the title game next Saturday at 3:30 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Cathedral beat Gunner Kiel and Columbus East 62-7.
The Panthers played without starting quarterback Daigien Morgan, who stayed in South Bend with an illness. Kelly Kolat played in his place and scored the game's first touchdown. Washington coach Antwon Jones says Morgan will be back to be his QB next week.
David Perkins also intercepted a pass and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown.
In 3A, St. Joe is headed to the state finals for the 3rd time in five years, beating West Lafayette 21-13 at School Field.
The Indians get their rematch with Indy Chatard next Saturday at noon at Lucas Oil Stadium. Chatard beat St. Joe in the state finals in 2007 and again last year.
St. Joe opened the game with an interception return for a touchdown from Kevin McFadden then scored a second touchdown on a hook-and-ladder from Nick Carmola to Collin Hickey to Pat Klima.
After West Lafayette closed to 14-6, Carmola rushed for a touchdown to extend the lead.
In 2A, Bremen's undefeated season ended with a 35-21 loss at Bishop Luers.
The Lions fell behind early, but got a touchdown from Nate Leeper to Ben Hueni just before half to pull within seven.
But Luers proved to be too much in the 2nd half.