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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, October 01, 2017 5:50 pm

IHSAA announces football sectional draw

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

The IHSAA announced the high school football sectional pairings Sunday, with the usual amount of rematches from the regular season for area teams.

Sectional play opens on Oct. 20 for Classes 1A-4A and Oct. 27 for 5A and 6A.

In a Class 6A sectional, the four-team all-SAC lineup puts Northrop at Carroll and Homestead at Snider. The Chargers beat the Bruins 49-14 in Week 4, while the Panthers defeated the Spartans 52-31 at Lucas Oil Stadium in a Week 5 contest on Sept. 16.

"Initially, all of our attention will be on Dwenger this week and a good Luers team to close out the year," coach Kurt Tippmann said. "In the Class 6A playoffs, we have a bye week. There will be plenty of time to look at Homestead.

"Off the top of my head, the biggest thing is the plan, the most dynamic player in the conference this year is (Homestead) quarterback Jiya Wright. He was effective running the ball; he did a good job throwing the ball against us in that game and we're going to have to find a way and a scheme and find a plan to attack him. I'm sure both teams will be making all kinds of adjustments."

Defending 3A state champion Concordia opens the sectional against the program it faced in last year's semistate, Garrett. Realignment and changes in the IHSAA playoffs have brought the rematch two rounds earlier.

"High school football changes so much from year to year, even our team has changed quite a bit," Cadets coach Tim Mannigel said of the changes from last year. "I have not done a lot of study on Garrett. I know they lost a few players, but they also appear to be pretty good.

"Other than we can tell our kids that we played them in semistate, and they can tell their kids the same. It's another high school football game, another opponent. I don't know if it's that big of a deal."

South Adams (6-1) is still in contention for the ACAC title with a game at Woodlan this week but opens the sectional looking to avenge a Week 6 loss to Adams Central, 42-14.

South Adams coach Grant Moser compared it to last year when the Starfires upset Woodlan en route to win its 2A sectional last season after a 33-point regular season loss to the Warriors.

"Last year where Woodlan beat us by 33 in the first game, and we made a lot of adjustments defensively," Moser said. "We laid an egg against AC, we came in undefeated. Defensively, we had trouble stopping them, Drew Schultz and Logan Macklin each ran for 100 yards against us. We'll break down film as best as we can. I don't know if there's a way we can play worse. They did a lot of things we weren't ready for, they blitzed a lot."

In a 1A sectional, the field is loaded as Eastside and Churubusco has moved down from 2A, and Southwood, which won its sectional last season, has moved in. The Eagles play host to Northfield, the Blazers are home against Southern Wells and the Knights open up by playing host to Fremont.

Other regular-season rematches include 3A's Bellmont at Norwell (a 21-7 Braves' win in Week 4) and 4A's East Noble at Plymouth (a 22-18 Rockies win in Week 1), Leo at New Haven (a 35-33 Bulldogs' overtime win in Week 4) and South Side at Bishop Dwenger (a 48-14 Saints' win in Week 3).

areichel@jg.net