The IHSAA squeezed 15 minutes of information into a tidy two-hour show on Sunday afternoon as it announced the sectional pairings for the 47th IHSAA Football State Tournament.
Blitz watched every second of the 120-minute marathon program so you didn’t have to.
You can find the local sectional draw HERE.
Blitz breaks down the big questions presented in each class after the draw.
Can Snider and Homestead avoid looking ahead?
The sectional draw gave us the gift of a Homestead v. Snider rematch coming in the sectional championship game. But before that, the Spartans and Panthers need to take care of business in the semis.
Snider will host Carroll at Spuller Stadium in what is a low-key huge matchup. The Chargers took the Panthers to the brink earlier this year at the same locale, with a blocking extra point proving to be the different in a 21-20 win for Snider.
Both teams have gotten better, and Carroll is tough enough to make things difficult in the trenches for Snider.
Meanwhile, Homestead will travel to Noblesville to open the postseason. The Millers have just one win, but a long road trip against a team that plays some difficult opponents in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference isn’t the easy matchup some will think it is.
Can North Side give Bishop Dwenger a battle in Sectional 11?
In Week 2, Bishop Dwenger got off to a sluggish start but eventually coasted to a 36-0 victory over North Side in the first-ever game at Shields Field.
After seeing that game, it is hard for Blitz to believe that he is even asking this question as the Saints will travel to Chambers Field to open 5A action on Nov. 1.
North Side is 4-0 when Duce Taylor starts at quarterback. He was not available the first time around against Bishop Dwenger. With Taylor, North Side’s offense is a completely different animal, able to challenge defenses over the top.
Perhaps most importantly, the Legends have confidence after going 4-1 in their last five entering a game at Concordia in Week 9. The Saints will definitely should be favored against North, but they cannot take the Legends for granted like they could early in the regular season.
Who survives the sectional semis of Sectional 19?
So many folks want to debate seeding the sectional, but we lucked out with the draw in Sectional 19.
Conceivably, we could have East Noble v. DeKalb and NorthWood v. Leo in Round 2. Or substitute Columbia City in for DeKalb or Angola for Leo.
No matter how you spin it among six teams, the semifinals of this sectional will be huge. East Noble still remains the decided favorite in Sectional 19, but it will definitely have earned the title if it wins.
And don’t look past two-time defending sectional champion Angola, which has won four straight games entering Week 9.
Can Concordia beat a solid team on the road?
There is just one team with a winning record in Sectional 27, and Concordia will head there as the Cadets will travel to Miami County to take on Maconaquah in Round 1.
After losses to Southwood and Cass to start the year, Maconaquah has won sixstraight. You can question the competition, but the Braves have torched teams on the ground to the tune of 310 yards per game on the ground.
Can the Cadets run D bring it on the road and force Maconaquah to the air? That will be the key. A win over the Braves and Concordia will likely get Norwell at home in the semis.
Who emerges from a wide-open Sectional 35?
The draw gave us a gift in Sectional 35, with all three rounds holding some intrigue.
To start, Eastside travels to Woodlan in what should be a competitive game and each fan base thinking they can prove something to the other.
Meanwhile, Bishop Luers gets Central Noble at home then the winner of Eastside-Woodlan.
And then there is Bluffton, who should be able to take care of business twice and reach the final. The Tigers have not won a sectional since 1988, but the draw is favorable for them to have a shot at ending the drought.
Could we possibly get Adams Central v. Southwood IV?
Two teams that have grown accustomed to seeing each other in the postseason are Adams Central and Southwood. The programs met in regional play in 2016 with the Flying Jets earning a 23-7 victory.
Over the last two years, the foes have met in sectional action. Last year, Adams Central rolled an undefeated Southwood squad 38-0. The year before, the Knights put up 50 in a victory to capture a sectional crown.
While Southwood (8-0) has to match up with Churubusco (6-2) on the road in the first round, Adams Central (7-1) seemingly has a quite navigable road to the sectional final.
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