For the 40th year, plans for post-season play have been announced as 315 schools were placed into brackets this evening for the IHSAA Football State Tournament presented by the Indianapolis Colts.
Sectional play begins on Friday, Oct. 19, for all but five teams who drew a bye in their respective seven-team sectional. Those teams will play on the road on Oct. 26 in the sectional semifinal round. Those teams are: Evansville North in Class 5A, Sectional 8; Evansville Central in Class 4A, Sectional 16; Western Boone in Class 3A, Sectional 20; Forest Park in Class 2A, Sectional 32 and; South Decatur in Class A, Sectional 39.
The 10 teams that earn a berth in the state finals will play on Thanksgiving weekend in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, the state tournament's presenting sponsor. The Class A and 2A championship games are scheduled for Friday, November 23, with the 3A, 4A and 5A games the next day. In all, 310 games will be played around the state over the six-week tournament.
Class 5A No. 1 Carmel is the only defending state champion currently holding its respective top spot in this week's state coaches poll. The Greyhounds will open at home with conference rival Warren Central right out of the gate in Sectional 5.
In Class 4A, top-ranked Columbus East will travel to No. 6 East Central in Sectional 15.
In Class 3A, No. 1 Jimtown will host Fort Wayne Concordia in Sectional 18.
In Class 2A, top-ranked Evansville Mater Dei, last year's state runner-up, will travel to face Southridge in Sectional 32.
And in Class A, No. 1 Linton-Stockton drew a road game and will play at North Knox in Sectional 40.
Class 5A (63 teams)
Sectional 1 (8 teams)
Game 1: Valparaiso at Crown Point.
Game 2: Portage at Lake Central.
Game 3: Merrillville at Munster.
Game 4: Michigan City at Chesterton.
Game 5: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2.
Game 6: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4.