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Written By Ink Free News / Sports on Friday, October 9, 2020

Joe Newcomer and NorthWood will look to avoid upset-minded Wawasee as the two will clash in the opening round of the Class 4-A Sectional 19 football tournament. InkFreeNews file photo by Mike Deak

By Mike Deak

INDIANAPOLIS – The 48th annual IHSAA state football tournament had its anticipated draw Thursday evening, announcing the paths for the six classes to Indianapolis.

The state tournament begins for all classes except 6-A and all but one sectional in 5-A on Friday, Oct. 23. The remainder will begin on Oct. 30 as will the continuation of semi-finals for those starting the week before. Sectional finals are scheduled for Nov. 6, with regionals the next week on Nov. 13, then semi-states on Nov. 20 and the IHSAA State Finals on Nov. 27 and 28 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Class 6-A, Sectional 3

Warsaw will look for its second straight and second-ever sectional title as it shifts to the east and the Fort Wayne grouping. The Tigers (6-1) will host Fort Wayne Carroll (5-2) on Oct. 30. The Tigers and Chargers haven’t played since 2016, when Warsaw beat Carroll in the sectional semis. Opposite is Fort Wayne Snider (4-3) and host Homestead (6-1). The Spartans clubbed the Panthers 33-3 earlier this season in Summit Conference play, and hung 70 on Carroll last weekend. Warsaw’s last meetings against the other two teams both were losses, to Homestead in 2016 and to Snider in 2009.

The sectional champion likely would head south to northeast Indianapolis for the regional, taking on the champion of Sectional 4.

Class 4-A, Sectional 19

Momentum may be the most important intangible of the sectional, as the eight teams have played anywhere between four and seven games. On the lower half of the eight-team draw will see a pair of top 10 teams collide in No. 7 Leo (6-1) visiting No. 10 Northridge (5-1). For the fourth time in 10 years, Wawasee (2-5) and NorthWood (2-3) will meet in the sectional, this matchup at Andrews Field. The Panthers crushed the Warriors, 39-0, in September in Syracuse.

The top half of the bracket will have Columbia City (6-1) take on the defending northern semi-state champion East Noble Knights (4-3). The Knights, at one point No. 2 in the state, have dropped three of four heading into the weekend, but beat Columbia City 27-10 a week ago. The fourth matchup is between a pair of teams playing short seasons in Angola (4-1) and host DeKalb (0-4).

The Sectional 19 champion would meet the Sectional 20 champion, likely having to travel south and east.

Class 3-A, Sectional 26

After playing at School Field for the first time in program history in last year’s sectional, Tippecanoe Valley will tell South Bend Washington to come to Death Valley. The Vikings (5-2) and Panthers (1-6) will rematch in the opening round in Akron, the Vikings having won last year’s contest 19-14. That winner will likely host the second round, but could have to take on No. 3 Mishawaka Marian (6-0), which drew Lakeland (2-5) in a home contest in the opener.

On the south side of the bracket features Jimtown (4-2) at Garrett (2-4) and John Glenn (3-4) at West Noble (0-7). Glenn owns a 10-7 Northern Indiana Conference win over the Jimmies, while Garrett shut out West Noble 21-0 in Northeast Corner Conference work.

Sectional 26 is slated to travel for the regional if all plays out, Sectional 25 featuring teams primarily from The Region.

Class 1-A, Sectional 44

Triton (3-3) will get to stay at home for round one of the sectional, welcoming in Churubusco (3-2). The last time the two teams met was 2007 in the regional round, a 28-14 Eagles win. The other game in the pod could be a game-time decision as Adams Central (5-2) announced Thursday it is canceling this weekend’s game with Bluffton and not promising anything further as it deals with COVID-19 issues in the school. No. 7 Adams Central and host Fremont (2-3) is opposite Triton-Busco.

No. 3 Southwood (7-0) is the odds-on favorite to make the final, but will have to get through visiting Northfield (4-3), then either North Miami (1-6) or host Caston (2-5).

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