IHSAA announces football pairings

Operation Football
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The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced pairings for the IHSAA Football State Tournament presented by the Indianapolis Colts.

Class 5A Carmel is the only defending state champion currently ranked atop 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.  The Greyhounds beat the Warriors in overtime two weeks ago.

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.

Complete Pairings

Sectional play begins Friday, Oct. 19, for all but five teams who drew a bye in their respective seven-team sectional.

Those teams will wait to 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.

Forty sectional champions will be crowned on Friday, November 2. Regional games will be played Friday, November 9, and semi-states on Friday, November 16.

The 10 teams that earn a berth in the state finals will play on Thanksgiving weekend in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the

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. 

Draw procedure

The IHSAA conducts the random drawing for the football state tournament by assigning ping-pong balls to each school in a given sectional into a lottery-style air mix machine. A fan in the bottom of the machine blows the balls around the inside of the transparent container and air then forces each ball up through a tube in random order.

For example, the first ball retrieved from the machine will be the visiting team in game one with the second ball representing the home team in game one. The third ball to come out is the visitor in game two and the fourth ball the home team in game two.

In the case of seven team sectionals, the seventh ball drawn is the team assigned the bye and an automatic road game in the semifinal round.