IHSAA Football sectionals new format starts Friday


Long johns, a winter coat and warm gloves are in order for Indiana high school football fans Friday night for the first week of Sectionals.  

It's going to be a chilly night for Operation Football.

The SkyTrak Weather team is calling for 44 degrees at kickoff and then the temperatures spiral down to 40 by around 9pm.

This is the first year for the IHSAA's new playoff format, which includes the new Class 6A made up of the 32 largest schools in Indiana.

Four of the those schools are in Hamilton County where in Sectional 4 Noblesville (5-4) hosts #5 Fishers (8-1) and #6 Carmel (6-3) travels to #10 Hamilton Southeastern (7-2).  The winners square off next week in the 6A Sectional Finals.

Sectional 5 in 6A could be a potential barn burner with Avon (6-3) battling Ben Davis (7-2) and Brownsburg (3-6) taking on Pike (5-4).  

The Giants are ranked #2 in 6A and that's where Eyewitness Sports Director Dave Calabro will start Operation Football coverage Friday night.

Calabro's Skylights stops include a trip to a 3A battle at Tri-West where the 7-2 Bruins host the 8-1 Tiger Cubs of Greencastle.   Both teams are ranked in the top 15 in 3A.  

From western Hendricks County, Chopper 13 heads north to Boone County for a Class 4A showdown between the Plainfield Quakers (4-5) and the Lebanon Tigers (7-2).

The Operation Football patrol team will also check out the Class 3A game between Lawrenceburg and  #10 Hamilton Heights. Both teams are 7-2.  

In Class 2A, Shenandoah (7-2) and Broad Ripple (5-4) will battle it out on the Rockets' home field.

The 5A champs from a year ago, the Lawrence Central Bears (3-6) will see if they have what it takes to get by Warren Central (6-3).  LC lost to the Warriors two weeks ago 28-7. 

The only 5A sectional game in the area is between #5 Cathedral (4-5) against Decatur Central (5-4).  

Cathedral moved up to Class 5A this year because of the IHSAA's new success rule.  The Irish won the state tile last year in 4A.

The battle for bragging rights in Perry Township pits two 6A rivals, Perry Meridian Falcons (5-4) taking on their undefeated neighbor to the east, the 9-0 Southport Cardinals.  

Southport is ranked #4 in 6A.