The Journal Gazette
 
 
Sunday, October 10, 2021 9:30 pm

East Noble-Leo, Homestead-Carroll to meet once more in football sectionals

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

Leo's 40-32 win over East Noble – in which the Knights stormed back from a 20-point halftime deficit, only for the Lions to mount a game-winning drive in the final minutes – was one of the most exciting contests of the year in the Fort Wayne area. 

In the state tournament, football fans will get more of this classic NE8 rivalry: Class 4A No. 2 Leo (8-0) will once again travel to East Noble (5-2) for the first round of Sectional 19 on Oct. 22. 

Two SAC rivalries will also be renewed in the opening round of the state tournament: Homestead (5-3) gets a rematch with No. 10 Carroll (7-1) in three-team Class 6A Sectional 3 on Oct. 29 (Carroll won the first meeting 17-10 on Oct. 1), and in the Class 5A Sectional 11 opener on Oct. 29 No. 4 Snider (6-1) will again face Northrop (3-5), which the Panthers beat 42-12, also on Oct. 1. 

Other notable first-round matchups include Class A Sectional 44, where No. 2 Adams Central (7-1) will play at No. 7 Churubusco (6-2). 

Class 2A No. 1 Bishop Luers (8-0) will host Fairfield (4-4) in the first round of the Sectional 35 tournament, and the Knights seem to be on a collision course to meet No. 7 Eastside (8-0) in the sectional final. The Blazers are in the opposite half of the bracket, opening against Bluffton (3-5), and will likely face Central Noble (6-2) in the second round, a matchup that would be just three weeks removed from Eastside's 42-0 dismantling of the Cougars. 

No. 8 Norwell (7-1) will travel to Maconaquah (2-4) for the first round of Class 3A Sectional 27, and if the Knights win in the first round they would next face the winner of Northwestern-Concordia in the semifinal. The Cadets have won each of the last two sectional titles, while Norwell has not raised the trophy since 2014. 

East Noble and Leo will be meeting for the sixth time in three seasons, and while the Lions have prevailed in the last two regular season meetings the Knights have eliminated Leo from the state tournament in each of the last two years. 

"I think coaches and players are excited to get to play East Noble again, a great program, great team," Leo coach Jared Sauder said. "We thought there was a good chance we would see them again after the Week 5 game. I think everybody had a feeling that that matchup would happen again, and here we are."

The winner of East Noble-Leo will move on to face either DeKalb or Wawasee, which are both 1-7, in the semis. But NorthWood (4-4) and Northridge (5-3) remain waiting in the bottom half of the sectional draw, as do Columbia City (4-4) and Angola (2-6). 

Because of realignment, there are just three teams in Sectional 3, and the winner of Homestead-Carroll will host Warsaw (7-1) in the sectional final. The Tigers (7-1) beat Carroll 42-35 in the first round of the 2020 state tournament, but then fell to Homestead 30-22 in the sectional final.

vjacobsen@jg.net 

IHSAA 2021 Football Sectional Pairings


Full schedules for sectionals that include local teams


Class 6A (30 schools, sectionals held Oct. 29, Nov. 5)


Sectional 3 (3 teams)


Semifinal – G1: Homestead at Carroll.


Championship – G2: Warsaw at G1 winner


Class 5A (37 schools, sectionals held Oct. 22, 29; Nov. 5)


Sectional 11 (4 teams)


Semifinals – G1: Northrop at Snider. G2: North Side at Bishop Dwenger.


Championship – G3: G1 winner vs. G2 winner. 


Class 4A (61 schools, sectionals held Oct. 22, 29; Nov. 5)


Sectional 19 (8 teams)


G1: DeKalb at Wawasee. G2: Leo at East Noble. G3: Northridge at NorthWood. G4: Angola at Columbia City.


Semifinals – G5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner. G6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.


Championship – G5 winner vs. G6 winner.


Sectional 20 (8 teams)


G1: Marion at Wayne. G2: South Side at Delta. G3: Jay County at Mississinewa. G4: New Haven at Huntington North. 


Semifinals – G5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner. G6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.


Championship – G5 winner vs. G6 winner.


Class 3A (62 schools, sectionals held Oct. 22, 29; Nov. 5)


Sectional 26 (8 teams)


G1: Lakeland at Glenn. G2: West Noble at Jimtown. G3: Mishawaka Marian at South Bend Washington. G4: Tippecanoe Valley at Garrett. 


Semifinals – G5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner. G6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.


Championship – G5 winner vs. G6 winner.


Sectional 27 (8 teams)


G1: Norwell at Maconaquah. G2: Northwestern at Concordia. G3: Oak Hill at Bellmont. G4: Heritage at Peru. 


Semifinals – G5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner. G6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.


Championship – G5 winner vs. G6 winner.


Class 2A (63 schools, sectionals held Oct. 22, 29; Nov. 5)


Sectional 35 (8 teams)


G1: Bluffton at Eastside. G2: Whitko at Central Noble. G3: Fairfield at Bishop Luers. G4: Prairie Heights at Woodlan.


Semifinals – G5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner. G6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.


Championship – G5 winner vs. G6 winner.


Class A (61 schools, sectionals held Oct. 22, 29; Nov. 5)


Sectional 43 (8 teams)


G1: Monroe Central at Wes-Del. G2: South Adams at Madison-Grant. G3: Southern Wells at Taylor. G4: Union City at Tri-Central. 


Semifinals – G5: G1 winner vs. G2 winner. G6: G3 winner vs. G4 winner.


Championship – G5 winner vs. G6 winner.


Sectional 44 (7 teams)


First Round – G1: Northfield at Fremont. G2: North Miami at Southwood. G3: Adams Central at Churubusco.


Semifinals – G4: Triton vs. G1 winner. G5: G2 winner vs. G3 winner.


Championship – G6: G4 winner vs. G5 winner. 


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