Here are the IHSAA high school football sectional pairings for the Evansville area

Kyle Sokeland Treasure Washington
Evansville Courier & Press

EVANSVILLE — The path to Indianapolis is now set.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced its high school football sectional pairings on Sunday. The first round of the state tournament is scheduled for Oct. 20 with Class 5A and 6A beginning the following week.

It could be another interesting postseason for the Evansville area. Nine teams were receiving votes in the latest Associated Press rankings. The defending sectional champions in the area are Castle (5A), Memorial (4A), Southridge (3A) and Mater Dei (2A).

More:Complete high school football coverage in SW Indiana from the 2023 season

Here are the sectional pairings in the Courier & Press coverage area and a breakdown of how the blind draw came out this year.

Castle’s Antonio Harris (17) runs the ball as the Reitz Panthers play the Castle Knights at John Lidy Field Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.
Class 5A

Sectional 16

Game 1: North (5-3) at Floyd Central (7-1)

Game 2: Castle (5-3) at New Albany (2-6)

Quick analysis: It's a road trip for both North and Castle. The No. 11 Huskies get the tougher assignment with Hoosier Hills Conference champion No. 8 Floyd Central. On the flip side, the No. 12 Knights will be the favorite in their semifinal. If both do win, the championship would be at Castle.

Class 4A

Sectional 24

Game 1: Bedford North Lawrence (5-3) at Harrison (1-7)

Game 2: Boonville (5-3) at Reitz (8-0)

Game 3: Memorial (6-2) at Central (0-8)

Game 4: Jasper (5-3) at Bosse (2-6)

Quick analysis: A pretty fair draw. A couple of first-round matchups should pique interest starting with a No. 2 Reit versus Boonville rematch at the Bowl. Pretty strong guarantee the Panthers want this game. The other is Jasper-Bosse considering a rematch between the Wildcats' defense and quarterback Elijah Wagner. There's also a path for No. 8 Memorial if injuries and recent offensive woes are remedied.

Reitz’s Jasseum Ussery (25) runs the ball as the Reitz Panthers play the Memorial Tigers at the Reitz Bowl in Evansville, Ind., Friday Sept. 29, 2023.
Class 3A

Sectional 30

Game 1: Pike Central (1-7) at Princeton (1-7)

Game 2: Vincennes Lincoln (6-2) at Owen Valley (2-6)

Game 3: Mount Vernon (4-4) at Gibson Southern (6-2)

Game 4: West Vigo (2-6) at Washington (2-6)

Quick analysis: This draw sets up well for a potential Gibson Southern versus Vincennes Lincoln championship. The No. 6 Titans already routed Mount Vernon 44-6 on Friday, but beating a team twice presents its own challenges. Despite Owen Valley's record, its game against No. 15 Vincennes could still be fun.

Sectional 32

Game 1: Scottsburg (5-3) at North Harrison (6-2)

Game 2: Salem (1-7) at Madison (1-7)

Game 3: Charlestown (5-3) at Heritage Hills (7-1)

Game 4: Corydon Central (0-8) at Southridge (5-3)

Quick analysis: The ping pong balls didn't favor No. 7 Heritage Hills. The Patriots host a five-win Charlestown team before potentially getting a rematch at No. 15 Southridge in the semifinals. Whoever advances from that three-team block is the projected favorite in the championship.

Class 2A

Sectional 40

Game 1: North Posey (7-1) at Perry Central (4-4)

Game 2: Mater Dei (2-6) at Tell City (5-3)

Game 3: Mitchell (2-6) at Forest Park (5-3)

Game 4: Crawford County (0-8) at Paoli (7-1)

Quick analysis: North Posey will be on the road to start the postseason, but there could be plenty of eyes in the semifinals if the No. 4 Vikings meet Mater Dei at Reitz Bowl after meeting the past two years in the championship. Mater Dei won't have an easy start though with a trip to Tell City. Also keep an eye on No. 12 Paoli in the bottom half of the draw.

Class 1A

Sectional 48

Game 1: Springs Valley (7-1) at South Spencer (3-5)

Game 2: Providence (8-0) at Eastern Greene (4-4)

Game 3: North Daviess (4-4) at Tecumseh (0-8)

Game 4: West Washington (5-3) at Game 1 winner

Quick analysis: No. 4 Providence and No. 11 Springs Valley are the favorites in this field. It could mean a tough first round for South Spencer with a visit from the latter. Tecumseh has struggled following a 10-win season but gets a home game to start the postseason.