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  • Val T.

Patriotic duty: Rochester to visit Seeger for sectional opener

Valley heading to Peru; Caston, Culver, Pioneer to host


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The Rochester football team has never played Seeger before, but that will change when the postseason begins.

Culver also drew a historically unfamiliar opponent.

Meanwhile, Tippecanoe Valley, Caston and Pioneer drew opponents they played earlier this season.

This was according to the IHSAA draw, which was released Sunday.

The regular season ends for Indiana high school teams this Friday, and sectionals will be held Oct. 21, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4. Regionals are Nov. 11, semistates are Nov. 18, and the state championship games will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Nov. 25-26.

Tickets for all sectional games are $7.

Here is more on the draw:

Class 2A, Sectional 34: Rochester

After playing their sectional opener at home from 2015-21, the No. 9 Zebras drew the longest possible road trip when they visit Seeger on Oct. 21 in a Class 2A, Sectional 34 quarterfinal.

Seeger, which is located approximately 105 miles away from Rochester on South Indiana 263 in West Lebanon, is 6-2 and has won six straight games. They clinched a share of the Wabash River Conference with a 19-15 road win over South Vermillion Friday.

Coach T.J. Ragan took over at Seeger after Herb King took the Fountain Central coaching job and has guided the Patriots to more wins this season than all of last season (five).

However, Seeger has not played a Class 3A team, and five of their wins are over Class 1A teams. By comparison, Rochester will play four Class 3A teams during the regular season, and they have already beaten two of those 3A teams (Knox, Peru).

Seeger has not won a sectional title since its state title-winning season in 2004. Rochester is seeking its first sectional crown since 2000.

The Rochester-Seeger winner will play the Benton Central-Delphi winner in the semifinals. Rochester would travel to Benton Central or host Delphi if they beat Seeger. Rochester has never played Benton Central either. Benton Central defeated Delphi 20-14 on Aug. 19.

In the other half of the draw, Winamac will travel to No. 6 Lafayette Central Catholic with the winner to play No. 15 Lewis Cass. Lafayette Central Catholic beat Winamac 37-32 in the 2020 regional at Winamac in their most recent meeting.

Lewis Cass, who has lost three straight games since a 5-0 start, received a bye.

A potential Lafayette Central Catholic-Rochester game in the sectional final would be played at Rochester on Nov. 4.

Class 3A, Sectional 28: Tippecanoe Valley

No. 13 Valley, who is one win away from back-to-back undefeated regular seasons, will begin their quest for their first sectional title since 1992 when they travel to Peru on Oct. 21 in a Class 3A, Sectional 28 quarterfinal.

That will be a rematch of a Sept. 2 game that Valley won 41-22 at Smith-Bibler Memorial Field Home of Death Valley Football.

The Valley-Peru winner will meet the Guerin Catholic-Oak Hill winner in the semifinals. Guerin Catholic is ranked No. 12 with three of their four losses coming to Class 4A teams. Oak Hill is 8-0 and winning their games by an average margin of 39 points per game.

If Valley beats Peru, they are guaranteed to host their sectional semifinal game on Oct. 28.

In the other half of the draw, Indianapolis Chatard drew Northwestern, and Hamilton Heights drew Maconaquah. No. 5 Chatard (5-3) is the only one of those teams currently ranked, and their 15 state championships are the most in IHSAA football history.

Class 1A, Sectional 43: Caston

Caston has won nine games since the start of the 2015 season, and five of those wins have come against West Central, the team that Caston drew Sunday.

However, West Central beat Caston 26-8 in the season opener this year in Francesville. Caston will host the rematch on Oct. 21 in the sectional.

Caston (0-8) is seeking to avoid their third winless season in the last five years. They travel to Knox for their regular season finale this Friday.

The West Central-Caston winner will play the Frontier-Taylor winner in the semifinals. If Caston beats West Central, they would host Taylor or travel to Frontier.

Caston has never won a sectional title in football and have not reached a sectional final since 2011.

In the other half of the draw, the Tri-County-Tri-Central winner would play the Carroll (Flora)-North White winner in the semifinals. Carroll (Flora), a defending sectional champion, is 8-0 and ranked No. 5.

Class 1A, Sectional 41: Culver, Pioneer

In the midst of a three-game winning streak and coming off their first ever win over Pioneer, the Cavaliers will host North Newton in a Class 1A, Sectional 41 quarterfinal on Oct. 21.

This will be Culver’s first ever meeting against North Newton. The Spartans are 0-7 and have been shut out three times. North Newton coach Scott Rouch is a former state championship-winning softball coach at Lewis Cass.

North Newton moved down from Class 2A to Class 1A due to decreased enrollment in the latest cycle. North Newton’s three sectional titles in their history (1987, 1993, 2017) all came in Class 2A.

The North Newton-Culver winner will play the Bowman Academy-South Central (Union Mills) winner in the semifinals. If Culver beats North Newton, they would travel to Bowman Academy or host South Central. Culver beat South Central 32-16 on Aug. 26.

In the bottom half of the draw, Pioneer will host Triton, and South Newton will host North Judson.

The Triton-Pioneer game will be a rematch of their Sept. 23 Hoosier North game, which Triton won at home 35-12. Pioneer lost to Culver 28-8 Friday and is in the midst of their first four-game losing streak since 1995.

Pioneer’s loss to Triton on Sept. 23 was their first ever loss to Triton.

North Judson (7-1) is ranked No. 3 and coming off its first loss to LaVille in overtime Friday. They are the defending regional champion.



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