6 sectional doors from Evansville to look at

EVANSVILLE, Indiana – A championship-level matchup is held each year in the first round of high school football. Just maybe not this year in Southwest Indiana.

Every team is at the mercy of the blind draw. With one notable exception, there haven’t been too many complaints about how the brackets unfolded. It should result in many quality semi-final or league games over the next two weeks.

That doesn’t mean that the first round is without potential gems. We’re blessed with two fights between SIAC and PAC, as well as an interesting top 10 matchup. Here are six games in the Evansville area to keep an eye on Friday night.

Indiana High School Soccer:Courier & Press Power Rankings as of the end of the regular season

Gibson Southern's Tanner Boyd (10) eludes tackle by Boonville's Reece Wilder (22) during their game at Bennett Field in Boonville, Indiana Friday night, October 14, 2022.

3A Section 30: Vincennes Lincoln (4-5) on No. 2 Gibson Southern (9-0)

The defending champion does not have the easiest start. Vincennes was one of the top teams in SIAC in early September but finished with four losses in five games. Junior quarterback Xander Hunt is one of the best playmakers in Southwest Indiana. The Titans, who are enjoying their fifth undefeated regular season in program history, know stopping him is number one on the game plan. Gibson’s forte was running the ball between the trio of Devan Roberts (1,166 yards and 17 TD), Tanner Boyd and Sean DeLong.

This will mark the 20th meeting in series history that the Titans have won the last four postseason meetings. Vincennes last won a section in 2019.

Mater Dei's Drew Martin (22) runs the ball as the Reitz Panthers play the Mater Dei Wildcats for the West Side Nut Club Trophy on Friday night, October 14, 2022 at the Reitz Bowl in Evansville, Indiana.  Reitz won, 14- 7.

2A Section 40: No. 10 Perry Central (8-1) at No. 6 Mater Dei (6-3)

Getting back to Lucas Oil Stadium isn’t easy for the Wildcats. Perry Central, the PLAC champion, placed fifth in Class 2A with 40.6 points per game. The reason for the success is simple: the Commodores will lead the ball. Junior Sawyer Guillaume is well over 1,000 yards and set the single-game school record with 310 against Mitchell on Friday. The Wildcats counter with a fourth-ranked 2A defense at 12.6 ppg and an offense led by senior quarterback Mason Wunderlich (18 touchdowns).

This will be the first meeting between Mater Dei and Perry Central. The Wildcats have won three straight titles. The Commodores last won a section in 2010.

Boonville's Clay Conner (6) throws against Gibson Southern during their game at Bennett Field in Boonville, Indiana Friday night, October 14, 2022.

4A Section 24: Boonville (6-3) at Harrison (3-6)

This is one of the more intriguing round one matchups. The Warriors play a tough schedule but own a notable away win against No. 12 Jasper. The offense has averaged 25.7 points over the past three games with the introduction of dual-threat quarterback DeShawnDre Brown. Boonville is the paper favorite with a strong senior class and multiple playmakers. Clay Conner (20 total touchdowns) and Reece Wilder (929 yards, 13 scores) can score anywhere. This game could also have 2018 Sectional Scare vibes against bosses if the Pioneers aren’t careful.

This is the seventh meeting in series history and the first since 2019. Boonville last won a section title in 2004 and Harrison in 2015.

Tecumseh's Chase Jones (25) runs for a touchdown while Forest Park's Jaxon Lueken (3) tries to catch him during their game at Tecumseh High School on Friday night, September 9, 2022.

1A Section 48: South Spencer (5-4) at #5 Tecumseh (8-0)

A preview of what’s to come when Tecumseh officially joins the PAC in soccer next season. The Braves earned their first undefeated regular season since 2008, but are walking away with a bye after Rock Creek Academy previously had to resign due to low numbers. The Braves are 10th in Class A in both scoring (41.0) and defense (16.4 points allowable). Chase Jones has 1,393 rushing yards and 24 total touchdowns. South Spencer has won four of their last five games, averaging 40.3 points in those wins. Can the Rebels slow down the Braves’ offense?

This will be the 42nd meeting in the history of the series, but the first since 2006. The last section title for both came in 2003.

Mount Vernon's Nicot Burnett (8) passes the ball as the Mount Vernon Wildcats play North Posey Vikings on Friday night, October 7, 2022.

3A Section 30: No. 8 Owen Valley (9-0) at Mount Vernon (5-4)

Which Mount Vernon team will show up? If it’s the one from the first half of the season, the Wildcats have a chance. Nicot Burnett and company averaged 47 points during a four-game winning streak. What followed was a three-game losing streak against the scheduler’s heart. Owen Valley is enjoying one of its best two-year stretches in program history, having won the leg last year. Senior quarterback Brody Lester has 1,777 yards and 23 touchdowns and senior running back Christian McDonald has 1,037 yards with 20 scores.

This is the first meeting in the series. Mount Vernon last won a section title in 2007.

Southridge's O'Ryan Curry (10) runs the ball as the Southridge Raiders play the Gibson Southern Titans on Friday night, September 16, 2022 at Southridge High School in Huntingburg, Indiana.

3A Section 32: North Harrison (7-2) on No. 10 Southridge (8-1)

Time to see again if the betting against Scott Buening holds true. A visit from the Cougars could be one of the tougher games of this period for the Raiders. North Harrison features a running game led by Sawyer Wetzel (1,675 yards and 16 touchdowns) and David Langdon (929 total yards, 10 rushing scores). However, the identity of this Southridge team is defense. The Raiders allowed just eight points per game, eighth in the state regardless of class. Also look out for Hudson Allen (1,178 passing yards with 11 touchdowns) or Reid Schroeder (15 rushing touchdowns).

Southridge has won all three postseason meetings against North Harrison, who has never won a section title.

Follow Courier & Press sports reporter Kyle Sokeland on Twitter @kylesokeland.

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