Rensselaer Central fans may not have to wait as long for a Bomber/Andrean match-up this fall.
If the Bombers (5-3) can get by rival North Newton (5-3) in the first round of Class 2A Sectional 33, Andrean, which opens the playoffs at home against Wheeler, will likely be waiting in Merrillville in week two.
RCHS has played Andrean in the last two Sectional 33 championship games, losing both times in Merrillville. Those games came in week three of the playoffs, but the stage Is set for the teams to square off in week two this year.
The Bombers handed North Newton its 21st straight loss in the series between the two teams by a 35-8 final on Aug. 27. The Spartans’ lone touchdown came on an 85-yard kick-off return by Lane Zander.
RCHS senior running back Dylan Kidd had four touchdowns.
Next week’s game will mark the second time in three years in which North Newton faced RCHS in a sectional playoff setting.
Andrean, meanwhile, is ranked No. 3 in the Class 2A coaches poll behind Fort Wayne Luers and Eastbrook. The 59ers (6-2) did not face Wheeler (5-2) during the regular season.
In other Sectional 33 games, Hammond Noll (1-5) travels to Boone Grove (1-5) and Whiting (2-6) will play at Bowman Academy (0-7).
Kankakee Valley (3-5) earned a favorable first-round game in the Class 4A Sectional 18 playoffs, with South Bend Riley (1-4) traveling to Wheatfield on Oct. 22.
The winner of that game will face either South Bend St. Joseph (2-6) or Logansport (5-2) in round two.
Facing off on the other side of the bracket are Plymouth (0-8) at sectional favorite New Prairie (7-1) and Culver Academy (6-2) at South Bend Clay (0-7).
New Prairie is the defending sectional champion.
In the two Class A sectionals, Clinton Prairie (4-3) and Clinton Central (2-6) will kick off the Sectional 42 playoffs, with Traders Point Christian (4-4) to travel to North White (3-3). Frontier (1-7) will face tournament favorite Carroll (6-2).
Tri-County (0-7) will rest the first week and will face the winner of the Clinton Prairie/Clinton Central contest in week two.
This sectional was won by Lafayette Central Catholic last year, but the Knights were bumped to 2A due to the success factor.
In Sectional 41, upstart South Newton (4-4) faces Culver Community (2-4) on the road, with Caston (2-6) traveling to South Central (3-3), Winamac (6-0) heading to West Central (2-6) and Lake Station (2-4) hitting the road to face North Judson (6-2).
Winamac, which is ranked fourth in the Class A poll, is a heavy favorite to repeat as sectional champions.