Will it be deja vu all over again, or will it be the same ol' same ol'?
That is the question that Lake Central coach Brett St. Germain was pondering Sunday night.
The IHSAA released the pairings for the 41st state football tournament and Lake Central will host Crown Point in the first Class 6A sectional in Indiana history.
Last year L.C. beat the rival Bulldogs 27-7 in the regular season and lost 21-14 in the sectional. This year the Indians beat the Bulldogs 23-0 on Sept. 13.
"I don't know if I'm different from other coaches but I'm not sitting by the T.V. worrying about it," L.C. coach Brett St. Germain said. "You have no control over it."
There is a state-record 322 teams playing in this year's tourney. Sectional play will begin on Oct. 25, with the sectional championship played on Nov. 8 in classes 1A through 5A.
Class 6A has teams from the 32 largest schools in the state and the sectionals have four teams in each field. The sectional final will be played on Nov. 1 in 6A, with regional games on Nov. 8.
The semistate will take place on Nov. 15 in 6A, with the winners taking a two-week break before the state finals.
In the other classes the semistate games will take place on Nov. 22. The six state championships will be held the weekend after Thanksgiving at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the tournament sponsor Colts.
Merrillville (7-1) will host Lafayette Jeff (1-7) on the other side of L.C.-C.P.
"You lost our best player (David Yancey) last year when we played (C.P.) in the sectional and that affected the quality of our team," St. Germain said. "Crown Point's a good football team and they've made a lot of strides in recent weeks.
"We hope to stay healthy this Friday and we'll have to be ready to play a good football team when the sectional starts."
In one of the area's toughest and most interesting sectionals around, Class 4A Sectional 17, Lowell will travel to West Side in the opener. The Cougars are averaging 54 points a game.
The Red Devils are allowing 11.38 points a game. Something will have to give, right?
"It's going to come down to stopping their passing game and scoring some points, work to take a lot of time off the clock and keep their offense off the field," Lowell coach Keith Kilmer said. "They can score at any time from what I understand.
"It's neat to see their resurgence, they're having a good season and their numbers are up. That's good. It's going to be a challenge, that's for sure."
Lowell, winners of six straight games will play Class 3A No. 1 Andrean Friday for the Northwest Crossroads Conference championship. The 59ers will host Knox in the Sectional 25 opener.
Class 2A No. 6 Rensselaer will host Bishop Noll in the sectional opener.