Noblesville's head coach Lance Scheib knew the odds. With a one in three chance of drawing unbeaten Carmel, the state's top team in Class 6A, in the first-round of a four-team sectional. He was hoping for one outcome - the road not traveled at all.

"Any time you play at home, you're happy," Scheib remarked on his team's first-round sectional matchup. "Everybody in the north realizes the state championship runs through Carmel, and we get the first shot at them."

The Millers (5-3) were picked as the home team during the Indiana High School Athletic Association's blind draw on Sunday night to determine sectional pairings for the football state tournament.

The random selection pits them against the Greyhounds (8-0) to open Sectional 4 while Fishers (6-2) hosts rival Hamilton Southeastern (3-5) in the other semifinal.

"You're playing for keeps now. You're just trying to survive and advance. I think it's easier to do that at home then on the road," Scheib said. "We feel the nine games we play have prepared us for Week 10, and that's how we approach it."

The last time Noblesville and Carmel played in the IHSAA football postseason, the Greyhounds won 41-0 at home on Oct. 24, 2008. It was in the first round of the sectional.

Noblesville last defeated Carmel 27-12 on Nov. 3, 2000, winning its last sectional title. The road win was a notch en route to a 12-2 finish, its first regional since 1979 and a Class 5A semistate appearance.

Against, Carmel the mission is simple. The Millers will need to focus on stopping the run and find a way to put points on the board.

"They're No. 1 for a reason. They are incredible on defense," Scheib said. "Whenever we play a team, I look at two things. I look at how well do they run and how many points they give up in a game. That tells me a lot."

Fishers is 2-1 against HSE in the postseason and a front-runner with Avon (6-2, 4-1) to win the Hoosier Crossroads Conference this season.

HSE leads the Mudsock series 7-5 since 2006, but Fishers has won the last three meetings, including 42-7 win in 2012 sectional. This season, the Tigers dominated the Royals 41-10 in the regular season.



Class 5A Sectional 11

The Class 5A Westfield Shamrock's return to state will begin against McCutcheon in the Sectional 11 semifinals. A four-team sectional, all four teams will enjoy a bye week to start the postseason while all first-round games begin on Oct. 24.

For the Shamrocks, the playoffs are scheduled to start on Halloween night. The last time McCutcheon beat Westfield was on Oct. 3, 2008. The Shamrocks lost 14-9 on the road in regular season and finished year with a 1-9 record.

While down from their 12-2 record of 2013, the Shamrocks are 4-4 entering the final week of the regular season and will utilize the extra week of preparation to game plan against unbeaten McCutcheon (8-0), who is a perfect 4-0 against 5A foes this year.

Kokomo (5-3) and Harrison (West Lafayette) (5-3) play in the other semifinal game.



Class 3A Sectional 30

The Hamilton Heights Huskies saw their season end to Indian Creek (8-0) last year in sectional. Falling to them in the semifinals 34-27, they will get their chance at redemption in the first round.

Once again traveling to the Braves' homefield, the Huskies (6-2) are averaging an impressive 30.4 points per game and surrendering 12.6. Indian Creek, which is scoring nearly 51 points per game, has allowed more than 14 points only once this year.

The winner between Hamilton Heights and Indian Creek will face the victory between Marshall (3-5) and Rushville (3-5). In the bottom of the bracket, Guerin Catholic (5-3) opens the postseason against Lawrenceburg (6-2).

Lawrenceburg and Guerin have no prior meetings. Guerin has won three sectional titles (2010, '11, and '13) the past four years.

Lawrenceburg is 3-0 vs. 3A Sectional 30 foes (Greensburg, Batesville and Rushville). The winner between Greensburg (0-8) and Batesville (6-2) feeds into Guerin's semifinal.



Class A Sectional 44

It's been two years since Sheridan has hoisted a sectional trophy. More expectation then celebration the past four decades, the Blackhawks will earn the program's 20th overall against a competitive field in Sectional 44.

Coach Larry "Bud" Wright's team opens with Tindley (4-4) at home on Oct. 24 and is scheduled to host the next round against Clinton Central (4-4), if they advance. Clinton Central drew a bye and an automatic semifinal berth.

Sheridan beat Clinton Central 42-12 this year at home on Sept. 19, but the real threat is in the other half of the bracket where No. 7 Tri-Central roams.

The Trojans (7-1) face Clinton Prairie (2-6) first, followed by the winner between Indiana Deaf (7-1) and Indianapolis Shortridge (6-2).