By TR HARLAN
Don’t let an upset take the luster off a big showdown.
Last Friday night’s stunning Michigan City victory over Lake Central, may
have knocked a battle of unbeaten off the record books, but it hasn’t
stopped the intrigue.
“The hype of the game was that both teams would come in undefeated,”
Chesterton coach John Snyder said. “Even though they lost last week, they
are still an outstanding football team. The game still has a huge impact on
the conference standings.
“Both us and Merrillville are undefeated, so it’s a must win for them if
they want to win the conference title.”
The Chesterton football team will put its 6-0 record on the line tonight
against the 5-1 Indians at Lake Central with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
“They’re upset and it’s their homecoming,” Snyder said. “And they don’t like
us. This will be the most physical game our kids have ever played in.”
That could be a problem for a Chesterton offensive line that has struggled
with physicality lately.
“I’m not asking our offensive line to overpower them and put them on their
backs,” Snyder said. “But, we can’t catch them and take the brunt of the
hit. They blitz a lot from everywhere. We can’t be flat-footed and just take
their best punch.”
Offensively, the Trojans will have to find a way to create time for
quarterback Chris Katsafaros to find some receivers to backoff an
ultra-aggressive LC defense.
“We have to give our quarterback and fullback some spacing to give ourselves
a chance to run the option or whatever we can do offensively,” Snyder said.
“It will be a huge test. This is the best defensive front our kids have seen
and Gelen Robinson may be the best defensive lineman I’ve seen other than
maybe (current Green Bay Packer) Michael Neal.”
Michigan City made a few big plays last week in the passing game and that
may be the Trojans best chance to put points on the board.
“Offensively, we have to try to create some mismatches with our receivers,”
Snyder said. “I think they are as good as anybody and Michigan City had
three big pass plays that set up touchdowns last week. With Matt Holba, it
gives us an advantage and so does Joe Troop’s speed.
“LC’s theory is that they’ll get to your quarterback with their blitz before
you can get the ball down the field to a receiver.”
Defensively, the Trojans focus will be David Yancy.
“Defensively, we have to key off of (David) Yancy,” Snyder said. “They also
have a quarterback that can run and some quick receivers, but Yancy is the
key. You have to account for him in every play, run or pass.
“Their fullback pounds blocking-wise at the point of attack and that’s what
gives them a chance to break some big plays.”
Friday night’s game could resemble last Friday night against Portage for the
Trojans. At least, that’s what Snyder is hoping for.
“I would like to think that it will be very similar to last Friday against
Portage,” Snyder said. “That our defense will contain them and our offense
can do just enough to get the victory. We’ll need our special teams to make
some big plays like we did last week.”
Chesterton at Lake Central
Chesterton wins if: The Trojans can’t lose the field position battle with
turnovers and special teams mistakes. Defensively, Chesterton has to force
Lake Central to go the length of the field and not give up big plays. The
Trojans have to put first downs together and hit some big plays as well.
Lake Central wins if: The Indians can wear down the Trojans. LC is big and
physical and creates a lot of turnovers by putting pressure on the
quarterback. If the Indians win the field position battle and have a
short-filled offensively, it could be a long night for the Trojans.