Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton football to take on LaPorte for Homecoming Friday

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By TR HARLAN

Head Coach John Snyder knows as the weather gets colder, the challenges get hotter.

Following Friday’s 48-14 victory at Michigan City, the Chesterton football team will look to go 2-0 in Duneland Athletic Conference play as they host LaPorte tomorrow night on Homecoming at CHS.

“We know the level of competition in the next 3-4 weeks dramatically increases for us,” Snyder said. Starting with LaPorte … they always give us a tough time.”

The Trojans have put up at least 28 points each week this season, but its been the change on the defensive side of the ball that has put CHS on a two-game winning streak.

“I think we’re doing a really good job defensively of getting off blocks,” Snyder said. “Julian (Raudry) and Dana (Konchar) did a really good job of being physical at Michigan City last week. As long as we force people back to them inside, I feel pretty confident in what we’re doing.”

Raudry and Konchar missed week one’s game against South Bend St. Joseph’s when the Trojans gave up more than 500 yards of offense. Since then, the Trojans have allowed just 300 yards in two games.

“In week one, we literally started 11 new guys on defense,” Snyder said. “The only returning guy was playing a different position. With Julian and Dana back, every gets to go back to the spots the played all summer.”

The Chesterton defense is giving up 5.42 yards per carry on the year and will be tested by the LaPorte offense.

“They are always one of the most physical teams we play,” Snyder said. “That’s no different this year because they are just trying to pound the ball at you on the ground. When I watched film, you start to recognize some of their tendencies just because Coach Schellinger has been there so long.

“Not a lot of things change, but a few things do. They line up in the “I” and like to run a lot of trap stuff.”

The biggest change that Snyder and the Trojans will see from the Slicers is their use of guys on both sides of the ball.

“The one thing that has changed this year is that they have 5-6 guys playing both ways,” Snyder said. “If we can match them physically, eventually they should wear down and take advantage of that.”

If the Chesterton defense forces LaPorte into a punting situation, they may be playing right into the Trojans’ biggest strength.

“We knew going into the year that special teams would be a strength and the neat thing that’s starting to happen is when they step on the field they know it’s a chance to score,” Snyder said. “It’s giving us some extra energy on defense, to make a big hit or to score some points.

“It’s great to have that threat.”

Offensively, the Trojans have been very versatile with three players carrying the ball for more than 200 yards through three games.

“We’ve been trying very hard to not showcase one type of player on offense,” Snyder said. “With the option, it’s always what the defense gives you. Joe (Troop) and Adam (Lara) have made some big plays and can anytime. Chris (Katsafaros) has been able to do some things with his feet too.

“And if you take away the perimeter, Zac’s (Jenks) been running well inside and pounding it at people.”

The Slicer defense could cause the Chesterton offense some problems though.

“LaPorte’s front four is as athletic as I’ve seen in quite a while,” Snyder said. “They do a lot of moving around and that means they are going to run themselves out of a play, it’s a big gain for us. If they run themselves into a play, it’s a big stop for them.

“If they take those chances and guess wrong, it could be a good night for us.”

If the Trojans struggle running the ball, it may come down to the arm of Katsafaros. The junior signal caller is 16-of-39 on the year for 238 yards.

“We aren’t going to be able to rely on deep completions in the passing game every week,” Snyder said. “We have to become more consistent in our short-passing game. People are going to load the box on us and we have to be able to get the ball out to the perimeter.”

 

 

Posted 9/8/2011