Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton Football opens season with 24-7 win over SB St. Joseph's

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Not only did the Chesterton football team survive against Class 3A No. 2 South Bend St. Joseph’s Friday night, they passed the test with flying colors.

The Trojans controlled the game from the start and cruised to a 24-7 opening night victory.

“I’m very happy,” Chesterton coach John Snyder said. “This St. Joe team is really good. I admire where their program is at and the success they’ve had. That’s what we’re trying to get to.”

St. Joe took the opening kickoff and put together an 11-play drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock behind the right arm of junior quarterback Matt Monserez. Monserez would complete 22-of-37 passes on the night for 210 yards.

“He’s good,” Snyder said. “We knew they’d throw the ball some based on what we saw on tape and he was accurate.”

St. Joe took the ball all the way down to the Chesterton 10-yard line, but came away empty which proved to be the theme for the night.

“I was very happy defensively,” Snyder said. “We expect those guys defensively to make big plays for us. We knew that would be a strength coming in and they’ll keep us in games when the offense doesn’t play well.

“At this point, it looks like they are what we thought.”

The Trojans got a couple of first down on their first possession, but didn’t look sharp as the Indians forced a punt.

“First game jitters a little bit I think,” Snyder said.

The Trojans forced the first of three St. Joe turnovers on the next possession as Ryley Harlow popped the ball free and Kevin Fekete recovered it.

The Trojans again were forced to punt, and after forcing a St. Joe punt, finally got the offense going.

Quarterback Chris Katsafaros found Harlow over the middle for 16 yards up the middle, but Harlow fumbled into the end zone where Trojan Mitch Kobitz was there to recover it for six points. Freshman Nate Needham added the extra point.

The Trojan defense made two more stops and Katsafaros engineered a nine-play drive that resulted in a 27-yard field goal by Needham and a 10-0 Chesterton lead at halftime.

“Offensively we did what we wanted,” Snyder said. “I thought we wore them out and things started to get a little easier. That was the game plan coming in.”

The Trojans were forced to punt on their first possession after halftime, but the defense came away with another big stop.

St. Joe moved the ball down to the Chesterton six-yard line and couldn’t pop the ball in after three tries. The 20-yard field goal attempt was blocked by AJ Snyder.

“It was one of the first goal line stands I’ve seen here in a while,” Snyder said.

The Trojans immediately took the ball the other way with a seven-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass from Katsafaros to Matt Holba from eight yards out for a 17-0 lead.

The Trojans had a chance to blow the game wide open early in the fourth quarter when a 14-play drive resulted in no points thanks in part to three penalties.

“We had three touchdowns come off the board with penalties and then didn’t score, that’s disappointing and something we’ll have to fix,” Snyder said.

Chesterton pushed the lead to 24-0 with 2:11 to play when Joe Troop scampered 74 yards around left end for a touchdown. Troop finished the night with 12 carries for 127 yards, while Katsafaros rushed for 119 yards on 17 carries.

“For the most part, I thought we spread the ball around pretty well,” Snyder said. “We can’t just be a one or two-man show with Chris and Joe. We have to have other guys involved.”

St. Joe would return the ensuing kickoff to the Chesterton 22-yard line setting up their only score with 10.4 seconds left.

“I was most disappointed with the kickoff return,” Snyder said. “We made a good squib kick and we have to cover it and make a tackle. If we do, they probably aren’t in a position to score and we get the shut out.”

The Trojans allowed 301 yards of offense (91 rushing, 210 passing) to St. Joe, while accumulating 402 themselves (315 rushing, 87 passing).

Chesterton 24, SB St. Joseph’s 7



First Downs 13 18

Rushes-yards 26-91 46-315

Passing yards 210 87

Comp-Att-Int 22-37-2 9-21-0

Total Yards 301 402

Penalties-yards 4-40 8-47

Punts-avg. 4-27.3 4-28.5

Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-0


SB St. Joseph’s 0 0 0 7 -- 7

Chesterton 0 10 7 7 -- 24


C -- Mitch Kobitz fumble recovery (Nate Needham kick)

C -- Needham 27 fg

C -- Matt Holba 8 pass from Chris Katsafaros (Needham kick)

C -- Joe Troop 74 run (Needham kick)

SBSJ -- Ryan Jankowski 1 run (Brendan Connelly kick)



Posted 8/20/2012