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
The Trojans controlled the game from the start and cruised to a 24-7 opening
“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
“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
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
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
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
“It was one of the first goal line stands I’ve seen here in a while,” Snyder
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
“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
“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).
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)