Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Chesterton football opens sectional play tonight

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By TR HARLAN

They’ve talked all year about it and now it’s here.

The Chesterton football team opens IHSAA Sectional play as they play host to Michigan City tonight beginning at 7 p.m.

“All year, our kids have had a quiet confidence about themselves,” Chesterton coach John Snyder said. “Their focus is to win a Sectional Championship and you can’t do that if you don’t win this game.”

In Michigan City, the Trojans get a team they beat 55-0 in a week three match-up that opened Duneland Athletic Conference play.

“You can always look at the score from last time and think it’s an easy game. It’s not an easy game,” Snyder said. “This is a Michigan City team that beat Lake Central, who is our only loss. They are a very dangerous team and its always hard to beat a team twice.

“We have to come out from the start and play a really solid football game early.”

The teams were locked into a 0-0 tie after one quarter last time before the Trojan offense opened up.

“Last time we played, it was 0-0 after one quarter and they had a touchdown called back and we stopped them on the one-yard line,” Snyder said. “I don’t get the sense that our kids are overlooking them and I don’t feel like we feel any pressure either.

“We’re really trying to keep our kids focused more on us than who they are playing.”

The Wolves, who beat Lake Central earlier this year, will rely on a passing game that will present problems for the Trojans.

“I’m probably more worried about us defensively than anything else,” Snyder said. “The last two games, we’ve had teams throw for over 300 yards against us and that’s their strength. We can’t give up the big play. When you only rush three and don’t get to the quarterback, your coverage will eventually break down.

“Michigan City got their best receiver back so they have maybe the best receiving corps in the conference.”

The Trojans racked up nearly 400 yards on the ground the first time they played, but Snyder doesn’t know if that will happen again tonight.

“Defensively, they went from giving up 50 points a game to just 16 points a game the last four weeks,” Snyder said. “That’s a huge turn-around. They are big, physical and fast on defense. We’ll have to match them physically and be aggressive getting off the ball.”

The third phase of the game, special teams, may be Snyder’s biggest concern though.

“The biggest concern for me in the playoffs right now is our kicking game,” Snyder said. “I’m not worried about our kickers, I’m concerned about our coverage on kickoffs. That has to improved dramatically. We can’t keep giving up long returns.”

If the Trojans win, they would face the winner of Merrillville-Munster in the semifinals.

“The nice thing about a senior-laden group like this is that they’ve kind of put the regular season behind them,” Snyder said. “They understand that this is it. They know this is what they’ve talked about all off-season. This has been their goal all year. They know they have to put three weeks together starting right now.”

 

Posted 10/19/2012