It had been awhile
since Chesterton’s John Snyder had been calling the shots on the sideline,
having led the Trojans for 12 years up until 2012.
the team’s offensive coordinator, moved from the press box to the sidelines
for Friday’s Class 6A sectional semifinal matchup with Penn, filling in for
usual head coach Mark Peterson.
Peterson was out
due to a positive COVID-19 test and has been reported to have been feeling
“I’m an old guy --
I’ve been there, done that,” Snyder said. “But to be perfectly honest with
you, it felt like the first game I’ve coached in a long time. I was
Chris Mullen hitting Ethan Troy for a fourth-down touchdown late in the
fourth quarter, the Trojans advanced to the sectional championship in the
20-14 win over the Kingsmen. It was the program’s first-ever win over Penn.
will play at No. 5/6 Elkhart (8-0) in next Friday’s sectional championship
at 6:30 p.m.
“I saw no quit in
them,” Snyder said. “It’s one of those things and I hate to use Notre Dame
as a reference, but Penn has a name, an aura about them, but as long as you
can stay in the ring and take those punches, you start to believe. We stayed
in the game and started to believe.
“I was nervous. I
just wanted to do the best I can for these kids and for Mark and the kids
made the plays, they really made the plays.”
18-for-25 on the night for 191 yards and a pair of scores to Jackson
Westmoreland and the aforementioned Troy. Mullen also ran 14 times for 88
yards, including a 35-yard score on a read-option play in the third quarter.
With the game tied
at 14 with less than five minutes to go, Mullen delivered his biggest throw
of the night hitting Troy for a 41-yard TD and the game-winner.
“I can’t even
describe how I feel right now,” Mullen said. “We practiced that play a lot.
It was there earlier in the play and I missed it and I didn’t wanna get
yelled at on the sideline, so I knew I had to put it there because (Ethan)
was still open the entire time.
“I wish I got to
use him more on offense. We don’t get to use him very much but when we do,
he’s a playmaker and being only a sophomore, hopefully we got some more time
Troy, who had three
catches for 49 yards, had fumbled on the previous drive after taking a hard
“That throw was
awesome, but the catch may have been better,” Snyder said of the Troy TD. “I
gotta give Ethan credit because he had just fumbled and had got his bell
rung, too. To come back and make that play in that scenario, man, that’s
Westmoreland had 11
catches for 107 yards and a TD with 39 yards of it coming on his
“We stressed that a
lot this week with situational plays and just trying to be smart with the
ball,” Mullen said. “It’s all about that chemistry with the receivers and
we’re trying to build it and build it every day.”
Penn (5-5) ran for
233 yards led by Kyle Riffel’s 30 carries for 179 yards and two scores, but
the Trojans defense bowed its neck with three forced turnovers. Dane Snemis
had an INT and Matt McCracken and Ethan Pickering had fumble recoveries --
the latter leading to the Westmoreland TD.
“To hold a Penn
team to 14 points, that’s outstanding,” Snyder said. “The running back ran
really hard and we were a little worried going into the game about that
since they’d been having such success there, but our kids came ready to
Standing in the way
of the program's first-ever sectional title will be Elkhart, a team
averaging 44.9 points per game after having walloped Portage 67-33 in its
“In this particular
time, any chance you get to play another game is icing on the cake so to
speak and the really neat thing for us is that it’ll be for a sectional
championship,” Snyder said. “With the way things are now, some teams aren’t
even getting to continue to play at all, so the fact we get a chance to play
for a championship is awesome. It’s great for our school.”
“To have our boys
and girls cross country, boys’ soccer team, all at state (this weekend) É
what a lot of fun it is right now for Chesterton high school and fall
Chesterton 20, Penn
SCORING BY QUARTERS
Penn 0 7 0 7 -- 14
Chesterton 7 0 7 6
C -- Jackson
Westmoreland 39 pass from Chris Mullen (Jackson Syren kick), 1:09
P -- Kyle Riffel 1
run (Ryan Majerek kick), 10:28
C -- Mullen 35 run
(Syren kick), 4:28
P -- Riffel 1 run (Majerek
C -- Ethan Troy 41
pass from Mullen, 4:00
First Downs 16 18
Passing Yards 146
Total Yards 379 382
RUSHING -- PENN,
Kyle Riffel 30-179, Nick Favilla 6-37, Ron Powlus 7-17. CHESTERTON, Chris
Mullen 14-88, Colby Bullock 6-56, Ethan Pickering 11-46, Ethan Troy 2-1.
PASSING -- PENN,
Powlus 12-19-1-146. CHESTERTON, Mullen 18-25-2-191.
RECEIVING -- PENN,
Favilla 7-56, Aidan Fisher 1-43, Riffel 2-35, Brady Sappenfield 1-12.
CHESTERTON, Jackson Westmoreland 11-107, Troy 3-49, Bullock 3-21, Mitch