Chesterton Tribune



CHS Football beats Penn 20-14 in Sectional opener

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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.

Snyder, normally 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 better.

“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 nervous.”

With quarterback 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.

Chesterton (5-4) 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.”

Mullen was 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 with him.”

Troy, who had three catches for 49 yards, had fumbled on the previous drive after taking a hard hit.

“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 huge.”

Westmoreland had 11 catches for 107 yards and a TD with 39 yards of it coming on his first-quarter TD.

“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 play.”

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 semifinal game.

“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 sports.”

IHSAA Sectional


Chesterton 20, Penn 14


Penn 0 7 0 7 -- 14

Chesterton 7 0 7 6 -- 20


First Quarter

C -- Jackson Westmoreland 39 pass from Chris Mullen (Jackson Syren kick), 1:09

Second Quarter

P -- Kyle Riffel 1 run (Ryan Majerek kick), 10:28

Third Quarter

C -- Mullen 35 run (Syren kick), 4:28

Fourth Quarter

P -- Riffel 1 run (Majerek kick), 9:07

C -- Ethan Troy 41 pass from Mullen, 4:00



First Downs 16 18

Rushes-Yards 43-233 33-191

Passing 12-19-1 18-25-2

Passing Yards 146 191

Total Yards 379 382

Penalties-Yards 4-40 2-15

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-1


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 McElfresh 1-14.


Posted 11/2/2020




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