Chesterton Tribune

 

 

CHS Football falls in Sectional final

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By CJ Peters

ELKHART -- Whether you believe in momentum or not, Chesterton appeared to have it on its side after three quarters of Friday’s Class 6A Sectional championship game at No. 5 Elkhart.

Ten yards from a potential two-score lead, the Trojans wound up losing yardage and turning the ball over to the Lions who had been held relatively quiet offensively having entered averaging 44.8 points per game.

Elkhart found points when it counted though as it capitalized on the interception with a nine-play drive ending in a TD that proved to be the difference-maker, winning 14-10.

Chesterton (5-5) remains in search of its first sectional title.

“We had our chances,” said Chesterton coach John Snyder, who was acting head coach for consecutive weeks. “I’m sure nobody thought we’d be in this game at all, let alone with a chance to win it. That’s a tribute to the kids, they have really done a great job practicing and they believed -- that’s half the battle.

“We talked about it all week -- we were underdogs (last week) against Penn and we were gonna be underdogs the rest of this tournament, so let’s play with that underdog mentality. Our kids fought hard.”

To no one’s surprise, Elkhart (9-0) took to the ground early and often, running 48 times for 252 yards, paced by 34 carries and 214 yards and a TD from Derrick Woods.

Perhaps uncharacteristically, Chesterton chose to employ a ball-control style of its own, totaling 33 carries for 173 yards.

“(Elkhart) is so explosive on offense that you have to be able to run some clock and have some success doing it, you can’t just do it, you gotta have success doing so,” Snyder said. “Running the ball hadn’t been a strength of ours throughout the year, but we kind of found some things. Linemen relish running the ball and took that to heart and told me ‘coach, we can do this’ and they did.”

“We were gonna run it as much as we could, but then you still gotta mix it up. No. 99 (Penn State commit and defensive end Rodney McGraw) is a difference maker and forces you to not run his way and then they do great things opposite of him.”

Colby Bullock was the bellcow for the Trojans with 16 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown, adding 17 yards on three catches.

“The game plan was to slow them down a little bit, keep the ball in our hands and try to run the clock and put some points on the board,” Bullock said. “I don’t think we were meant to be in that game based on where Elkhart was ranked and all that, but we played really well as a team. We knew how good they were and we knew were underdogs coming in and we just wanted to do our best.

“It’s a real tough one to swallow. We’ve never won a sectional before, so it’s kind of a loss for words to get that close.”

Snyder said Bullock is someone that Chesterton might have to find a way to feature more next year in what will be his senior season.

Also standing out for the Trojans was receiver Jackson Westmoreland (six catches for 66 yards) and Patrick McLaughlin (two interceptions).

On a team that potentially returns quarterback Chris Mullen, Westmoreland, and Ethan Troy, among others, the Trojans could be poised to make that next step in 2021.

“We have a nice balance of kids coming back,” Snyder said. “As disappointed as I am for the seniors, I guarantee our juniors are gonna be getting ready to go. It’s tough to replace great character kids, but hopefully our program is about building character and stepping on the field and giving our team a chance to win.

“It’s what coach Pete has preached and he’s changed the culture here because at one point it wasn’t as good as it needed to be. You change culture with great character kids and weed out ones that don’t go along and if you gotta dwindle then you do, but you go with the kids that you trust.”

Elkhart 14, Chesterton 10

AT ELKHART

SCORING BY QUARTERS

Chesterton 0 10 0 0 -- 10

Elkhart 7 0 0 7 -- 14

INDIVIDUAL SCORING

First Quarter

E -- Cameron Wiltfong 2 run (Naieem Bean kick), 6:04

Second Quarter

C -- Colby Bullock 1 run (Jackson Syren kick), 4:14

C -- Syren 36 field goal, 0:00

Fourth Quarter

E -- Derrick Woods 1 run (Bean kick), 6:44

TEAM STATISTICS

C E

First Downs 14 17

Rushes-Yards 33-173 48-252

Passing 9-22-1 4-10-2

Passing Yards 83 64

Total Yards 256 316

Penalties-Yards 9-75 6-40

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING -- CHESTERTON, Colby Bullock 16-139, Chris Mullen 13-21, Ethan Troy 2-10, Ethan Pickering 2-3. ELKHART, Derrick Woods 34-214, Cameron Wiltfong 10-28, Jaiven Sharp 2-10, Tyren Mason 2-0.

PASSING -- CHESTERTON, Mullen 9-22-1-83. ELKHART, Wiltfong 4-10-2-64.

RECEIVING -- CHESTERTON, Jackson Westmoreland 6-66, Bullock 3-17. ELKHART, Donovan Johnson 1-38, Donye Higgins 1-20, Woods 2-6.

 

Posted 11/9/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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