Chesterton Tribune



CHS Football falls to Merrillville

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By CJ Peters

Behind a big-play passing attack and ferocious pass rush, Merrillville overwhelmed Chesterton on Friday night 34-10 in each teams’ final tune-up before sectionals.

“We just had too many miscues,” Chesterton coach Mark Peterson said. “Both on defense and offense and even on special teams -- we were able to get a field goal through but there were some miscues there, too. From that perspective, that’s a darn good football team (in Merrillville) and hats off to them, coach (Brad) Seiss is doing a great job.”

Merrillville quarterback Angel Nelson completed 10-of-12 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns -- two of which went for 50-plus yards.

JoJo Johnson led the Pirates dynamic receiving corps with five catches for 125 yards, followed by Paris Hewlett’s four for 88 yards and Marcus Hardy Jr.’s two catches and 87 yards. All three had touchdowns for the Pirates (7-1, 5-0 Duneland Athletic Conference), who racked up 444 total yards.

“They have some dudes,” Peterson said. “Having a group of players as speedy and talented as they are, that makes you have to be at a higher level of execution. I felt like we had some opportunities and while it was 34-10, we could have had 17, 20 points if we took advantage of some situations that we didn’t.

“That’s probably the best team we played all year, in a variety of ways. For us to still walk out of this thing with an understanding of where we’re at and where we need to improve, I feel good about our guys, but we can’t sit back and be satisfied by any means. We gotta raise the level of expectation amongst ourselves, both offensively and defensively.”

The Trojans (4-4, 4-2) scored their lone touchdown in the third quarter when Chris Mullen connected with Colby Bullock for a 24-yard TD. Bullock had eight catches for 62 yards and was matched in yardage by Mitch McElfresh whose lone catch set up Jackson Syren’s 21-yard field goal in the first quarter. Jackson Westmoreland added four grabs for 60 yards.

While Mullen threw for 233 yards, the junior struggled to find a rhythm for much of the night as the Pirates racked up eight sacks -- including five from Bowling Green commit Dierre Kelly.

“Mullen’s a great player,” Merrillville coach Brad Seiss said. “Not only does he hit his spots and make his throws, on top of that he’s kind of (Ben) Roethlisberger-esque in the way he’s moving around, but his eyes are up. That puts a lot of pressure on the cover guys because they gotta cover longer.”

Chesterton will have next Friday off before hosting Penn (5-4) in the first round of sectionals on Oct. 30.

“We really gotta focus on the little things,” Peterson said. “Penn is gonna be solid across the board -- they’re gonna be disciplined, have great execution, take care of the ball -- all of those things. Watching from afar and seeing stats, (quarterback Ronnie) Powlus has been doing a really good job down the stretch."

All four of Penn’s losses have come to teams ranked in the top five of their respective classes -- three of which were by less than four points.

Merrillville 34, Chesterton 10



Merrillville 13 0 7 14 -- 34

Chesterton 3 0 7 0 -- 10


First Quarter

M -- Lavarion Logan 2 run (Austin Pupek kick), 9:35

C -- Jackson Syren 21 field goal, 6:48

M -- Paris Hewlett 11 pass from Angel Nelson (Kick missed), 5:17

Third Quarter

C -- Colby Bullock 24 pass from Chris Mullen (Jackson Syren kick), 7:33

M -- JoJo Johnson 56 pass from Nelson (Pupek kick), 5:47

Fourth Quarter

M -- Logan 2 run (Pupek kick), 6:26

M -- Marcus Hardy Jr. 61 pass from Nelson (Pupek kick), 2:48



First Downs 12 10

Rushes-Yards 32-149 18-30

Passing 10-12-0 18-37-1

Passing Yards 295 233

Total Yards 444 263

Penalties-Yards 6-42 2-15

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0


RUSHING -- MERRILLVILLE, Paris Hewlett 5-76, Lavarion Logan 20-59, Phillip Roche 2-10, JoJo Johnson 2-4, Angel Nelson 3-0. CHESTERTON, Chris Mullen 15-18, Ethan Pickering 3-12.

PASSING -- MERRILLVILLE, Nelson 10-12-0-295. CHESTERTON, Mullen 18-37-1-233.

RECEIVING -- MERRILLVILLE, Johnson 4-125, Hewlett 4-88, Marcus Hardy Jr. 2-87. CHESTERTON, Colby Bullock 8-62, Mitch McElfresh 1-62, Jackson Westmoreland 4-60, Ethan Troy 3-30, Ethan Pickering 2-19.



Posted 10/19/2020




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