Chesterton Tribune

Football beats Michigan City in Sectional opener

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By TR HARLAN

Just like old times.

After a waiting a month for a victory, the Chesterton football team looked much more like the team that vaulted to the top of the Duneland Athletic Conference standings than the one that ended the regular season losing four straight games.

The Trojans scored three first quarter touchdowns and advanced through the first round of the IHSAA Sectional with a 28-7 win at Michigan City.

Chesterton will host Merrillville, a 30-24 winner over Lake Central, next Friday night at 7 p.m.

“We’re excited to have a win,” Chesterton coach John Snyder said. “It’s been a month. It’s been a long dry spell while we battled with illnesses and injuries. We’ll see how we are coming out next week and give it another shot against Merrillville.”

After Joe Troop returned the opening kickoff to the Michigan City 44-yard line, the Trojans took just three plays to take a 7-0 lead. After Zac Jenks busted a 38-yard run, he finished the drive by going the final four yards for a touchdown.

After a punt, Troop set the Trojans up at the City 17-yard line and this time Chris Katsafaros scored from seven yards out for a 14-0 lead.

“We haven’t started very fast the last few games and we got off to one tonight,” Snyder said. “Joe (Troop) came up with a couple big returns in special teams and we got a couple of quick scores. That’s a great start for us and that’s what you want at this time of year.

“That’s what we did early in the year and it was nice to see it again.”

The lead grew to 21-0 as Katsafaros engineered a three-play drive that ended with the junior quarterback scampering 64 yards for a touchdown. Katsafaros rushed for 134 yards on 13 carries.

“Chris did a nice job tonight,” Snyder said. “They tried to take the ball out of his hands and he made some real nice reads to get the ball to some other people. When it was right to keep it, he did.”

City tried to get back into the game with a 15-play drive that drove them all the way to the Chesterton 23-yard line, but Wolves quarterback Joel Hirsch threw a fade route into the end zone where AJ Snyder was waiting.

Later, Kyle Schmidt would intercept Hirsch in the end zone with just 1:22 to play in the game.

“Michigan City has done a nice job of adding the passing game into the mix and we had a couple of kids make some nice plays in the end zone to stop drives,” Snyder said. “AJ and Kyle did a good job of positioning and battling for the ball.”

The Wolves scored on a 15-yard run by Hirsch with just 2:42 left in the half to cut the lead to 21-7, but it was the only score of the night for City.

“We had the nice goal-line stand defensively,” Snyder said. “We played hard and physical and that was nice to see. We have to keep stepping up to meet the level of the next opponent.”

The Trojans opened the third quarter on defense forcing a three-and-out and promptly moved the ball 61 yards in 13 plays before Jenks pounded the ball in from one yard out for a 28-7 lead.

“I thought Zac Jenks had a heckuva game,” Snyder said of Jenks 103-yard effort on 17 carries. “That was a huge senior effort he made on a couple of runs. “

Chesterton 28, Michigan City 7

AT MICHIGAN CITY

C MC

First Downs 15 17

Rushes-yards 39-294 39-170

Passing yards 20 102

Comp-Att-Int 3-6-1 6-20-2

Total Yards 314 272

Penalties-yards 2-10 4-35

Punts-avg. 2-47.5 3-33.0

Fumbles-lost 2-1 0-0

SCORING BY QUARTERS

Chesterton 21 0 7 0 -- 28

Michigan City 0 7 0 0 -- 7

INDIVIDUAL SCORING

C -- Zac Jenks 4 run (Kyle Schmidt kick)

C -- Chris Katsafaros 4 run (Schmidt kick)

C -- Katsafaros 64 run (Schmidt kick)

MC -- Joel Hirsch 15 run (Erik Stevenson kick)

C -- Jenks 1 run (Schmidt kick)

 

Posted 10/24/2011