Chesterton Tribune

Late field goal dooms CHS in season opener

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The Chesterton football team had plenty of opportunities to beat Class 3A No. 6 South Bend St. Joseph’s Friday night in the season-opener for both teams, but just couldn’t put it away.

The host Indians got a 20-yard field goal from Alec Fullenkamp with 15 seconds to play for a 30-28 come-from-behind victory.

“I’m really upset to be honest with you,” Chesterton coach John Snyder said. “We had a chance to put this game away on offense and defense and we didn’t step up. There was no emotion or anything on the field or the sidelines.

“Where does the leadership come from? They should be excited and neither unit put it away.”

The Trojans held a 28-14 lead with 10:47 to play in the game after Joe Troop scored on 54 and 53 yard runs.

“Two touchdown lead against a team like that, you can’t let them back in the game,” Snyder said.

And yet that’s just what the Trojans did.

St. Joe used just six plays and less than two minutes of clock to cut the lead in half as David Arsenault scored his third touchdown of the game from 15 yards out. Arsenault gained 156 yards on 13 carries in the game as the Indians racked up 508 yards of offense on the night.

“We’re up two touchdowns and we let them drive right down the field in a very short amount of time,” Snyder said. “That can’t happen. We had one returning starter on defense and he wasn’t playing the same position. I’m a little concerned about that.”

The Trojans were forced into a three-and-out giving the ball back to the Indians and they wasted little time. Ray Kowalski broke free from 56 yards away on the fourth play of the series to pull St. Joe within one point after a missed PAT, 28-27.

Chesterton took over with 4:38 to play and Snyder decided to go for it on fourth and one at his own 29-yard line. Katsafaros picked up four yards and it seemed gave all the momentum to the Trojans to close it out.

Another first down run by Troop pushed the ball near midfield at the 46. A five-yard run by Katsafaros was called back on a personal foul late hit penalty by the Trojans.

“Stupid penalty late in the game took us from a short-yardage situation to a long-yardage situation,” Snyder said. “We had the ability to run out the clock there. We hit a kid late right in front of the referee clearly after the whistle.”

After a low snap on third down, the Trojans were forced to punt the ball away with 1:17 to play. Schmidt’s punt was picked up by Arsenault and returned 36 yards back to the Trojans 43-yard line.

“You’d always like to punt it away from the guy,” Snyder said. “You have high school kids and his focus was to get it off. You punt the ball away and you cover it. We didn’t and they get a big return. You have to cover and tackle.”

Chesterton threw two hail mary passes that were batted down to end the game.

“I’m disappointed offensively and defensively that we couldn’t put the game away,” Snyder said. “We had a chance on both sides to do it and didn’t get it done.”

The Trojans took the game’s opening kickoff and marched right down the field on a 10-play, 60-yard drive that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Chris Katsafaros. Zac Jenks did most of the work on the drive carrying the ball five times.

On the day, the Trojans gained 335 yards on the ground led by Troop with 148 yards on nine carries. Katsafaros carried the rock 17 times for 95 yards and Jenks gained 85 yards on 20 carries.

“Chris made plays like I thought he would,” Snyder said. “He has to learn that there are three options on plays, not just him. We literally called a couple plays over again because he missed a read, but I was happy with the way he played.

“He made people miss and created some things just like we thought he could.”

After St. Joe responded with a 63-yard touchdown run by Arsenault tied the score at 7-all, the Trojans punted and immediately got a turnover as Kevin Fekete stripped quarterback Nick Carmola of the ball and Andrew Ralph recovered.

Chesterton went on a 10-play drive, but Kyle Schmidt’s 32-yard field goal was blocked.

St. Joe took advantage with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in Arsenault’s second touchdown of the game and a 14-7 Indian lead.

The Trojans tied the score heading into halftime as Katsafaros led a 12-play, 72-yard drive that he finished himself with a three-yard scamper around left end.

SB St. Joseph’s 30, Chesterton 28



First Downs 16 19

Rushes-yards 47-335 35-332

Passing yards 33 176

Comp-Att-Int 3-11-0 12-18-0

Total Yards 368 508

Penalties-yards 7-45 3-20

Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-1


Chesterton 7 7 7 7 -- 28

SB St. Joseph’s 7 7 0 16 -- 30


C -- Chris Katsafaros 2 run (Kyle Schmidt kick)

SBSJ -- David Arsenault 63 run (Alec Fullenkamp kick)

SBSL -- Arsenault 3 run (Fullenkamp kick)

C -- Katsafaros 4 run (Schmidt kick)

C -- Joe Troop 53 run (Schmidt kick)

C -- Troop 54 run (Schmidt kick)

SBSJ -- Arsenault 15 run (Fullenkamp kick)

SBSJ -- Ray Kowalski 57 run (kick failed)

SBSJ -- Fullenkamp 20 fg


Posted 8/22/2011