Chesterton Tribune



Trojan Football opens Sectional Play tonight

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It’s a rivalry game. It’s the Sectional opener.

Tonight the Valparaiso Vikings invade Chesterton High School to face the Trojans in a rematch of a 21-14 Valpo regular season victory.

“It’s a rivalry game,” Chesterton coach Mark Peterson said. “We felt like we had a chance to win that game the first time we played. They made a couple of big plays late and won. I felt like we held them in check defensively for most of the evening.

“We have to play well across the board to be successful. We need to take care of ourselves.”

Turnovers have been the biggest problem for the Trojans during its current losing streak.

“We’ve controlled the outcome of the last four games by turning the ball over,” Peterson said. “You start to evaluate a lot of different things and I think it’s just us pressing and trying to over-perform. We have to let the game come to us and let things just happen.

“After Friday night, we talked about everything is behind us now. Can’t worry about what needed to be done, but what has to be done.”

Quarterback Cole Teal has taken the brunt of the criticism for the Trojans, some deserved and some not.

“This only his 11th or 12th start ever and people forget that,” Peterson said. “We still have higher expectations and so does he, but he’s learning on the field. He’s a great competitor and he’s tough enough to put some stuff behind him, turn the page and move our offense.

“You can’t put everything on his shoulders. He’s taken a lot of the responsibility because he’s that type of kid, but we’ve all made mistakes.”

Teal has struggled in the passing game, but his receivers haven’t helped him much.

“We’ve had some personnel changes in the passing game with our wide receivers the last couple of weeks that I think can help us,” Peterson said. “Alex Katsafaros had his best game last week and Jordan Dilosa has come over from the defense to make some plays. Austin Stickler has been a big play guy and those guys are going to have to come through. We have to make some plays.”

Defensively, the Trojans handled the Valparaiso offense earlier in the season with the exception of a long pass late in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we did a nice job against them defensively last time and missed a couple of tackles,” Peterson said. “They made the one big play and we’ll add a couple of twists and show them a couple different things, but it’ll be pretty straightforward.”

The Vikings will be without quarterback David Hittinger who suffered a concussion two weeks ago and hasn’t been cleared to play.

“With their quarterback situation, they do some things a little bit differently with the passing game and some quarterback zone read stuff,” Peterson said. “I think it’ll just be Valpo Football and they’ll come right after us.”

But Peterson’s only real concern is the Trojans.

“We aren’t going to change a lot of things offensively and defensively, just try to get better at what we do,” Peterson said. “How do we maintain control of the ball and do our stuff? How fast do we mature? We are doing some things extremely well right now and we’ll continue to do them. There won’t be a whole new concept.

“We know what they’ll try to do to us defensively and we’ll see if we can execute against it.”


Posted 10/25/2013