Chesterton Tribune


Trojans, Pirates set for Sectional Battle Tonight

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Round 2.

Two weeks ago, the Chesterton Trojans and the Merrillville Pirates turned in an “instant classic” performance in a 40-35 CHS victory.

Tonight, they’ll do it again with a berth in the IHSAA Sectional Championship game on the line.

“It’s a big game because you get to keep going if you win, but it’s no bigger than last week was,” Chesterton coach John Snyder said. “Our goal is to win a Sectional Championship, so I don’t think there is added pressure. We know how good they are and they know how good we are.”

The Trojans racked up 366 yards on the ground last time the two teams met. Joe Troop led the way with 207 yards rushing on 11 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run.

“Going in you always try to prepare for what they may do differently,” Snyder said. “We did some things that hurt them offensively, so what will they do to stop that.”

Chesterton will again look to take advantage of an aggressive Pirate defense.

“When you play a team with a lot of speed, they want to fly to the ball,” Snyder said. “We have to fake them a little bit and take advantage of their aggressiveness. If they over-commit, I think we have a chance to make some big plays.”

On the other side, the Pirate quarterback Jake Raspopovich hit on 18-of-31 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns.

“There are always times on film where we made a little mistake here or there,” Snyder said. “Secondary-wise, we have to do a better job of disguising some things. They hit a couple big pass plays on us because we blew a coverage. It’s just going to be playing fundamentally sound and doing what we’re supposed to on the field.”

Special teams will also play a huge factor. Merrillville had several returns that created good field position two weeks ago.

“The biggest difference in the game last time was the field position we gave them,” Snyder said. “We’ll have to do a better job of tackling them on special teams. We just have to cover kicks better. That’s one of the biggest factors.”

The Trojans victory two weeks ago was their first in 10 tries against Merrillville. Before that night, Chesterton’s last victory came in a 22-13 victory on Oct. 1, 2006.

“I think winning the game two weeks ago is big from a confidence standpoint,” Snyder said. “You have to know that you can beat a team as good as Merrillville and we know that. Really, it’ll come down to execution and doing things fundamentally right.”



Posted 10/26/2012