Stripping away the
strategy or the depth chart, the talent or the heart, football comes down to
one simple truth: sometimes a team will make a play and sometimes they
struggled to make plays against Portage on Saturday morning. The Trojans
were slowed by missed passes and dropped interceptions until the second half
began, when suddenly nothing could go wrong. Chesterton scored 26 unanswered
points to knock off the Indians 26-7 and spoil Portage’s homecoming. Ę
Chris Mullen threw
for 228 yards and four touchdowns, all of which came in the second half.
“We felt that we
missed some opportunities there in the first half,” Chesterton coach Mark
Peterson said. “It was an odd game. We came here last night, waited around
an hour until it was postponed. We came back early in the morning and
struggled to get started. Then we had a great response in the second half.”
The Trojans (4-2,
2-2) gave up a touchdown on Portage’s first drive of the game and then
failed to score over the next two quarters. Chesterton came up empty on
fourth down on three straight occasions in the second quarter, getting
stopped deep in Portage territory on all three drives.
“We came back in
the locker room and we refocused,” Chesterton senior Bryce Pickering said.
“Coach Peterson and Coach (John) Snyder put some plays up on the white board
and we talked it out.”
didn’t work in the first half suddenly clicked in the second half. Mullen
hit Jake Warren for a 68-yard touchdown on the second play of the third
quarter and the two came right back and scored again following a Ben
Slatcoff interception of Portage quarterback Zack Warchus.
finished, as he threw two more touchdowns to Pickering. The first came on a
35-yard strike that bounced high in the air off a Portage defender, allowing
Pickering to grab the ball and weave his way into the end zone. Pickering’s
second touchdown came on the first play of the fourth quarter when he broke
a handful of tackles on a 22-yard reception.
“We were looking
for a quick hitter, maybe three or four yards and then I just made some
dudes miss,” Pickering said with a smile.
with four catches for 80 yards while Warren added three catches for 77
yards. Slatcoff caught a 40-yard pass early in the game and then added two
interceptions in the second half.
“This was a good
win for us,” Peterson said. “There have been times in years past where we
haven’t been able to come back (from halftime) and turn things around.”
First downs 14 15
Total Net Yards 327
Passing Yards 228
Fumbles Lost 1 2
SCORING BY QUARTERS
Chesterton 0 0 19 7
Portage 7 0 0 0 --
P - Kody Taylor 15
pass from Zack Warchus (Miguel Verduzco kick)
C - Jake Warren 68
pass from Chris Mullen (Jackson Syren kick)
C - Warren 1 pass
from Mullen (kick failed)
C - Bryce Pickering
35 pass from Mullen (pass failed)
C - Bryce Pickering
22 pass from Mullen (Syren kick)