Someone has to be the first.
The Chesterton football team will try to bring home the first Sectional
Championship in school history as they travel east to take on Class 6A No. 1
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (Chesterton time)
“It’s a real big deal especially with the new 6A classification,” Chesterton
coach Mark Peterson said. “It’s an exciting time. I know people are picking
us to lose and I don’t mind having the David vs. Goliath mentality.
“We truly believe that we can not only compete, but win this game if we play
the way we are capable of.”
The Kingsmen are 10-0 with two victories over Portage and one each over
Valparaiso and South Bend St. Joseph’s. The Trojans lost to all three of
those teams during the regular season.
“How are we going to match-up with a program of this caliber?” Peterson
said. “We truly believe we aren’t walking into this like a 4-6 team, but
more of a team that could be a 7-3 or 8-2 team. Limit some turnovers in
several of those games and our record could look very different. We beat
ourselves in a lot of those games, but never did we think we were getting
handled by somebody.
“We know that it was what we were doing wrong that was the problem.”
The Trojans will continue to play ‘revolving door’ at running back as Avery
Beeks and Tyler Gillespie will be sidelined on Friday night. That means
Colin McEuen and Jon Horvath, along with quarterback Cole Teal, will be
counted on heavily.
“We’ve had the revolving door at running back and the next guy has to step
up,” Peterson said. “Next man up is the motto the senior class has had all
year and last week we saw a great performance from Colin. Cole has been a
focal point for us this year as the go-to guy and at times he’s pressed and
maybe tried too hard to make some plays. Last week he showed how well he can
play when he lets it come to him.”
No matter who carries the ball, the load of the offense falls on the
shoulders of the offensive line.
“Across the board, we go as our offensive line goes,” Peterson said.
“Against Valpo, we really executed up front and dominated play in those
They will have their work cut out for them with an aggressive Penn defense
that is really talented in the front seven. The Kingsmen have allowed just
39 points through 10 games.
“They have a really good nucleus up front and do some nice things,” Peterson
said. “Their linebackers are really aggressive and we need to take advantage
of that. They’ve shut out five of their 10 opponents.
“We’ll stay within a game plan similar to the regular season. We will
continue to use the option game to our advantage as we have throughout the
season particularly in those games that we won.”
Defensively, the Trojans will focus on quarterback Zachary Oakley who rushed
for 183 yards and two touchdowns against Portage last week.
“We have to take the ball out of the quarterback’s hands,” Peterson said.
“How he goes, they go. That’s the primary focus for us. He’s got a great arm
and they throw the ball down the field, but if we can get pressure and throw
off his timing we’ll have a great chance to limit their passing game.”
The Trojan defense has come under fire at times this season, but has played
very well after replacing 10 of 11 starters from the previous year.
“The unfortunate thing for our defense is that offensively we put them in
some really bad positions deep in our own territory,” Peterson said. “Last
week, we didn’t do that and they played great. They’ve held strong in some
of those situations and you have to give Coach McCoy, his staff and the kids
a lot of credit.”
The determining factor may come on two fronts Friday night Ð the start and
“The tempo of the ballgame will be set early on and we need to be the one
that establishes that,” Peterson said. “If we give ourselves a chance to
move the ball and score some points early, that would be huge. It’s not
something that has to happen because it will be a tough four-quarter game.
If we can withstand early momentum swings, create a couple of turnovers,
we’ll give ourselves a great shot at getting a win.
“I love our attitude, no matter how the game has started, we believe we are
going to win.”
On special teams, the Kingsmen have made a living in the past scoring and
changing field position with big plays.
“We’ve been working on the special teams this week a lot in practice,”
Peterson said. “We need to turn up the pressure and execute at the highest
level because those groups could play a defining part in the outcome of the