Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Troop helps Trojan football rebound to down Crown Point

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After its fumble-laden loss at Lake Central, the last thing Chesterton wanted to do Friday against Crown Point was to put the ball on the ground again, let alone on its first snap.

Yet, that's what happened when Chris Katsafaros' errant pitch to Joe Troop was recovered by the Bulldogs at the Trojans 8-yard line.

Two plays later, Chesterton was down 7-0.

"The first thing that came to mind was, itís Lake Central again," Troop said. "I had to tell them, relax, it's early, the defense is doing a fantastic job."

Troop's words may have soothed his teammates, but not as much as his actions. Later in the quarter, he raced 81 yards on a pitch play down the sideline for a tying touchdown. On the Trojans' next possession, he dashed 45 yards on another pitch, leading to his 16-yard score on a Katsafaros swing pass that put them in front 14-7.

It was a lead Chesterton (7-1, 5-1) would never relinquish as it staved off C.P. for a 28-21 Duneland Athletic Conference victory.

"We bounced back, which was good," coach John Snyder said. "We could've sat there and felt sorry for ourselves. We had a real heart to heart this week. After the first couple days of practice, we were like, 'Get over it.' The defense bent but didn't break and the offense did what it had to do. It's a good bounce-back victory."

Troop touched the ball just six times on offense, amassing 174 yards.

"Perimeter blocking is one of the things we've been trying to get the most," he said. "When we have it, we get big plays. I just follow my blocks and things happen. (The defense is) always calling out my name. The coaches are trying to get them to think we're doing one thing and we do another. With me moving around, hopefully we can confuse them."

Troop also logged plenty of yards going in motion back and forth along the line of scrimmage as Snyder continues to find ways to free him up.

"We need to do it more," Snyder said. "He's a big-play guy. We'll do what we've got to do."

Jon Horvath was Chesterton's workhorse, toting the ball 25 times for 87 yards and a 9-yard TD that put the Trojans up 21-7 in the third. Katsafaros scored from three yards out with just under five minutes left to re-establish a 14-point margin at 28-14.

"The offensive line got off the block better," Snyder said. "Of every position on the team, that one's been a revolving door. Guys are hurt, sick. We don't know until Thursday if they're going to play. To their credit, they've stuck together and played well."

Crown Point (5-3, 3-3) got back within a touchdown with 59 seconds left on QB Jake Jatis' third running score, but Andrew Ralph secured the onsides kick, withstanding a big hit to secure the outcome.

Tristan Peterson, who torched the Trojans last season, returned from a suspension for C.P., but was held in check (60 yards on 18 carries). Jake Jatis completed 20 of 34 passes for 179 yards, though Chesterton was largely able to force him to dink and dunk underneath coverage.

"They've got skilled receivers, so it forces us to go out and cover them," Snyder said. "Our defense has been solid against the run. They kind of embarrassed us last year. It was a pride thing. We didn't give up any big runs."

Katsafaros connected on 5 of 10 passes for 109 yards, 69 of them to Avery Beeks and 40 to Troop, and also recorded 68 yards on 15 carries. The 398 yards of offense was tempered by three fumbles, two of which were lost.

"I'm frustrated with us putting the ball on the carpet," Snyder said. "We've got to make it a personal commitment, that we're not going to do this."

That aside, the Trojans will host Merrillville on Friday with a chance at sharing the DAC title. The Pirates whipped Lake Central, 38-17 to remain unbeaten in the conference and knock the Indians (6-2, 4-2) out of a tie with Chesterton for second.

"We can't win it, but at least we can tie," Troop said. "That's better than nothing."

Chesterton 28, Crown Point 21

AT CHESTERTON

C CP

First Downs 16 18

Total Yards 398 277

Rushes-Yards 44-289 33-98

Passing 5-10-0 20-35-0

Passing Yards 109 179

Fumbles-lost 3-2 0-0

Penalties-Yards 6-64 5-40

Punts-Avg. 2-42.0 7-27.3

SCORING BY QUARTERS

Chesterton 7 7 7 7 -- 28

Crown Point 7 0 0 14 -- 21

INDIVIDUAL SCORING

CP -- Jake Jatis 6 run (Evan Markowitz kick)

C -- Joe Troop 81 run (Nate Needham kick)

C -- Troop 16 pass from Chris Katsafaros (Needham kick)

C -- Jon Horvath 9 run (Needham kick)

CP -- Jatis 3 run (Markowitz kick)

C -- Katsafaros 3 run (Needham kick)

CP -- Jatis 1 run (Markowitz kick)

Junior Varsity

Crown Point 14, Chesterton 0

The Chesterton JV football team suffered its second loss of the season Saturday with a 14-0 loss to Crown Point.

Despite a tough defensive performance, the Bulldogs controlled the ball over 30 minutes of the game. The offense was also unable to convert on their limited chances on the field.

Freshman

Lake Central 36, Chesterton 14

The Chesterton freshman team dropped a 36-14 decision at Lake Central last Thursday.

The problems started early for the Trojans as they fumbled on the opening kickoff and on their first possession. Lake Central took advantage for an early 7-0 lead.

Chestertonís answer came in a 52-yard touchdown run by Niles Dilosa and a successful two-point conversion pass from Garritt Slatcoff to Luke Finke.

Two more CHS turnovers led to a pair of touchdown from LC for a 21-8 lead. Another Indian touchdown put them on top 28-8 at the halftime break.

After halftime, Rhys Lewis made a big catch setting up Logan Hofferthís two-yard touchdown run, but the Trojans never put points on the board again.

Defensively, Ryan Cutter recovered a fumble and Josh Chorba had two interceptions. Finke and Chris Kaptur also played well defensively.

 

Posted 10/8/2012