Lowell's Stojancevich 18-yard TD pass the difference in Red Devils' 6-0 shutout of Bulldogs in season opener


A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith



The crowd at CPHS for the Lowell-CP game was between 1,500 and 2,000. CP fans spread out in the home grandstand. (All photos by Mark Smith.)
The CP cheerleaders model their designer Bulldog masks during the season opener. Almost all students were masked up for the CP-Lowell game.
CP's defensive line, Kyle Milly (72), Nikola Paic (52) and Adrian Barrera (31) had a strong night, holding Lowell to 47 yards rushing.
CP's Felix Meeks (83) and Liam Begley (28) chase Lowell's Cam Stojancevich (17) in first half action. Lowell had to punt 10 times in the Crown Point game.
Lowell's Riley Binkley (37) has his eyes on CP running back Matthew Walters (24) in Friday's season opener. Lowell held CP to a game total of two first downs.
CP's Jack Ruess (70) looks to clear the way for senior QB Will Pettit early in the annual CP-Lowell game last Friday. The Bulldogs offense had chances but could not reach the end zone against the Devils.
Lowell's Cam Stojancevich (17) looks to give the ball to senior Jacob Chandler (32). Stojancevich threw the game-winning touchdown to Caleb Miranda.
Lowell's Riley Binkley (37) stalks CP receiver JJ Johnson (10) in the season opener. Johnson caught seven passes in his varsity debut.
Lowell's Kyler Newcomb (7) shows off his personal number seven mask after the Lowell win at CP. Players wore masks on the sidelines but went without them on the field.
Lowell students found creative ways to work with the mask requirements at the Lowell-CP game although one or two lowered the mask to pose for the camera.
CP quarterback Will Pettit (7) walks with his mom and dad on CP's 'Senior Night'. Will's dad Chip Pettit (left) is a former football coach and former principal of Crown Point high school.
Lowell's Cody Caschetta (23) spends some quiet time with the Old Leather Helmet Trophy. Lowell has won the traveling trophy by topping CP in the season opener in each of the last four years. (All photos by Mark Smith)

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Revised: August 27, 2020 .







LOWELL (1-0)












Friday, August 21, 2020 -  78 degrees (at kick-off) in season opener at CROWN POINT, IN

1st Qtr(No scoring.)

2nd Qtr: LOWELL (6-0) Caleb Miranda, 18-yard pass from Cam Stojancevich. 43-yard drive, 7 plays. Kick wide. 0:18 left.

3rd Qtr: (No scoring.)

4th Qtr: (No scoring.)

LOWELL (34 carries, 43 yards, one fumble): Joe Hueuer (HB) 19 carries, 53 yards, one fumble; Jacob Chandler (HB) 7-9 yards; Kyler Newcom (FB() 1-10 yards; Ryan Marx (HB) 1-6 yards; Johnny Johnson (QB) 1 (minus-2 yards); Cam Stojancevich (QB) 5 carries (one sack, minus 9 yards).

CROWN POINT (19 carries, 70 yards): Matthew Walters (HB) 10 carries, 15 yards; Will Pettit (QB) 8 carries, 53 yards (4 sacks – minus 18); JJ Johnson (WR) 1-2 yards.

LOWELL (7 of 12, 68 yards, one TD) Cam Stojancevich (QB) 6 of 9, 63 yards, TD; Johnny Johnson (QB) 1 of 3, 5 yards.

CROWN POINT (10 of 21, 51 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs) Will Pettit (QB) 10 of 21, 51 yards, 0 TDs, 2 interceptions.

LOWELL : Michael Havel (WR) 3 catches, 16 yards; Caleb Miranda (TE) 2-36 yards, TD; Ryan Marx (WR) 1-15, Kyler Newcomb (FB) -1 yard.

CROWN POINT: JJ Johnson (WR) 7 catches, 28 yards; Treston Logan (WR) 2-15 yards; Matthew Walters (HB) 1-8 yards.


CROWN POINT (8-21-2020) Every year lately I talk myself into predicting that Crown Point will beat Lowell in the annual South Lake County season opener. The last four years. All Lowell wins. 27-13, 17-7, 21-19 and this time 6-0.

This time, I really thought CP had more experience coming back. The Bulldogs were at home. Lowell had to cancel their scrimmage with Merrillville due to concerns over the Covid-19 virus.
CP was bigger physically. They had the more experienced quarterback. The Bulldogs had a special teams’ edge. CP always has more depth than Lowell. Even when Lowell was winning sectionals and regionals every year in the last decade, they never beat CP four years in a row. 27-13, 17-7, 21-19 and, this time 6-0.

“What did we have in numbers,” said Lowell coach Keith Kilmer after the game. “44 yards rushing and 51 yards passing? What did they have? 67 yards rushing and 57 yards passing?"

“We played hard,” he said. “That was all we needed. We got a great push up front.”

Lowell’s defense was led by junior linebacker Spencer Barta, who was in on 11 tackles and senior defensive end Sam Dumsky (6-3, 219), who had four tackles for losses. Sophomore Riley Bank (5-10, 182) and senior Riley Binkley (6-5, 212) both had two tackles for losses.

Like in all of the four games, Crown Point had every chance to win.

On a mid-summer 80-degree night, the Bulldogs’ junior lineman Nikolas Paic sacked Lowell quarterback Cam Stojancevich to force a punt the first time the Devils had the ball Friday and the Devils punted to the Crown Point 12-yard line.

On the first play from scrimmage, CP quarterback Will Pettit broke loose on an option play and ran 64 yards to the Lowell 24-yard line. CP’s Matthew Walters gained 10 in the next play and it looked like a CP score was certain.

But one play later Lowell’s Bank intercepted Pettit at the Red Devil 16 yard line. Crown Point would never advance the ball inside the Lowell 40-yard line again in the game.

This game was a defensive struggle. Lowell punted the first five times they had the ball before a short CP punt set the Devils up at the Bulldog 43-yard line. Stojancevich, who was just 7 of 12 on the night, hit three key passes to put his team ahead.

On 4th and 5, a 5-yard pass to Mike Havel picked up the first down with two minutes to play in the half. One play later Stojancevich, Lowell’s 6-foot-2 senior, fired a 12-yard pass to junior Ryan Marx at the CP 18 yard line. On the next play, Stojancevich fired a pas over the middle to junior tight end Caleb Miranda, who carried a CP defender into the end zone for what would be the only TD of the game with just 18 seconds left in the half.

Let's just be kind and say that defenses dominated the third quarter.

Lowell punted 10 times in the game. CP booted it away nine times. The only first down of the period was a 20-yard pass from Stojancevich to Miranda at the Crown Point 36. The Devils punted three plays later. Crown Point got the ball seven times in the final two quarters but the Bulldogs did not gain a first down in the entire second half.

Pettit completed seven passes to rookie sophomore receiver JJ Johnson (5-11, 160) most of them short wide receiver screen passes. Late in the game, CP had a chance to win when Pettit pump faked another wide receiver screen and threw long to halfback Matthew Walters, who was 10 yards behind the Lowell defense. But the pass sailed over Walters' head and the Bulldogs could not score.

The good news for CP is that this game with Lowell rarely predicts the rest of the season. It’s a one-night only backyard rivalry. In 2018 and 2019, Crown Point lost to Lowell and went on to win the Class 6A Sectional 1 championship.

The Crown Point defense was solid, led by senior co-captain linebacker Riley Granger, who made 10 tackles, five for lost yardage. Paic and Jacob Lopez had quarterback sacks and junior Liam Begley recovered a fumble. CP should have scored at least twice but ‘should haves’ don’t go up on the scoreboard.

For Lowell, the door is open. The Devils beat Crown Point 21-19 last year but were stomped 35-9 at Portage in week two. If they can defeat Portage, which they have not done in three years, the schedule looks good for them until Hobart gets to Lowell on September 18.

But again, results from the Lowell-CP game are often misleading.

DOG NOTES: Crown Point wasn’t a winner on the field but the fact that a game was played with about 2,000 fans was a minor win for the athletic program. Some games were played in front of no fans which is a total cash money loser for the home school. Football and basketball helps fund the entire athletic program at most schools. Most students wore masks while maybe half of the parents did. Coaches wore masks on the sidelines as did reserve players. Referees and in-game players on the field did not.

Lowell is very proud of the sectional (17) they have won, but the coaches don’t talk much about beating CP. But the Devils have beaten the Bulldogs 13 times in 24 years. For the record, Merrillville is 4-2 against CP in the last three-plus years. Valpo is 2-1. Lake Central is 0-4. Lowell is 4-0.

The Devils hold onto the ‘Old Leather Helmet Trophy’ awarded to the winner of the CP-Lowell game. The Devils are also in possession of the ‘Old Milk Can’ trophy, which the winner of the Lowell-KV game gets to keep.

With Morton not playing football this fall, Lowell sought another opponent for week three and they found a foe in Wheeler, which is coached by Lowell-grad Adam Hudak. This will be the first-ever meeting of Lowell and Wheeler. The Devils play four of their next five games at home.


Coach: Kevin Enright, 47-43 in 9th year at school
Aug. 21   Lowell 4A L 0 6    
Aug. 28 at Highland 4A 7:00 pm    
Sep. 4 at Merrillville 6A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 11   Lake Central 6A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 18   Portage 6A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 25 at Valparaiso 5A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 2 at LaPorte 5A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 9   Chesterton 6A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 16 at Michigan City 5A © 7:00 pm    


Coach: Keith Kilmer, 83-38 in 11th year at school
Aug. 21 at Crown Point 6A W 6 0    
Aug. 28   Portage 6A 7:00 pm    
Sep. 4   Wheeler 2A 7:00 pm    
Sep. 11 at Griffith 4A 7:00 pm    
Sep. 18   Hobart 4A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 25   Kankakee Valley 4A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 2 at Highland 4A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 9   Munster 5A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 16 at Andrean 2A © 7:00 pm    


  W-L Pts OP W-L Pts OP Streak
Lake Central 0-0 0 0 1-  0 38 0 Won 1
Merrillville 0-0 0 0 1-  0 40 13 Won 1
Michigan City 0-0 0 0 1-  0 55 0 Won 1
Portage 0-0 0 0 1-  0 42 40 Won 1
Valparaiso 0-0 0 0 1-  0 17 16 Won 1
Chesterton 0-0 0 0 0-  1 10 24 Lost 3
Crown Point 0-0 0 0 0-  1 0 6 Lost 2
LaPorte 0-0 0 0 0-  1 0 14 Lost 2
Friday, Aug. 21
Hobart 24, Chesterton 10
Lake Central 38, Munster 0
Lowell 6, Crown Point 0
Merrillville 40, Andrean 13
Michigan City 55, Riley 0
Portage 42, Hanover 40
Saturday, Aug. 22
New Prairie 14, LaPorte 0
Valparaiso 17, Penn 16
Friday, Aug. 28
Andrean at Lake Central, 7 pm
Chesterton at Pioneer, 7 pm
Crown Point at Highland, 7 pm
Merrillville at Hobart, 7 pm
Michigan City at Warsaw, 6:30 pm
Penn at LaPorte, 6:30 pm
Portage at Lowell, 7 pm
Friday, Sep. 4
Crown Point at Merrillville ©, 7 pm
Lake Central at Portage ©, 7 pm
LaPorte at Valparaiso ©, 7 pm
Michigan City at Chesterton ©, 7 pm
©conference game