Bulldogs 'hold' 6A No. 2 Penn to 23 points in shutout Regional loss
A USA-365.com Special Report by Frank Sprankle
|The press box at TCU Freed Field, home of the Penn Kingsmen. The stadium is named for former Penn Township Trustee and attorney Vernon Freed who was a big influence in the facility being built in the late 1950s. (Photos by Frank Sprankle)|
|Bulldogs junior punter James Priddy in pre-game warm-ups before the Bulldogs regional title game at Penn last Friday night.|
|The undefeated Penn Kingsmen in pre-game warm-ups before their regional title showdown with the Crown Point Bulldogs last Friday night. Penn entered at 11-0 and ranked number two in Indiana.|
|Underneath the north scoreboard at TCU Freed Field features a display of historic years for the Penn Kingsmen football program, with years of advancing to state title games. (Photos by Frank Sprankle)|
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Friday, November 11, 2016 - 38 degrees & clear, Class 6A Regional at Osceola, Ind.
(0-7) Paul Maola, 45-yard interception return. Jared Hancock kick. 5:41 left.
PENN (0-13) Landon Martz, 9-yard run. 47-yard drive, 3 plays. 1:26 min. time of possession (TOP). Kick blocked by CP's Shane McCormick. 3:43 left.
2nd Qtr: PENN (0-16) Jared Hancock, 27-yard field goal. 54-yard drive, 11 plays. 5:22 min. TOP. 6:23 left.
3rd Qtr: PENN (0-23) Matt Kominkiewicz, 23-yard pass from James Iapalucci. 58-yard drive, 6 plays. 2:20 min. TOP. Jared Hancock kick. 8:12 left.
Crown Point (20 carries, 41 yards): Ryan Bolda (QB) 9 carries, 14 yards; Tyler Gomez (TB) 10 carries, 25 yards; Griffin Govert (HB) 1 carry, 2 yards.
Penn (34 carries, 136 yards, 1 TD): Rashid Maclin (RB) 12 carries, 69 yards; James Iapalucci (QB) 7 carries, 10 yards; Landon Martz (HB) 8 carries, 37 yards; Ryan Whiteman (RB) 4 carries, 20 yards; Ryan Lynch (QB) 2 carries, 0 yards; Brock Zolman (RB) 2 carries, (-1) yards.
Crown Point: Ryan Bolda (QB) 5-23, 35 yards, 3 INTs.
Penn: James Iapalucci (QB) 9-13, 137 yards, 1 TD.
Crown Point: Tyler Jones (WR) 1-26 yards; Leo Radiceski (WR) 1-7 yards; Griffin Govert (HB) 1-2 yards; Jacob Vickery (WR) 1-3 yards.
Penn: Matt Kominkiewicz (SE) 4-53 yards, 1 TD; Zach Usenick (FL) 2-51 yards; Landon Martz (RB) 2-29 yards; Rashid Maclin (RB) 1-4 yards.
Crown Point: 0 fumbles, 3 Interceptions.
Penn: 1 fumble.
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It became a difficult challenge for the Class 6A, Sectional 1 Champion Crown
Point Bulldogs, go into Penn High School and match-up with the Class 6A,
Sectional 2 Champion Kingsmen for a right to go to semi-state.
Last Friday night, the Bulldogs defense has their work cut out for them, while the Kingsmen's defense stymied the Crown point offense, and reinforcing just why their opposition had a number two state ranking in a 23-0 win for the Kingsmen.
The tone of the game was set early. Following a Penn fumble on their opening drive, they regrouped themselves. Kingsmen junior free safety Paul Moala had back-to-back first quarter interceptions of Bulldogs junior quarterback Ryan Bolda, returning his second pick 54 yards for a touchdown.
Following a nine-yard TD run by senior running back Landon Martz, and a missed extra point (blocked by 6-foot-6 senior wide receiver Shane McCormick), the Penn held on to a 13-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter. It would become 16-0 at the end of the first half as senior kicker Jared Hancock added a 27-yard field goal.
The final score came when Kingsmen senior quarterback James Iapalucci connected on a 23-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Matt Kominkiewicz with 8:12 remaining in the third quarter, as the two teams settled in for a protracted defensive stand-off the remainder of the game.
The Bulldogs' best chance on offense came in the later half of the second quarter when CP moved from their own 20 to the Penn 33 yard line with two first downs and a roughing the punter penalty kept the drive alive. CP junior Quarterback Ryan Bolda (6-2, 180) tried to connect with his favorite wide receiver Shane McCormick (6-6, 185) on a long pass to the northeast corner of the end zone, but was forced to overthrow his well covered target. The Penn defense hurried Bolda to throw the ball away on second down and CP called a time-out with 1:28 left in the half. But the next pass resulted in becoming interception number three for Bolda as Penn's senior linebacker Parker Adkins picked off the pass, ending the Bulldogs' deepest penetration into Penn territory on the night.
The Kingsman had 273 yards of total offense, divided between 137 passing yards
and 136 rushing yards, while the Bulldogs could muster only 76 yards, a split
between 35 yards passing and 41 yards rushing.
Penn remains undefeated at 12-0 while the Bulldogs close out the 2016 campaign at 6-6, snapping a four-game Crown Point winning streak.
For Penn, they pick-up their 17th regional crown in school history dating back to 1983 when they won their first. It also marks their fourth straight regional. The win also marked the fifth time this season that Penn defeated a Duneland Athletic Conference School.
In addition to wins over Valparaiso and Merrillville in the first two weeks of the regular season, they also defeated Valparaiso at home in the sectional semi-final and La Porte on the road in the sectional title game.
With Carmel’s 42-7 victory over Homestead in the other regional contest, it now sets up for the fourth straight year Penn matching-up with Carmel for the right to play at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Class 6A championship.
Carmel defeated Penn in 2013 and 2014. Last season, Penn pulled off a 16-10 win at home to advance to the state title game where they lost to Center Grove 28-16. Penn will travel to Carmel for the 6A Northern Semistate on Nov. 18.
Dog Notes: With the loss at Penn, the Bulldogs are now 1-4 in regional title games. Their lone win was exactly 28 years to day of the game last Friday night. On Nov. 11, 1988, the Bulldogs defeated Mishawaka on the road 28-27 for the lone regional title in Crown Point history.
The Bulldogs five regional title games have all been played on the road. In addition to the 1988 victory at Mishawaka, they also returned to Mishawaka in 1991, at La Porte in 2006, Penn in 2011 and now this year, each game resulting in a loss.
The 2011 regional title meeting between the Bulldogs and Kingsmen also was played five years to the day of last Friday’s match-up. The Kingsmen won 20-3 in the first meeting between the two schools. While the two schools have scrimmaged in the preseason the last two years, last Friday’s game marked only the second time that Crown Point and Penn met on the gridiron.
The Bulldogs close out 2016 with a 6-6 record. In five home games played they went 4-1, while in seven road games, posting a 2-5 mark. Their season average points scored per game equaled their average points allowed per game, 16-16.