Bulldogs grind out 14-10 victory over Trojans at Highland

A USA-365.com Special Report by Frank Sprankle and Dave Woodworth



Team 1 2 3 4 F
CROWN POINT (1-1) 6 8 0 0 14
HIGHLAND (0-2) 7 0 3 0 10

Friday, August 24, 2018 - 65 degrees & cloudy, nonconference game at HIGHLAND, Ind.

Highland Trojans' scoreboard stands tall at the south end of the field at Highland High School, which served as host of the Crown Point Bulldogs week-2 match-up in high school football.
Full color posters of the seniors on the Highland Trojans football team line the fence along the home side of the field, including Malique Moore, Dean Foundos, Steve Niemann, Rafael Rios and Mark Alvarado.
The Highland Trojans' inflatable helmet-tunnel is prepared for the team to run through on the northwest end of the football field to a throng of cheerleaders prior to the CP-Highland game, 08-24-2018.
The Highland Trojans and Crown Point Bulldogs and fans all stand for the band's performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the CP-Highland football game, 08-24-2018.

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Revised: August 31, 2018 .

1st Qtr HIGHLAND (7-0) Trent Slaven, 27-yard pass from Dean Foundos. 27-yard drive, 1 play. 0:07 min. TOP. Kyler Tanis kick. 10:50 left.
CROWN POINT (7-7) Christian Berry, 5-yard run. 60-yard drive, 11 plays. 4:27 min. TOP. Justin Robinson kick blocked. 1:09 left.
2nd Qtr: CROWN POINT (14-7) Tysen Cazy, 33-yard pass from Will Pettit. 33-yard drive, 1-play. 0:10 min. TOP. Scott Mills, 2-point conversion run. 9:55 left.
3rd Qtr: 
HIGHLAND (10-14) Kyler Tanis, 40-yard field goal. 21-yard drive, 8 plays. 3:29 TOP. 0:28.7 left.
4th Qtr: No scoring.

CROWN POINT (39 carries, 164 yards, TD): Scott Mills (RB) 23-86 yards, 2-point conversion; Christian Berry (RB) 14-83 yards, TD; Will Pettit 2 (-5) yards.

HIGHLAND (29 carries, 19 yards, TD): Dean Foundos (QB) 11-(-4) yards, (includes 5 sacks and/or tackles for loss); Trent Slaven (RB/WR) 2- (-7) yards; Rafael Rios (RB) 2- (-2) yards, Kaiden Smolar 14-32 yards.

CROWN POINT: Will Pettit (QB) 9-15, 96 yards, TD, one interception;
HIGHLAND: Dean Foundos (QB) 6-14, 78 yards, TD.

CROWN POINT: Tysen Cazy (WR) 8-91 yards, TD; David O'Toole (WR) 1-5 yards.
HIGHLAND: Trent Slaven (WR) 3-6 yards, TD; Tony Caraballo (WR) 2-5 yards; Rafael Rios (WR) 1-7 yards.


CROWN POINT: 6-50 yards; HIGHLAND: 4-50 yards.

CROWN POINT: 3 Total; 5 fumbles (2 lost), one Interception; HIGHLAND: 0 Total; 2 fumbles (0 lost);

CROWN POINT: 260 yards, 14 first downs.
HIGHLAND: 97 yards, 7 first downs.

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CROWN POINT (08-24-2018) The passing game produced a quick touchdown for each team in a combined elapsed time of 17-seconds, but it was the Bulldogs grind-it-out ground game that took control of game, despite five fumbles, that gave Crown Point a 14-10 decision, their first victory of the 2018 season.

After dropping the Leather Helmet game at home to Lowell the previous week, the Bulldogs found their ground game in the 1-2 punch of fellow senior running backs Scott Mills (23 carries for 86 yards) and Christian Berry (14 carries for 83 yards) at Highland High School. The Bulldogs offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage for the most part, allowing the small but speedy Mills and Berry to find meaningful yardage.

After the Trojans held the Bulldogs to a 3-and-out initial series, Highland senior quarterback Dean Foundos connected on a quick 27-yard strike on the Trojans first offensive play from scrimmage to fellow senior wide receiver Trent Slaven just 1:10 minute into the game. The score took advantage of good field position following a shanked Bulldog punt that flew out of bounds, netting only 7-yards.

After a slow start, the Bulldogs' third offensive series moved the ball downfield on a mix of 8 runs and 3 passes, with Berry taking a direct snap from the five yard line to score with 1:09 left in the first quarter.  But the point after touchdown kick attempt by senior Justin Robinson was blocked, leaving Highland up 7-6 going into the second quarter.

Crown Point took what proved to be the winning score after holding Highland to a 3-and-out opening second quarter series. On first-and-10 from the highland 33, sophomore quarterback Will Pettit (6-2, 190) threw his first varsity touchdown pass to junior 6-3, 180 wide receiver Tysen Cazy with a well-timed scoring pass along the visitor's sideline. Senior tailback Scott Mills then rushed for a two-point conversion to up the lead to 14-7, which held through halftime.

In all honesty, Crown Point probably should have led 21-7 at the half, as the Bulldogs took advantage of a bad snap on 4th down to the Trojans' punter, tackling Kyler Tanis for a loss back to the Highland 6-yard line. On third-and-goal from the Highland one yard line, the Bulldogs fumbled a direct snap to the running back, then almost recovered, before losing the ball to Highland at the 16-yard line, and with it, losing an opportunity to
possibly put the game away early.

Give credit to an inspired Highland Trojans team, while seemingly out-played on many levels, first year coach Pete Koulianos obviously provided the enthusiasm and motivation for the Trojans to hang tough with the larger Bulldogs.

Another CP drive ended late in the second quarter when Pettit's 3rd-and-10 pass from the Highland 43 yard line was intercepted by senior Trojans defensive back Billy Morinville with 1:56 left in the first half.

The third quarter began with the two teams exchanging their first two possessions. Highland's third drive of the second half began by recovering a Bulldog fumble at the CP 44-yard line, after which they ran 8 plays for 22 yards and setting for a 40-yard field goal by Kyler Tanis with 28.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Bulldogs took their 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter, which held up for the final score as the CP defense shut down the Trojans offense and the Bulldogs ground game ate up the clock.

While Pettit and the wide receiving corps are new in 2018, the running backs provide the leadership.

“Coming into this season, we knew we were going to be leaders for this team. It’s a big role for us,” said Mills, whose signal caller has impressed him. “Will is good, he’s learning the plays well.”

The Bulldogs' head echoed that sentiment.

“Will continues to grow with each and every snap, but everybody just needs to continue to come together,” added CP coach Kevin Enright.

Crown Point improved to 1-1 overall, while Highland, who lost on the road the previous week at Morton 16-6, dropped to 0-2 on the young season. The Bulldogs hope to learn and build upon this win, as they go on the road this Friday night to meet the Merrillville Pirates and open-up the Duneland Athletic Conference schedule, with home games against the Lake Central Indians and Portage Indians in weeks four and five.

Merrillville, Lake Central and Portage also represent the Bulldogs' opposition in the Class 6A Sectional 1 tournament in the postseason.

BULLDOG NOTES: While the Bulldogs defeated the Trojans 35-6 last season at Bulldog turf, last Friday’s win marked the Bulldogs' first trip to Highland since Sept. 13, 1991. Crown Point won that game 27-0 in the final meeting as members of the old Lake Suburban Conference.

The Bulldogs are now 8-3 in Week 2 games dating back to 2008. They went 5-0 against Hobart from 2008 to 2012, 2-2 against Mishawaka from 2013 to 2016 and now 2-0 against Highland.

USA-365.com/Indiana-Sports.com Broadcast Note: Internet radio USA-365.com and Indiana-Sports.com will broadcast the CP-Merrillville game Friday night (Aug. 31) beginning at 6:30 p.m. as Frank Sprankle joins veteran announcers Mark Smith and Dave Woodworth in the press box. The Merrillville Pirates will be looking to build upon their 20-14 week-1 victory over Andrean, as well as an impressive showing last week against Penn, despite their 28-16 loss to the Kingsmen.

Visitors can listen to the USA-365.com high school football audio archives for 2017 games at http://www.usa-365.com/CP_Football_MP3_2017_Audio_Archives.

Coach: Kevin Enright, 37-31 in 7th year at school
Aug. 17   Lowell 4A L 7 17    
Aug. 24 at Highland 4A W 14 10    
Aug. 31 at Merrillville 6A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 7   Lake Central 6A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 14   Portage 6A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 21 at Valparaiso 6A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 28 at LaPorte 5A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 5   Chesterton 6A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 12 at Michigan City 5A © 7:00 pm    
Coach: Pete Koulianos, 0-2 in 1st year at school, 21-12 in 4th year overall
Aug. 17 at Hammond Morton 4A L 6 16    
Aug. 24   Crown Point 6A L 10 14    
Aug. 31 at Hammond Clark 3A 7:00 pm    
Sep. 7 at Hammond Gavit 4A 7:00 pm    
Sep. 14 at Munster 5A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 21   Lowell 4A © 7:00 pm    
Sep. 28 at Hobart 4A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 5   Kankakee Valley 4A © 7:00 pm    
Oct. 12 at Andrean 3A © 7:00 pm