Bulldogs stun Merrillville with big plays, solid defense in 17-13 upset to win 3rd straight Sectional
A USA-365.com Special Report by Frank Sprankle & Dave Woodworth
|Crown Point Bulldogs senior center/long snapper Hunter MacDonald takes practice snaps in pregame warm-ups before the Class 6A, Sectional 1 Championship Game against the Merrillville Pirates on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at Demaree Stadium. (All photos by Frank Sprankle.)|
|The scoreboard at Demaree Stadium features a tribute to the lone Merrillville Pirates football state championship won in 1976 with Head Coach Ken Haupt. From 1976-1984, Haupt coached the Pirates.|
|The Merrillville Pirates gather in pregame warm-ups before their sectional title game against the Crown Point Bulldogs on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.|
|The Crown Point Bulldogs raise their helmets in celebration of their third straight Class 6A, Sectional 1 sectional title with the student body and fans after their 17-13 win over the Merrillville Pirates on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at Demaree Stadium.|
|From left to right, Crown Point Bulldogs senior linebacker Ethan Potosky, senior linebacker Zachary Ramus and senior free safety Sam Krutz pose with the Class 6A, Sectional 1 hardware following their 17-13 win over Merrillville on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at Demaree Stadium.|
|Crown Point Bulldog football players and students gather around the Class 6A, Sectional 1 hardware following the Bulldogs 17-13 win over the Pirates at Demaree Stadium.(All photos by Frank Sprankle.)|
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Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 - Cloudy, 44-degrees at kick-off, Class 6A Sectional 1 Championship at MERRILLVILLE, Ind.
Qtr: CROWN POINT
(3-0) Jack Mumaugh,
23-yard field goal. 31-yards, 6-play drive. 2:03 min. time of possession (TOP).
CROWN POINT (10-0) Tysen Cazy, 84-yard pass (& run) from Will Pettit. 88-yards, 3-play drive. 1:38 min. TOP. Jack Mumaugh kick. 0:15 left.
2nd Qtr: MERRILLVILLE (7-10) Roderick Bell, 4-yard run. 44-yards, 5 play drive. 1:29 min TOP. Austin Pupek kick. 7:20 left.
CROWN POINT (17-7) Scott Mills, 61-yard run. 65-yards, 2-play drive. 1:01 min. TOP. Jack Mumaugh kick. 5:35 left.
MERRILLVILLE (13-17) Armani Glass, 10-yard
pass from Aahric Whitehead. One play following bad snap to CP punter Collin
Flavin, who was tackled for 16-yard loss to CP 10-yard line. Kick blocked. 0:57
3rd Qtr: No Scoring.
4th Qtr: No Scoring.
CROWN POINT (28 carries, 108 yards, one TD, no fumbles): Scott Mills (TB) 24 carries, 131 yards, TD; Will Pettit (QB) 3 (minus-7) yards; Collin Flavin 1- (-16).
MERRILLVILLE (35 carries, 153 yards, one TD): Roderick Bell (RB) 23 carries, 70 yards, TD; Darius Schultz (RB) 2 carries, 12 yards, Peter Rodriguez (QB) 7 carries, 69 yards; Aahric Whitehead (QB) 3 carries, 2 yards.
CROWN POINT: Will Pettit (QB) 7 of 13, 95 yards, 1 TDs, no interceptions.
MERRILLVILLE: Aahric Whitehead (QB) 17 of 29, 246 yards, 1 TD, no interceptions.
CROWN POINT: Scott Mills (HB) 1 (minus 2) yards; Tysen Cazy (WR) 1-84 yards, one TD; David O’Toole (WR) 2-1 yard; Ben Uran (TE) 3-12 yards.
MERRILLVILLE: Armani Glass (WR) 7-106 yards, TD; Jeremiah Howard (WR) 6-100 yards, Jalen Glass (WR) 2-32 yards.
CROWN POINT: (1) Sam Krutz; MERRILLVILLE: (0).
CROWN POINT: 3-30 yards; MERRILLVILLE 12-100 yards.
CROWN POINT: 213 yards, 3 first downs, no turnovers.
MERRILLVILLE: 399 total yards, 15 first downs, one turnover.
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For the Crown Point Bulldogs to claim their third consecutive sectional title,
they would have to make it close, again. A week after knocking off the Portage
Indians in a five-point victory, the Merrillville Pirates awaited in the Class
6A, Sectional 1 Championship Game at Demaree Stadium.
Tight as it was, all the was completed by halftime, as the Bulldogs held on for a 17-13 victory last Friday.
Having never trailed, the Bulldogs got on the board first with a 23-yard field goal by senior Jack Mumaugh at the 8:12 mark of the first quarter.
The Pirates responded on the next series with a six play, 70-yard drive that was all for naught as Austin Pupek missed on a 24-yard field goal attempt. After the two teams exchanged 3-and-out possessions, Crown Point struck big.
Sophomore quarterback Will Pettit threw a well-timed 30+ yard pass to junior wide receiver Tysen Cazy, who caught the ball in-strike and raced down the Pirates' sideline for an 84-yard touchdown play with 15-seconds before the opening quarter ended.
With the Bulldogs holding a 10-0 lead in the second quarter, the Pirates responded with an efficient 5-play, 44-yard drive culminating with senior running back Roderick Bell scoring from four yards out on a sweep right with 6:24 remaining before halftime. The extra point kick by Pupek pulled the Puirates to within 10-7.
Less than a minute later, Crown Point got their 10-point lead back as senior running back Scott Mills broke through the Merrillville defensive front and turned on the after burners for a 61-yard touchdown run. Crown led 17-7 with 5:35 left and forced Merrillville to turn the ball over on downs with 2:44 left in the first half.
Merrillville's defense then stepped up and with a few time-outs was able to force a Crown Point punt from their own 27-yard line. But a bad snap on a 4th-and-9 punt attempt by Collin Flavin resulted in giving Merrillville the ball at the CP 10-yard line and new hope with 1:03 left in the opening half.
The Pirates capitalized on the opportunity as junior quarterback Aahric Whitehead delivered a 10-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Armani Glass for a touchdown that had its extra point blocked, resulting in the Crown point lead of 17-13 at halftime.
The Pirates started the third quarter strong, holding CP's opening possession to a 3-and-out, and undertaking a 12-play, 74-yard drive to set up a 24-yard field goal attempt with 4;22 left in the third quarter that was blocked by the Bulldogs to end the Merrillville scoring threat.
The Bulldogs prevented another Merrillville possession the third quarter by extending a drive with 2:46 left in the third when CP's Sam Krutz recovered a punt that was mishandled by the Merrillville punt receiver at the Pirates 45-yard line.
Each team had three fourth quarter possessions, with CP punting twice and Merrillville punting once and turning the ball over on downs twice - each time in Crown Point territory.
“I’m super glad to be a part of
this, especially starting and getting a touchdown in this game,” Mills said. The
senior running back carried the ball 24 times for 131 yards against the Pirates.
Mills has been the workhorse for the Bulldogs on the ground in 2018. He has 975
yards on 247 carries over 11 games for a 3.9 average and 11 TDs on the year.
The Pirates came in averaging 26 points in their previous 10 games. The Bulldogs held them to nothing in the second half, a testament to the determination and effectiveness of the CP defense.
“The defense came up big on multiple occasions,” Bulldogs head coach Kevin Enright said. “They made plays when they had to and that’s where ultimately our senior leadership is, primarily on the defensive side. They have been through this before and it showed tonight.”
One senior that made a big play, free safety Sam Krutz who recovered a Merrillville fumble on a third quarter Crown Point punt.
“A lot of the younger guys like to look up to us. It was big to have our heads in the game,” Krutz said. “We've got to keep everyone calm. If we seniors lose our heads, then everyone will lose their heads.”
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 5-6, while the Pirates see their season
end at 7-4.
The Bulldogs got the better hand of the Pirates this time, following a week three 26-21 defeat, also played at Demaree Stadium.
This marks the seventh sectional title won in Crown Point history, the first dating back to 1988.
DOG NOTES: This marks the third straight season of the Bulldogs not only winning a sectional title, but also ending Merrillville’s season after losing the week three regular season meeting. The Bulldogs defeated the Pirates in the sectional title game in 2016, the sectional semi-final contest in 2017 and now the 2018 sectional title game.
Over the last three seasons, Crown Point has won a sectional title after a losing regular season twice. In 2016, they went 4-5 after nine weeks, while this year they finished the regular season at 3-6.
With this sectional title, the Bulldogs have now won seven sectional titles. The previous seasons of this accomplishment came in 1988, 1991, 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2017.
USA-365.com/Indiana-Sports.com broadcast note: The Bulldogs continue their postseason run this Friday, Nov. 9 when they travel to Valparaiso to take on the Vikings in the Class 6A Regional Championship. Valparaiso defeated Penn on the road 21-0 last Friday for the Class 6A, Sectional 2 title.
These two teams met at Valparaiso High School on Sept. 21, won by the Vikings 38-7. USA-365.com/Indiana-Sports.com will provide live play-by-play coverage starting with the pregame show at 6:30 p.m. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST.
USA-365.com/Indiana-Sports.com will cover the Bulldogs throughout the Class 6A tournament.
The Bulldogs' Next Opponent, 11-09-2018: