Merrillville defeats Bulldogs 42-7 as Pirates defense dominates in DAC opener
A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith
|Crown Point's Treston Logan (11) gets last minute
support from the student section before the annual Crown
point-Merrillville conference game.
(All photos by Mark Smith.)
|Pirate senior Armani Glass (11) smiles for the home crowd on 'Senior Night' at Merrillville.|
|Merrillville's Jordan McGee (90) gets in the way of CP halfback Matthew Walters (24) early in last Friday's game.|
|Merrillville junior QB Angel Nelson (12) tossed three touchdown passes in the Pirates 42-7 win over Crown Point.|
|Crown Point's Chris Walsh (34) looks to make a move on this misdirection play. CP was held to just 60 yards rushing by the Merrillville defense.|
|Merrillville's Lavarian Logan (4) had his third consecutive 100-yard game last week against Crown Point. Unofficially, Logan has gained 490 yards on just 60 carries in three games.|
|Crown Point's JJ Johnson (10) found it hard to ride against the swarming Merrillville defense which included linebacker Donovan Mills (44).|
|Merrillville senior Dierre Kelly (37) gets set to attack the Crown Point offense in last week's DAC game in Merrillville.|
|Crown Point senior Matthew Walters (24) congratulates CP sophomore JJ Johnson (10) on his first career TD late in the CP-Merrillville game.|
|Merrillvile's Lavarian Logan (4) chases CP quarterback Will Pettit (7) in last week's DAC game. The CP offense was held under 100 total yards.|
|The CP sidelines were not a happy place, even for the cheerleaders, when the score reached 21-0 at the half last Friday at Merrillville.|
|These seven CP girls wanted it known that they stayed in the stands until the bitter end last Friday and for CP, the end was a 42-7 loss to the powerful Pirates. (All photos by Mark Smith.)|
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|CROWN POINT (1-2, 0-1 DAC)||0||0||0||7||7|
|MERRILLVILLE (3-0, 1-0 DAC)||7||14||14||7||42|
Friday, September 4, 2020 - 71 degrees, clear, Duneland Athletic Conference opener at MERRILLVILLE, Ind.
(7-0) Marcus Hardy, 14-yard pass from Angel Nelson. 58-yard drive, 5 plays.
Austin Pupek kick. 10:19 left.
2nd Qtr: MERRILLVILLE (14-0) Lavarias Logan 28-yard run. 49-yard drive, 3 plays. Austin Pupek kick. 6:36 left.
MERRILLVILLE (21-0) Marcus Hardy, 16-yard pass from Angel Nelson. 47-yard drive, 4 plays. Austin Pupek kick. 0:01 left.
3rd Qtr: MERRILLVILLE (28-0) Armani Glass, 43-yard pass from Angel Nelson. 43-yard drive, one play. Austin Pupek kick. 10:47 left.
MERRILLVILLE (35-0) Lavarius Logan, 2-yard run. 26-yard drive, 6 plays. Austin Pupek kick. 6:13 left.
4th Qtr: MERRILLVILLE (42-0) Phil Roche, 4-yard run. 78-yard drive, 4 plays. Austin Pupek kick. 10:23 left.
CROWN POINT (7-42) JJ Johnson, 11-yard run. 57-yard drive, 9 plays. Sammy Brewer kick. 0:27.
CROWN POINT (19 carries, 70 yards): Matthew Walters (HB) 18 carries, 27 yards; Will Pettit (QB) 2 carries, 53 yards (2 sacks – minus 15); JJ Johnson (WR-QB) 8-46 yards, TD; Chris Walsh (WR) 1-2 yards.
MERRILLVILLE (25 carries, 224 yards, 3 TDs): Lavarisus Logan (HB) 17 carries, 144 yards, 2 TDs; Paris Hewlett (QB) 2-76 yards, Phil Roche (HB) 4-10 yards, TD.
CROWN POINT (4 of 15, 16 yards) Will Pettit (QB) 4 of 15, 26 yards. MERRILLVILLE (4 of 15, 16 yards) Angel Nelson (QB) 13 of 18, 216 yards, 3 TDs.
CROWN POINT: JJ Johnson (WR) 1 catches, 5 yards;
Matthew Walters (HB) 3-11 yards.
MERRILLVILLE : Armani Glass (WR) 4 catches, 74 yards, TD; Marcus Hardy (WR) 2-30 yards, 2 TDs; Jo Jo Johnson (WR) 7-112 yards.
CROWN POINT – 76 yards, 6 first downs, 0
MERRILLVILLE – 431 yards, 12 first downs, one turnover.
Many times it's said that one football team dominated another. It's hardly ever
true. Usually what they mean is that one unit dominated another on one side of
the ball. That’s what happened in Merrillville’s 42-7 win over Crown Point last
Friday night in the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) opener for both schools.
For sure, Merrillville did score 42 points and roll up 431 yards on the Bulldogs’ defense. The Pirates could have scored more had they let their regulars play in the fourth quarter. But it was just 7-0 Merrillville midway through the second quarter.
The domination came from the Merrillville defense. A rare combination of size and speed, the Pirate defenders did not allow Crown Point to cross midfield until the fourth quarter. CP did not gain more than five yards on any first half play. They did not gain more than nine yards on any snap until the final play of the game against the Merrillville reserves.
Defensive end Dierre Kelly (6-2, 250), linebacker Devin Sanders (5-11, 215), cornerbacks Anthony Mitchell (6-1, 160) and Jo Jo Johnson (5-11, 180) were just among those who overwhelmed the Crown Point offense. Starting Crown Point QB Will Pettit completed four of 16 passes for a total of 16 yards. The Bulldogs (1-2) punted nine times. It was 42-0 Merrillville with 10:23 left in the game.
“We scored right away on them,” said Merrillville coach Brad Seiss. “And then
we made a few mistakes taking care of the football. But we scored right before
the half to make it 21-0."
“We’ve been up on these guys 21 in the past (last year) and we kinda eased up and they came back. We talked about that at halftime. Getting a stop and getting another score so they’d feel like they weren’t in it. The kids did a great job of that. We scored right away and then we got to 35. That 35 number is kinda the magic number. That’s when you know it's over.”
It was over at the half. Crown Point simply could not block the Pirates (3-0) and the Bulldogs' receivers could not separate themselves from Merrillville defenders. CP gained just 17 total yards in the first half.
The Pirates' offense had a big night led by junior quarterback Angel Nelson who tossed three TD passes, two to Marcus Hardy and one to senior Armani Glass. Junior halfback Lavarion Logan gained 144 yards on 17 carries. Backup quarterback Paris Hewlett, who started for Morton in 2019, got into game late and broke a 70-yard run from scrimmage.
On a perfect 70-degree ‘Senior Night’ young and old all went home happy from the home grandstand.
Merrillville looked like a team that will play Valparaiso for the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) championship in October and then will play Jefferson for the Class 6A Sectional 1 championship in November.
Crown Point looked like a team that will be very glad to be playing sub-.500 Lake Central (1-2) next week.
DOG NOTES: The crowd at Merrillville for ‘Senior Night’ appeared to be about 2,000, which is less than half full in Merrillville’s Demaree Stadium.
Friday's win marked the sixth consecutive year that Merrillville has defeated Crown Point in the third week of the season. In the previous five years, there was a sectional rematch with CP winning three of those five playoff games. Merrillville has now scored 40 points or more seven times in the last 16 games.
Merrillville coach Brad Seiss is a little sensitive when you talk about his team getting five quality players transfer in from Morton in the offseason. He explained something about two of the boys, all-purpose player Jo Jo Johnson, who starred the last two years at Morton and Dierre Kelly, an all-area defensive player for the Governors, that isn’t widely known.
“I appreciate that that’s the narrative,” he said of the five transfers. “But
Jo Jo (Johnson) and Dierre (Kelly) were here (at Merrillville) before they were
at Morton. Nobody wants to talk about that.
“We have a culture within our locker room and a tradition of what Merrillville football is all about. In the 70s, 80s and 90s and even now. Just about the competition you face. It's important guys know they have to do the right thing every day because there’s always another guy there ready to step up.”
The Bulldogs' Next Opponent, 9-11-2020: