Week 2 - Football Game of the Week Preview

6A Crown Point (0-1)
4A Highland (0-1)

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith


Crown Point's Kyle Milly (72), Tysen Cazy (84) and Will Pettit (7) are looking for more offense this week when the Bulldogs ride the bus to play at Highland Friday night (08-24-2018). (Photo by Mark Smith)

When: Friday, August 24, 2018;  Kick-off: 7:30 p.m. CDT.

Where: Highland high school, 9135 Erie Street (Two blocks east of Kennedy Ave.)


TV/Radio/Internet: USA-365.com is the only outlet for this game at www.USA-365.com.

Enrollment: CROWN POINT - 2,805; Highland – 1,035.

Not bad for late summer. Low 70s or upper 60s. It will rain sometime Friday, but I’ve been promised it will stop by game time. Highland has natural grass so this game could get a little slippery and sloppy. But, assuming the rain ends before 7 p.m. this looks like a pleasant evening for players and fans.

PARKING: Highland is a 4A school, so they don’t have a concrete Ponderosa of parking like Crown Point high school does. If you go, get there by 6:30 p.m. because the parking spots near the field fill up quickly. Highland replaced Mishawaka on the schedule two years ago and it benefits adult Crown Point fans because they can get to Highland.
It was almost impossible to get from Lake County to Mishawaka on a work day. CP people can get to Highland, see the game and get home before 10:30 p.m.

If you went to Mishawaka, it would be Saturday before you got home. This is the Highland home opener so the Trojans will be ready to play. And Trojans fans will be on site in good numbers for the first ‘on campus’ game.

WHAT's AT STAKE: Nothing. But both teams need a win.

The HISTORY: Highland began playing varsity football in 1958 and the first game against Crown Point was September 16, 1960. Highland played Crown Point every year for 32 years in a row until 1992 when CP left the old Lake Suburban Conference to join the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC). I don't think Highland wanted to take CP off the schedule.


Ironically, Brad Smith, who was Crown Point’s varsity football coach with a 100-67 record from 1978 to 1993, moved to Highland where he was also successful from 1996 to 2001 at Highland as coach (32-21) and athletic director.


CP and Highland have gone in different directions enrollment-wise. In 1986, according to the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) yearbook, Highland officially had 1,464 students and Crown Point had 1,774 teenagers.

Now? Highland is listed with an enrollment of 1,135 while Crown Point is up to 2,805 students. Two schools that were once a fit in the same conference no longer are.

Highland enrollment is also less than Hobart (1,297), Munster (1,504) and Lowell (1,186), the schools they play in the Northwest Crossroads Conference. Highland is much closer to Hanover Central (723) and Griffith (787) than it is to CP, so it would not surprise me to have the Trojans end up in the Greater South Shore Conference.

I don't know how long this series will last, considering the gap in enrollment. But two years ago, Highland began the season playing Lake Station and Hammond. For purposes of competition and simply selling tickets, nonconference games against Morton (1,365) and Crown Point are better for the Highland program even if they start the season 0-2.

The 'Distant Replay'...


Team 1 2 3 4 F
HIGHLAND (0-2) 0 0 0 6 6
CROWN POINT (1-1) 14 7 7 7 35

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 69 degrees & clear, Nonconference game at CROWN POINT, Ind.

1st Qtr CROWN POINT (7-0) Brett Schoettle, 13-yard pass from Ryan Bolda. 45-yard drive, 5-plays. 1:11 min. Time of Possession (TOP). Ben Fridrichs kick. 8:41 left.
CROWN POINT (14-0) Christian Berry, 4-yard run. 56-yard drive, 7 plays. 1:45 min. TOP. Ben Fridrichs kick. 1:00 left.
2nd Qtr: CROWN POINT (21-0) Tyler Gomez, 2-yard run. 77-yard drive, 6-plays. 1:54 min. TOP. Ben Fridrichs kick. 9:13 left.
3rd Qtr: 
CROWN POINT (28-0) Christian Berry, 39-yard run. 39-yard drive, 1 play (following Vincent Smith's recovery of a Highland fumble). 0:39 TOP. Ben Fridrichs kick. 8:16 left.
4th Qtr: HIGHLAND (6-28) Trent Slaven, 21-yard pass from Dean Foundos. 89-yards, 13-play drive. 5:49 min. TOP. (PAT failed.) 9:47 left.
CROWN POINT (35-6) Scott Mills 63-yard run. 63-yard drive, 1 play. 0:06 TOP. Ben Fridrichs kick. 9:41 left.

HIGHLAND (40 carries, 91 yards, 1 fumble): Dean Foundos (QB) 18-23 yards, fumble, (includes 9 sacks and/or tackles for loss); Trent Slaven (RB/WR) 1-8 yards; Ethan Celeste (RB) 2-0 yards; Brandon Phillips (RB) 9-25 yards; Rafael Rios (RB) 6- 9 yards, Kaiden Smolar 4-26 yards.

CROWN POINT (46 carries, 411 yards, 4 TDs, 0 fumble): Tyler Gomez (TB) 12-67 yards, TD; Scott Mills (RB) 7-110 yards, TD; Christian Berry (RB) 5-79 yards, 2 TDs; Eric Mahaffey 3-33 yards; Ty Handley 10-36 yards; Brett Schoettle 1-3 yards; Vincent Mayer 3-4 yards; Ryan Bolda 3 (-7) yards (took knee 3x at end of game).

HIGHLAND: Dean Foundos (QB) 1-7, 21 yards, TD.
CROWN POINT: Ryan Bolda (QB) 9-14, 129 yards, TD;

HIGHLAND: Trent Slaven (RB/WR) 1-21 yards, TD.

CROWN POINT: Shane McCormick (WR) 5-61 yards; Griffin Govert (HB) 1-3 yards; Tyler Jones (WR) 1-8 yards; Mark Knox (WR) 1-7 yards.


HIGHLAND: 4-45 yards; CROWN POINT: 7-75 yards.

HIGHLAND: (1) one fumble; CROWN POINT: None.

HIGHLAND: 112 yards, 9 first downs; CROWN POINT: 540 yards, 19 first downs.

CROWN POINT – Crown Point bounced back from a season-opening loss at Lowell to win decisively one year ago this week. Officially, CP rolled up 463 total yards and 23 first downs with no turnovers. Late in the game, Scott Mills broke a 63-yard TD run to push his game total over 100 yards. This was the first night CP established the running attack. They had gained only 49 yards on 22 carries against Lowell seven days earlier. For the 2017 season CP would average over six yards a carry, gaining 2,276 yards on 406 runs. A lot of that began one year ago this week.

(4A) Highland (0-1)
4-7 (2017), 5-6 (2016), 4-6 (2015), 6-5 (2014)
Coach Pete Koulianos (0-1) 1st year

8-17 (L) 6-16 at (4A) Morton (1-0)
8-24 (Fri) (6A) Crown Point (0-1)
8-31 (Fri) at (3A) Clark (0-1)
9-7 (Fri) at (4A) Gavit (0-1)
9-14 (Fri) at (5A) MUNSTER (1-0)
9-21 (Fri) (4A) LOWELL (1-0)
9-28 (Fri) at (4A) HOBART (1-0)
10-5 (Fri) (4A) KANKAKEE VALLEY (0-1)
10-12 (Fri) at (3A) ANDREAN (0-1)

Class 4A Sectional 17
10-29 (Fri) vs. Lowell, Gary West Side, Hammond, Gavit Griffith, EC and Morton



Sometimes a game may have been closer than the final score indicated. That may not have been the case in Morton’s 16-6 win over Highland in week one. Morton ran the ball 53 times for 285 yards and quarterback Credell Prather completed 8-of-21 passes for 119 yards. The Highland defense gave up 404 yards, but just 16 points.

Highland scored 196 points in 11 games last year and that number is deceptive because they scored 69 of them against Clark. The Trojans return quarterback Dean Foundos, who was just 24 of 73 last year. Foundos (6-2, 170) was much more effective running the ball, carrying 105 times for 554 yards.

Wide receiver Trent Slaven (6-1, 190) caught 12 for 254 yards last season and certainly hopes for much more this fall.

Slaven will also start at linebacker with Brandon Phillips (5-6, 156) behind a line led by senior Sam Perez (6-1, 235). Week one didn’t go well for Highland as the offensive line gave up five quarterback sacks and the offense turned the ball over twice.

But playing for a new coach and taking the field for the home opener, I think the Trojans may be considerably better than they were last week.

2017 (6A) Crown Point (0-1)
7-5 (2017), 6-6 (2016), 1-9 (2015), 8-2 (2014)
Coach Kevin Enright (7th year) 36-30

8-17 (L) 7-17 (4A) Lowell (1-0)
8-24 (Fri) at (4A) Highland (0-1)
8-31 (Fri) at (6A) MERRILLVILLE (1-0)
9-7 (Fri) (6A) LAKE CENTRAL (1-0)
9-14 (Fri) (6A) PORTAGE (0-1)
9-21 (Fri) at (6A) VALPARAISO (0-1)
9-28 (Fri) at (5A) LaPORTE (0-1)
10-6 (Fri) (6A) CHESTERTON (0-1)
10-13 (Fri) at (5A) MICHIGAN CITY (1-0)

6A State tournament
10-27 (Fri) vs. Portage, Lake Central or MERRILLVILLE


Crown Point was fairly solid defensively against Lowell in week one, allowing Lowell 213 total yards including 111 yards rushing on 37 carries. Linebackers Ethan Potosky and Adam Hillard plus tackle Blake Klingberg were each credited with 10 tackles against the Devils. Cornerback Sam Krutz had seven tackles and an interception for a defense that only allowed one touchdown.

I was very surprised that CP could not run the ball last week against Lowell. Official statistics had them with minus yardage for 16 carries. The all-new CP varsity offensive line did not begin the season well, but I still think that will be a strength of this year’s team before too long.

Sophomore quarterback Will Pettit was officially 14 of 27 for 100 yards. No interceptions. No touchdowns, and he was sacked twice. Not a bad varsity debut. Five different receivers caught passes led by senior Anthony Gonzalez (5-6, 125) who grabbed four for 25 yards. Junior Tysen Cazy (6-3, 180) looks like he will be difficult to cover going forward.

Punter Collin Flavin did well after the first kick, but if it's all the same with him, I’d just as soon he would not punt eight times like he did against Lowell.

at Highland Stadium - capacity: 3,000



This spread has to do with how highly Lowell is rated. The computer has Lowell, which beat CP 17-7 last week, as the 29th best team overall in any class. I think that is clearly too high, based off of what Lowell was last season. This week’s Sagarin ratings have Morton, a 10-point winner over Highland last week, at number 135 overall, and I think that will prove to be far too low as the season goes on. For the record, Crown Point lost 27-13 to Lowell in 2017 and then defeated Highland 35-6 seven days later.


CROWN POINT (08-24-2018)
Crown Point ran the ball 16 times and threw it 27 times last week. I will bet every cliché I own that those numbers turn around at Highland on Friday. CP will throw the ball 15-20 times and run it 30-40 times. I think that’s what they wanted to do last week.

I’m looking for the Bulldogs to lean on the offensive line and halfback Scott Mills to control the ball on the road. Mills gets 20 carries and gains 100 yards. QB Will Pettit throws less and enjoys it more with short TD passes to junior ends Tysen Cazy and David O’Toole.

This will not be the 35-6 mismatch it was last season as the Trojans' defense seems stronger and Highland is playing at home for a new coaching staff. It’s a big game for them. But it's going to be difficult for the Trojans, with a new offense, to score at all on a CP defense that played well against Lowell in week one.



CROWN POINT 21, Highland 7

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Revised: August 23, 2018.