Week 8 - Football Game of the Week Preview

Chesterton (4-3) at
Crown Point (3-3) 

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith
Crown Point high school will be dark Friday night as the CP-Chesterton game has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus. CP will also not play their week nine game at Michigan City. The next scheduled game for the Bulldogs is against arch-rival Merrillville on October 30. (Photos by Mark Smith)

When:  Friday, October 9, 2020.

Where:  Crown Point High School - One mile south of the CP downtown square at 1500 South Main Street, Crown Point, IN 46307.

TV/Radio/Internet:  No radio or TV.


CROWN POINT - 2,861; Chesterton 2,109

No complaints here. Mid-70s on Friday and right at 70 degrees for the 7 p.m. kickoff. This may be about it for soft summer nights, though. Long range forecasts show some fairly frisky football Fridays are on the way. October turns chilly next week. It's dark by kickoff time these days but we won't mind. If you come to this game you will enjoy one last warm weather evening.


PARKING/TICKETS: Iím looking at a good weather night and I think the Trojans bring a good group of fans from Porter County. I don't know how many tickets Chesterton will be given, but I think they may need them all, the way theyíve been playing.

Crown Point has had an up-and-down season so far, but I think the students and the locals show up for the final regularly scheduled home game. CP crowds have been good this fall. No capacity crowds but good size groups. Bring your mask. Its still 2020. But there will be room for you.


THE SITUATION: The instability of this season has hidden a couple of teamsí hopes. Valparaiso and Merrillville have reason to believe that they can get near or to the state championship game in Classes 5 and 6 next month. Chesterton is interesting. The Indiana High School Athletic association (IHSAA) begins its 48th state football tournament this month and Chesterton has never won a sectional. Never.

The Trojans have a chance to right a five decade Ďwrongí if they can find a way to get through the four-team Class 6A Sectional 2 and they may have the team to do it.

Are they favored? No. Elkhart (6-0) probably is. Is Ďneverí a long, long time. Yes it is.

Iím thinking that is part of the issue at Calumet high school. One reason might be that Calumet has never won a sectional title and the Warriors have an outside chance in 2020. Calumet was 9-2 last year and they lost the sectional title game in overtime to Knox. In 2020, Calumet had their first six games cancelled for Covid-19 reasons. They finally got back on the field last week and, when that game was then cancelled, the Warriors drove three hours to get beat 31-6 by Gibson Southern. And Calumet doesnít have as good a chance to win the sectional next month as Chesterton does.

The more I hang around high school football the more I realize that, while the conference championship is nice, the sectional championship is everything. Crown Point had some elite teams from 2005 to 2007, winning 31 games and losing just five, winning the 2006 sectional championship. But the 2017-2019 Bulldogs won three Class 6A sectionals in a row, even though their three-year record was 18-18. No CP team had ever won three sectionals in a row.

I wonder if the 2017-2019 class would trade the school-record three 6A sectional trophies and the 18-18 record for the 31-5 won-loss record and the 2006 sectional championship of the 2005-2007 class?

Chesterton football players need two Sectional 2 playoff wins to do something that no Chesterton football players have ever done. I donít have to ask if thatís on their mind this month.


Duneland Athletic Conference
DAC Overall record Points scored - allowed

MERRILLVILLE 3-0 5-1 224 - 98
Valparaiso 2-0 3-0 84 - 44
Chesterton 4-1 4-3 175 Ė 108
Michigan City 2-1 4-1 185 - 55
CROWN POINT 2-2 3-3 92 - 100
LaPorte 2-3 2-5 101 Ė 194
Portage 1-3 2-5 129 - 207
Lake Central 0-5 1-6 67 Ė 183

October 9

Lake Central at MERRILLVILLE
Chesterton at CROWN POINT
LaPorte at Michigan City
Portage at Valparaiso

October 16
Valparaiso at Lake Central
CROWN POINT at Michigan City
LaPorte at Portage
MERRILLVILLE at Chesterton
(end of the regular season)


DAC (7 weeks): Valparaiso has two sub.500 teams left on the schedule so they will finish the DAC season undefeated. Merrillville needs to win at Chesterton next week to get a half-share of the title. Chesterton can finish 6-1 in DAC play but they would lose the DAC crown to a 4-0 Valpo team. Welcome to 2020.

2020 (6A) Chesterton (4-3)

6-4 (2019), 3-7 (2018) 4-6 (2017) 2-8 (2016)
Coach Mark Peterson (8th year) 37-43...DAC games in CAPS.
8-21 (L) 10-24 (4A) Hobart (4-2)
8-28 (L) 16-20 at (2A) Pioneer (6-1)
9-4 (W) 21-13 (5A) MICHIGAN CITY (4-1)
9-11 (W) 45-21 (5A) LaPORTE (2-5)
9-18 (L) 21-30 at (6A) VALPARAISO (3-0)
9-26 (W) 20-0 (6A) PORTAGE (2-5)
10-2 (W) 42-0 at (6A) LAKE CENTRAL (1-6)

10-9 at (6A) CROWN POINT (3-3)
10-16 (6A) MERRILLVILLE (5-1)

6A Sectional 2

vs. Elkhart (6-0), Portage (2-5) or Penn (3-4)


SECTIONAL 2: The unknown in this sectional is Elkhart, the consolidation of Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial. No one knows how a consolidation is going to work out but its working out in Elkhart where the Lions average 44 pints a game. Elkhart has scored 50 points in three of six games so far heading into a showdown with Class 3A No. 2 Marian (6-0) this Friday. Late word is that Chesterton will host Penn in the 6A Sectional 2 semifinals. Thatís not good because that means they must play Penn and Elkhart to win their first sectional crown.



CHESTERTON - The Trojans are a very difficult team to defend because they can line up five split wide receivers as targets for 6-foot-3 junior quarterback Chris Mullen (101 of 182, 1,351 yards, 9 TDs) who was 16 of 25 last week for 238 yards. Junior Jack Westmoreland (6-2, 175) has 297 yards on 17 catches, while junior Colby Bullock (5-11, 160) has caught 47 passes for 622 yards.

Mullen has become more of a runner this year with 321 yards and eight touchdowns on 80 carries, but you might rather him run. The second year starter throws the football like itís a baseball. Chris completed 151 of 284 for 2,477 yard and 26 TDs in 11 games in 2019 and he may pass the 4,000-yard mark passing Friday in Crown Point. Chris Mullen a very annoying young man to play against.

So why do the Trojans average just 25 points a game? Might be the schedule. Chesterton has faced four ranked teams in 2A No. 1 Pioneer (6-1), 4A No. 8 Hobart (4-2) and 5A No. 7 Michigan City (4-1) and 5A No. 3 Valparaiso (3-0).

Defensively, Chesterton has shut out Portage and Lake Central in back-to-back weeks. LC was held to 138 total yards. Portage was held to 172 total yards. Even though those are not dynamic offensive teams, the Trojans appear to be improving on the defensive side of the ball. To be totally honest, Iím not sure if the Trojan defense has been great as of late because of vast improvement or because of who they have faced lately. With that said, Crown Point (15.3 points per game) is not an offensive powerhouse.

The Trojans have lost to teams that run the ball and control the clock, keeping Mullen and his pass catchers on the sidelines. Chestertonís season is at a high point and they will be tough to beat when they get off the bus this Friday night.

2020 (6A) Crown Point (3-3)

6-5 (2019), 5-7 (2018) 7-5 (2017) 6-6 (2016)
Coach Kevin Enright (9th year) 50-45...all DAC games in CAPS
8-21 (L) 0-6 (4A) Lowell (6-0)
8-28 (W) 31-0 at (4A) Highland (3-3)
9-4 (L) 7-42 at (6A) MERRILLVILLE (5-1)
9-11 (W) 16-7 (6A) LAKE CENTRAL (1-6)
9-18 (W) 24-21 (6A) PORTAGE (2-5)
10-2 (L) 14-24 at (5A) LaPORTE (2-5)

10-9 (6A) CHESTERTON (4-3)
10-16 at (5A) MICHIGAN CITY (4-1)

6A Sectional 1
vs. 6A No. 6 (Lafayette) Jefferson (7-0), 6A No. 4 Merrillville (5-1) or Lake Central (1-6).


SECTIONAL NOTES: Late word is that Crown Point drew Merrillville in the Class 6A Sectional 1 semifinals on October 30. CP traditionally has played Merrillville tough in the post-season, but tradition can be defined as something that happens again and again for no apparent reason.

Letís see if that holds true.


Crown Point Bulldog Field: capacity 4,800


SAGARIN RATINGS: Chesterton by 19.

This seems high until you look at Chestertonís schedule. The Trojans have easily defeated three un-ranked teams and they are 1-3 against Top-10 teams. The 21-14 Chesterton win over No. 7 Michigan City is the highlight of the season so far. Crown Point is still looking for that big win. The big number here probably comes down to Chestertonís 45-21 win over LaPorte, a team that just upset the Bulldogs.

For the record, CP was a four-point favorite on the computer over LaPorte last week and CP led LaPorte 14-10 in the fourth quarter. Of course, the game didnít end with that score.



CROWN POINT (10-09-2020)
 Late word is that CP-Chesterton has been canceled due to a Covid-19 issue at Crown Point. The Bulldogs also will lose their week nine game (10-16-2020) at Michigan City.

No big deal for Chesterton, which gets a week off before they play mighty Merrillville.

The way I understand it, Crown Point will now have three full weeks off before they play their Class 6A Sectional 1 semifinal game with Merrillville. CPís freshmen and junior varsity teams will play in week eight and nine and the varsity Bulldogs will have a full week of practice before the playoff game.

Iíve said all year that I don't think multiple bye weeks hurts a team if they get to play the majority of their season. CP played six games.



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Revised: October 08, 2020 .