Week 11 - Football Game of the Week Preview

6A Crown Point (5-4)
at 6A Lake Central (3-6)
Sectional 1 Semifinal

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith


LC puts two blockers on CP senior Silas Reeves (9) in support of Lake Central quarterback Mateo Cedeno (15) in CP's 10-0 win at LC in September. The rematch is Friday night at Lake Central. (Photo by Mark Smith)

When: Friday, November 1, 2019;  Kick-off:  7:00 p.m.

Where: Lake Central High School, 8400 Wicker Avenue | Saint John, IN 46373. Approx. 1.6-miles south of US Rt. 30 and US Rt. 41, St. John, Ind.


TV/Radio/Internet: Live Internet audio stream on www.USA-365.com. You can watch a replay of CP at LC on the WJOB Network, which is available on so-called ‘smart TV’ apps like ‘Roku’. Dont ask me how it works but you can also watch several games state wide if you can access the IHSAA Network.

Enrollment: CROWN POINT – 2,869; LAKE CENTRAL – 3,268.

(LC is the 5th largest high school in the northern half of the Class 6A bracket. Hamilton Southeastern has 3,383 kids. Fishers has 3,520 students. Penn has 3,596 teens. Carmel has 5,413 boys and girls).

WEATHER: It looks bad. ‘Bad’ meaning cold. Low 40s and sunny during Friday, but after the sun goes down, so does the temperature. 'We’re talking about winds in the 10-15 mile-an-hour range. Lake Central’s football field is below the level of the rest of the campus so wind probably wont be an issue for players or fans.

But let's not pretend it won't be cold. This will be the coldest night of the season. Maybe 35 degrees in the second half. Probably a night when small kids and us old folks should stay home.


PARKING: There might be parking problems if this was a good weather night. It won't be. You probably want to arrive early so you can get your car close to the field and sit in the car until near kickoff time. You won't get any extra ‘fan credit’ for sitting in the stands 45 minutes before the game starts. This game would draw a large crowd if the weather was average. The weather Friday will be well below average.


47th Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA)
State Football Tournament, Northern State tournament Bracket


Crown Point [5-4] at Lake Central [3-6]
Lafayette Jefferson [9-0] at Merrillville [8-1]

Portage [1-8] at Penn [5-4]
Warsaw [7-2] at Chesterton [6-3]

(FW) Carroll [6-3] at (FW) Snider [7-2]
Homestead [9-0] at Noblesville [1-8]

Fishers [7-2] at Westfield [5-4]
Carmel [6-3] at Hamilton Southeastern [5-4]


ANALYSIS: I think of Carmel and Hamilton Southeastern as big Hamilton County rivals, but they did not meet during the regular season. Fishers beat Westfield 19-14 on October 11. Carroll lost to Snider 21-20 in August. Homestead beat Carroll 42-15 on October 4.

In Sectional 2, none of the four teams (Warsaw, Portage, Penn and Chesterton) played any of the other three this fall. The Jefferson Bronchos are 28-3 the last three seasons, but they were eliminated the last two seasons by Carmel in the sectional.

We’re looking at some big potential Sectional final games on Nov. 8, but none bigger than a possible matchup between 5-time state champion Penn at Chesterton, a program which has never won even one sectional championship.

The 'Distant' Replay
Walters bursts through for 99-yard TD
as Bulldogs shutout LC, 10-0

Team 1 2 3 4 F
CROWN POINT (2-2 1-1) 3 0 0 7 10
Lake Central (2-2, 1-1) 0 0 0 0 0

Friday, September 13, 2019 -  69 degrees (at kickoff), Duneland Athletic Conference at ST. JOHN, Ind.

1st QtrCP (3-0) Sammy Brewer, 32-yard field goal. 53-yard drive, 10 plays. 3:39 min. Time of Possession (TOP). 1:11 left.
2nd Qtr: No scoring.
3rd Qtr: No scoring.
 CP (10-0) Matthew Walters, 99-yard run. 99-yards, 1 play. 0:15 sec. TOP. Sammy Brewer kick. 6:56 left.


CROWN POINT (36 carries, 255 yards, one TD): Matthew Walters (HB) 15 carries, 175 yards, one TD; Davian Lira (HB) 18-75 yards; Will Pettit (QB) 3 carries, 5 yards; David O’Toole (WR) 1-6 yards.

LAKE CENTRAL (34 carries, 119 yards): Felix Garcia (HB) 25 carries, 101 yards; Matep Cedeno (QB) 8 carries, 21 yards; Max Creasbaum (HB) 1 carry, (minus 3 yards)

CROWN POINT: Will Pettit (QB) 9 of 20, 78 yards; 0 TDs, one interception;
LC: Mateo Cedeno (QB) 5 of 20, 41 yards.

CROWN POINT: David O’Toole (WR) 5-35 yards; Ben Uran (TE) 3-39 yards; Treston Logan (WR) 1-4 yards.
LC: Felix Garcia (HB) 2-24 yards; Danny Nykiel (WR) 1-6 yards; Diego Garcia (WR) 1-8 yards; Ryan Mayton (WR) 1-3 yards.

CP: 333 yards, 14 first downs, one turnover;
LC: 160 yards, 7 first downs, No turnovers.

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ST. JOHN (9-13-2019) If you wonder what the game seven weeks ago will have to do with this Friday’s game, the answer is: nothing.

The September 14 game set high school football back 20 years. Lake Central dropped at least 10 passes. The Bulldogs drew eight penalties. The two starting quarterbacks were a combined 14 of 40 passing. CP’s total of 323 yards was padded by a school-record (actually a 99-yard run from scrimmage is a world record) 99-yard run by Matthew Walters with less than seven minutes to play in the game.

Until then, a 3-0 or 3-2 final score seemed almost certain.

I would bet everything I own that both LC and CP will play much better this Friday than they did back in September.

2019 (6A) Crown Point (5-4)
5-7 (2018), 7-5 (2017), 6-6 (2016), 1-9 (2015)
Coach Kevin Enright (7th year) 45-41

8-23 (L) 19-21 at (4A) Lowell (5-4)
8-30 (W) 24-0 (4A) Highland (3-6)
9-6 (L) 24-27 (OT) (6A) MERRILLVILLE (8-1)
9-13 (W) 10-0 at (6A) LAKE CENTRAL (3-6)
9-20 (W) 22-16 at (6A) PORTAGE (1-8)
9-27 (L) 14-31 (5A) VALPARAISO (9-0)
10-4 (W) 21-10 (5A) LaPORTE (2-7)
10-11 (L) 14-27 at (6A) CHESTERTON (6-3)
10-18 (W) 28-21 (5A) MICH. CITY (4-5)

6A Sectional 1
11-1 (Fri.) at Lake Central (3-6)
11-8 (Fri) vs. Merrillville (7-1)
or at (Lafayette) Jefferson (8-0)



Crown Point defeated the teams they ‘should have’ beaten and lost to the teams they ‘should have’ lost to with the possible exception of Lowell (6-4). CP might be the only team in the state with a winning record that hasn't scored 30 points in a game this season. The total of 30 is an arbitrary number, for sure, but CP hasn't scored 30 points in a varsity game since week seven of the 2017 season.
The CP attack is led by junior QB Will Pettit (113 of 237 for 1,424 yards, 10 TDs and 13 interceptions.

Despite the weather, expect the Bulldogs to attack the LC secondary early with seniors receivers Tysen Cazy (26 catches, 460 yards, 7 TDs), David O’Toole (32 catches, 387 yards, TD) and tight end Ben Uran (26 catches, 355 yards, 2 TDs).

CP junior halfbacks Matthew Walters (113 carries for 633 yards, 9 TDs) and Davian Lira (87 rushes, 350 yards, 2 TDs) could be in line for heavy duty if the game stays close. O’Toole has 86 yards on 10 carries from his wide receiver position.

Kicker Sammy Brewer is a significant CP weapon. The sophomore is 19 of 19 on extra points and 5 of 6 on field goals with a long kick of 43 yards to his credit. Kickers' distance may be cut down because of the cold temperatures.

Crown Point’s defense has allowed six TD passes in the last two weeks but for the season, opponents are 99 of 206 for 1,342 yards. The Bulldogs run defense has been strong, allowing 970 yards in nine games on 283 carries, a 3.4 average per rush.

Junior Linebacker Reilly Granger (5-11, 205) leads the Bulldogs with 88 total tackles including 43 solo stops. Senior linebacker Jacob Woods (5-10, 225) has been in on 76 tackles, including 44 solo stops. Cornerback Treston Logan (6-2, 175) leads CP with five pass interceptions while senior corner back Noah Hollendonner (5-10, 170) has a team-leading 15 pass breakups.

Senior defensive end Collin Flavin (6-2, 240) has 56 tackles, and nine tackles for loss including four quarterback sacks.

Playing a tough Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) schedule, CP has allowed 153 points (17 points a game) during the regular season.

In the last five CP games against Lake Central (2016-2019), all Bulldog victories, the final scores have been 10-0, 21-3, 45-0, 17-3 and 10-6 so no present-day LC player has ever scored a varsity touchdown against Crown Point.

That door swings both ways. While CP has reason to be confident, this is also a very big game for LC’s 24 seniors, none of whom have ever beaten their big rival neighbor school to the southeast at the varsity level.

(6A) Lake Central (3-6)
2-8 (2018), 2-8 (2017), 3-4 (2016), 5-5 (2015), 9-2 (2014)
Coach Tony Bartolomeo (3 years, 6-20) DAC Conference games in CAPS

8-23 (W) 37-7 at (5A) Munster (0-9)
8-30 (L) 0-20 (4A) Morton (8-1)
9-6 (W) 30-21 (6A) PORTAGE (1-8)
9-13 (L) 0-10 (6A) CROWN POINT (5-4)
9-20 (L) 14-31 at (6A) LaPORTE (2-7)
9-28 (W) 13-7 (5A) MICHIGAN CITY (4-5)
10-4 (L) 0-38 at (5A) CHESTERTON (7-2)
10-11 (L) 21-41 (6A) MERRILLVILLE (8-1)
10-18 (L) 14-44 at (6A) VALPARAISO (9-0)

Class 6A Sectional 1
11-1 (Fri.) vs. CROWN POINT (5-4)
11-8 (Fri) at Jefferson (10-0) or Merrillville (9-1)



Lake Central has scored just 129 points (14.3 per game) and just 17 touchdowns all season and that’s the Indians’ problem. LC has scored more than 14 points just three times. Quarterback Mateo Cedeno (6-2, 205) is a sub-50% passer (71 of 143 for 770 yards, 6 TDs and 7 interceptions) and his top receivers: Seniors Curtis Gills (6-1 165) and Dan Nykiel (5-7, 160) have caught a combined 21 passes for just 291 yards.

LC’s strength has been running the ball with Felix Garcia (5-8, 185) who has carried 153 times for 838 yards and six TDs behind an offensive line that averages about 240 pounds per man. Garcia is surely the target of every defense that plays LC. You have to make the Indians throw the ball.

Defensively, LC has been overrun lately, giving up 38 points to Chesterton, 41 to Merrillville and 44 to Valparaiso. The Indians have nine pass interceptions and nine fumble recoveries. Sophomore inside linebacker Mel Hay (5-9, 180) has four fumble recoveries and two interceptions. Defensive end Marc Henry Derigene (6-0, 255) has three of LC’s five quarterback sacks.

Junior kicker Derek Baldwin has nine touchbacks on 29 kickoffs. Baldwin is 4-of-10 on field goals and his longest successful boot is 32 yards. Baldwin is 15 of 17 on extra points. Cedeno is the punter which means a fake punt is always an option.

The path to victory for LC against Crown Point would seem to be CP mistakes. The Indians have have created 18 turnovers against a tough schedule. That’s a good number for a losing team.

at LC Stadium - capacity: 3,000


Sagarin computer ratings:  CP by 12.


There’s not a lot to wonder about here. CP beat LC by 10 at LC so they should be favored by 10 or so in the rematch. Lake Central and CP both beat Portage and Michigan City. Crown Point took Merrillville to overtime and LC lost by 20 to Merrillville in regulation time. For the record, in the earlier matchup in September, CP was favored by 13 and the Bulldogs won by 10.

ST. JOHN (11-1-2019) This earlier meeting was played conservatively. Early on, this one will not be. CP will get on the board early with a TD pass from Will Pettit to Ben Uran. A screen pass form Pettit to Matthew Walters will double the lead to 14-0.


Felix Garcia will complete a long LC drive with a short TD run to make it 14-7 at the half.

CP will get conservative in the second half and a field goal by Sammy Brewer will give the visitors a 10-point lead. The Bulldog defense will then take over, stopping repeated LC drives. Most times that two teams meet, if the first game is low scoring. The second game will see more points scored.

This will not be like ‘most times’.

CROWN POINT 17, Lake Central 7

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Revised: October 31, 2019.