Week 13 - Football Game of the Week Preview

Class 6A, Regional Championship Preview:
Crown Point (6-5) at Penn (11-0)

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith


Penn hasn't lost a home game in the last two seasons. 6A Sectional 1 champion Crown Point will try to change that Friday night in the 6A regional championship game Friday night. (Photo by Mark Smith)

When:  6:30 p.m. CST, Friday, November 11, 2016. (Note the starting time is 1/2 hour earlier than normal due to location in the Eastern Time zone.

  Penn High School's Freed Field, 56100 Bittersweet Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545. Corner of Bittersweet Road and Jefferson Road on the far east edge of Mishawaka.

No over-the-air radio in Lake County. If you are going to Penn, all Penn games air live on 91.1 FM. Live Internet audio stream as always on www.USA-365.com.




ENROLLMENT: CROWN POINT - 2,850; Penn - 3,373.

WEATHER: A cold night a long way from home. Low 40s by halftime with 15-20 mile and hour winds. Don't kid yourself about this one. Take every coat you have plus gloves and hats or you will wish you had. Grab a handful of those little heat packs at the drug store and fire those puppies up in your pockets. Don't ignore how cold it's going to be.


PARKING: Try to get there early because Penn football draws big home crowds. You will not be able to go to the car at halftime. You won't be parking close enough to the field. Penn has two campuses with a street (Bittersweet Road) in between. There should be room for you in the parking lot. This is a very big school.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Penn has state championship hopes. They do every year. Penn lost the Class 6A state championship last year 28-16 to Center Grove. Penn is the 2011 state champion. This is just a step on the stairs to them. For Crown Point, this is slaying the giant. CP's only previous game against Penn (they scrimmaged the Kingsmen the last two seasons) was a 20-3 loss in the regional final in 2011. This would certainly be the biggest Crown Point football upset in school history and arguably the biggest athletic upset in CP school history.


Class 6A Regional final games

CROWN POINT (6-5) at No. 2 Penn (11-0)
No. 7 Carmel (7-4) at No. 11 Homestead (9-2)
No. 4 Ben Davis (8-3) at No. 10 (Indianapolis) Cathedral (7-4)
No. 1 Warren Central (10-1) at No. 3 Center Grove (10-1)


No. 2 Penn (11-0)
12-2 (2015), 12-1 (2014), 12-1 (2013), 9-2 (2012)
coach Cory Yeoman (153-29) 14th year

Aug. 19 (W) 27-7 Valparaiso (5-5)
Aug. 26 (W) 35-2 at Merrillville (5-6)
Sept. 2 (W) 14-7 (Bloomfield, Mich.) Brother Rice (7-4)
Sept. 9 (W) 10-7 (Orchard Lake, Mich.) St. Mary's (7-4)
Sept. 16 (W) 28-7 at (South Bend) Adams (6-4)
Sept. 23 (W) 53-15 (South Bend) St. Joseph's (2-8)
Sept. 30 (W) 51-0 at (South Bend) Clay (0-10)
Oct. 7 (L) 48-7 at Elkhart Central (2-8)
Oct. 14 (W) 21-14 Mishawaka (10-2)

6A Sectional 2

Oct. 28 (W) 35-7 Valparaiso (5-5)
Nov. 4 (W) 42-21 at LaPorte (9-2)
Nov. 11 (Friday) CROWN POINT (6-5)


PENN Update:

PENN - What jumps out at you is that Penn has allowed 84.8 yards rushing per game, a very low total. The Kingsmen also have 10 interceptions included in 18 takeaways. Penn has scored seven TDs on kickoff or interception returns. The Kingsmen's 'Wild Bunch' defense has allowed just 104 points, 118 first downs and 933 yards rushing all season. I was surprised to find that, (according to official Penn statistics) Penn has no running back with over 700 yards gained and no receiver with more than 29 catches. If those numbers are accurate (and I have my doubts), Penn simply stops you with the defense and score just enough to get by.

WR-DB-Matt Kominkiewicz (5-8, 165) Senior:
Matt Kominkiewicz ran a kickoff back 99 yards for a TD and caught a 38-yard TD pass in last week's 42-21 Penn win at LaPorte. Matt is a big play player who averages 33.9 yards per kickoff return. He scored on a 71-yard punt return to beat Brother Rice in Birmingham, Michigan. Kominkiewicz scored four TDs against St. Joseph's, pass receptions of eight, 22 and 65 yards plus a 63-yard punt return. He has 29 catches for 468 yards and eight TDs, but Matt Hominkiewicz is a very, very confident punt returner with four punt return TDs this fall. Watching his football videos, I wouldn't kick to him. Ever.

RB - Landon Martz (6-2, 190) Senior:
Landon Martz is a big, strong long runner with good speed. He has just 89 carries (according to the stat sheet) for 518 yards and nine TDs. Landon is not spectacular on a team full of teammates who are. Most of his runs area between the tackles and they want you to forget about him. That's why he averages 5.8 yards a carry.

Safety - Paul Maola (5-10, 190) Junior:
Paul Maola ran two interceptions back for TDs against Merrillville and he has 14 punt returns for a 15-yard average. Maola has also run back seven kicks for a 37.9 yard average. Penn's special teams' numbers are as good as any team I have ever seen. Maola has five of Penn's 10 pass interceptions and he's part of the reason that there have been only 118 completed passes against the Kingsmen in 11 games, even though opponents are always trailing.


1-9 (2015), 8-2 (2014), 6-4 (2013), 8-4 (2012)
coach Kevin Enright (28-24) 5th year - DAC games in CAPS

Aug. 19 (W) 9-3 (OT) Lowell (8-4)
Aug. 26 (L) 6-10 at Mishawaka (10-2)
Sept. 2 (L) 28-41 at MERRILLVILLE (5-6)
Sept. 9 (W) 17-3 LAKE CENTRAL (4-6)
Sept. 16 (L) 3-7 PORTAGE (6-5)
Sept. 23 (L) at VALPO (5-5)
Sept. 30 (L) at LaPORTE (9-2)
Oct. 7 (W) 28-0 CHESTERTON (2-8)
Oct. 14 (W) 42-21 at MICH. CITY (7-4)

6A Sectional 1
Oct. 28 (W) 10-6 Lake Central (4-6)
Nov. 4 (W) 24-19 at Merrillville (5-6)

Nov. 11 (Fri) at Penn (11-0) 6:30 CST



Crown Point gave up 19 points last week and that was a bad defensive game for them. For the season, the Bulldogs have allowed 3.8 yards per carry and just 101 first downs in 11 games. CP has collected 19 turnovers including 10 pass interceptions. The Bulldogs have allowed just 77 pass completions all season. Junior QB Ryan Bolda is 16 of 45 for 312 yards, but he threw three TD passes last week and how good he is is still a totally unknown factor. CP averages only 242 yards gained per game and only 17.3 points a game, but in their four-game winning streak, they have averaged 26 points a game.

DB - Zach Stewart (5-10, 160 ) Senior:
Zach Stewart was in on 11 tackles and broke up two passes in the win over Merrillville last week. He's one of several CP defensive stars with six interceptions and 10 pass breakups in 11 games. For this night, much of his job will be to keep track of Penn's dangerous Matt Kominkiewicz, which is a tall order. But Stewart gets the opposition's top receiver every week.

WR - Shane McCormack (6-6, 195) Senior:
Shane McCormick has blossomed into the big play maker folks thought he could be in the last four weeks. Against, Merrillville he caught 10 passes for what I believe is a school record 242 yards and two TDs. For the season, McCormick has 39 receptions for 738 yards and five TDs. Shane has also run back eight kickoffs for an 18-yard average and he actually has been utilized as a defensive back late in the game the last two weeks. A track sprinter, McComick will face Penn ace DB Paul Maola much of this Friday night.

Tackles: Seth Philbrook (6-1, 265) and Andrew Keneson (6-2, 225); Guards: Nate Marciniec (5-11, 225) and Paxton Pitttman (6-2, 300) and Center Jacob Keaveney (6-1, 285):
This is the group that can win this game for CP. CP lost starter Alex Ristevski late in the season and I don't think he's available. At times this season, CP has been able to play 'bully ball' and grind out four and five yards a carry. The Bulldogs have a very modest 1,364 yards on 361 carries, but they have the potential to spring Tyler Gomez (194 carries, 662 yards) in big moments. This is the biggest moment of the season.


CROWN POINT (6-5) at 6A No. 2 PENN (11-0)


Sagarin ratings: Penn by 18.


This isn't a surprise. Penn has defeated four teams (Mishawaka, LaPorte, Merrillville and Valparaiso) that defeated Crown Point. The two Michigan teams Penn played are perennial powerhouses, although I don't know how much the Indiana-based Sagarin ratings factor that in. The spread would be higher if Penn hadn't been forced to play Clay (0-10) in the Northern Indiana Conference (NIC). The worst team CP faced was Chesterton (2-8).


OSCEOLA (11-11-2016) Penn has lost only seven games in six years. This is one of the toughest places to win the the state. But this Penn team strikes me as a team of counter punchers. They don't come out and roll over you until you give them the chance. This game stays scoreless for a quarter before QB James Iapalucci scores on a QB sneak.

Crown Point gets a long pass from Ryan Bolda to Tyler Jones to move into position for a Ben Fridrich field goal. The Kingsmen get a short pass to Matt Komikiewicz on a wide receiver screen and he breaks it for a second Penn TD.

The Bulldogs score on a late pass from Ryan Bolda to Shane McCormick, but fail on a two-point conversion. Penn has completed just 65 passes all season and they will play into CP's hands trying to run the ball. But the Bulldogs need two or three turnovers to win and they won't get them at Penn.



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Revised: November 11, 2016 .