Week 4 - Football Game of the Week Preview

6A Lake Central (2-1) at 
6A Crown Point (1-2)

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

9-09-2016
 

Ethan Wood (86) and Don Schuch (25) chased Merrillville's sophomore Cam Wright
(12) around last Friday. This week, they'll be after Lake Central sophomore QB Zach Bundalo in the border battle between CP and LC Friday night. (Photo by Mark Smith)

When: Friday, September 9, 2016;  Kick-off:  7:00 p.m.

Where: Crown Point High School - 1500 S. Main (one mile south of the downtown square), Crown Point, Ind.

Tickets$6

TV/Radio/Internet: No 'over-the-air' radio. Live updates of all local scores all night on WLPR (89.1) FM. Live Internet audio stream on www.USA-365.com.


Enrollment: CROWN POINT - 2,664; LAKE CENTRAL - 3,196.

WEATHER: As the week goes on the forecast gets better. After miserable high heat, high humidity days Monday though Wednesday, temperatures were supposed to cool slightly by the end of the week. That was the prediction. (I make predictions too, and you see how accurate they are.) There's a small chance of rain Friday, but the artificial turf will make the field playable. If the rain holds off between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., it should be a good night for the fans while it will be a bit humid for the players on the field. By the way, a significant drop in temperature is predicted (there's that word again) for next week.

 

PARKING: This game usually draws a big crowd and, even though both teams are 1-2 and the weather might be a little uncomfortable, that should hold true here. This is the closest 'road' game for Lake Central, which visits CP in every team sport. The familiarity and the short trip usually put a lot of folks in the visitors stands. That should put a lot of navy blue and white in the parking lot Friday night. Only a couple of teams come close to filling up CP's parking lots, but Lake Central is one of them.

 

WHAT's AT STAKE: Any realistic chance to win the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) now includes winning this game for both Lake Central and Crown Point, who both lost league openers last week. An 0-2 team could get to 5-2 but 5-2 will probably do no better than tie for the DAC title. This is a save-the-tape game. Class 6A Sectional 1 includes Lake Central, Crown Point, Merrillville and Portage so there is a significant possibility that LC and CP will meet again after this Friday night. When the IHSAA announces the pairings for the state tournament next month, video of the LC-CP game will be value viewing for a lot of boys at both schools.

 

The HISTORY:

 

Lake Central only goes back to 1966 when it moved south and east from Dyer where it was Dyer Central. I don't know how far Dyer Central goes back. On one, there is a Dyer Central 'reunion' site that shows the 1941 Dyer Central yearbook. How far does Dyer itself go back? Wow. A long way.

The first non-Indiana settlers in what is now Dyer included a man named Aaron Norton Hart and his wife Delores who moved from Philadelphia in the 1860s and 1870s. Mr. Hart supervised the original construction of roads and a drainage system. Hart Street, one of Dyer's major North-South streets is named after Aaron Hart. Delores Hart's maiden name was Dyer and reportedly the town is named after her.

To be honest, almost nobody lived in Dyer from the mid-1800s to 1940, when the census showed a whopping 976 residents. In the second half of the 20th century, the population rose to 13,000 in 2000 and over 16,000 in 2010. The fast population growth spurred the construction of a new high school 1-1/2 miles south of US 30 on US 41.

Crown Point high school goes back to the late 1800s and I doubt anyone around here ever thought that an even larger school would grow up to the northwest of CP. That thought is bolstered by the way the Lake Central campus is laid out with athletic fields spreading out north of the school to the end of the property.

In the last five years, Lake Central has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation that boosted its facilities to the level of the other eight Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) schools. Dyer Central football goes back to 1949. The last two teams, Dyer Central faced in 1949 were Crown Point and Merrillville. Almost 67 years later, Lake Central, the old Dyer Central high school, is still tied to Crown Point and Merrillville.


The 'Distant' Replay
Bulldogs dominate Indians in 45-21 DAC win

Team 1 2 3 4 F
Lake Central (1-3, 1-1 DAC) 7 0 7 7 21
CROWN POINT (3-1, 1-1 DAC) 14 21 7 3 45

Friday, September 10, 2010,  72 degrees, dry at CROWN POINT, IN

1st QtrCROWN POINT (7-0) Austin Atherton, 12-yard pass from Joe Hopman. 71-yard drive, 9 plays. 4:39 time of possession (TOP). Brett Bayer kick. 7:12 left.
LAKE CENTRAL (7-7) Steve Krause, 63-yard pass from Connor Doyle. 65-yard drive, 3 plays. 0:39 TOP. Deter Schultz kick. 6:26 left.

CROWN POINT (14-7) Cody Bacon, 11-yard run. 22-yard drive, 3 plays following fumble recovery by Jordan Jurasevich. 1:07 TOP. Bayer kick. 4:51 left.
2nd Qtr: CROWN POINT (21-7) Travis Woosley, 16-yard option pass from Austin Atherton. 52-yard drive, 8 plays. 3:43 TOP. Bayer kick. 11:54 left. 

CROWN POINT (28-7) Jake Lindeman, 2-yard run. 39-yard drive, 5 plays following short LC punt. 1:21 TOP. Bayer kick. 9:39 left.

CROWN POINT (35-7) Pete Parks, 3-yard pass from Joe Hopman.67-yard drive, 7 plays. 1:40 TOP. Bayer kick. 0:21 left.

3rd Qtr: LAKE CENTRAL (14-35) Steve Krause, 3-yard pass from Connor Doyle. 80-yard drive, 11 plays, 4:25 TOP. Schultz kick. 7:35 left.

CROWN POINT (42-14) Travis Woosley, 14-yard pass from Joe Hopman. 65-yard drive, 8 plays. 3:32 TOP. Bayer kick.4:03 left.
4th Qtr: LAKE CENTRAL (21-42) Chase Fieldhouse, 10-yard run. 48-yard rive, 4 plays. 1:16 TOP. Schultz kick. 8:33 left.

CROWN POINT (45-21) Brett Bayer, 37-yard field goal. 55-yard drive, 11 plays. 7:16 TOP. 1:04 left.

 

GAME STATISTICS

RUSHING:

LAKE CENTRAL (28 carries, 128 yards, 1-TD, 1-Fumble) Tanner Redlarczyk (RB) 14-71, Connor Doyle (QB) 2-8, Steve Krause (WR) 1-4,
Kramer Phelan (RB) 3-8, Drew Hollinsworth (RB) 4-26, Chase Fieldhouse (RB) 2-26, Austin Eatinger (RB) 2-8.

CROWN POINT (42 carries, 175 yards, 2-TDs, no fumbles) Cody Bacon (RB) 25-129, TD; Pete Parks (RB) 3-11, Jake Lindeman (RB) 11-36, TD; Tyler Wells (TE) 1-4, Joe Hopman (QB) 2-5.


PASSING:

LAKE CENTRAL - Connor Doyle (QB) 8 of 18, 136 yards, 2-TDs.

CROWN POINT - Joe Hopman (QB) 13 of 22, 266 yards, 3-TDs, INT; Austin Atherton (WR) 1 of 1, 16 yards, TD.

RECEIVING:
LAKE CENTRAL - Steve Krause (WR) 3-100 yards, Drew Hollinsworth (RB) 1-12 yards, Kramer Phelan (RB) 1-11 yards.

CROWN POINT - Austin Atherton (WR) 8-177 yards, TD; Travis Woosley 3-52 yards, 2 TDs; Jake Lindeman 1-36 yards; Pete Parks 1-3 yards, TD.

 

TOTAL YARDS:

LAKE CENTRAL - 255 yards, 7 First Downs, 1 Turnover (Fumble)

CROWN POINT - 447 yards, 21 First Downs, 1 Turnover (INT)

 

CROWN POINT: The last time CP really stomped on Lake Central was six years ago when the Bulldogs rolled up a 35-7 lead on a perfect September night. Cody Bacon, who would rush (252 carries) for 1,497 yards and 14 touchdowns that season, ran 25 times for 129 yards on this night as the Bulldogs rolled up 224 yards and 21 first downs. It wasn't a close game.

This was the first coaching season for Brett St Germain, who had been an offensive coordinator at Crown Point after being head coach of Andrean. LC was just 2-8 that season, but since then, they are 40-17 and 6-1 against Crown Point. Chase Fieldhouse, who got in late and ran for a touchdown, went on to be an outfielder on LC's 2011 state championship baseball team and hit .440 with 35 RBIs in 2012 for LC. Chase later batted .339 in 46 games for St. Joseph's College in 2015. Tanner Redlarczyk would carry the ball 146 times for 918 yards that season. Austin Atherton caught 57 passes for 1,090 yards that season and went on to play at the University of Indianapolis. Jake Lindeman would bat .344 with 30 RBIs that season for Crown Point on the baseball field, making the all-area team in 2012. Kicker Brett Bayer was 43 on 44 in extra points with field goals in 2011. Linebacker Jordan Krajci made 127 tackles in 2011 while cornerback Logan McRae made 111 tackles and grabbed four interceptions.

Crown Point was 9-4 in 2011 and reached the regional title game, losing to Penn 20-3. CP coach Chip Pettit would step away from the football field after the 2011 season and become principal of Crown Point high school.


LAKE CENTRAL Update:

ST. JOHN -
Lake Central should be 3-0. They led Illinois power Lincoln-Way Central 21-14 after three quarters, only to lose 24-21. Last week, LC led 27-21 and 33-28 before losing 36-33 to Portage. The Indians have gained 1,200 total yards, scored 10 touchdowns and posted 89 points, but they have only one win to show for it. LC has outgained all three opponents, but the scoreboard hasn't reflected it. The Indians have lost six of their last seven games and they have led in all seven. LC has been outscored 25-6 in the fourth quarter this season. This team has been present for more comebacks than Tiger Woods. Last week, they gave up just two completed passes, but Portage QB Anthony Maceo gained 206 yards on 22 carries. The week before, Lincoln-Way Central QB Zack Stoklosa completed just three passes, but LWC rushed for 273 yards.

QB- Zach Bundalo (6-3, 185) Sophomore:
Questions about rookie QB Zach Bundalo are being answered. He has completed 35 of 55 for 458 yards and four TDs with only one interception. Multiply those numbers by 3 and it'll be a good sophomore season. Bundalo is not a runner, at least not yet. But LC has scored at least 21 points in every game so far and that makes them tough to beat.

RB - Anthony Giles (5-10, 190) Senior:
Giles was hurt last seson, but he's back now and on the run. The senior halfback has 508 yards on 57 carries after 238 yards on 20 carries last week in the loss to Portage. The LC offense pivots off Giles. You can't just rush the passer or drop a half dozen into coverage or Giles will run by you. He's a hard tackle breaking runner who scored 11 touchdowns and gained 766 yards last season on 132 rushes.

WR - Josh Benson (6-0, 165) Senior:
Benson has caught 16 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns in three games after grabbing 57 for 977 yards last fall. Along with Austin Atkins (57 catches, 795 yards in 2015), Benson gives the new QB Bundalo a good target on most plays. The Indians hit more 'home runs' than the Cubs do. LC will throw early and often.


CROWN POINT Update:

CROWN POINT -
Crown Point made progress last week even though they lost a second game they could have won. After scoring just 15 points in their first two games, the Bulldogs put 28 on the board at Merrillville, even though the defense scored 14 of them on pass interceptions. For the year, after 25 interceptions in 10 games in 2015, CP has 'just' five turnovers so far. LC has thrown the ball well, but CP has allowed 21 of 48 passes completed (329 yards) and has sacked the quarterback eight times with five interceptions. Lake Central has won four in a row over Crown Point over the last three seasons.

RT Alex Ristovski (6-1, 250) Senior:
Let's include right guard Paxton Pittman (6-2, 300) and center Jacob Keaveney (6-1, 285). I don't know how good a game they had on film, but watching the game live, I thought I saw CP run right effectively. For the night at Merrillville, the Bulldogs gained 150 yards (4.1 per carry) on 37 carries. Tyler Gomez gained 118 yards on 27 carries. CP has played three good defenses and has averaged 3.9 yards per carry. The Bulldogs, who gained just 121 first downs all last season, have 39 first downs in three games this fall. A little progress.

WR - Shane McCormick (6-6, 185) Senior:
McCormick caught a 56-yard TD pass last week and returned four kickoffs for a 15.3 yard average. For the 2016 season, he has 12 catches for 158 yards. In 2015, Shane caught 29 passes for 350 yards in 10 games. Last week's TD, when McCormack was single covered, was impressive enough to dare future CP foes to single cover McCormack, especially with a small defender.

RB/DB Zach Stewart (5-10, 160) Senior:
Last week, Zach became one of the few players to ever intercept three passes in a game his team lost. In fact, I can't find a CP player who intercepted three passes in one game in the last 20 years. Officially, Stewart, who did fumble a key punt in the second half, had three interceptions and two pass breakups to go with five tackles. He's tied with Tyler Gomez as the Bulldogs' leading scorer after three games.


6A LAKE CENTRAL (1-2, 0-1 DAC) at 6A CROWN POINT (1-2, 0-1 DAC)
at CP Stadium - capacity: 4,800

 

Sagarin computer ratings:  Lake Central by 6.

 

CROWN POINT - This rating might be a little twisted because I don't believe the Sagarin ratings can accurately reflect Illinois teams like Lincoln-Way Central, which topped Lake Central in week two. CP's losses are to Mishawaka (2-1) and Merrillville (2-1) and they have beaten Lowell (1-2), a highly-rated team. This spread seems about right considering points scored by LC (29.8 per game) and CP (13.2 ) this year. Last week, the ratings said Pirates by eight and they won by 13 with a late TD in the final two minutes, bumping up what would have been a 7-point win. As always, the Sagarin ratings become more accurate as the season moves along.
 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:
 
CROWN POINT (09-09-2016) Both teams come in with a two-game losing streak, so there's likely to be some urgency here. CP is going to look at the video of the last two foes running on Lake Central and send Tyler Gomez and Griff Govert at them. I think Gomez gets into the end zone early giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. But, assuming dry weather, LC is going to look at the 284 yards passing Merrillville rolled up on the Bulldogs and attack them through the air. I like Zach Bundalo to fire a couple of early TD tosses.

CP intercepted four passes last week (3 by Zach Stewart) and they'll get another one before halftime to help tie the score. I like Grayson Lynk running the option and he'll tie the game in the second period. But a third TD toss by Bundalo gives LC the lead early in the third quarter. Veteran receivers Josh Benson and Austin Atkins will be problems for CP when the pass rush can't get to Bundalo. A fumble will create a chance for LC's fourth TD. CP rallies on a Lynk to Shane McCormick score.

But Anthony Giles runs a late one in to finish the scoring. Even though Michigan City and LaPorte are 3-0, CP is better suited to face them than Lake Central, which causes so many problems on the perimeter.

Hey, you never know. Western Michigan did beat Northwestern last week. But in a game where none of the CP boys have ever defeated LC in varsity football in their time in school, this looks like another Lake Central win.

Lake Central 35, CROWN POINT 21


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Revised: September 09, 2016.