Week 8 - Football Game of the Week Preview

Crown Point (4-3)
at Chesterton (5-2) 

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith
CP's Will Pettit (7) and Chesterton QB Chris Mullin will be looking downfield as the potent passing attacks of Crown Point and Chesterton meet Friday night in Porter County. (Photos by Mark Smith)

When:  Friday, October 11, 2019.

Where:  Chesterton High School - 2125 11th St, Chesterton, Indiana.

TV/Radio/Internet:  Live Internet audio stream on www.USA-365.com.

CROWN POINT – 2,869; CHESTERTON – 2,061. It surprises me that Chesterton is now a slightly larger school than Valparaiso (1,993 kids) and LaPorte (1,807 teens).

Day long rains MIGHT end in the first half, but temperatures will fall in to the upper 40s. If the rain stops (as is predicted) after 5 p.m., the wetness may not affect the game much since Chesterton has artificial turf. But we’re also looking at 15-20 mile-an-hour winds that will get the attention of kickers. This is the first cold night game of the year and it may takes both teams (both of whom like to pass) a while to get used to it since they’ve practiced in 65-70 degree weather all week. For fans? Only the strong survive.


PARKING: It's been a good year for Chesterton so they should have a good crowd despite the cold. Chesterton’s parking lot is between the school and the field. It is a bit of a walk to the stands so be ready for that. But it's a big school so there will be plenty of room for you Friday night.


WHAT's AT STAKE: Both teams have lost twice so they aren't going to win the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) no matter what happens in this game. Both teams have a shot at a 5-2 DAC record, although Chesterton has Merrillville next week. This is the final home game for the Trojans and a win guarantees their first winning season since 2015.



Chesterton is a small town that grew. You can see that when you drive through the neighborhoods. It very much has a small town feel. Chesterton was Indian land until it was settled first in the mid-1800s. If your name is Bailly, Thomas or Morgan, your family may be descendants of the founders of Chesterton. Joe Bailly established a fur trading post on the Little Calumet River in 1822. The Bailly Homestead in Chesterton is named after his family.

Chesterton's original name is Calumet. Chesterton was farm land, a railroad stop and lake shore until U.S. Steel in Gary provided steady work. The population began to rise in the 1960s with the Burns Harbor Bethlehem Steel plant opening in 1962. In 1960, Chesterton had an official population of 4,335.

In 2010, the population was 13,068.

Chesterton high school was originally such a small school, they were an original member of the Porter County Conference (PCC) with present-day members Boone Grove, Hebron, Kouts, Washington Township and Morgan Township.

Chesterton was in the PCC from 1933 to 1958 but in the 70s, Chesterton became one of the charter members (along with Valparaiso, Hobart and Portage) of the big school Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC).

Chesterton and Portage are charter members of both the PCC and the DAC.

Chesterton is somewhat of a sentimental favorite in high school football. The Trojans have never won a sectional championship in any class in the entire history of the IHSAA state football tournament. It could happen this year.

The 'Distant Replay'...

Bulldogs'special teams play big in victory over Chesterton, 24-7


Team 1 2 3 4 F
Chesterton (4-4, 4-2 DAC) 0 0 7 0 7
CROWN POINT (7-1, 5-1 DAC) 7 3 0 14 24

Friday, October 10, 2014 - 50 degrees, Duneland Athletic Conference at CROWN POINT, IN

1st QtrCROWN POINT (7-0) Troy Grady, 6-yard run. 47-yard drive, 8 plays. James Priddy kick. 1:03 left.
2nd Qtr: CROWN POINT (10-0) James Priddy, 27-yard field goal. 40-yard drive, 8 plays. 3:03 left.
3rd Qtr: CHESTERTON (7-10) Garritt Slatcoff, 14-yard run. 79-yard drive, 5 plays (after the 2nd half kickoff). Nate Needham kick. 10:02 left.
4th Qtr: CROWN POINT (17-7)
Zach Stewart, 60-yard run with blocked field goal. 9:24 left.
Artie Equihua, 48-yard run. 52-yard drive, 2 plays. 2:00 left.


CHESTERTON (26 carries, 125 yards, one TD, one fumble): Avery Beeks (HB) 15 carries, 150 yards, Garritt Slatcoff (QB) 8 carries, minus 7 yards (4 sacks, minus -16); Austin Farmer (QB) 2 sacks (minus-11); Taylor Hayman (HB) 1 (minus-10). CROWN POINT: (37 carries, 187 yards, 2 TDs, 2 fumbles): Troy Grady (HB) 14 carries, 51 yards, TD; Artie Equihua (QB) 20 carries, 133 yards, TD, 2 fumbles; Luke Polus (HB) 2-1 yard; Jesse Martin (HB) 1-4 yards, Dax Jones (WR) 1-2 yards.

CHESTERTON: Garritt Slatcoff (QB) 5-10, 45 yards; Avery Beeks (HB) 0-2.
CROWN POINT: Artie Equihua (QB) 6-7, 30 yards, 0 TDs, 0 interceptions.

CHESTERTON - Logan Hofferth (WR) 2 catches, 18 yards, Dasuan Edwards (WR) 1-22, Davielle Stewart (WR) 1-12 yards, Matt Estill (WR) 1 (minus-6).
CROWN POINT: Morgan Kral (TE) 1-14 yards, TD; Dax Jones (WR) 2-6 yards, Jesse Martin (HB) 1-4; Troy Grady (HB) 2-4.



PORTAGE (2) fumble, blocked kick. CROWN POINT (2) 2 fumbles.

CROWN POINT (10-10-2014) Five years ago, Chesterton trailed Crown Point 10-7 at the top of the fourth quarter and nobody was sure who’d win. The Trojans were driving to tie the game or go ahead. Nate Needham lined up for a 40-yard field goal, a distance that seemed to be within his range.

But then came the play that everyone took home with them. Crown Point's 6-foot-6 senior Morgan Kral slipped through the Chesterton linemen and blocked the field goal. The ball bounced back towards the empty end of the field and CP sophomore Zach Stewart raced to get it.

With fans in the entire CP grandstand on their feet, Stewart grabbed the ball on a bounce and outran a close race with the white shirted Chesterton defenders to the goal line for a game-breaking special teams' touchdown. An almost certain tie game turned into a 10-point Crown Point lead. The Bulldogs were lifted. The Trojans were crushed. And CP went on to win 24-7.

The Trojans almost have always played Crown Point late in the season and some of the games are like this, defensive struggles where neither team could move the ball. This game didn't predict the future. Chesterton-CP is a non-rivalry game that usually does not declare what both sides will do in the playoffs. The Trojans finished the 2014 season at 6-5. Crown Point ended the regular season at 8-1 but lost the playoff opener 45-42 to Merrillville.

Both teams were eliminated on opening night of the 2014 state tournament.

But if I could find Morgan Kral and Zach Stewart, I’d bet they remember the 2014 game between the Bulldogs and the Trojans when they combined for the biggest play of the night.

2019 (6A) Crown Point (4-3)
5-7 (2018) 7-5 (2017) 6-6 (2016), 1-9 (2015)
Coach Kevin Enright (7th year) 45-40

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

6A Sectional 1
11-2 (Fri.) sectional quarterfinal vs. Merrillville, Jefferson or Lake Central.




CROWN POINT - What concerns you going into this final road game of the season is that Crown Point has not been able to run successfully the last two weeks. Two weeks ago, CP ran 19 times for 73 yards against Valparaiso. Last week, the Bulldogs ran 23 times for 81 yards.

Facing a strong passing team this week and with the prospect of facing a very strong passing team (Jefferson) in the sectional, Crown Point needs to be able to rush for 150-200 yards to keep the pass-happy folks off the field.

CP quarterback Will Pettit (98 of 194, 1122 yards, 7 TDs, 8 interceptions) posted three TD passes and no interceptions last week. But when you watch the Bulldogs play (or at least when I do), you come away thinking they are capable of a lot more on offense.
For one, while the Bulldogs spread the defense with their two receiving two right end formations, CP has completed just 10 passes to running backs all season, That’s something to look for as the Bulldogs face better competition this month.

Defensively, CP has allowed 55 pass completions and 760 yards passing in seven games with just seven sacks and seven pass interceptions. They seem well-suited to take on a pass-friendly attack, although Friday night will say a lot about that theory.

2019 (6A) Chesterton (5-2)
3-7 (2018) 4-6 (2017) 2-8 (2016), 8-3 (2015)
Coach Mark Peterson (7th year) 32-38; DAC games in CAPS

8-23 (W) 21-13 at (4A) Hobart (5-2)
8-30 (W) 40-0 (4A) Munster (0-7)
9-6 (L) 7-21 at (5A) MICHIGAN CITY (3-4)
9-13 (W) 29-7 (5A) LaPORTE (1-6)
9-20 (L) 6-40 (5A) VALPARAISO (7-0)
9-28 (W) 26-7 (6A) PORTAGE (1-6)
10-4 (W) 38-0 (6A) LAKE CENTRAL (3-4)
10-11 (Fri.) (6A) CROWN POINT (4-3)
10-18 (Fri.) at (6A) MERRILLVILLE (6-1)

6A Sectional 2
11-2 (Fri.) sectional quarterfinal vs. Penn, Warsaw and Portage.



It's been a very good year for the Trojans with losses only to state-ranked Valparaiso (7-0) and Michigan City. On offense, the big deal has been sophomore quarterback Chris Mullen, who is 88 of 171 for 1,583 yards and 16 TDs and the top passer in the DAC. Mullen has a squadron of top receivers in Jake Warren (6-6, 195), who has 21 catches for 462 yards and Ben Slatcoff (6-0, 165) , who has 20 catches for 424 yards and halfback Bryce Pickering (5-8, 160), who has caught 29 for 436 yards.

The Trojans have good size up front, but 171 pass attempts in seven games (24.4 per game) tells you what Chesterton wants to do with the ball.

Defensively, the Trojans have held six of their seven opponents to 21 points or less. Valparaiso ran the ball for almost 400 yards on the Trojans in week four, but Slatcoff, who plays safety, leads all of Northwest Indiana with seven interceptions.


Chesterton's Ray Banary Field: capacity 4,800


SAGARIN RATINGS: Chesterton by 3.

The gap here is small and it probably comes down to Chesterton having won five games while CP has won only four. Also, Chesterton beat Hobart while Crown Point lost to Lowell. Hobart is rated 19 points better than Lowell on the computer. For the record, Crown Point was rated 11 points better than LaPorte last week on the computer and they won 21-10.



CHESTERTON (10-11-2019)
If the weather clears, this should be a somewhat high scoring game.

Chesterton’s Chris Mullen will find a couple of TD passes early to halfback Bryce Pickering and the Trojans will lead 14-3 at the half.

CP, as they have often in 2019, rallies in the third quarter on a TD run by Matthew Walters and a touchdown pass from Will Pettit to Ben Uran.

The Trojans pull ahead again 28-17 on a TD toss to big Jake Warren and a scoring run by Pickering.

Crown Point gets a fourth quarter field goal from Sammy Brewer, but can draw no closer. Both these teams have multiple receiving threats and you’ll see 25 passes from both sides. I think the Trojans, with Pickering, have more versatility in their passing game. About one TD more.



Copyright © 2019 USA-365.com and Meyer Multimedia Services, a division of Meyer Broadcasting Corp.  All rights reserved.
Revised: October 11, 2019 .