STEVE HANLON: What it means to be elite

2013-09-13T21:30:00Z 2013-10-13T20:51:20Z STEVE HANLON: What it means to be eliteSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
September 13, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

ST. JOHN | The game was in hand. Really, it was all but over 90 minutes earlier.

There could've been a TKO called at halftime.

Lake Central was leading Crown Point 23-0 inside of seven minutes left. L.C. defensive coordinator Mike Bork came screaming down the sidelines yelling for a timeout.

“Whose got that side?” Bork yelled. “Whose got that side?”

No matter what the scoreboard says, perfection is the goal.

The score remained the same. And until the second string had been inserted for the final seconds, Crown Point had 63 yards of total offense.

Bulldogs quarterback Jake Jatis, God bless him, is still probably laying in ice. The physically tough, mentally tricky defensive unit can give you a headache both ways.

Bork calls blitzes and coverages like a poker player sitting at a table in Vegas. He has no tells.

Bork played for C.P. coach Kevin Enright in 2004 and '05 when Enright was the Bulldogs defensive coordinator. Bork coached at his alma mater from 2007 through 2009.

But he followed Brett St. Germain to St. John. I'd say C.P. should've held on to him.

“When I left Crown Point, I thought my coaching was done,” Bork said. “But when Saint came here, I came along. It's been great watching these kids get better.”

The Indians call their defense an elite unit. I would agree. Several sacks, 12-plus hits on the quarterback and six or seven stops on third-and-1 or fourth-and-1.

It was like the Indians knew what was coming.

“We knew we were playing against a great team and a great quarterback,” Lake Central's Gelen Robinson said. “You have to play your best against a team like that. I believe we did.”

Tackle C.J. Lessentine could not be moved. He was in on several big plays. So were Charles Sykes, K.J. Singleton and many others.

“When I look to my left I see a friend,” Lessentine said. “When I look to my right I see a friend. When I look behind me or in front of me I see a friend.”

I would not want to be these guys' enemy. Ouch.

In May, everyone knew L.C.'s defense would be tough. What makes the unit even better is the way sophomore quarterback Colin Studer plays. If this team starts scoring points consistently, duck.

“We had to change the DNA when we got here,” St. Germain said. “We wanted to play a certain style. I turned everything over to (Bork), and he's done a great job with it.”

L.C. was sixth in the state in scoring defense at 11.67 heading into Friday's game. This group is only going to get better.

In a season in which a lot of teams are scoring points with every breath, most folks are going to be lucky to get a blade of grass against these guys. That's what being elite is all about.

St. Germain did not want me to call this defense the same as the '85 Bears. And they are not. But there are some similarities. You don't know who's coming from where, but when whoever gets there from wherever he comes from -- it's going to hurt.

"We're in the business of momentum," Bork said. "We have to keep it going."

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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