MERRILLVILLE | How do you stop an offensive problem like George Fields?
Keep him off the field.
After Lowell's junior running back scored three touchdowns and ran for 157 yards in the first half of Friday's game against Andrean, he was limited to 50 yards on three offensive series in the second half.
The 59ers turned up their offense to the tune of a pair of touchdowns to squeak to their second-straight Northwest Crossroads Conference title 20-19. Andrean (7-2, 5-1) will have to share this edition of the championship, with wins by Hobart and Kankakee Valley.
"After the first defensive series in the second half, I felt it," said Niners running back Zack Kogut, who had 10 yards in the first half and finished with 95. "We had it. I felt it."
Andrean's defensive change to free up the linebackers and put quicker pressure on Fields. He didn't record a first down in the second half until there were nearly two minutes remaining in the game.
"It was a great second half, I'm just really thrilled with the way we played the second half," Andrean coach Phil Mason said. "We made a couple simple adjustments defensively because of something they were hitting us with. ... They're outstanding up front and we knew were in for a heck of a game."
Matt Desomer had his hand on all three Andrean scores, running in two TDs (72 and 1 yards) and throwing another to Nick Serrato from 5 yards out. The quarterback finished with 113 yards passing and 126 on the ground.
Andrean's offense that had just four first downs in the first half finished with 12 in the game.
Though Andrean didn't score on its penultimate possession of the game, it ran the ball for nearly seven minutes of the fourth quarter, keeping Fields grounded.
Lowell kicker Colton Wilkey missed a pair of extra points and a field goal attempt in the first half hit the upright.
"Our defense fought, our kids fought, but you can't score if you don't have the ball," Lowell coach Keith Kilmer said. "Everyone's beating us at our own game.
"That (first half) was our best half we've played all year, but this is their senior night and they just kept us off the field."