CHESTERTON | With only a handful of varsity starts under his belt, Cole Teal isn't the most experienced quarterback around, but the Chesterton senior has savvy that extends well beyond those numbers.
"We rep so much in the summer," Teal said. "I've been running the option since eighth grade. By now, it's like automatic, second nature."
Teal made all the right reads in Monday's weather-delayed game against Munster, rushing for 70 yards and throwing for 120 to lead the Trojans to a 35-14 victory.
"Cole had great tempo," Chesterton coach Mark Peterson said. "Something he brings to the table is he's so knowledgeable. He knows what we're trying to accomplish offensively. Four, five times, he called the play himself. He had a great night, controlling the game."
Tyler Gillespie ran for 90 yards, 30 of them on an inspiring fourth-quarter run when he took an 11-Mustang pile with him. He scored on a pair of 1-yard runs and Jon Horvath went in from 3 and 5 yards. Teal notched the Trojans' other score on a 13-yard keeper after Munster went in front on its first possession with a 25-yard Joe Jumonville pass to Zack Pickett.
"It was really a team effort," Peterson said. "You've got to hand it to the kids on defense. We had a bend but don't break mentality. The offense rose and was able to overcome some adversity. Tyler ran extremely hard and I can't say enough good things about our offensive line. We talked about them being able to carry us and they stepped up."
Chesterton went in front 12-7 after recovering a short kickoff inside the Mustangs 25. Munster was driving for a would-be go-ahead score in the second quarter when Jumonville was intercepted by Jordan Dilosa at the Chesterton 8.
"Big play," Mustangs coach Leroy Marsh said. "We had a missed assignment and a kid gets in the quarterback's face."
The Trojans then marched 92 yards in 12 plays with Teal completing passes on third and 5 (24-yard screen to Avery Beeks) from the 13 and third and 15 (36 yards to Austin Stickler). Gillespie's plunge and a Teal conversion pass to Colin McEuen made it 20-7.
"The coaches did a great job preparing us for what they were going to throw at us," said Teal, noting the Trojans' success with the screen against Munster's rush. "The line, they call themselves the 'hogs,' and we got on their back."
Munster got back in it at 20-14 late in the third when Seth Gutwein raced 39 yards, turning an Anthony Conroyd interception into a score, but it didn't seriously threaten again. Gutwein finished with 90 yards.
"Chesterton played with a lot of intensity, a lot more than we did," Marsh said, not using the third trip to Chesterton in four days as an excuse. "Most of our problems were Munster problems. We were playing a lot of young kids and we kind of slept walked through the game. We were playing a lot of key kids both ways due to injuries and when the body gets tired, you make mistakes."