MICHIGAN CITY | After a rough start to the season, Times No. 7 Crown Point is right were it wants to be heading into sectionals -- playing hot and riding momentum.
The Bulldogs ended the regular season Friday night with a 13-3 win at Ames Field.
While the game wasn’t exactly pretty, there were enough positives to encourage coach Kevin Enright.
Crown Point (6-3, 4-3) racked up 359 yards of total offense while holding the Wolves (2-7, 1-6) to just 137 overall. Quarterback Jake Jatis and running back Tristan Peterson paced the attack, with Jatis throwing for 190 yards and two touchdowns and Peterson racking up 130 yards on the ground.
While the offense did not capitalize on a few opportunities to score and put the game out of reach early, Enright credited the team’s defense with making big plays to keep the Wolves at bay.
“Offensively, it was not our best night in terms of execution at critical times,” Enright said. “Tristan ran the ball hard, and I give a lot of credit to the line up front. Our defense was outstanding tonight. We played through some adversity.”
One of the key defensive plays of the night came in the third quarter, with Crown Point narrowly leading 7-3.
The sequence began when Jatis threw a pass that was picked off by Wolves linebacker James Washington III at the 50-yard line. Washington ran the ball to the Crown Point 22, and Michigan City appeared primed to score and take the lead.
But on the Wolves' first play, Bulldog cornerback Tyler Smith returned the favor with an interception of his own at the 2-yard line, which he ran back to the 15.
Crown Point then orchestrated a 12-play drive capped by a six-yard touchdown catch by receiver Zach Plesac with about 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs were then able to force another turnover – this time an interception by defensive back Zack Bucci. They then killed the clock behind some solid running by Peterson.
Crown Point has now won four of its last five games and will host Valparaiso in the first round of sectionals next week.
“To go into sectionals with a victory is critical, and we were able to accomplish that,” Enright said. “It gives us some momentum going in, no question.”