PORTAGE | Arm strength and accuracy are two important intangibles for a successful quarterback to possess.
On Friday night, Crown Point signal caller Joe Hopman showed that having a short memory is another important quality for a winning quarterback.
Hopman rebounded from a poor performance against Lake Central last week to throw three first-half touchdown passes and lead the Times No. 7 Bulldogs to a 42-0 win over Portage at the Warpath.
Hopman threw for 153 yards and looked in perfect rhythm with his receivers just a week after he was 3-of-13 for 36 yards against Lake Central.
"It feels good to bounce back," Hopman said. "We knew that we always had it. It was a terrible game for me last week."
Crown Point nearly knocked off Merrillville in the Duneland Athletic Conference-opener before falling to Lake Central last week. On Friday night, the Bulldogs took out two weeks of frustration against the Indians, the upstart team that upset the Pirates a week ago.
"This was a big game for our seniors," Crown Point coach Chip Pettit said. "We talked about keeping things in front of us, talked about keeping our eyes in the right spots. We talked about the things we always talk about this week."
Some early Portage miscues aided the fast start for Crown Point after junior running back Jeron Blake fumbled on the second play of the game, giving the Bulldogs the ball deep inside Portage territory. Hopman found Tyler Kral two plays later for a 10-yard scoring strike. On Crown Point's next possession, Hopman threw a 9-yard touchdown to Drew Breuckman after the Bulldogs blocked a Portage punt.
"I'm kind of at a loss for words right now," Portage coach Jeromy Flowers said. "The kids worked hard this week, the coaches were working hard. I don't really know what to say about it. We know we're young and we know we don't have a lot of experience, but I still think this can be a good football team."
Rashaan Coleman, the star of last week's upset win over Merrillville, was held to 53 yards on 22 carries and could never get the vertical passing game going against the Crown Point defense. Hashim Simpson gained 16 yards on two carries before leaving with a leg injury and Coleman was left to handle the bulk of the offense.
"I thought (Cameron) Tanner and (Billy) Van Cleef were very good for us at taking away the middle of the line and making it really hard for Portage to get anything there," Pettit said.