CHESTERTON | A week after an emotional win over Merrillville and a week before a potential post-season rematch with the Pirates, Chesterton had to avoid the potential trap of a playing a Michigan City team it hadn't beaten 55-0 earlier in the season.
No worries, Trojans defensive end Trever Walker assured.
"One of the great things about our team, whoever we play, we're out to beat them up," Walker said. "We're not looking ahead to another team."
Chesterton (9-1) quickly jumped in front and the defense stifled the Wolves in a 37-7 victory, earning a trip to the Class 5A Sectional 1 semifinals at Merrillville.
"I was really nervous coming in," Trojans coach John Snyder said. "I was watching the Lake Central (vs. M.C.) game over and over and I was like, 'Holy cow, I hope we show up. to play and don't overlook them.' The defense came out and played extremely well. It was important for us to get off to a fast start offensively and we did."
Chris Katsafaros threw for a large portion of his 214 yards in the first half, with scoring strikes to Joe Troop of 36 yards on a fourth-and-12, and 43 yards to Jacob Andrews. He completed passes to seven receivers.
"I thought our receivers caught the ball really well, took some hits and delivered some hits," Snyder said. "It's big to get them involved."
Jon Horvath took over in the second half, when he racked up a large chunk of his 86 yards and reached the end zone twice from three yards.
"The threat of Joe and Chris opens things up for other guys," Snyder said.
The Wolves (2-8) didn't escape negative totals in rushing until late in the game, when Chesterton had pulled its starters. They managed 29 yards rushing on 28 tries.
"It's huge for our front three to get a push," Walker said. "If we can take up the offensive line, it leaves the linebackers free to come and make tackles. We know teams aren't going to try to run the ball. If we get a good pass rush and can stop the run, they're not going to beat us."
M.C. threw the ball 25 times but Ryan Washington connected on just 11 for 76 yards.
"Teams have been threatening us with the pass the last couple weeks," Snyder said. "I thought we played really well against the pass. We didn't let him get his feet set. The kids are focused. They have one goal and this puts us one step closer."