ST. JOHN | It wasn't pretty, but that's not how Lake Central wins.
The Times No. 3 Indians had a defense that flexed but didn't crack and an offense that did just enough to top No. 9 Crown Point 9-6 in the Class 6A Sectional I opener.
"We're finding ways to win," coach Brett St. Germain said. "Even early in the year when we were struggling, I kept telling the coaches 'But we're finding ways to win. We're finding ways to win.'"
Antwan Davis sealed the game with an interception with about 15 ticks left on the clock.
"I read my key. I saw the guy come in motion and the guy coming out, so I just read my keys and got the ball," Davis said. "I'm glad that I got a chance to prove myself."
Davis also caught nine passes for 131 yards.
"Antwan is definitely, you would throw in the 'playmaker' category," St. Germain said. "He always tells me in practice that he wants to run certain plays where he gets the ball."
L.C. (7-2) opened things up with a big play on its first handoff. Brandon Scott took an off-tackle play and broke it outside for a 61-yard score.
The Bulldogs (6-3) slowed the Indians run attack after that. Lake Central gained only 13 more yards on the ground in the first half. Meanwhile, the C.P. running attack was moving the ball, but the Lake Central defense was not breaking.
Brian Rice picked off a pass in the second quarter when the Bulldogs were moving the ball deep in Indians territory.
"We put ourselves in position to make plays, and, yeah, we made some mistakes," C.P. coach Kevin Enright said. "Both teams fought like hell tonight, and I think it was just a good, hard-nosed football game."
Lake Central put three more on the board with Jillian Doan's 18-yard field goal. C.P.'s points came in the form of two field goals from Evan Markowitz in the second half, the first from 26 yards and the second from 30.
"Crown Point/Lake Central has become a very heated game," St. Germain said. "But we have a lot of respect for them, and I hope they have a lot of respect for us."