Class 5A, Sectional 1, Chesterton at Merrillville

Chesterton 21

(1-0, 1-0 conf)

 

Merrillville 45

(11-3, 6-1 conf)

1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Chesterton 7 7 0 7 21
Merrillville 7 17 14 7 45
7:00 PM CDT, October 26, 2012
Sport Boys' Football
Level: High School - V

CLASS 5A, SECTIONAL 1 | No. 1 Merrillville 45, No. 4 Chesterton 21

Merrillville dominates rematch with Chesterton

2012-10-26T22:15:00Z 2012-10-27T02:19:04Z Merrillville dominates rematch with ChestertonPaul Jankowski Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 26, 2012 10:15 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Merrillville won the unofficial Duneland Athletic Conference tiebreaker Friday night, dominating Chesterton 45-21 in the Class 5A Sectional 1 semifinals at Demaree Stadium.

The victory avenged a 40-35 loss to the Times No. 4 Trojans just two weeks ago in the regular-season finale, and allows the Pirates (9-2) to host next week's sectional championship against Crown Point (8-3).

Turnovers, and an opportunistic offense, were the difference this time.

The No. 1 Pirates picked off Chesterton quarterback Chris Katsafaros three times and recovered two fumbles.

Junior safety Ryan Neal had a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery to lead the Merrillville defense.

"We knew what the game plan was, and all we had to do was execute it and carry out what needed to be done," Neal said. "We all came together as one, 91 individuals as one."

Offensively, the Pirates received a huge boost from the return of senior running back Dylon Collins.

Thought to be lost for the season, Collins started the game and finished with 121 yards rushing on 12 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.

Collins looked a bit slow early on in his first few carries, but broke loose for a 17-yard run on his first carry of the second quarter.

The Pirates came back from an early 7-0 deficit, putting together a pair of long scoring drives and ending in 1-yard touchdown runs by Bryant Isabell, Collins' backup, to take a 14-7 lead to start the second.

Chesterton evened the score at 14-14 with the only Joe Troop highlight of the night, a 73-yard scoring strike from Katsafaros. Other than that, Troop was held in check. He had only one other catch for no gain, and rushed nine times for a net of 17 yards.

Merrillville took control at the end of the half. Matt Warren kicked a 25-yard field goal, and the Pirates got the ball back on the Chesterton 27 with 34 seconds remaining after a short Trojans' punt.

Merrillville quarterback Jake Raspopovich scored on a 1-yard run as time expired. He had spiked the ball with 0.7 seconds on the clock, and the Pirates were going to kick another field goal but decided to go for the touchdown after a Chesterton timeout.

The Pirates continued to dominate in the second half. Joe Cowser scored on 3-yard pass from Raspopovich, and then Collins broke free on his 80-yard run with 1:29 remaining in the third for a 38-14 lead.

Raspopovich added a 5-yard scoring run to start the fourth quarter for a 45-14 advantage. Merrillville amassed 464 yards of offense, with Raspopovich throwing for 233 yards.

"I'm just proud of our guys," Merrillville coach Zac Wells said. "They've worked their tails off to become better football players."

Chesterton (9-2) lost to the Pirates in the sectional semifinals for the third year in a row.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses