PORTAGE | There were no magic words from Rashaan Coleman when the Portage quarterback got in the huddle before the Indians started a drive from their 10-yard line, trailing Chesterton 17-14 with less than four minutes to play.
"I felt like the offense owed it to the defense for holding them to nine points the first (three quarters)," Coleman said. "Everybody just said, 'Let's go!'"
And go they did. Portage (2-4, 2-2), on the feet of Coleman and Jeron Blake, marched 90 yards, all on the ground, going in front on a 2-yard Coleman surge with 35.3 seconds left, to pull out a wild 21-17 Duneland Athletic Conference upset victory over Times No. 3 Chesterton on Saturday night.
"We know the feeling of success and we never want to let it go," said Coleman, who rushed for 188 yards and threw for 118. "People give them slack, but our line's always been solid. Our running backs took the load. We have the talent. Sometimes, we just lack focus. That's all it is."
Chestertron (4-2, 3-1) went in front 17-14 when sophomore Cole Teal hit Adam Lara on a 71-yard touchdown pass with 3:53 left. Teal came on after starter Chris Katsafaros left with what is believed to be an ankle injury.
That score came right after Othie Freeny broke loose on a short Coleman pass for a 77-yard reception, touching off a wild fourth quarter.
"They've got athletes," Chesterton coach John Snyder said. "The thing they didn't do was make mistakes like they've done in games where they've gotten steamrolled. They were better than those couple scores (62-7 and 49-0 losses) showed."
Antonio Rodriguez sealed the win with an interception of Teal in the final seconds.
In addition to Coleman's heroics, Portage got 110 yards from Blake.
"A lot of it's Rashaan," Portage coach Jeromy Flowers said. "He's just a winner, a great football player. You just put the ball in his hands. Hat's off to Jeron (Blake) and our senior linemen, Joey Little and Patrick Doyle, too. One thing we do at Portage is we always fight. Can we be more consistent? I hope so."
Chesterton got three field goals form Kyle Schmidt and 92 yards rushing from Zac Jenks.