ST. JOHN | It was the David and the Defense Show Friday at The Burial Grounds.
Lake Central's David Yancey shook loose for 111 yards and three touchdowns, and the smothering Indians defense did the rest, stifling Times No. 1 Chesterton in a surprising 35-12 Duneland Athletic Conference blowout.
"One of our mottos is defense stops, offense scores," Yancey said. "It seemed like the defense kept stopping them, and we were kind of sputtering on offense. So we were determined to get in the end zone. One tackle wasn't going to stop me."
The teams slugged it out in a bruising first half that featured 102 total yards between them. Forty-two of the yards came on a Yancey TD run on fourth-and-2 early in the second quarter that accounted for the only points before the break.
"I can't tell you how many kids we we had hurt -- playing at 50 percent," Indians coach Brett St. Germain said. "We challenged the kids. We needed to take the fight to Chesterton. Last week, we didn't do that (to Michigan City). That was our mindset. It was tough early, but we kept plugging away. And I'd like to think we wore them down a little."
Yancey broke free from the grasp of Julian Raudry in the backfield and exploded for another 42-yard score as Lake Central (6-1, 4-1) went up 14-0.
"Coach told us all week, 'Don't get down on yourselves for a four-yard gain,'" Yancey said. "That's one of the best defenses we've seen besides ours. They were hitting pretty hard. We were just going to put the game on our offensive line's shoulders and ride them the whole game to the promised land."
Riley Arvanitis, one of the stalwarts on defense for Lake Central, also rumbled 41 yards for a score to put the Indians up 21-0.
"We had a really hard week of practice," Arvanitis said. "We went full pads all week. We called out (Joe Troop) every time. I had both A gaps, and everybody else was just going hard, flying to the ball. This was about coming back and making a statement. They were the No. 1 team in the area, at least until a few hours ago, and I guess we are now."
Chesterton got on the board on an 81-yard pass from Chris Katsafaros to Joe Troop, but Brian Rice answered with a 91-yard kickoff return to the house to erase any momentum.
"They've got a lot of weapons," St. Germain said. "Our defensive coaches did an awesome job. Our No. 1 goal was top stop Troop and just go from there. Play hard. When the ball's snapped, you gotta go."
The Trojans (6-1, 4-1) finished with 76 yards rushing, averaging just two yards per attempt. Much of that came late, as Katsafaros totaled 12 yards (on 18 carries) and Jon Horvath 14 on nine rushes. Chesterton fumbled seven times, losing four of them.
"That was just them physically beating us up at the point of attack," coach John Snyder said. "Our defense was outstanding for two-and-a-half quarters. We let a couple scores get away. They took advantage of some mistakes and they just wore us down. They were everything we thought they'd be."