Crown Point holds on for win over Lowell
By Michael Osipoff firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-2485 August 23, 2013 11:16PM
Lowell High's #7 Paul Mauer and #31 Kiefer Kersey tackle Crown Point's #2 Tristan Peterson and try to rip the ball away during the 1st game of the Indiana High School football season on 8/23/13. | John Booz/ for the Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 25, 2013 6:13AM
LOWELL — Crown Point continued its streak in the Old Leather Helmet game, but Friday night’s edition of the state’s oldest rivalry came down to the wire.
The Bulldogs held off Lowell 16-12, winning for the fourth straight time in the series.
“Any time you can come down to their place with the tradition Lowell has, it’s big,” Crown Point coach Kevin Enright said. “It’s always a grudge match, a huge fight.”
Jake Jatis, who completed 10-of-25 passes for 219 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, was savoring the victory.
“This is my first time putting it (the leather helmet) on,” the senior quarterback said. “I usually let the seniors wear it. To wear it now, it’s an awesome feeling.”
After a relatively quiet start, George Fields finished with 193 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Devils, who rode him on their final possession before eventually turning the ball over on downs at the Crown Point 39-yard line with 1:35 left in the game.
“You can’t beat your opponent and yourself on the same night,” said Lowell coach Keith Kilmer, whose team lost four fumbles. “We made too many mistakes. I thought we were more physical, we showed great heart, but we had too many mistakes to overcome against a good, well-coached team.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Jatis connected with Jacob Kocher for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the second. Fields scored his first TD, a 4-yarder, with 56.6 seconds left in the half, but Lowell missed the extra point (the Devils missed two PATs, the Bulldogs one).
Special teams indeed played a key role, as Crown Point executed a fake punt to help set up a touchdown and kicked a field goal.
The Bulldogs moved ahead 13-6 on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jatis to Morgan Kral with 8:13 left in the third quarter, after Artie Equiha had rushed for 13 yards on the fake on fourth-and-8 from the Lowell 42.
After Evan Markowitz kicked a 29-yard field goal with 58.2 seconds left in the third, Fields broke loose for an 80-yard touchdown on the Devils’ next play from scrimmage.
Neither team wound up scoring in the fourth quarter.
“I thought the defense controlled the game for us,” Enright said.