Football: Chesterton coach ‘encouraged’ after Friday’s scrimmage
By Brian Peloza Post-Tribune correspondent August 16, 2013 11:22PM
Updated: September 18, 2013 6:14AM
LAFAYETTE — Chesterton returns one starter on defense from last year’s team, but coach Mark Peterson saw encouraging signs during his team’s scrimmage at Lafayette Jeff on Friday.
There were some highlights, such as Andrew Ralph’s interception on the third play of the scrimmage. Linebackers Tommy St. Germain and Jaycee Jensen, along with defensive lineman Tony Zelenika, made some nice plays.
But then there were some concerns, as well. Lafayette Jeff scored touchdowns on three of its first five plays during the goal-line series.
Overall, Peterson feels roughly half of the defense is solidified, while position battles continue in five or six spots.
“I’m really excited,” Peterson said. “There are some things we have to work on and we knew that coming in, but coming out of this scrimmage, we’re certainly encouraged.”
Chesterton moved the ball consistently on offense, but three turnovers in its first 15 plays helped stall out any momentum. The Trojans scored three touchdowns in it 10-play, goal-line series.
Quarterback Cole Teal rushed for a 9-yard score, while connecting with Steven Stachyra for an 11-yard touchdown. Avery Beeks rushed for a 1-yard score.
“Cole Teal really stepped up and established himself as the leader,” Peterson said.
“He did a nice job of controlling the huddle and making a couple of adjustments. The simplicity is we have to hang on to the ball. We had some plays that were a 6- or an 8-yard gain and that’s a good football play, but we need to make sure we keep the ball in those situations.”
Peterson said he feels confident the offensive unit is solidified, with the exception of looking over the options at wide receiver.
“We’re really looking for some wide receivers to establish themselves,” Peterson said.
Lafayette Jeff was led by the play of quarterback Matt Johnson, who has committed to Ball State and is the defending state champion in the 100-meter dash.
“We won’t see this speed until we match up with the Portage, Merrillville or Lake Central,” Peterson said. “...It wasn’t as though we came out here and were physically outmatched, we did some nice things.”