‘Phone booth’ offense guides Rensselaer
Post-Tribune staff report November 10, 2013 11:17PM
EAST CHICAGO — Rensselaer coach Chris Meeks referred to it as his “offense in a phone booth.” In the second half of the Bombers’ 40-12 win over Bowman Academy, they frequently lined up with two tight ends, two wings and a lone fullback behind the quarterback.
With all 11 Bombers cramped together, and all 11 Bowman defenders also packed in tight, every player on the field frequently lined up within five yards of the ball.
From those close quarters came gaping holes outside for the Bombers’ running backs, however, as Rensselaer put together four scoring drives on the ground in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
“They were all stacked inside so when we ran our sweeps, our linemen got out in front of me and it was like a wall,” said running back Trevor Hill, who went untouched behind one of those walls on a 28-yard TD run.
Moving in right direction: Munster’s loss to Mishawaka ended the Mustangs’ season with a 7-4 record. While they would have liked it to last a little longer, the campaign was a tremendous improvement from last year.
“We have a great group of kids that fought back from a 2-8 season last year,” said Munster coach Leroy Marsh. “I couldn’t be prouder of our kids.”
Given their dominant opening-game victory over Lake Central, Munster might have enjoyed even more success had they not been hit so hard with injuries. Running back Steve Herndon went out for the season in Week 3 and running back Seth Gutwein missed most of the season before returning Friday in a reduced capacity. Six-foot-7, 270-pound offensive lineman Eric Swingler also returned Friday after being injured off-and-on all year.
“We had a little something going this year, but then we got the injury bug,” Marsh said.
Good games, bad results: Lake Central wide receivers Antwan Davis and Alec Olund both put up numbers in Friday night’s Class 6A regional you’d think might indicate a winning formula for the Indians.
Thanks to a sound Penn team and its stingy defense — the Kingsmen entered the contest allowing 3.5 points per game — there was little chance of that happening as Penn rolled to a 33-6 win.
Davis caught nine passes from sophomore quarterback Ethan Darter for 106 yards, while Olund snagged six
receptions for 91 yards, including LC’s only touchdown of the game when he out-fought Penn defensive back Tyler Sousley — who seemed like he had a pick — for the ball and took it away from him.
Take a bow, guys: Lake Central football coach Brett St. Germain will always remember his senior class that played its last football game in the regional loss to Penn.
“I’m going to miss these kids,” the fourth-year coach said. “It’s going to be tough because this is the class I started with here. If you look at the program when I arrived and you look at the state of our program right now, they’ve come a long way. You have to commend these seniors and what they’ve been able to accomplish. Every year we’ve taken steps. This year, we took another step (first sectional title in 14 years). They’ve all worked hard to make it happen. The credit goes to them.”
Correspondents Dave Melton, Dennis Churilla, and John O’Malley contributed