Chesterton routs a Valparaiso team that hung with some of Indiana’s best
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org September 14, 2012 11:42PM
Chesterton's Joe Troop gives a celebratory jump after scoring the first touchdown of the game at the 11 minute mark on a pass to the 40 yard line at Valparaiso High School on Friday, September 14, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 16, 2012 6:12AM
VALPARAISO — The combination of speed, athleticism and depth that Chesterton exhibited Friday in an eye-opening 48-14 blowout over Valparaiso gives pause to this possibility: Are the Trojans as good or better than, say Carmel or Penn, two teams that the Vikings lost to by a total of eight points?
Assuming the transitive property applies, it’s safe to say that Chesterton, which isn’t ranked in The Associated Press’ top 10 poll and is ninth in the Indiana Football Coaches Poll, can play with any team in the state.
Chesterton coach John Snyder certainly hopes so. It’s the biggest margin of victory for the Trojans in the series since they defeated Valparaiso 33-0 in 1961 in the first meeting between the schools.
“Now everyone can say we got rid of the cream puffs on our schedule,” he said. “Valpo lost to the No. 1 team in the state by a point and they almost beat Penn. Are we that good? I don’t know.”
Said Valparaiso coach Dave Coyle: “They’re very good. They have a nice team.”
They certainly looked really, really good in virtually every phase of the game against the outmanned Vikings.
They held the Vikings to 60 yards rushing, with 36 of them coming in the fourth quarter when the Trojans had their subs in, and 160 total yards. The Vikings running game was limited when Stephen Simms left in the first quarter with an injury. He never returned.
“Unbelievable,” Snyder said of his defense.
They essentially manhandled Valparaiso up front, closing up holes with their quickness and getting to quarterback David Hittinger when he tried to pass. Hittinger was sacked five times.
Chesterton quarterback Chris Katsafaros, who finished 15-of-19 with three touchdown passes for 188 yards, said the defense makes this team better than people might think.
“Our defensive front is really good,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of teams are going to score on them.”
They also had the best offensive player around in Joe Troop, who scored three touchdowns. He finished with 109 receiving yards and 86 rushing yards.
Chesterton was equally impressive on offense and defense. The Trojans racked up 146 yards passing in the first half, burning the Vikings with a variety of quick sideline outs to Matt Holba, who caught four passes for 25 yards, and then zinging them intermittently with passes to Troop, a 6-1 speedster. Troop started the scoring with a 69-yard bomb for a touchdown on the fourth play of the game.
Defensively, the Trojans had the closing speed to shut down anyone who dared to try to run outside on them. The Vikings finished with 2 yards total rushing in the first half. Hittinger was equally ineffective passing the ball, finishing 7-of-9 for 35 yards.
Chesterton got on the board for its second touchdown when Julian Raudry returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown.
Katsafaros scored on the next possession for the Trojans from 7 yards. That touchdown was set up by a pass interference penalty by the Vikings while they tried to defend the 6-6 Holba.
The Trojans basically put the game away in the first half when Katsafaros found Troop for a 22-yard TD pass with just more than two minutes left in the half.