Football: 59ers come back to earn share of NCC title
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent October 12, 2012 11:50PM
Andrean's Mark Dravet tries to strip the ball from Lowell's George Fields during the second quarter on Friday, in Merrillville. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 14, 2012 3:12PM
MERRILLVILLE — For the second straight week, Andrean trailed at halftime. Also for the second straight week, the 59ers rallied in the second half, erasing a 12-point deficit and clinching a share of the NCC title with a 20-19 victory over Lowell.
“I was really thrilled with the way our guys played in the second half,” said Andrean (7-2, 5-1 NCC) coach Phil Mason. “We made a couple simple adjustments defensively that helped. We made it so their tackles and tight ends weren’t able to get up to our linebackers so easily.”
Matt DeSomer threw one touchdown pass to Nick Serrato and ran for another in the third quarter, quickly erasing a 19-7 hole. Not only did Andrean’s offense put together two scoring drives in the second half, but the 59ers defense forced a pair of quick three-and-outs that kept Lowell’s (5-4, 3-3 NCC) offense off of the field. The Devils ran just four plays in the third quarter.
“You can’t score if you don’t have the ball,” said Lowell coach Keith Kilmer. “Everyone’s beating us at our own game.”
Andrean later ate up nearly eight minutes of clock on a fourth-quarter drive that stalled deep in Devils’ territory. By the time Lowell took over, it had just 2:54 and one timeout left to salvage the game. Six carries from running back George Fields netted 37 yards and had Lowell near midfield with one minute left.
On third-and-10, Michael Hilbrich had a step on the Andrean secondary and quarterback Bryan Thomas fired a pass in his direction. But Niners defensive back Mark Dravet recovered in time to break up the pass, and Lowell’s drive — and the game — ended on the ensuing fourth down.
The first half was a totally different game.
After spotting Andrean a 7-0 lead on a DeSomer 72-yard touchdown run, Lowell reeled off three straight touchdowns — all from Fields, who finished the day with 208 yards on 36 carries. But Lowell converted only one of its three extra point attempts.
Said Kilmer: “That was the best half we’ve played this year.”