Football: Merrillville survives scare against Munster
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent October 19, 2012 11:38PM
Updated: November 21, 2012 6:11AM
MUNSTER — Style points are a luxury for the regular season. In the playoffs, the only necessity is a victory. That’ll be the refrain coming from Merrillville after the Pirates bounced back from a 14-point deficit at halftime for a 28-21 victory over Munster.
“At this point in the season, you just want to win games one at a time,” Merrillville (8-2) coach Zac Wells said. “Hopefully we continue to focus on that moving forward. I don’t know what their mind-set was, but at the end, we got where we needed to be.”
In the first half, Ernest Carter was nearly unstoppable for Munster. The senior running back scored three times in the first half, piling up 202 yards on seven carries. He traveled 84 yards on one of those touchdowns and 87 yards on another.
Merrillville’s lone score of the first half came on a 15-yard pass from freshman quarterback D.J. Wilkins to Bryant Jenkins. Wilkins shared time at quarterback with starter Jake Raspopovich as part of the Pirates’ gameplan, according to Wells.
“We’ve got a couple other guys that we wanted to see,” he said. “That’s what tournament time is about: finding guys to step up in situations when they’re given the opportunity.”
Merrillville scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to take the lead. Bryant Isabell found the end zone on runs of 47 and 6 yards, while Wilkins fired a 53-yard bomb to Dye for his second TD throw of the game.
“We didn’t make a ton of adjustments,” Wells said. “The kids just played better.”
Twice in the final quarter, Munster crossed into Merrillville territory with a chance to tie. The first possession ended when Trace McCarthy was intercepted by Ryan Neal at the Pirates’ 6-yard line with about 6:00 remaining in the game. McCarthy’s lob toward the end zone on the final play of the game was also intercepted by Neal, ending the Mustangs’ season.