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Football: Crown Point hangs on to beat Valparaiso

Valparaiso's Matt Ford grabs hold Crown Point's Jake Jatis during first quarter sectional opener Friday Crown Point. | Scott R.

Valparaiso's Matt Ford grabs a hold of Crown Point's Jake Jatis during the first quarter of the sectional opener on Friday, in Crown Point. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 21, 2012 6:14AM



CROWN POINT — Ahead 20-0 at halftime, Crown Point appeared to be on its way to a rout of Valparaiso in a Class 5A Sectional 1 opener on Friday.

But Bulldogs coach Kevin Enright knew better.

It took a Connor Andras interception, his second of the night, to hold off a Vikings rally as Crown Point escaped with a 23-15 victory at Bulldog Stadium.

“That’s playoff football,” Enright said. “Valpo’s a great program, and those kids play hard and have a lot of pride. I knew it was going to be a battle for 48 minutes.”

Trailing by eight, Valparaiso (3-7) had one last chance to tie the game when it got the ball back with 1:23 to play.

Three completions by Vikings quarterback David Hittinger got Valparaiso down to the Crown Point 37, but with the clock running and Hittinger scrambling on fourth down, Andras stepped in front of a pass to seal the Bulldogs victory with 12.2 seconds left.

“We’re a running team, and that’s a tough position to put him in,” Vikings coach Dave Coyle said.

Valparaiso got itself back into the game when Andrew Kittridge broke loose for a 62-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The Vikings employed the single wing much of the second half, and Kittridge used it to bust into the Crown Point secondary, shrug off a few Bulldogs defenders and then use a key block by Hittinger to find the end zone.

“The kids responded very well,” Coyle said. “They don’t quit. But we made too many mistakes in the first half.”

Crown Point (7-3) outgained Valparaiso 232-54 in building the big first half lead on touchdown runs by Tyler Smith and Tristan Peterson.

Zach Sneiderwine also had three field goals for the Bulldogs.



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