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Friday follow-up football notebook

Andrean's Matt DeSomer evades attempted tackle by Wheeler's Alex Ruestfirst quarter play during their first round sectional football game held

Andrean's Matt DeSomer evades the attempted tackle by Wheeler's Alex Ruesta in the first quarter of play during their first round sectional football game held at Wheeler High School on Friday October 19, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 22, 2012 6:52AM



It’s become a pattern in recent weeks with Andrean.

Slow starts have led to the need for a rally — some bigger than others — in the second half to pull out the victory.

In the regular-season finale, the 59ers trailed Lowell 19-7 at halftime before rallying for a 20-19 victory. The week before they trailed Griffith by 13 points late in the second quarter before rolling in the second half for a 42-25 win. Earlier in the season Andrean only led Munster 16-15 at halftime before scoring a pair of second-half touchdowns.

On Friday night against Wheeler, coach Phil Mason wanted his team to get out to a fast start. Boy, did they with nine first-half TDs from five different players on their way to a 63-14 romp of the Bearcats.

“We emphasized to keep it going once we got things started,” Mason said. “Every kid who touched the ball did their job.”

Hoping for an overturn: Hobart is hoping that Anthony Burgos, its best wide receiver, is absolved of any wrongdoing after he was implicated in a minor fight that broke out the Brickies’ 38-0 win over KV.

Both Burgos and KV running back Johnny Morrison were kicked out of the game because officials said they were essentially fighting. Hobart coach Ryan Turley had an intense conversation with officials on the field about Burgos’ role for at least five minutes before he finally gave up. Turley maintained the Burgos was trying to break up the pile of players from both teams, who were involved in the scrum.

Turley was confident that the IHSAA would review the film and absolve him of punishment. Burgos would miss the game against Mishawaka if IHSAA officials don’t overturn the ruling.

Glimpse of the future: Merrillville’s fans got a peek at what the future holds for the program when freshman DJ Wilkins split time with senior starter quarterback Jake Raspopovich in Friday’s postseason opener against Munster.

Wilkins accounted for two of Merrillville’s four scores by firing a pair of touchdown passes. He got the Pirates on the board with a 15-yard strike to Bryant Jenkins, and then put them ahead for good with a 53-yard bomb to Aaron Dye, after a penalty had Merrillville facing a 2nd-and-39.

“That’s a kid we’re going to rely on in the future,” Merrillville coach Zac Wells said. “He came up big for us at certain times tonight.”

Yancey not as bad as first feared: Lake Central coach Brett St. Germain on Saturday reiterated that the injury to the left leg of star quarterback/running back David Yancey is not serious. He added there’s a chance the senior — who received and accepted a scholarship offer from Purdue — could return to action in another two-to-three weeks.

Yancey suffered the injury with 9:31 left in the fourth quarter of the Indians’ win against Valparaiso in the regular-season finale. He did not play in LC’s 16-0 win against Portage on Friday. The Indians play at home against Crown Point in a sectional semifinal this week.

Valpo backs end careers: The high school careers of Valparaiso’s impressive running back tandem came to an end with the Vikings’ 23-15 loss to Crown Point on Friday. Andrew Kittridge and Stephen Simms were mainstays in the backfield the last two years, Simms taking over early last year because of an injury to teammate Bryon Duncan.

In their final hurrah, Kittridge rushed for 118 yards and Simms for 99. Kittridge was the type of player to put his head down and bowl over the opponent. Simms was the speedster, a kickoff return specialist, too.

“I don’t know that you recover from a loss like that to your backfield,” Valparaiso coach Dave Coyle said. “We’d have to ask (former Vikings coach) Mark Hoffman, but I don’t know that we’ve ever had a tandem as good as those two. That tells us a lot about those two kids and the line that they had in front of them.”

— Staff writers Steve T. Gorches, Mike Hutton and Michael Osipoff, and correspondent Dave Melton contributed to this report.



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