Timeout Football: Game of the Week
By Mike Hutton 613-0141 or firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter:@MikeHuttonPT September 26, 2013 8:38PM
Chesterton's Cole Teal runs as he is pulled by Valparaiso's Drake Barton on Friday, September 20, 2013 at Chesterton. | Michael Gard/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 28, 2013 7:43AM
The return to Portage for Mark Peterson as the head coach of Chesterton isn’t that important to him. Peterson coached the Indians for three seasons before resigning in 2009.
He’d rather talk about the kids and winning the game.
“It’s another big DAC game for us,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Portage, Valpo or Crown Point. We’re going to get the kids fired up to play. It’s not about me, it’s about the kids.”
The Trojans will have their hands full. Portage thumped Crown Point last week, 31-3. It was a game that figured to be closer.
The Indians have improved steadily the last couple of weeks, losing 12-8 to Lake Central and then falling 31-17 to Merrillville in a game they had the lead at one point.
Gage Pearman, the Indians quarterback, is seven months removed from ACL surgery but he continues to get “better and better”, according to Portage coach Wally McCormack.
He has thrown for around 500 yards after not completing a pass the first two weeks, McCormack said.
Portage is playing with two sophomore offensive linemen and two junior linemen.
The team’s improved play has coincided with the development of the line.
“We have progressively improved on offense,” McCormack said.
The Indians’ defensive line, led by Kenyota Rollins, has been impressive. Last week, the Indians defense scored two touchdowns to help them seal the win.
McCormack said that Rollins’ play up front allows the linebackers to make plays.
The Trojans were effective moving the ball on the ground last week against Valparaiso — getting nearly 300 yards rushing from Cole Teal, Avery Beeks and Tyler Gillespie.
“They do a lot of neat things on offense,” McCormack said. “They have three backs that are really good.”
Chesterton didn’t throw the ball well last week against the Vikings, finishing 2 of 10 with an interception and 16 yards passing.
Peterson said the bad passing day was unusual.
“We’ve been pretty balanced this season rushing and passing,” Peterson said. “We’ve thrown for about 150 yards per game and rushed for around 250. We just had a conglomeration of things happen that turned it into a perfect storm for us.”
Peterson said one route was run incorrectly and that another time, Teal underthrew a pass and there was the interception.
He called Portage “solid on defense. They create some mismatches that are hard to handle.”