East Chicago’s hard-fought season comes to an end
By Lamond Pope email@example.com or 713-2691 November 22, 2013 11:18PM
East Chicago Central runner Juan Sepulveda is upended by Fort Wayne Dwenger Zachary Norton in the IHSAA football semi-state in Fort wayne, Ind. Friday Nov. 22, 2013. Joe Raymond ~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 24, 2013 6:12AM
FORT WAYNE — East Chicago lined up to go for it on fourth down at its own 39.
The Cardinals were already in a double-digit hole against Fort Wayne Dwenger with about six minutes left in the second quarter.
East Chicago needed one yard to extend the drive. But the Saints stuffed the quarterback sneak.
It was just one of those nights for Cardinals.
Dwenger jumped to a big lead and never looked back, defeating East Chicago 38-0 in a Class 4A semistate contest Friday.
“Things didn’t go our way tonight, I don’t know what happened tonight,” East Chicago coach Stacy Adams said. “We got outplayed, we didn’t hit, we didn’t tackle, we dropped passes.
“Things just didn’t mesh.”
East Chicago (11-3) threw six interceptions as its fantastic season came to an end.
Dwenger, meanwhile, moved on, thanks to an explosive offense. The Saints scored on five of their first seven possessions.
The Saints (11-3) took advantage of an interception on the way to their first touchdown. Mike Fiacable found Ryan Watercutter open over the middle for a 17-yard touchdown to give Dwenger a 9-0 lead.
East Chicago made it to the 50 on its next drive. But the drive stalled and the Cardinals punted. Dwenger used six run plays to add to its lead. Ryan Cinadr scored on a 6-yard run and the Saints had a successful two-point conversion to increase its advantage to 17-0.
The Cardinals needed a big play. And that’s why the team went for it on fourth-and-1 at its own 39 on the next possession.
The Saints stopped Carlos Fernandez short of the first down, and Dwenger took over with great field position.
“This is semistate game. You’ve got to leave it on the line,” Adams said. “Sooner or later you can’t just keep punting. You’ve got to try to do something and make something happen. We tried. It didn’t work out our way, but you know what, we went down fighting.”
Fiacable threw touchdown passes of 27 and 59 yards to make it 31-0 at halftime. Zachary Norton returned an interception 35 yards in the third quarter for the final touchdown.
East Chicago kept fighting throughout.
That was evident in early when Fernandez completed a pass to Trequan Burnett while a couple of Saints tried to drag him to the ground.
It was evident late when the team tried to avoid the shutout by reaching Dwenger’s 1. The Cardinals weren’t successful in getting in the end zone.
But the same can’t be said about the season.
“It was a great season,” senior Juan Sepulveda said. “It’s unfortunate it ended. I appreciate every step and being part of it.”