Andrean cruises to first state final since 2004
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent November 22, 2013 11:18PM
Andrean's Donovan Chandler surfs over his teammates holding the regional/semi-state winners plaque at Andrean High School on November 22, 2013. | Jim Karczewski\Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 24, 2013 6:14AM
MERRILLVILLE — Fear not Andrean fans: It’s nice and warm inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
On a cold November night at Father Eckert Field, the Andrean 59ers punched their first ticket to the state championship game in Indianapolis since 2004 with a 52-7 dismantling of the visiting West Lafayette Red Devils (12-2).
Head coach Phil Mason called it the most complete game his team played this year.
“We’re good, but are we that good? I guess we are,” Mason said.
The rout was on by the end of the first quarter. After forcing a quick three-and-out on West Lafayette’s first possession, Matt DeSomer scored from 39 yards out on Andrean’s (14-0) third offensive play.
After the Devils went three-and-out again and Noah Pavlina partially blocked the punt, Andrean took over at the 45-yard line. On fourth-and-5, DeSomer found Donovan Chandler for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Two plays later, Pavlina struck again with an interception.
“Tylor (Petkovich) got through on the blitz, got some pressure on the quarterback,” Pavlina recalled. “He tried throwing it away and I was right there to catch the ball.”
Three plays later, Trevor Berg cashed in with a 3-yard TD plunge, giving the 59ers a 21-0 lead after one quarter of play.
The 59ers connected for two more big plays in the second quarter: a 42-yard touchdown reception by Jamie Johnson and a 40-yard scoring run by Berg.
“It was all about picking up their blitzes. That was when we really got going,” said Andrean center John Zemkewicz, who helped pave the way for 251 Andrean rushing yards. “I think they really wanted to shut down DeSomer and Trevor but they still had great games.”
On the other side of the ball, Andrean’s defense kept dominating. West Lafayette QB Parker Ronchetto entered the game with 2,425 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. He was limited to 37 yards on 4-of-11 passing in the first half. Devils running back Maurice Woodard had racked up 2,196 rushing yards in the previous 13 games. At the half, he had a paltry 21 yards on 15 carries.
“Our front three and four guys were just impossible to block,” said Mason. “Our secondary’s been knocked around a little bit, but they put it on their shoulders tonight.”
Third-quarter scores by DeSomer and Cameron Bosak gave the Niners’ an insurmountable 49-0 lead after three quarters, clearing the final obstacle between them and the state championship game next Friday afternoon.