Chesterton Tribune



Trojan Football blanks Portage 20-0 in Homecoming win

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Seconds after Chesterton’s opening kickoff rolled out of bounds to Portage on Friday night, the power shut off at the high school and the surrounding area.

A hit-and-run crash into a NIPSCO pole was deemed the problem and with power unable to return at a reasonable time, the Duneland Athletic Conference game was moved to Saturday night.

Behind a methodical offensive attack and its stout defense, Chesterton got back in the ‘W’ column with a 20-0 victory over Portage on Homecoming Night.

“I gotta give the kids a ton of credit because they came back with great focus (Saturday),” Chesterton coach Mark Peterson said. “It’s hard for both teams to come back after a change like that. Both teams played well to start, but we got some time of possession and that played in our favor.

“There were no real changes without any snaps played Friday. The hay is in the barn at that point in terms of changes and adjustments.”

Junior quarterback Chris Mullen opened the scoring for Chesterton (3-3, 3-1) with a sneak from a yard out to cap a nine-play drive. Mullen ran 12 times for 69 yards, adding a five-yard score in the second.

Mullen threw for 104 yards and a TD, connecting with senior Mitch McElfresh in the third quarter for a 16-yard TD.

All three scoring drives were of at least seven plays.

“That was huge to do, and the neat part about that was that we were doing it with mostly a throwing attack,” Peterson said. “Chris has been exceptional and I’ve said that 100 times and will say it 1,000 more. Mitch McElfresh stepped up tonight and made some big catches for us.”

Colby Bullock caught five passes for 41 yards, adding five carries for 32. Ethan Pickering carried it 13 times for 67 yards.

“Colby was the usual workhorse,” Peterson said. “The offensive line did some nice things as well and there was good success there for those guys.”

Portage (2-4, 1-3) was without starting quarterback Tylee Swopes who was held out as an injury precaution. The Indians ran 35 times, for just 83 yards, and totaled 172.

“We’re really pleased overall with the guys on defense,” Peterson said. “We were maybe a little bit of ‘bend, don’t break’ mentality, but boy, they really rose to the occasion when the down and distance really called for it.”

Gage DeMarco had a fumble recovery for the Trojans, falling on a fumbled Portage snap late in the fourth.

“We were preparing all week on how to keep (Portage) contained and planned on doing that with (Swopes) and he ended up not even playing, so we had to make a quick adjustment,” DeMarco said. “We weren’t expecting him to be out, but we still had to be able to adjust quickly and do our job. We were physical, tough, and we were winning our one-on-ones and not getting held down.”

Up next for Chesterton is a road game against Lake Central.

Chesterton 20, Portage 0



Portage 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Chesterton 7 6 7 0 -- 20


First Quarter

C -- Chris Mullen 1 run (Jackson Syren kick), 5:32

Second Quarter

C -- Mullen 3 run (Kick failed), 6:04

Third Quarter

C -- Mitch McElfresh 16 pass from Mullen (Syren kick), 10:00



First Downs: 10 17

Rushes-Yards: 35-83 31-172

Passing: 11-18-0 10-22-0

Passing Yards: 89 104

Total Yards: 172 276

Penalties-Yards: 5-35 6-44

Fumbles-Lost: 2-1 0-0


RUSHING -- PORTAGE, Terrell Craft 14-41, Josh Bloom 15-21, Jermaine Mead Jr. 5-16, Jaivon Gordon 1-4, Devan Howard 1-1. CHESTERTON, Chris Mullen 12-69, Ethan Pickering 13-67, Colby Bullock 5-32, Ethan Troy 1-4.

PASSING -- PORTAGE, Bloom 11-18-0-89. CHESTERTON, Mullen 10-22-0-104.

RECEIVING -- PORTAGE, Howard 5-47, Colton Wilkie 4-30, Mey-Sin Hollowell 1-7, Myles Sisco 1-5. CHESTERTON, Bullock 5-41, Mitch McElfresh 2-27, Jackson Westmoreland 1-23, Jude Mochen 1-9, Pickering 1-4.




Posted 9/29/2020




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