It was a cold, crisp night in Northwest Indiana: perfect football weather to kick off the Indiana High School Athletic Association playoffs.
On Friday, Oct. 25, the Indians hosted the Crown Point Bulldogs in a do-or-die Sectional game. The loser of this game would be done for the year. The winner would still be left with a shot at the newly formed 6A State Championship title.
“Our main thought, of course, is always to win. This game was important because last year, Crown Point was the one who knocked us out and they kind of disrespected us a little, but really the main mindset was just to win,” Brandon Scott (11) said.
Shortly after the game went underway, Scott scored the first and only touchdown of the night. After penalties on the kick afterwards, leading to a re-kick, the Bulldogs blocked Jillian Doan’s (11) attempt, leaving the score at 6-0.
“It was a really good momentum swing, because it was the second time we touched the ball, it was the second play of the game for the offense. A big run is always really good momentum-wise for the team,” Scott said.
The teams traded possession of the ball with interceptions and turnovers, all leading to futile scoring efforts. Later in the second quarter, Doan kicked a penalty-free field goal, bringing the score to 9-0 for halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Crown Point squeezed in a field goal, raising the score to 9-3. As the half progressed and the Bulldogs inched closer to the end zone, Coach Brett St. Germain yelled from the sidelines, “If you want to be elite, the time is now.”
Crown Point did manage to score another field goal and bring the score to 9-6. Fortunately for the Indians, however, the scoreboard did not change for the remainder of the night, leaving them one win away from a Sectional title.
“It’s the team. We all did it together,” Ethan Darter (10) said.
Statically, this sophomore standout has kept up with his predecessors. Humbly, he does not take credit all for himself, owing part of his success to his front line.
“I never get touched,” Darter said.
The Indians, who are now 8-2, will take on the Merrillville Pirates for the Sectional Championship at LC Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.
“We’re obviously going to put ourselves in the position to win a Sectional Championship, which is a big step for our program,” Coach St. Germain said.