Varsity football defeats Merrillville in Sectionals


Jamie Zega

The football team poses for a photo after the game against Merrillville on Nov. 1. For the first time since 1999, the team captured the 2013 IHSAA 6A Sectional Championship.

Jeannine Toth and Jeannine Toth

Varsity football defeated Merrillville for the first time in 16 games against them. This streak breaker was not the only accomplishment that occurred on the Nov. 1 game, though. True to name, the “Burial Grounds” saw not only the 31-0 win for the team, but also the winning of the Sectional Championship.

Touchdowns were scored by Brandon Scott (11), Alec Olund (12), Antwan Davis (11) and Logan Lambert (11). Jillian Doan (11) also kicked a field goal.

The defense, which prevented Merrillville offense from scoring any points throughout the game, had four interceptions, two turnovers and never allowed Merrillville more than 30 yards in a pass or run.

“Defensively, we didn’t do anything all that different from what we’ve been doing all year. We just made an effort to be aligned properly every play and not make mistakes,” Gelen Robinson (12) said.

With a range of sophomores through seniors taking on the opposing team’s offense, the defense has made several adjustments in the lineup.

“I started playing varsity the first round of Sectionals. It’s been really great playing with the other boys so far because they’re all really supportive of me, and we all motivate each other to play hard,” Ryan Bereda (10) said.

This win is the first Sectional Championship title the football team has had in 14 years.

“I feel like we wanted it more. We had the drive, the desire, to finally beat Merrillville and to win Sectionals,” Lessentine said.

The team plays Friday, Nov. 8 at home against Penn for Regionals.

“[Winning the Sectional Championship] feels great. I couldn’t imagine a better feeling right now. I know that what caused us our success this year was the whole team coming together as one instead of everyone playing individually,” Robinson said.