Week 2 - Football Game of the Week Preview

4A Highland (1-0) at
6A Crown Point (0-1)

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith


CP hosts five games in 2019 and the cheerleaders welcome you to the home opener Friday night against Highland. (Photo by Mark Smith)

When: Friday, August 30, 2019;  Kick-off: 7 p.m. CDT.

Where: Crown Point High School, 1500 South Main (one mile south of the CP downtown square).


TV/Radio/Internet: Live Internet audio stream on www.USA-365.com.

Enrollment: CROWN POINT - 2,869; Highland – 1,140.

WEATHER: Very cool again. This is an odd August. So many days with highs in the mid-70s and nights in the 60s.
The high for Friday is predicted to be 75 and we’re looking at mid-60s in the second half. A little cool for fans but perfect for players. And the long range forecast for week three is very much the same.

PARKING: The CP home opener should bring out a good number of fans and folks. Highland won last week and I hope they’ll travel with several hundred friends of the program. The good thing about a game like this is that even if a lot of CP fans and students show up and a representative number for a school of Highland’s size, there will be plenty of room for everybody.

WHAT's AT STAKE: Nothing. This is a nonconference game and the ‘rivalry’ with Highland has to go back in time to the 1970s and 1980s when both CP and Highland were in the old Lake Suburban Conference (LSC). This is a game for CP’s senior class of 24 who are beginning their final season. The Bulldogs have four home games in the next six weeks and, for the upperclassmen, this is what you work for. On this night, you think about how few times you have left to run out on the field in front of the hometown crowd.

The HISTORY: This game used to be an annual event. Highland played Crown Point for 32 years in a row until 1992 when CP left the old Lake Suburban Conference to join the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC). The oversimplification of the past says that Crown Point and Lake Central outgrew the other teams (Lowell, Griffith, Highland, Calumet and Munster) in the LSC and had to move to the DAC.


Highland has never been a football powerhouse for any extended period of time. They have won 10 or more games just twice (1978 and 1982) in their 60-year football history. Crown Point doesn't have a deep history as a football power either, but CP has won 10 games or more five times.

CP leads the series 21-14 and has won the last eight meetings. The two teams did not meet from 1993 to 2016 and Highland has not defeated CP since a 3-0 win in 1986.

I don't know this for sure, but I think CP has been unable to find a formidable foe of equal enrollment for week two in the football season. CP played Mishawaka from 2013 to 2016, but that was too much travel for the teams and fans. CP played Hobart from 2003 to 2012 but Hobart was outmanned as CPHS continued to grow. The Bulldogs played East Chicago from 1999 to 2002 but the EC program has hit on hard times. The Cardinals should not be playing Crown Point.

I think it would be great if Crown Point looked across the Illinois state line to take on someone like Homewood-Flossmoor, but I may be the only one who thinks so.

The 'Distant Replay'...

Bulldogs grind out 14-10 victory over Trojans at Highland



Team 1 2 3 4 F
CROWN POINT (1-1) 6 8 0 0 14
HIGHLAND (0-2) 7 0 3 0 10

Friday, August 24, 2018 - 65 degrees & cloudy, nonconference game at HIGHLAND, Ind.

1st Qtr HIGHLAND (7-0) Trent Slaven, 27-yard pass from Dean Foundos. 27-yard drive, 1 play. 0:07 min. TOP. Kyler Tanis kick. 10:50 left.
CROWN POINT (7-7) Christian Berry, 5-yard run. 60-yard drive, 11 plays. 4:27 min. TOP. Justin Robinson kick blocked. 1:09 left.
2nd Qtr: CROWN POINT (14-7) Tysen Cazy, 33-yard pass from Will Pettit. 33-yard drive, 1-play. 0:10 min. TOP. Scott Mills, 2-point conversion run. 9:55 left.
3rd Qtr: 
HIGHLAND (10-14) Kyler Tanis, 40-yard field goal. 21-yard drive, 8 plays. 3:29 TOP. 0:28.7 left.
4th Qtr: No scoring.

CROWN POINT (39 carries, 164 yards, TD): Scott Mills (RB) 23-86 yards, 2-point conversion; Christian Berry (RB) 14-83 yards, TD; Will Pettit 2 (-5) yards.

HIGHLAND (29 carries, 19 yards, TD): Dean Foundos (QB) 11-(-4) yards, (includes 5 sacks and/or tackles for loss); Trent Slaven (RB/WR) 2- (-7) yards; Rafael Rios (RB) 2- (-2) yards, Kaiden Smolar 14-32 yards.

CROWN POINT: Will Pettit (QB) 9-15, 96 yards, TD, one interception;
HIGHLAND: Dean Foundos (QB) 6-14, 78 yards, TD.

CROWN POINT: Tysen Cazy (WR) 8-91 yards, TD; David O'Toole (WR) 1-5 yards.
HIGHLAND: Trent Slaven (WR) 3-6 yards, TD; Tony Caraballo (WR) 2-5 yards; Rafael Rios (WR) 1-7 yards.


CROWN POINT: 6-50 yards; HIGHLAND: 4-50 yards.

CROWN POINT: 3 Total; 5 fumbles (2 lost), one Interception; HIGHLAND: 0 Total; 2 fumbles (0 lost);

CROWN POINT: 260 yards, 14 first downs.
HIGHLAND: 97 yards, 7 first downs.

CROWN POINT (08-24-2018) This was a night when CP enjoyed the result more than they found satisfaction in the performance. The Bulldogs out gained Highland 260-97 but they found a way to score only 14 points leaving the game in doubt down to the final possession.

CP was coming off an opening 17-7 loss to Lowell and they needed a win any way they could get it. Halfbacks Scott Mills and Christian Berry combined for 169 yards rushing and, while the final score was close, Highland didn't really have a good chance to win in the final minutes.

The Trojans seemed encouraged by this game. Opening with a 16-6 loss to Morton and a 14-10 loss to CP, the Trojans bounced back with three wins in a row. The season ended when they drew Lowell in 4A Sectional 17 and lost 34-14.

Crown Point won on this night, but the Bulldog offense was a work in progress all season. After nine games, CP was 3-6 with just 120 points (13.3 per game) scored. CP’s defense carried them to a 12-7 win over Portage and 17-13 win over Merrillville in 6A Sectional 1.

Most of this Highland teams graduated last June, but much of the CP passing attack which had to strain for yardage in 2018, is back and (hopefully) better than ever for 2019.

(4A) Highland (1-0)
4-6 (2018), 4-7 (2017) 5-6 (2016), 4-6 (2015)
Coach Pete Koulianos (2 years, 5-6) NCC Conference games in CAPS

8-23 (W) 19-18 vs. (4A) Morton (0-1)
8-30 (Fri) at (6A) Crown Point (0-1)
9-6 (Fri) at (Lansing, Ill.) T.F. South (0-0)
9-13 (Fri.) vs. (4A) Gavit (0-1)
9-20 (Fri.) vs. (4A) MUNSTER (0-1)
9-27 (Fri.) at (4A) LOWELL (1-0)
10-4 (Fri.) (4A) HOBART (0-1)
10-11 (Fri.) at (4A) KANKAKEE VALLEY (0-1)
10-18 (Fri) (2A) ANDREAN (0-1)

Class 4A Sectional 17
10-25 (Fri) quarterfinal vs. Griffith, East Chicago, Gavit, Morton, Lowell, Gary West Side and Hobart.



HIGHLAND – The Trojans pulled off a significant upset last week defeating Morton 19-18, but in the interest of full disclosure, they got a lot of help. Morton committed 17 penalties and lost their star quarterback Credel Prather in the first quarter.

The Trojans are new at almost every position on offense and they seemed small compared to Morton. And they try to run Christian Rios (5-10, 210), a power running threat. The best player for the Trojans is probably senior Sam Perez (6-1, 275) a factor on both sides of the ball.

The new quarterback Ethan Litavecz (6-3, 165) is interesting. He is a total rookie with no varsity experience before last week. But Litavecz has a decent arm and he’s a good runner. I’ll be honest. Highland’s got to win a low-scoring game. The Trojans are not good enough on offense to score 24-28 points.

Highland didn't look very good against Morton, even though they won. What can't be measured is how much confidence the Trojans gained with the victory.

2019 (6A) Crown Point (0-1)
5-7 (2018) 7-5 (2017) 6-6 (2016), 1-9 (2015)
Coach Kevin Enright (7th year) 41-38
8-23 (L) 19-21 at (4A) Lowell (1-0)
8-30 (Fri.) vs. (4A) Highland (4-6)
9-6 (Fri.) vs. (6A) MERRILLVILLE (7-4)

9-13 (Fri) at (6A) LAKE CENTRAL (2-8)
9-20 (Fri.) at (6A) PORTAGE (4-6)
9-27 (Fri.) vs. (6A) VALPARAISO (10-3)

10-4 (Fri.) vs. (5A) LaPORTE (4-7)
10-11 (Fri.) at (6A) CHESTERTON (3-7)
10-18 (Fri.) vs. (5A) MICHIGAN CITY (10-3)

6A Sectional 1
11-2 (Fri.) sectional quarterfinal vs. Merrillville, Jefferson or Lake Central.



If Highland looked mediocre in victory last week, Crown Point looked pretty good in losing 21-19 at Lowell. QB Will Pettit was 25 of 48 for a career-high 324 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Senior receivers David O’Toole and Tysen Cazy combined for 15 catches and 200 yards. Tight end Ben Uran may have had the best game of his career with five catches, mostly very difficult grabs, for 65 yards.

CP did not run the ball well, but a lot of it was because of the score. Lowell led 21-7 at the half and the Bulldogs only ran the ball 23 times. The Bulldogs had 15 first downs and no turnovers.

CP’s defense was good, even though the final score didn't show it. CP held Lowell to just four first downs and only 60 yards rushing on 26 attempts.

CP dropped five or six passes and they committed eight penalties. It was just enough to lose. But the Bulldogs should have won at Lowell.

I said last week that CP will end the regular season with a winning record and I don't take that back.

at Crown Point Stadium - capacity: 4,800


SAGARIN RATINGS: CP is a 12-point favorite in this game.

The spread here has to do with competition. CP lost to Lowell, while Highland beat Morton. Lowell is rated 13 points better than Morton on the computer this week. It should be noted that Morton is rated one point better than Highland, even though the Trojans defeated Morton 19-18 last week.



CROWN POINT (08-30-2019)
Highland will be highly motivated on this night after the win over Morton.

I think it's a very safe bet that Crown Point won't throw the ball 48 times like they did against Lowell, but the Bulldogs will throw early and David O’Toole will get in the end zone in the first quarter on a pass from Will Pettit.

But the difference Friday will be CP’s desire to run the ball. Once they establish the threat of the pass, the Bulldogs will find success with halfbacks Matthew Walters and Davian Lira. I’m seeing 200 yards rushing and three TDs in a game dominated by the home team.

I’m not sure that Highland can defend a 30-40 pass assault from CP, but Crown Point does not need to play that way on this night.

Look for the Bulldog defense to shut out Highland the way they shut out Lowell in the second half last week.


CROWN POINT 31, Highland 0

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Revised: August 29, 2019.