Week 1 - Football Game of the Week Preview

6A Crown Point
4A Lowell

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith



When: 7:00 p.m., CDT on Friday, August 20, 2021.

Where: Lowell High School, 3 miles west of I-65 on State Route 2.
TV/Radio/Internet: Region Sports Network – rrsn.com video – 6:30 p.m.
I believe I said earlier in the week that the rrsn.com video broadcasts of Lowell games is free. They were last year. No more. If you can't attend games or are still concerned with being in crowds, this is a good option as the school gets a cut here.

Tickets: $6

Enrollment: CROWN POINT - 2,861; LOWELL – 1,107.

The listed enrollment for 2020 was 2,861 at Crown Point high school but that is almost certainly an outdated number. CPHS may have surpassed 3,000 students this fall, something I never thought I’d see. Traveling around in South Lake County, you ride a good stretch before you see a housing development under construction. I came to Northwest Indiana in 1985 and the 1986 IHSAA School Directory (an old red folder looking like a dime store TV Guide) has Crown Point with 1,774 kids. The 1995 directory has CP with 1,817 students.

I don’t have the official IHSAA number for 2021-22. I’ll get it up here in future weeks, but I am told it is at or over 3,000, making CP the third largest school (Penn, Lake Central) north of the Indianapolis metro area.

WEATHER: The boys will be glad to be on the natural grass in Lowell because it's going to be hot on Friday. Mid-80s during the day. I’m guessing mid-70s by halftime. Great for fans. Should be a warm wind-free evening.

For August games, we play the first half in the descending hot summer daylight, meaning it can be rough for the players. We may need a water break after a quarter. Crown Point fans are reminded that the setting sun in the west shines almost directly on the folks in the visitors' stands at Lowell. Sunglasses would be a good idea. But as the sun sets, this will be a really good night.


PARKING: For you CP folks who haven’t been to Lowell for a football game in a few years, there is much more parking than there used to be. The days of getting there 10 minutes before the game and being forced to park in the Strack and Van Til supermarket parking lot south of Route 2 for big games has been over for some time. Lowell has a lot of parking for a school its size. When these schools play at Andrean, we’ll have another discussion about parking space.

I’m going to guess that this traditional season opener this Friday carries the ‘big game’ tag.

With coach Craig Buzea’s debut for Crown Point, Lowell returning some rough riders on both sides of the ball, plus the expected return to semi-normal after ‘Pandemic 2020’, I see a sellout crowd for CP at Lowell. Don’t get there 10 minutes before the game.

Another note and this one is for me as well. There will not be paper programs with all the boys’ names on them this Friday. That feature went out during the pandemic last year and paper ‘programs’ probably aren't coming back. Download the boys names before you come to the game or ‘screenshot’ them on your phone.

Also, the pandemic is not as ‘over’ as I had hoped at the end of last season. The ‘Gridiron Digest’ football web site lists as many as six teams (Jeffersonville, Macanaquah, Martinsville, Elwood, Shenandoh, Rock Creek) that have reportedly cancelled or postponed their week one games. But none in the northern third of the state, as of yet.

But Crown Point at Lowell is a ‘go’. It's my understanding that mask-wearing is now optional but football is an outdoor open-air event. This night is usually a lot of fun because of the big, local crowd, the warm weather and the boys on the field on back-to-school week.


WHAT's AT STAKE: This is the 25th consecutive season that Crown Point and Lowell have met on the opening night of the high school football season and it continues a rivalry that goes back to, at least, 1904. I try to describe this game every year and I don’t mean to say that Lowell and CP don’t care about beating each other, they do.

I think Lowell takes a lot of pride in beating Crown Point. Lowell has defeated CP four years in a row (6-0 last year and 21-19 two years ago in Lowell) now. The Devils love that old ‘Leather Helmet Trophy’ which is awarded to the winner of the annual CPHS-LHS game and that old helmet has found a consistent home in Devil Country. Since the year 2000, Lowell is 12-9 against Crown Point.

But this game traditionally has no affect on either school’s football season. Crown Point lost to Lowell in 2017 and 2018 and went on to win Class 6A Sectional 1.

And Lowell’s 2005 Class 4A state championship team lost the season opener to Crown Point 16-6.

Lowell won 4A Sectional 17 in 2014 and 2016, years they opened the season with losses to Crown Point 24-10 and 9-3 in overtime (not a pretty game for either side).

The outcome this Friday will quickly be forgotten until August of 2022. This season, both schools will have bigger fish to fry on future Friday nights.

A look back one year ago ...
Lowell's Stojancevich 18-yard TD pass the difference in Red Devils' 6-0 shutout of Bulldogs in season opener







LOWELL (1-0)












Friday, August 21, 2020 -  78 degrees (at kick-off) in season opener at CROWN POINT, IN

1st Qtr(No scoring.)

2nd Qtr: LOWELL (6-0) Caleb Miranda, 18-yard pass from Cam Stojancevich. 43-yard drive, 7 plays. Kick wide. 0:18 left.

3rd Qtr: (No scoring.)

4th Qtr: (No scoring.)

LOWELL (34 carries, 43 yards, one fumble): Joe Hueuer (HB) 19 carries, 53 yards, one fumble; Jacob Chandler (HB) 7-9 yards; Kyler Newcom (FB() 1-10 yards; Ryan Marx (HB) 1-6 yards; Johnny Johnson (QB) 1 (minus-2 yards); Cam Stojancevich (QB) 5 carries (one sack, minus 9 yards).

CROWN POINT (19 carries, 70 yards): Matthew Walters (HB) 10 carries, 15 yards; Will Pettit (QB) 8 carries, 53 yards (4 sacks – minus 18); JJ Johnson (WR) 1-2 yards.

LOWELL (7 of 12, 68 yards, one TD) Cam Stojancevich (QB) 6 of 9, 63 yards, TD; Johnny Johnson (QB) 1 of 3, 5 yards.

CROWN POINT (10 of 21, 51 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs) Will Pettit (QB) 10 of 21, 51 yards, 0 TDs, 2 interceptions.

LOWELL : Michael Havel (WR) 3 catches, 16 yards; Caleb Miranda (TE) 2-36 yards, TD; Ryan Marx (WR) 1-15, Kyler Newcomb (FB) -1 yard.

CROWN POINT: JJ Johnson (WR) 7 catches, 28 yards; Treston Logan (WR) 2-15 yards; Matthew Walters (HB) 1-8 yards.


COMMENT: This was not a memorable game and if Caleb Miranda had dropped that touchdown pass with 18 seconds left in the half, it might have ended in a scoreless tie. Lowell and CP don’t bring the best out of each other offensively. These are the same two schools that played a 9-3 double overtime game in 2016. As far as last year’s game is concerned, I was there and I don’t really remember anything about it. I guarantee that both teams will score at least once this Friday. Probably.

The website NorthernIndianaFootball.com says the first Lowell-CP game was held in 1903 but the earliest score I can find comes from October 22, 1904 when CP beat Lowell 71-0. It is believed that Lowell and CP played football in the late 1890s which would make them the oldest rivalry in Lake County football. In the early 1900s there were no schools between the Gary-Hammond-East Chicago area and South Lake County.

Lowell and Crown Point played a home-and-home series for almost 20 years from 1934 to 1952 and they must have drawn good crowds or they wouldn’t have been playing each other twice. Before Hanover Central was built in the 1960s, CP and Lowell were border schools) and that’s probably why they have played for so long.

You may already know that Crown Point leads what is the longest high school football series in this part of the state with 66 wins to 46 for Lowell with two ties.

But, again, Lowell leads the series 12-9 in the last 21 seasons. The NorthernIndianaFootball.com web site suggests that Lowell and Crown Point met in the 1890s, but that they could not find scores of those games. The Devils and Bulldogs may have the oldest rivalry in this part of the state.

The Lowell-CP winner gets the 'Leather Helmet Trophy', a tribute to the days when Lowell and Crown Point were both pioneers in Indiana high school football.

125 years ago, on October 13, 1906, Crown Point won at Lowell 11-0.

I cant swear this is true, but in the early days of football, (according to the wonderful world of Wikipedia) football field goals were worth five points and touchdowns were worth only four. They wanted you to kick the ball in ‘foot’ ball.

In 1897, touchdowns were upgraded to five points and conversions were set at one point.

Field goals were dropped from five to four points in 1904 and then down to three points in 1909. Touchdowns were not set at six points until 1912 and there were no two-point conversions until the late 1950s. So if Crown Point scored a TD (5), a safety (2) and a field goal (4) in 1906, that could very well have been 11 points. Sounds like a thrilling game and, no, I wasn’t there.

The 'Distant' Replay:  Lowell shuts out Crown Point 19-0 in season opener

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith

Team 1 2 3 4 F
CROWN POINT (0-1) 0 0 0 0 0
LOWELL (1-0) 0 13 6 0 19

Friday, Aug. 21, 2009,  68 degrees & cloudy, wet field, season opener at LOWELL, IN

1st Qtr No Scoring.
2nd Qtr:  LOWELL  (6-0) Ray Skamay, 15-yard TD run.  80-yard drive, 15 plays.  Bad snap on XP.  8:54 left.

LOWELL (13-0)  Cole Midgett, 9 yard TD run.  15-yard drive, 3 plays after Jordan Juarez interception.  Cole Midgett kick.  3:40 left.
3rd Qtr:  LOWELL (19-0) Cole Midgett, 32-yard pass from Ray Skamay.  29-yard drive, 4 plays after short punt.  Kick failed. 7:56 left.
4th Qtr:  No Scoring.


CROWN POINT (66 yards, 26 carries)  Cody Bacon (HB) 7 caries, 42 yards; Chris Klein (HB) 12 carries, 24 yards; John Hannon (FB) 1 carry, 18 yards,
Joe Hopman (QB) 6 carries, (minus -18 yards) 3 sacks, minus -17 yards.

LOWELL (51 carries, 230 yards, 2 TDs) Brandon
Grubbe (HB) 15 carries, 94 yards; Jordan Juarez (HB) 9 caries, 44 yards; Ray Skamay (QB) 14 carries, 46 yards;
Nate Cleveland (
FB) 7 carries, 27 yards; Cole Midgett (HB-WR) 6 carries, 19 yards.

CROWN POINT:  Joe Hopman (QB) 2-of-6, 14 yards, one Interception.
LOWELL:  Ray Skamay (QB) 1-of-8, 32 yards, one TD, two Interceptions.


CROWN POINT:  Travis Woosley (WR) 1 (-2 yards); Spencer Rapchak (FB) 1 catch, 8 yards;
LOWELL:  Cole Midgett (WR) 1 catch, 32 yards, TD.

CROWN POINT (1) interception; LOWELL (2) 2 interceptions.


Nate Cleveland (26), Anthony DeMario (56) and Chad Ulanowski (62)and the Leather Helmet Trophy on 8-21-2009. (Photo by Mark Smith)

LOWELL (08-21-2009) Twelve years ago, this was a proud night for Lowell. A defensive struggle was decided largely by two TD runs by junior Cole Midgett. It was a typical Crown Point-Lowell season opener. Low-scoring with defenses controlling the action.

2009 was a down year for Crown Point, but the future would be bright. The 2009 Bulldogs went 3-7, but CP was 8-4 in 2010 and 9-3 in 2011. Crown Point’s Cody Bacon, who gained just 26 yards in the 2009 season opener, gained 1,492 yards on 252 attempts in 2010. CP’s Joe Hopman, who completed just two passes in this 2009 game, would throw for 1,897 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2010.

Good times were ahead.

The year 2009 was a high point for the Devils. Lowell was 13-1 in 2008 and they were vowing to get back to the state finals. And they did. Lowell went 13-2 in 2009, winning five consecutive playoff games before losing 23-9 to (Evansville) Reitz. Brandon Grubbe set the present day Lowell school record with 403 carries and 2,417 yards.

Nate Cleveland (the happy-looking number 26 in the 12-year-old photo) went on to be a state wrestling champion in 2010.

2020 (6A) Crown Point (3-4)
3-4 (2020) 5-7 (2018) 7-5 (2017) 6-6 (2016)
Coach Kevin Enright (9 years) 50-46

8-21 (L) 0-6 (4A) Lowell (9-2)
8-28 (W) 31-0 (4A) at Highland (4-5)
9-4 (L) 7-42 at (6A) MERRILLVILLE (10-2)
9-11 (W) 16-7 (6A) LAKE CENTRAL (1-9)
9-18 (W) 24-21 (6A) PORTAGE (3-7)
9-20 - cancelled (5A) VALPARAISO (8-1)
10-2 (L) 14-24 (5A) LaPORTE (4-7)
10-9 – cancelled at (6A) CHESTERTON (5-5)
10-16 – cancelled (5A) MICHIGAN CITY (4-3)

6A Sectional 1
10-30 (L) 0-38 at Merrillville (10-2)

2021 (6A) Crown Point (0-0)
3-4 (2020), 6-5 (2019), 5-7 (2018) 7-5 (2017) 6-6 (2016)
Coach Craig Buzea (1st year) 213-87 in 27 years overall; All games Friday at 7 p.m.

8-20 at (4A) Lowell (9-2)
8-27 (2A) Andrean (11-2)
9-3 (6A) MERRILLVILLE (10-2)
9-10 at (6A) LAKE CENTRAL (1-9)
9-17 at (6A) PORTAGE (3-7)
9-24 (5A) VALPARAISO (8-1)
10-1 (5A) LaPORTE (4-7)
10-8 at (6A) CHESTERTON (5-5)
10-15 (5A) MICHIGAN CITY (4-3)

6A Sectional 1
10-30 vs. (Lafayette) Jefferson, Merrillville or Lake Central.


SCHEDULE CHANGES: The addition of Andrean to the schedule seems good for both sides. For Crown Point, its a quality opponent that they don’t have to travel very far to play. Crown Point scheduled Highland the last four years, went 4-0 and allowed just a 4-game total of 16 points. It’s a mismatch at this time. Before that, CP played Mishawaka. A long ride.

Scheduling Andrean, Crown Point will also benefit from improved week two gate receipts, which should be higher than they were for Mishawaka or Highland. In Andrean, CP gets a quality opponent but not a team they are too ‘big’ for, at least, not yet. The 59ers will also benefit from improved attendance when Crown Point gets there in 2022. Crown Point at Lowell is one of Lowell’s biggest fan nights of the year. It should be the same for Crown Point at Andrean.

Overall, this is the good schedule year for CP. They get five home games and the Bulldogs don't travel to LaPorte and Michigan City, their most distant conference rivals.




CP sophomore offensive lineman Jack Darlington (78) at Chesterton, 10-11-2019. (Photo by Mark Smith)

CROWN POINT - I do not believe Crown Point returns a starting offensive skill position player who started at that position in 2020. But everybody likes tackle Jack Darlington (6-5, 285) and Jack Ruess (6-5, 300), Logan Pokropinski (6-4, 265) and Nic Cicero (6-4, 280) who all return in the offensive line. Size and strength should be the strength of the 2021 Bulldogs.

Speedy junior JJ Johnson (5-11, 160) is the new quarterback. Johnson, who was a receiver in 2020, carried 27 times for 136 yards and caught 23 passes for 189 yards. He's quick on the run but probably more runner than passer right now. All of Johnson's receivers and running backs are rookie starters.

Again, I don't know what CP is going to do but with an offensive line of Darlington, Ruess, Pokropinski, Cicero and new starter Aidan Duerig (6-6, 295) and a new halfback in big junior Elijah Tiawhan (6-1, 215), I'd bet cash money the Bulldogs want to run the ball 50 times.

Defensively Niko Paic (6-3, 295) will anchor the line with newcomers Zach Rausei (6-2, 240) and Jeremy Brown (5-9, 220). Paic was in on 36 tackles last year but his presence should allow linebackers like Dominic Sopczak (5-11, 180) and Matt Woods (6-2, 215) to make plays. Sopczak was in on 30 stops last season. Place-kicker Sammy Brewer (10 field goals in 2 years), a three-year veteran, is one of the best in all of Northwest Indiana.

But again, us outsiders wont know much about 2021 Crown Point until after game one. I'm guessing they will run the same defense (a 3-5-3 base formation) they have run the past few years, but there could be variations on that set. Coach Buzea has some freshmen and sophomores on the depth chart so the Bulldogs will be much better by Halloween than they will be by Labor Day.

Crown Point is trying to re-start after a tough 2020 and they obviously want to contend in the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) this season, which will be a hard road. In my time, CP's seasons always come down to what they can do against arch-rival Merrillville (week three) in DAC play and in Class 6A Sectional 1. The Bulldogs want to be playing football in November.

But let's put it this way. Crown Point has beaten Lake Central (enrollment: 3,299) four years in a row. The Bulldogs have lost to Lowell (enrollment: 1,107) four years in a row. Football folks at Crown Point know that shouldn't happen. The best way for the new coaching staff at CP to blast off would be to leave Lowell Friday night with that old "Leather Helmet" trophy.

2020 (4A) LOWELL (9-2)
7-5 (2019), 10-3 (2018), 14-1 (2017) 9-5 (2016), 12-1 (2015)
Coach Keith Kilmer -NCC Conference games in CAPS

8-21 (W) 6-0 at (6A) Crown Point (3-4)
8-28 (W) 37-19 (6A) Portage (3-7)
9-4 (W) 26-13 (2A) Wheeler (7-4)
9-11 (W) 47-28 (4A) at Griffith (4-4)
9-18 – cancelled (4A) HOBART (11-3)
9-25 (W) 28-21 (4A) KANKAKEE VALLEY (5-4)
10-2 (W) 27-7 at (4A) at HIGHLAND (4-5)
10-9 (W) 41-7 at (5A) MUNSTER (1-9)
10-16 (L) 14-35 (2A) ANDREAN (11-2)

4A Sectional 17

10-23 (W) 21-0 Morton (3-1)
10-30 (W) 48-14 Highland (4-5)
11-6 (L) 7-10 at Hobart (11-3)

2021 (4A) LOWELL (0-0)
9-2 (2020), 7-5 (2019), 10-3 (2018), 14-1 (2017) 9-5 (2016)
Coach Keith Kilmer (12th year, 91-40) all games Friday at 7 p.m.

8-20 (6A) Crown Point (3-4)
8-27 (6A) at Portage (3-7)
9-3 (4A) at New Prairie (5-5)
9-10 (4A) Griffith (4-4)
9-17 (4A) at HOBART (11-3)
9-24 (4A) at KANKAKEE VALLEY (5-4)
10-1 (4A) HIGHLAND (4-5)
10-8 (5A) at MUNSTER (1-9)
10-15 (2A) ANDREAN (11-2)

Class 4A Sectional 17
vs. Gary West Side, Griffith, Highland, East Chicago , Hobart, Kankakee Valley and LOWELL


SCHEDULE CHANGES: This sectional has obviously changed because Morton is now in Class 5A, Sectional 9 and Gavit has been consolidated. I think more change is coming next year because Griffith really isn’t a 4A school by enrolment anymore. In a 7-team sectional, one team gets a first round bye, which is so valuable. Kankakee Valley, which has been in Sectional 18 for several years, comes back to Sectional 17. I’m not reminding anyone in Lowell that the Devils have lost the 4A Sectional 17 championship game to Hobart in each of the last two seasons.

This is what I would call the ‘good schedule’ year for Lowell. They only have four home games. But Crown Point, Griffith and Andrean usually bring good crowds and Lowell ends the season at home against the 59ers. The longest drive of the season, to first-time foe, New Prairie, comes over the Labor Day weekend, when fans and players are still traveling in the daylight.

LOWELL Update:

LOWELL – I thought that Lowell did a great job to go 9-2 in the Covid-19 year of 2020. The Devils played shorthanded most weeks due to the pandemic. Positive Covid test results took players off the field repeatedly.
Lowell should be optimistic about 2021 because the Devils have some proven players returning.

Lowell’s defense carried them in 2020, allowing just 144 points (13.9 per game) in 11 games and the ‘D’ could be that good again. Big senior linebacker Spencer Barta (6-4, 230) led Lowell with 85 tackles last year and junior linebacker Riley Bank (5-10, 190) had five quarterback sacks and three fumble recoveries in 2020. Lineman Ray Ambassi (5-7, 190) had an unreal 19 tackles for losses last year and was very difficult to block. All three are back. Jae Blank (5-7, 160) and Sean Lamping (6-2, 175) should get steady time in the defensive secondary.

I obviously don’t know who will get how much playing time, but James Langen (6-3, 210) and Andrew Juszczak (6-4, 201) are veteran defensive ends. Brett Thiele (6-0, 205) recorded a couple of QB sacks last fall. The Devils should cause problems defensively.

Joe Heuer (21) in scrimmage at Merrillville on 8-11-2018.  (Photo by Mark Smith)

One 2020 back up quarterback was linebacker Riley Bank, who carried 14 times for 166 yards but senior Johnny Johnson (5-9, 165), who carried 20 times for 104 yards, is also a good option and Lowell may want to keep Bank on defense.

Lowell has two quality halfbacks in Joe Heuer (219 carries, 1,306 yards, 17 TDs) and Ryan Marx (66 carries, 510 yards, 8 TDs) plus others behind them. Seniors like Adam Maleve (5-11, 225), Hunter Cross (6-1, 240), James Johnson (5-10, 220) and Josh Moore (5-10, 190) lead the blockers and they may have depth in the junior class. But offensive line may be the toughest position to play at Lowell because everybody knows they are running the ball. Let's wait until after opening night for an evaluation here.

The Devils return 2020 place kickers Caden Britton (29 of 35 on extra points) and punter Chris Jancosek (26 kicks, 34.3 average) and Lowell will again be strong returning kicks. Heuer ran back two kickoffs for TDs in 2020 and Marx averaged 18 yards a punt return and took one 82 yards for a TD.

After five years of winning 4A sectional championships (2014 to 2018), the Devils have lost the Class 4A Sectional 17 game to Hobart the last two seasons. So, getting the sectional title back is certainly the 2021 season goal. But I’ve always thought that the Crown Point game meant more to Lowell than it does to CP. The Devils have beaten CP four years in a row and 10 times in 18 seasons. I’d bet they don’t want the Bulldogs to break that streak in Lowell this Friday.


Lowell 1000-yard rushers (single season)
…………….in the state tournament era (1973-present): all unofficial totals

1. Brandon Grubbe (2009) 403 carries, 2,417 yards (3-year totals: 1,000 carries, 5,923 yards)
2. Ike James (2014) 319-2,411 yards (2 years totals: 666 carries, 4,350 yards)
3. Scott Gray (2005) 323-2,336 yards (2-year totals: 373 carries, 2,719 yards)
4. Michael Pickett (1994) 339-2,256 yards (3 year totals: 652 carries, 4,198 yards)
5. Trevor Espravnik (2016) 329 carries, 1,947 yards
6. Toby Goetz (2004) 276-1,939 yards (2 years totals: 423 carries, 2,775 yards)
7. Ike James (2015) 347-1,931 yards
8. Brandon Grubbe (2008) 316-1,831 yards
9. Matt Pernick (1996) 229-1,827 yards (2 year totals: 404 carries, 3,176 yards)
10. George Fields (2012) 277-1,811 yards (2-year totals: 486 carries, 3,188 yards)

11. Michael Pickett (1993) 273-1,687 yards
12. Brandon Grubbe (2007) 281-1,675 yards
13. Justin Henley (2002) 167- 1,552 yards (2 year totals: 391 carries, 2,386 yards)
14. Cole Midgett (2010) 195-1,481 yards
15. Justin Henley (2003) 227-1,447 yards
16. Mike French (2000) 200-1,382 yards (426 carries, 2,662 yards)
17. George Fields (2013) 209-1,377 yards
18. Matt Pernick (1995) 175-1,349 yards
19. Joe Heuer (2020) 219 carries – 1,306 yards (2 years totals: 287 carries, 1,718 yards)
20. Max Znika (2006) 224-1,302 yards

21. Mike French (1999) 226-1,280 yards
22. Tyler Wildman (2018) 293 carries, 1,270 yards
23. Sean Anderson (2001) 242-1,048 yards
24. Nick Holley (1997) 131-1,014 yards

CROWN POINT (3-4) at LOWELL (9-2)

Lowell Stadium "The Inferno": capacity 2,500




If you like the high school football computer rankings, you probably already know that Sagarin ratings truthfully can't be used in the first week of the season. They are based on results and the only results available in the pre-season are last year’s results. Lowell was a winning team last year and that probably explains the point spread here. But that was 2020, a long time ago. For the record, Crown Point was an 11-point Sagarin favorite over Lowell last season and Lowell won 6-0.



LOWELL (08-20-2021) This is traditionally a low-scoring game and this one will be as well. The Devils almost always run the ball well and Crown Point is usually good stopping the run. It will come down to Lowell running the ball and Crown Point stopping them for four quarters.

I don’t know if they can do that.

Crown Point is very conservative on this night, using their offensive line run-blocking strength to hog the ball. But Lowell is also strong running the football and in the kick return game. With new starting quarterbacks on both sides of the field, the score will be low.

I’ve seen some pretty experienced Crown Point teams stumble on opening night down on the natural grass in Lowell.

The Devils are very good on kick returns and I would predict that a Lowell kick return (or more than one) is a big factor in this game.

But CP kicker Sammy Brewer will also be a factor.

Play this game in October and the Bulldogs could take it. But we’re playing on the third weekend in August and Lowell’s going to keep that old leather helmet.



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Revised: August 18, 2021 .