Big plays burn Wolves

Kaydarious Jones

CROWN POINT — Four plays, 227 yards, four touchdowns.

An 85-yard run, a 55-yard pass on a busted coverage, a 34-yard pass on a tipped ball at the goal line, and a 53-yard pass with a broken tackle.

"Unbelievable," Michigan City coach Phil Mason said. "I thought we played well except for a few instances on both sides of the ball. You look at their plays, the way they made plays, we just came up on the short end on the big plays."

Down in, down out, the Wolves had a solid night defensively, but like the baseball pitcher plagued by home runs, they were done in by the long ball in a 28-21 Duneland Conference loss to Crown Point in Friday's regular-season finale.

Will Pettit completed just four of 15 passes but made the most of his connections, racking up 175 yards and three scores.

"I think them playing man-to-man, getting one-on-one was an advantage for us," C.P.'s David O'Toole said. "That's our bread and butter. It's what we do every day in practice."

Exploiting its size advantage over the shorter Wolves secondary, the 6-foot-1 O'Toole and the 6-3 Cazy did all of the damage on the receiving end for C.P. (5-4, 4-3 DAC). After Matt Walters' 85-yard burst started the scoring at 8:01 of the first quarter, City (4-5, 3-4) lost Cazy in the secondary and he cruised in from 55 yards to put the Bulldogs up 14-0 in the first quarter.

"He's a playmaker," O'Toole said.

A KeJuan Rufus interception helped the Wolves stem the tide in the second quarter. Gio Laurent's 7-yard flip to Jonathan Flemings halved the deficit with 8:34 left in the half and Kaydarious Jones cruised in on a 36-yard catch and run to pull MC even 89 seconds before the break.

"I really liked what we did offensively," Mason said. "We changed things up. We've got to unleash our kids. We have kids who can make some good plays when we get them in space. It was a good game plan, I thought was executed well for the most part."

The game remained tied in the third when O'Toole pulled down a jump ball out of a crowd on a fourth-and-20 heave and dove into the end zone for an improbable touchdown.

"Tysen and I were solo on each side. It was a deep ball in the middle of the field, just see who can go get it," O'Toole said. "I looked over, I saw about five dudes in the middle, I see the ball bounce off a bunch of hands and I just grabbed it. Right place, right time, good things happen."

City tied it a second time and 21 after a Flemings' plunge with 5:21 left. A 45-yard Laurent-to-Jones connected to the 2 on a second and 24 set up the TD.

"I've been protecting the quarterback for a long time. It was just time to say, go ahead and throw it around," Mason said. "He's played most of the season. Now he's technically a junior. Every ball he threw was good, except for the last one. It just got away."

After a trade of punts -- there were 14 between the teams -- Pettit made his best throw, hitting Cazy in stride in the middle of the field, where he eluded a shoe tackle by a Wolves defender and raced the distance.

A final MC chance was squelched on a Treston Logan interception of Laurent. His would-be pick six was erased by a penalty, but C.P. was able to run out the clock.

"I think we're OK," Mason said. "I think we're going to feel good about the fact the offense was pretty explosive. We moved the ball up and down the field."

Laurent connected on 23 of 36 passes for 306 yards. Jones had eight catches for 176 yards and Demetrius Garrett eight for 89.

MC is off next Friday and will host La Porte in the Class 5A Sectional 9 opener on Nov. 1.

"Who knows? I've been beaten, upset before," Mason said. "Hopefully I can upset somebody this time."

Crown Point 28, Michigan City 21

Gio Laurent threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.