Slicers in huge hole in suspended game

September 1, 2018

VALPARAISO — Not much went right for La Porte’s football team in its Duneland Athletic Conference opener at Valparaiso.

Fortunately for the Slicers, they’ll get a chance to regroup, and hopefully, rebound after Friday night’s storm-shortened game. The contest will continue at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The Vikings took control early, scoring on their first four possessions, building a 28-0 advantage with 8:41 remaining in the second quarter. The game was then delayed by lightning at 7:41 p.m. It was called off for the night at 8:55. The junior varsity teams will then play two quarters after the completion of the varsity contest.

“Nothing good has happened to us thus far,” La Porte coach Dave Sharpe said. “We’ve seen the film and we know the little things that led to huge, enormous shifts in momentum. We’ll be back (Saturday). The kids are doing well. They’re excited to just keep playing football (Saturday) morning.”

To begin the game, Valpo (0-2, 0-0 DAC) got a great kick return by Antonio Osorio to near midfield. The Vikings grinded out a methodical drive, capped by Reece Crossin’s 1-yard touchdown run in the Wildcat formation to make it 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Valpo then stuffed the Slicers (0-2, 0-0 DAC) on a rush after they went on fourth down and a yard-and-a-half on their own 43. That set up a short field for the Vikings and they capitalized. It took them seven plays to march 42 yards, Crossin finishing it with his second 1-yard TD run in the Wildcat.

After a La Porte punt, it took the Vikings a mere four plays to build a 21-0 lead. Jackson Kurth found the end zone from 2 yards out on a run early in the second period as they drove 77 yards in only four plays. A key play in the series was quarterback CJ Opperman’s 66-yard pass to Luke Patterson.

“We’ve got them into quite a few third downs, and a fourth down, and they’ve converted it,” Sharpe said. “They’re big up front. They’re a great zone-blocking team. The QB’s been on the money the times they’ve thrown it.”

On the Slicers’ ensuing possession, Jack Cahill had an interception for Valpo, which followed with Jesse Harper’s 23-yard touchdown run to the left side. That put La Porte in a 28-0 hole with 8:41 to go before the break.

Before the ensuing kickoff, lightning was spotted, so a mandatory 30-minute delay started.

Offensively, the Slicers have managed just one first down, that coming on running back Isaac Alexander’s 5-yard run with 9:17 left in the second quarter.

“We haven’t won many plays,” Sharpe said. “There’s only been 25 plays and we’ve lost darn near all of them.”

Asked if he thought the postponement to Saturday was good for his team to regroup, Sharpe replied, “I hope so.”

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