Underdogs to Undefeated

The Bulldogs take the field before the homecoming football game. They were victorious
over the Portage Indians with a final score of 42-7.

The Bulldogs take the field before the homecoming football game. They were victorious over the Portage Indians with a final score of 42-7.

Marley Huizenga, Sports Writer

The Crown Point Bulldogs have had an astounding start to the 2022 season. Behind seasoned coach Craig Buzea, the bulldogs have jumped out to a dominant 7-0 start giving them the best record in the DAC. This is Buzea’s second year at CPHS.

This is in stark contrast to what the Bulldogs mustered up last year, finishing with a .500 record and winning only 5 games last year. To start this season off right, the Bulldogs hosted the Lowell Red Devils and blew them off the field behind two touchdowns and 111 yards from Eli Tiawhan and a stout defensive performance to retain the “Old Leather Helmet.”

The Bulldogs carried their momentum into the second week squaring off against Andrean and the Fighting 59ers, when CP won 28-12, keeping the undefeated streak rolling. 

“When you haven’t lost any games, you have to be happy. Yet, we still have things we can improve on, and we’re going to continue to work on those things” Coach Buzea said.

Heading into week three, the Bulldogs were looking to pull out a statement win against the Merrillville Pirates, who have been dominant in recent years against Crown Point. Going into the Merrillville home stadium on their senior night, the Bulldogs outlasted the Pirates 48-40 in an offensive clinic with both teams scoring nearly at will all game. But the CP defense held tough and won the game.

“I sensed doubt in our guys’ minds after last season, but we put in the work, and I’m starting to see a confidence build in our team that wasn’t there prior,” Coach Buzea said.

Back home for the fourth week, the Bulldogs were set to host the Lake Central Indians on a senior night, and they did not disappoint. Crown Point jumped to an early lead and never looked back taking the win 35-10 and creating a nearly unkillable momentum going into their week five match versus the Portage Indians. The Indians never stood a chance from the start of the game with the CP offense and defense firing on all cylinders leading to a 42-7 trouncing. 

Commenting on the culture of this year’s team, Coach Buzea said, “I sense a lot more confidence in our guys now that we’re winning. They aren’t afraid to take the field and feel they can be successful regardless of the opponent.”

The featured running back, #5 Eli Tiawhan, was slashing through defenses going into week 3 vs Merrillville when he sustained a lower-body injury on a late hit. He has yet to be back through week 5.

Tommy Guadagno picked up the slack when Tiawhan went down. Guadagno invites the contact and runs through the defender when he gets the ball. The Crown Point rushing attack strategy is still going strong and is a testimony to the depth Crown Point has on the field.

Senior Cody Fischl, Cp’s five-star kicker, commented on how the coaching staff has been able to help him further his career. “The coaches send me all of the game films and allow me to create my own highlight reels and show the coaches what I feel they should be shown. They also take the time to send my reel to colleges. Our coaches help me get my name out there and improve my standing in the eyes of universities.”

“We have a saying in our program to be where our feet are. Wherever our feet are is what we focus on. There’s no time to take a breath right now and the moment we do that is the moment we slip up,” Coach Buzea said.