There are not a lot of familiar names back for Triton Central football in 2021. Friday night’s scrimmage against Batesville quickly became a showcase for those battling for starting jobs in the weeks ahead.
The Tigers’ defense was solid, only allowing two touchdowns in period two where Batesville started at the 10-yard line. The Bulldogs scored on two running plays – a dive from the 1-yard line and a draw play from the 10-yard line.
Meanwhile, Triton Central’s offense scored twice in all three offensive periods.
Brad Schultz hauled in a 25-yard scoring strike from new starting quarterback Jace Stuckey on the seventh play of its first offensive series.
Three plays later, maybe the most familiar name returning on the roster, running back Ray Crawford, cut loose and scrambled 65 yards to the end zone.
In period two after Batesville scored twice, Brayden Wilkins had a 4-yard scoring run and Stuckey dropped a pass into the corner of the end zone that was caught by Devon Emberton.
After special teams were showcased in the third quarter, Chase Chandler found room to run and scored from 11 yards out in the fourth quarter.
And Sam Collier, TC’s third quarterback of the night after Stuckey and Chandler, fired downfield and Wilkins caught the deflected pass and scored.
“The biggest thing we wanted to do was hang on to the ball and secure it, and stay away from turnovers on the offensive side,” said Triton Central head coach Tim Able, ready for his ninth season in Fairland and 29th year overall. “And I thought we tackled well on defense. We’ve come a long way. We are young on both sides of the ball. We have 8 or 9 kids that have varsity experience … that’s not very many.”
The controlled scrimmage Friday had four periods. In the first period, each team ran 15 plays from the home team’s 35-yard line. Period two featured 10 plays from the opponent’s 10-yard line.
Each team was allowed six kicking plays – kickoffs, punts or field goals – in the third period. The final period featured 15 more plays from the opponent’s 35-yard line and showcased many of the younger players in each program.
Able was pleased with his team’s performance but stressed that the preparation for the season opener at Cascade next week will be much different than the summer preparation.
“We have to get a good gameplan. We have to have a good week of preparing,” said Abel. “It’s completely different than all summertime. Now you are doing plays with strategy.
“In summertime, we are trying to get our toolbox ready so we can pull out this tool this week because (the opponent) is playing this or that. Now we have to take all those tools and put them in the right drawer of the cabinet and pull them out for that week so we can play the game we need to each Friday night.”