When asked to grade his performance in his varsity debut at quarterback for Triton Central, sophomore Jace Stuckey went with a “B.”
“It worked out. It was a good game. Everyone did their part so maybe a B … a B-plus.”
That’s a pretty fair assessment from a young QB that just led Triton Central to a 45-7 rout of Cascade.
Stuckey completed 7-of-12 passing attempts for 162 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 27 more yards but also was assessed two intentional grounding penalties.
“I was trying to do too much when I need to get rid of it,” said Stuckey of when he got in trouble and tried to throw the ball away. “Those are mental things I have to fix.”
The ground game took much of the pressure off Stuckey, racking up 247 yards against a worn-down Cadets’ defense.
Triton Central took the opening drive 78 yards and finished it one play after Stuckey was called for grounding when he found running back Ray Crawford for a 62-yard scoring strike.
Just as quickly as the Tigers took the lead, Cascade tied it back up.
Liam Farmer broke free and went nearly untouched for 68 yards and the touchdown on the Cadets’ first offensive play of the game.
The next drive for each team yielded no points before Triton Central settled in offensively and went to work.
“Once we figured out what they were doing, we adjusted and warmed up,” said Triton Central head coach Tim Abel, who collected win No. 73 Friday night with the Tigers and career win No. 198.
Triton Central scored on its next three possessions with Levi Dewey delivering a 34-yard field goal, Stuckey connecting with Brad Schultz from 14 yards out, and Lucas Kleeman breaking free on an inside trap to score from 22 yards out to give the Tigers a 24-7 lead at halftime.
The Tigers physically wore down the Cadets in the second half with three straight drives that resulted in touchdowns.
Stuckey shook off a Cascade rusher and found Devon Emberton all alone in the end zone for a 26-yard scoring strike in the third quarter.
“If we stay ahead of the chains and we determine when we pass, we are a lot better,” said Abel of TC’s effective passing game Friday. “When you are in third-and-long or second-and-long, no team is good at that. The other team knows what you are doing.”
Following three straight penalties, a TC problem the entire game (16 penalties for 112 yards), Stuckey delivered his best pass of the night, a high spiraling shot downfield that Crawford ran under and took to the end zone from 55 yards out.
“I saw it in pregame and I did the same thing. I got that inside backer over and I knew I had it over the top,” said Stuckey.
The final touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a six-yard run by Jaquan Blake.
Crawford finished with 80 yards rushing and 118 yards receiving.
“Who would have thought Ray would have more yards receiving than rushing,” said Abel with a wry smile. The sophomore ran for 1,303 yards in 2020 and only had four receptions for 12 yards.
Dewey ended the night going 6-for-6 on extra point attempts and 1-of-2 on field goal attempts, missing a 53-yarder as time expired.
“It’s a good building step for us,” said Stuckey. “There are a lot of things we need to fix and build on.
Triton Central hosts Greensburg, a 42-21 winner over Shelbyville Friday, in week two at Bud Mendenhall Field.
TRITON CENTRAL 45, CASCADE 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
TC (1-0) 7 17 14 7 -- 45
CA (0-1) 7 0 0 0 -- 7
TC – Crawford 62 pass Stuckey (Dewey kick), 8:49
CA – Farmer 68 run (Schnarr kick), 8:32
TC – Dewey 34 field goal, 11:44
TC – Schultz 14 pass Stuckey (Dewey kick), 7:08
TC – Kleeman 22 run (Dewey kick), 3:34
TC – Emberton 26 pass Stuckey (Dewey kick), 3:16
TC – Crawford 55 pass Stuckey (Dewey kick), 1:23
TC – Blake 6 run (Dewey kick), 9:36
TC: Crawford 12-80, Wilkins 5-55, Kleeman 5-32, Stuckey 4-27, Blake 3-12, Kemper 2-5, Perkon 2-5, Dunville 1-14, Schultz 1-18, Ferris 1-(-1).
CA: Farmer 16-111, Passwater 3-7, Weigle 2-0, Cartmel 1-2, Appleby 2-(-4), Gibbs 2-(-15), Mason 1-0.
TC: Stuckey 7-12-162, Chandler 1-1-8
CA: Weigle 0-1-0, Potters 0-1-0, Farmer 1-1-5.
TC: Crawford 3-118, Schultz 2-25, Emberton 2-25.
CA: Potters 1-5.