After three weeks away from Mendenhall Field, Triton Central finally returns home for a Class 2A, Sectional 39 semifinal game against Clarksville and the state’s leading rusher.
Robert Lamar, a 5-foot-10 junior, has rushed for 2,055 yards and 26 touchdowns this season for a Generals team that won its first sectional game in eight seasons last week, 41-20 over Mitchell.
“They like to run the ball and they can throw it,” said Triton Central coach Tim Able. “We prefer they throw it. Their running back is good. We have to get multiple people there (to him).”
Lamar, a 1,000-yard rusher as a sophomore, closed out the regular season with 307 yards on nine carries and six touchdowns in a 69-8 win over Rock Creek Academy.
Against Mitchell, Lamar (photo) racked up another 250 yards rushing and five touchdowns and had an interception return for a sixth touchdown as the Generals (3-7 this season) broke open a 14-14 game at halftime.
Junior quarterback Caleb Cummings has completed 54% of his passing attempts this season with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His two favorite targets are the Capps brothers – Morgan Capps (31 receptions, 581 yards, 5 TDs), a junior, and Dakota Capps (27 receptions, 431 yards, 5 TDs), a senior.
Head coach Justin Boser praised an offensive line that at times this season included three sophomores and a freshman. On Friday at Triton Central, the three sophomores will be joined by a pair of seniors on the offensive front.
“Triton Central is a solid team. I have a lot of respect for coach Able,” said Boser. “When I lived in Indianapolis, I went to his coaching clinic three years in a row and learned a lot listening to other coaches speak and listening to him speak.
“They are hard-nosed, well-coached team. They run a lot of formations. I’ve never seen a high school team run this many formations.”
Triton Central (6-4) counters with its own set of playmakers in quarterback Jace Stuckey (53% completion rate, 10 TDs, 5 interceptions), running backs Ray Crawford (142 rushes, 1,025 yards, 8 TDs; 21 receptions, 367 yards, 3 TDs) and Brad Schultz (16 rushes, 179 yards, 2 TDs; 20 receptions, 371 yards, 4 TDs), and receivers Devon Emberton (24 receptions, 302 yards, 3 TDs) and Anthony Dunville (17 receptions, 212 yards).
The offense also has the luxury of a skilled kicker in Levi Dewey (28-for-28 on extra-point attempts; 7-of-8 on field goal attempts).
“That’s a weapon that is nice to have,” said Able. “If you get inside the 20-yard line and don’t have a good fourth-down situation, you still have a pretty good chance of getting three points on the scoreboard. And he has been helping us at defensive back as well.”
Triton Central was dominant in its 58-0 sectional quarterfinal win at Eastern (Pekin).
“We did a pretty good job on both sides of the ball,” said Able. “Overall, it was probably the best all-around game we’ve played from the standpoint of putting our run game and our pass game together. And I thought our special teams were pretty good.”
The other Sectional 39 semifinal game tonight pits Providence (5-5) at Paoli (6-2). Paoli is a 14-point favorite in the Sagarin ratings.
Triton Central is a 34-point favorite over Clarksville.
The Tigers are 0-2 against Clarksville in two previous sectional meetings. The Generals defeated Triton Central, 28-21, on Oct. 20, 2006. The loss was the first for Rob Robertson’s Tigers (9-1) that season. Clarksville finished 10-2 under head coach Brian Glesing, now Shelbyville’s head coach.
On Oct. 24, 1997, Clarksville squashed a Joe Fussell-led TC squad, 43-0. The Tigers finished 5-5 that season.
If Triton Central wins, it will host either Providence or Paoli in the sectional championship game on Nov. 5.
GIANT fm Real Radio (96.5 fm) will broadcast tonight’s game from Fairland. The pre-game show starts at 6 p.m. with kickoff to follow at 7 p.m.