Class 2A, No. 9 Triton Central took little satisfaction from a season-opening 42-14 victory over Cascade. Too many little things did not go right for the Tigers.
“We did a lot of good things for a game one,” said Triton Central head coach Tim Able. “There are some simple mistakes that are correctable. We are excited because the second game is when you usually get a lot of improvement.”
That excitement is heightened by a new week two opponent this season – New Castle.
The Trojans offer a unique matchup that Triton Central does not normally see during the regular season.
“It’s a (Class) 4A opponent that’s like a lot of schools we played all summer long,” said Able. “They maybe have more depth (than us).”
Kyle York’s New Castle program finished 2-8 in 2021 but opened the 2022 season with an 18-12 overtime win over Franklin County.
“They have a quick little running back and their quarterback throws well,” said Able of the Trojans. “Traditionally, they have been a passing team, that’s been their forte. We need to get them into passing situations by controlling the run so we know when they are going to throw.”
The running back is five-foot-eight senior Jon Eberhart, who ran for 140 yards and the game-winning touchdown in overtime last week.
Junior quarterback Tyson Lewis (6-3, 170) struggled with his completion percentage against Franklin County, hitting just 5-of-21 attempts. He threw for a touchdown and was intercepted in the win.
“Franklin County put them in difficult (passing) situations,” said Able.
New Castle was bolstered by Aidan Bradley’s opening kickoff touchdown that put the Trojans ahead 6-0.
“We can’t give up any freebies,” said Able. “We have to win the special teams battle.”
Able noted that Triton Central did not punt in its win over Cascade – scoring on four of its five first-half possessions, while senior kicker Brogan Winslow went 6-for-6 on extra-point attempts and junior kicker Levi Dewey and the kickoff coverage unit limited Cascade to an average starting position of the 18-yard line.
Triton Central quarterback Jace Stuckey threw for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth behind a makeshift offensive line.
Senior Hadyn Ball (photo) will start at center again this week with senior Aden Sosbe and sophomore Andrew Bailey at the guard positions and senior Aidan Wasson and sophomore Willie Baugh at the tackles.
“(New Castle’s) defensive ends are quick and try to get upfield,” said Able. “Our tackles will have to do a good job at pass protection.”
Ray Crawford handled the bulk of the running duties in the opener and racked up 122 yards on 18 carries. The junior only caught one pass against the Cadets but will be more active in the passing game in the coming weeks.
Senior Brad Schultz (photo) was a matchup nightmare for Cascade. He caught 10 passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns and just missed connecting on two more long pass attempts from Stuckey.
“We will get better,” said Able of his team’s offensive capabilities. “It takes time. We’ve got to pick up our tempo.”
New Castle presents a formidable challenge early in the season and keeps the Tigers’ focus off a week three contest with Class A, No. 1 Lutheran.
“We’re trying to get one day better then spend the next day preparing for New Castle,” said Able.
Triton Central at New Castle
Game Time: 7 p.m. at Huffman Field in New Castle, Ind.
Media coverage: Follow Shelby County Post News Editor Jeff Brown on Twitter at @Sportsboss4life for live updates from New Castle.
Head coaches: Tim Able, 81-32 in 10th year at Triton Central, 206-130 in 29th year overall; Kyle York, 23-31 in 6th year at New Castle.
2021 record: Triton Central 8-5; New Castle 2-8.
Sagarin Ratings: Triton Central, 64-12, 105th overall, 13th in 2A; New Castle, 62.17, 120th overall, 29th in 4A.
Series history: This is the first football meeting between the two programs.
Around the ICC Friday: Beech Grove (0-1) at Cascade (0-1); Cardinal Ritter (0-1) at Class A, No. 1 Lutheran (1-0); Monrovia (1-0) at Edgewood (1-0); and Class 3A, No. 13 Speedway (1-0) at Class 2A, No. 7 Scecina (1-0).