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Class 2A, No. 10 Triton Central still searching for offensive balance

Tim Able does not need to look at the statistics to tell him Triton Central has a balance problem.

The last two weeks of the football season have been exasperating to the veteran coach who would prefer more rushing yards than passing yards most any given Friday night.

“The last two weeks have been tough scenarios,” said Able. “Anyone that knows me knows I like to run the football.”

Through the first three weeks of the 2021 season, TC rushed the ball 102 times for 637 yards. Quarterback Jace Stuckey was a mere 25-of-46 for 396 yards and five touchdowns.

In 2022, Stuckey has already put the ball in the air 86 times for 807 yards and seven TDs. The rushing attack has been utilized 82 times for more than half the production (319 yards) of the first three games of 2021.

“So many mistakes. So many penalties. Bad field position. We didn’t get the run going early,” said Able of TC’s 54-41 loss to Class A, No. 1 Lutheran last week in Fairland. “It’s been that way two weeks now. We’ve got to quit shooting ourselves in the foot and getting second-and-long and third-and-long (situations). We’ve got to get balance.”

In week two’s 21-14 win at New Castle, Triton Central ran 22 second-down plays with 13 requiring 10 yards or more for a first down. Twelve of the 16 third-down plays required six yards or more for a first down.

Against Lutheran, 10-of-19 second-down snaps came with at least 10 yards for a first down. Nine of 11 third-down plays needed at least seven yards for a first down.

All-State candidate Ray Crawford has 46 carries through three games for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Able knows he has to stay faithful to Crawford and the running game.

“He’s doing fine,” said Able of Crawford’s mentality. “He understands the game, the situation. We’ve just got to get it to him more.”



Stuckey’s week three performance against the Saints netted him a school record for passing yards in a game. The junior (photo) completed 21-of-31 attempts for 406 yards and two TDs but he also had a fumble and three interceptions.

Able is all for celebrating records but he would prefer to do so after the season.

With his 807 yards passing this season, Stuckey is fifth on TC’s career passing yards list with 2,212 yards. He became the first TC quarterback to pass for more than 350 yards in a game. The previous record was 335 yards set by Jordan Martin in 2007 against Milan.



Seniors Brad Schultz (photo) and Luke Faust have benefited the most from the Tigers consistently being in passing downs. Schultz has 26 receptions for 417 yards and five TDs this season. With 71 career catches, Schultz is fifth on the program’s career receiving yards list with 1,154. He needs 49 yards Friday to pass Geoff Bond (61 catches, 1,202 yards from 1982-84) for fourth all-time.



Faust (photo), playing high school football for the first time in his prep career, had 14 receptions for 214 yards but will be out for several weeks with a broken collarbone suffered in the loss to Lutheran.

A second Indiana Crossroads Conference loss will knock Triton Central down the standings. The Tigers need a bounce back win against a team that bulldozed them last season.

Monrovia’s Dustin Kostrzewski and Brayton Belcher ran for five touchdowns in a 38-14 win in 2021 over the Tigers. In three games this season, the duo have rushed for a combined 564 yards and seven touchdowns.

“The running back sets the table. We have to shut down the fullback (Belcher),” said Able. “He is good.”

Senior quarterback Elias Wagner has only thrown the ball 25 times this season, completing 12 passes for 289 yards and three TDs.

“We have got to control the run to stay away from the big passes,” said Able. “They got us that way last year.”

Win or lose, Able wants to see a complete performance from the offense, defense and special teams.

“We need to get back to playing Tiger football – hard-nosed, physical, error-free and take care of the football,” he said.




Class 2A, No. 10 Triton Central at Monrovia

Game time: 7 p.m. at Hadley Field in Monrovia, Ind.

Media coverage: Follow Shelby County Post News Editor Jeff Brown on Twitter at @Sportsboss4life for live updates from Monrovia.

TC student section theme: Toga Night.

Head coaches: Tim Able, 82-33 in 10th year at Triton Central, 207-131 in 29th year overall; Andy Olson, 11-13 in 3rd year at Monrovia

2021 record: Triton Central 8-5; Monrovia 7-4.

Sagarin ratings: Triton Central, 65.27, 82nd overall, 6th in Class 2A; Monrovia, 51.44, 128th overall, 28th in Class 3A.

Point spread: Triton Central is favored by 12 points.

Last year: Monrovia’s Dustin Kostrzewski and Brayton Belcher combined for five rushing touchdowns in a 38-14 victory at Mendenhall Field in Fairland.

Last 10 years: Triton Central holds the advantage over the last decade winning six of ten meetings.

Around the ICC Friday: Cascade (1-2, 1-2 ICC) at Cloverdale (1-2); Cardinal Ritter (0-2, 0-2 ICC) at Speedway (1-2, 0-2 ICC); Class 2A, No. 3 Indianapolis Scecina (3-0, 2-0 ICC) at Beech Grove (1-2, 1-2 ICC); and Lapel (2-1) at Class A, No. 1 Lutheran (3-0, 3-0 ICC).