Valley ride big first quarter to win over Peru
Shaffer runs for TD in Caston’s loss to Triton; Knox rushes for 397 yards in win over Culver; Toloza runs for 92 yards, TD, but Pioneer falls to LaVille
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Tippecanoe Valley 41, Peru 22 (Friday): Wade Jones had two touchdown runs, and freshman Grady Moriarty’s first career varsity touchdown, which came on a 26-yard fumble return on a kickoff in the first quarter, put Valley ahead for good in a Three Rivers Conference home win over Peru Friday.
Cody Eastgate also threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Nate Parker to cap a 28-point first quarter for the Vikings.
“Cody is always just so composed,” Valley coach Stephen Moriarty said afterwards about Eastgate, who has shared quarterback responsibilities with Parker and Marcus Jansma.
Karl Parker and Nate Engstrand also had touchdown runs for Valley, who scored 41 unanswered points after Peru’s Alex Smithers returned the opening kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown.
Jones’ 10-yard touchdown run made it 7-6, and the Valley kickoff coverage unit atoned against Smithers on the ensuing kickoff. As two Valley players stood up Smithers, Moriarty grabbed the ball from Smithers’ hands and raced to the end zone.
Valley has won four of their last five meetings with Peru. Valley has also won 12 consecutive regular season games and nine consecutive regular season home games.
Nate Parker said the key to the season was 6 a.m. weight room sessions during the offseason. That’s helped players like him to get bigger and take on a bigger role.
“We’ve been playing lots of great teams, but at the end of the day, yeah, we want to come out, and we expect to win, and … as Coach Mo would say, we want to outhit them every time we snap the ball,” Nate Parker said.
Both teams had over 100 yards in penalties.
“I’m very frustrated with our false starts,” coach Moriarty said. “There’s some things we’re going to have to fix, whether it be the count, the cadence, not waiting until our linemen our set. There’s a lot of different things we need to fix, but false starts, I don’t like those.”
Valley held Peru to -4 yards rushing. Valley has held their opponents to fewer than 35 yards rushing per game this season.
“Our defensive line did a good job of assignment football,” coach Moriarty said. “We come off the ball. As soon as they move it, we’re flying off the ball. I think with our speed from the linebackers, Noah Prater really does set that edge and having such a talented linebacker like that that flies up is awesome. … We just have to get better at the passing defense; that’s for sure.”
Valley 41, Peru 22
Peru 7 0 0 15 – 22
Valley 28 7 6 0 – 41
PERU – Alex Smithers 79 kickoff return (Benjamin Beckman kick)
TV – Wade Jones 10 run (run failed)
TV – Grady Moriarty 26 fumble return (Gage Overbey kick)
TV – Jones 7 run (Nate Parker pass from Cody Eastgate)
TV – N. Parker 80 pass from Eastgate (Overbey kick)
TV – Karl Parker 1 run (Overbey kick)
TV – Nate Engstrand 20 run (pass failed)
PERU – Braxten Robbins 20 pass from Matthew Roettger (Robbins pass from Roettger)
PERU – Roettger 2 run (Beckman kick)
Triton 46, Caston 6 (Friday): Anthony Schuh ran 13 times for 220 yards and four touchdowns, and Cole Shively ran for two touchdowns and also kicked a 32-yard field goal on the final play of the first half for the visiting Trojans in a win over Caston Friday.
Landon Shaffer muscled his way for an 8-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for Caston, who fell to 0-3, 0-2 Hoosier North.
Caston had a season-high 56 yards rushing. Josh Sullivan led Caston with 44 yards on eight carries. Shaffer completed seven of 19 passes for 90 yards. Quinlan Kelly had a team-high three receptions for 12 yards. Grant Yadon had two catches for 56 yards, and Oliver Trigg had two catches for 18 yards. Kyle Roudebush had a 5-yard reception.
Kelly also led the defense with nine tackles and one pass defended. Gavin Mollenkopf had six tackles. Trigg had five tackles; Jabez Yarber, Braxton Smith, Kyle Roudebush and Yadon had three tackles each; Evan Howard, Noah Herd and Pete DuVall had two tackles each; and Chase Angot had one tackle.
Roudebush and Yadon each had a pass defended, and Herd recovered a fumble.
Triton 46, Caston 6
Triton 14 25 7 0 – 46
Caston 6 0 0 0 – 6
TRI – Cole Shively 6 run (Shively kick)
TRI – Anthony Schuh 16 run (Shively kick)
CAS – Landon Shaffer 8 run (run failed)
TRI – Schuh 1 run (Shively run)
TRI – Schuh 17 run (Shively run)
TRI – Shively 1 run (pass failed)
TRI – Shively 32 FG
TRI – Schuh 6 run (Shively kick)
Knox 59, Culver 14 (Friday): Shane Shuman ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including a 63-yard run in the fourth quarter, for Culver in a Hoosier North road loss to Knox Friday.
Knox had a 397-99 advantage in rushing yards, and they also had seven rushing touchdowns as a team.
Shuman and Hayden Parker had five tackles each on defense. Ben Lee had four stops.
Knox (2-1 overall, 2-0 Hoosier North) led 39-8 at halftime.
Culver committed the game’s only turnover.
Culver (1-2, 0-2) has not beaten Knox since 2012.
Knox 59, Culver 14
Culver 8 0 0 6 – 14
Knox 16 23 13 7 – 59
LaVille 47, Pioneer 8 (Friday): Rylahn Toloza ran for 92 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, but the host Panthers lost to Class 2A, No. 9 LaVille Friday.
Brian Gluth caught three of Caleb Sweet’s passes for 54 yards. Cayden Hill had three catches for 21 yards and 15 carries for 43 yards while also making eight tackles on defense.
Toloza led the defense with nine tackles. Sweet had five tackles, including two for loss. Tyler Zellers had six tackles.
Sweet completed seven of 16 passes for 76 yards and an interception. Jonathan Neese returned that interception for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Sweet did run for a two-point conversion following Toloza’s 30-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
LaVille had a 191-176 advantage in rushing yards. Lucas Plummer threw two touchdown passes and also kicked two field goals and four extra points.
This was the teams’ first meeting since LaVille’s 41-0 win over Pioneer in last year’s sectional final.
The loss was Pioneer’s first in a Hoosier North home game since the formation of the conference in 2015. It was also their first ever regular season loss to the Lancers.
LaVille led 33-8 at halftime.
LaVille 47, Pioneer 8
LaVille 17 16 7 7 – 47
Pioneer 0 8 0 0 – 8
LV – Lucas Plummer 28 FG
LV – Paul DeWitt 4 run (Plummer kick)
LV – Noah Richhart 20 pass from Plummer (Plummer kick)
LV – DeWitt 4 run (kick failed)
LV – Cody Allen 45 pass from Plummer (Plummer kick)
PIO – Rylahn Toloza 30 run (Caleb Sweet run)
LV – Plummer 33 FG
LV – Jonathan Neese 20 interception return (Plummer kick)
LV – Richhart 6 run (Brandon Nettrouer kick)
Winamac 33, North White 7 (Friday): Jadon Jones ran 14 times for 229 yards and three touchdowns, and Michael Loehmer added a 46-yard touchdown jaunt as part of a 106-yard night for the host Warriors in a win over North White.
Max Gearhart also caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Max Roth for Winamac.
The win snapped a three-game losing skid dating back to last season and was coach Josh Burgess’ first career win.
Winamac defeated North White for the 15th consecutive time. They have not lost to the Vikings since 2004.
Winamac 33, North White 7
North White 0 7 0 0 – 7
Winamac 14 19 0 0 – 33
WIN – Jadon Jones 55 run (Carter Ulerick kick)
WIN – Jones 45 run (Ulerick kick)
NW – Hunt 64 run (Villatoro kick)
WIN – Michael Loehmer 46 run (Ulerick kick)
WIN – Jones 9 run (kick failed)
WIN – Max Gearhart 3 pass from Cash Roth (kick failed)