- Val T.
Week 10 football preview: After falling to Knox, Caston hopes North Miami more their size
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
North Miami (1-8) at Caston (2-7), 7 p.m.
Caston faced a big opponent in Knox last week. By bigger, Caston coach Will Porter means both bigger size-wise and bigger in numbers.
Caston fell behind 46-0 at halftime and wound up losing 46-8 as the second half was played under the Mercy Rule.
“The most disappointing part of that game was just the physicality that they were able to play with and we weren’t able to match,” Porter said. “Knox is a pretty big program, a 3A school with a lot of kids. They honored 14 seniors at the beginning of the game, and we dressed 18 for that game. So it was just one of those things. Just a tough matchup, but I was pretty happy with our guys in the second half. We kept playing hard, and we were actually able to drive the ball down and actually score against their first defense because they left their ones in pretty much the whole time. So that was good to see that we were able to have some success and punch it in to the end zone and get a two-point conversion.”
It figures to be easier to move the ball this week when Caston hosts North Miami in a Class 1A, Sectional 44 quarterfinal. North Miami has lost eight straight games, including a 69-20 loss to Northfield last week. The 69 points allowed were the most North Miami had allowed in a game since an infamous 81-0 loss to eventual Class 1A state champion Tippecanoe Valley on Oct. 26, 1979.
North Miami allows 51 points per game for the season. As for the Comet offense, they average 15 points per game on offense.
“From a line standpoint all the way around, we think our five will be able to maintain their blocks and give Sam (Smith) a crease,” Porter said.
Meanwhile, the defense will try to stop North Miami senior Darian Hanley, who ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns and also returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown against Northfield.
Caston is seeking their first win in a sectional game since 2014 and their first win over North Miami since 1979.
“A sectional win is always good, and to do it at home is even more special,” Porter said. “To do it this season, where we’ve been seeing a lot of firsts, it would be a great thing to do. And it’s really a great opportunity for us to do it. … The Hanley kid is our number one concern. We’ve got to keep him in check. If we can do that, we can have success. … It’s definitely a good step for our program, just showing that things are going in the right direction.”
Porter said Grant Hickle (back) and Damian Sullivan (head) will miss the game with injuries. Caston dressed 18 players against Knox last week.
The winner of this game will play No. 11 Northfield in the semifinals on Oct. 30. Northfield was scheduled to play No. 3 Southwood this week, but the undefeated Knights were forced to withdraw due to a coronavirus quarantine.