• Val T.

Week 5 football preview: Hickle establishing himself at QB, but Comets face tough LaVille defense

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Caston (1-3, 0-3 Hoosier North) at LaVille (1-0, 1-0), 7 p.m.

The Caston run defense allowed 338 yards rushing in a 52-6 loss to Pioneer last week.

It was a step back for a defense that was allowing only 23 points per game through its first three games and that allowed only 14 points to Triton the previous week.

Prior to this year, Caston had allowed 25 consecutive opponents to score at least 30 points.

“It’s been something we’ve been stressing this week in practice,” Caston coach Will Porter said. “It’s just we’re capable of playing much better, and we were disappointed with our overall defensive output. We’ve just been working on making our practices more competitive and a little bit more physical. We’re hoping that all the way around, offensively and defensively.”

Porter also said that leverage has been addressed in practice.

“One of the problems we were having in the Pioneer game is that we were tackling high, and we were blocking high,” Porter said. “So in order to get guys playing lower, we’ve got it broken down better so that we are practicing as good on good as possible. Sometimes that means that we’re doing more smaller drills. But I’ve been happy with what we’ve seen so far this week, and I’m confident that we will be much improved this Friday.”

In addition to its defensive issues, Caston will have to try and figure out a way to score on Class 2A, No. 13 LaVille. Known for their traditionally strong defense, the Lancers held Winamac without an offensive touchdown last week in a 17-6 win, and they have shut out Caston in three of their five meetings since becoming conference rivals in 2015.

Quarterback Grant Hickle has seized the position and continues to work on mastering Porter’s triple-option offense.

“One of the things I really like about him is his foot speed,” Porter said. “When he gets a chance or seam to run, he’s fast enough to really take advantage of that. That’s definitely one of the reasons why we decided to stay with him there.

“As far as what he works on and what all our quarterbacks work on during the week, when we’re in the option, he’s working on reads and working on trying to find that weak key and identify what they’re doing. He’s still got a ways to go with that because he’s a young quarterback at it, but each week, he seems to get a little bit better.”


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