Week 5 football preview: Improving Culver defense seeks to stop Triton wing-T
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Culver (1-3, 0-2 Hoosier North) at Triton (2-1, 1-0), 7 p.m.
The Culver defense that had allowed an average of 50 points per game over their first three games held West Central to only a score in the final two minutes in a 20-6 win last week.
“I really think we attacked a lot more,” Culver coach Mike Zehner said. “We were more aggressive on defense and didn’t let them attack the edges as much. We still gave up some plays, but that bend-don’t-break mentality was finally there.”
Zehner also said that his cornerbacks helped out in run support, and he credited sophomores Ian Brown and Jason Cadle for their play in the secondary. He also said they got good pressure on West Central quarterback Garrett Leman.
Linebacker Hunter Evans contributed an interception on a pass that Marquez Anderson batted in midair.
Meanwhile, the Cavalier offense compiled 330 yards of offense despite not having running back Jalen King. Tucker Fisher had 43 yards passing out of their T-formation offense, including a touchdown pass to Anderson and a 38-yard completion to A.J. Cooper, and both Shane Shuman and Blake Thompson had over 100 yards rushing.
“I thought they played well,” Zehner said. “I thought our line did well. They basically took everybody upfront and just cut us. We’ve had teams cut us before. It’s usually just the defensive tackles, but they actually had six guys on the front defensive line cutting every one of us. I thought we adjusted well. Obviously, it opened some stuff on the outside, but Shane did break a run up the middle for his biggest gain of the night, 35 yards for a touchdown.
“But I thought we adjusted well to what they were doing.”
Culver defeated Triton 44-14 last year. Prior to that, they had lost three straight meetings to the Trojans.
Triton coach Rodney Younis, in the second year of his second stint as head coach, relies mostly on a wing-T offense. Senior tailback Hunter McIntyre and sophomore fullback Trace Schuh are top threats.
Don’t expect multiple formations from either offense. Zehner said Triton has no more than “four or five” different offensive formations.
Culver’s T-formation has only one.
“They are basically a wing-T team now,” Zehner said. “They will go back into some shotgun at some times, but they got away from the spread with coach Younis coming back. … They ran a little bit of that last year, but I think after our game later in the season, they went back to more of an I-formation, and then right now, they’re transitioning back into the wing-T. I think that’s what they used to run before. McIntyre’s a good kid, runs hard. No. 32 (Schuh), their fullback is a load. He’s only a sophomore, but he’s a big kid. (Cole) Shively at quarterback is a freshman, but he manages that offense well.”
King and Damon Binkley will both miss their second straight games due to injury.