Week 5 preview: Improving Pioneer offense to host struggling Hammond Central defense
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Hammond Central (1-3) at Pioneer (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
The Pioneer offense that mustered just 18 points and seemingly just as many fumbles in their first three games became old news against Caston last week.
Brock Robinson flipped a 64-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Sweet – Sweet changed his uniform number from No. 58 to No. 40 so he could play tight end – on the first play from scrimmage. Robinson would throw another 15-yard touchdown pass to Sweet later on as well as a touchdown pass to Ryland Toloza. Cayden Hill had 37 yards rushing and another 19 receiving.
Robinson had 122 yards passing and 85 yards rushing and accounted for four touchdowns in a 42-6 win.
Pioneer coach Adam Berry said he noticed that Caston liked to play tight to the line defensively in their previous game against Triton. Robinson was trailed to spot the “flat” defender and throw over him.
Berry also called his offensive line “extremely intelligent.”
“So they’re getting where they need to be,” Berry said. “It’s just picking up that much more to bring the intensity.”
As a team, Pioneer had 372 yards of offense – 250 rushing and 122 passing.
“I’m very pleased with how Brock performed in the passing game,” Berry said. “And then the balance overall in the running game. I think our highest number was 13 carries (for any individual player). So I definitely liked seeing that balance, and I would like to see even more balance moving forward.”
That might not be good news for Hammond Central, a Class 5A school who gave up 61 points in a loss to Highland last week.
As for the defense, they held Caston to 131 yards of offense.
“It started up front with Oscar Solano at our nose guard position,” Berry said. “He definitely has his best game to date. And our linebackers who they needed to to shut down Caston’s two workhorses (Sam Smith and Grant Hickle).”
Their challenge this week is Hammond Central quarterback Anthony Huber, who threw for 246 yards and ran for 61 last week in the loss to
Hammond Central is in its first year as a school. It is one of two public high schools in Hammond. The other is Hammond Morton.
Nicknamed the Wolves, Hammond Central is a consolidation of Hammond High, Hammond Gavit and Hammond Clark high schools.
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