Week 6 preview: Streaking Pioneer to face Triton in battle of wing-T offenses
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Triton (3-2, 2-1 Hoosier North) at Pioneer (3-2, 2-1), 7 p.m.
Pioneer had four different backs rush for over 50 yards in a 46-19 home win over Hammond Central last week. All four had at least one rushing touchdown.
Rylan Toloza ran for 127 yards and two scores, Cayden Hill had 91 yards and two touchdowns, Logan Smith had 76 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Brock Robinson had 57 yards and two scores.
Robinson also completed two passes totaling 70 yards, both to Caleb Sweet, who switched from uniform No. 58 to No. 40 in order to be eligible at tight end.
Hill also had two interceptions on defense, and Robinson also had a pick.
Pioneer also had seven sacks. Derrick LeGrand had 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Smith, Oscar Solano and Seth Schmehl had 1.5 sacks each, and Solano also blocked a punt.
Pioneer was able to pull away and beat a Class 5A team.
“The first half, overall, was pretty rough even though we were putting some points on the board,” Pioneer coach Adam Berry said. “But that second half, we simply played fast and exactly how we want to play in Week 5.”
The Panthers return to conference play and host Triton this week. The Trojans are coming off a 35-24 win over Culver last week and sport identical overall and conference records to Pioneer.
Still coping after the death of senior player Cameron Fairchild in a car accident on Aug. 28, Triton features a similar wing-T offense to Pioneer’s.
“Very similar, to be honest,” Berry said when asked to compare Triton’s offense to Pioneer’s offense. “We’ve talked in the offseason about wing-T football. And so there are definitely a lot of similarities. Now with any offensive schemes, there are definitely some differences. But it’s something where both teams are going to be familiar with what we do.”
Quarterback Cole Shively, who threw three touchdown passes against Culver, and fullback Anthony Schuh are both sophomores.
“They run some waggle plays where they get buck sweep or jet going and then they’ll throw the pass off that to get them moving a little bit,” Berry said. “But they also have the capability to drop back and throw the ball. But I will say it’s probably very similar to us. It’s not the strength of their team. Just like us, passing is not the strength of our team. But they use it just enough to make us aware of it where we have to be ready.”
Pioneer is 6-0 against Triton since they became conference rivals in 2015. Pioneer has won each meeting by at least 42 points.