Week 7 football preview: After shutting out North White, Caston gets physical Culver
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Caston (2-4, 0-4 Hoosier North) at Culver (1-5, 0-4), 7 p.m.
The Caston football team blanked North White 36-0 last week in what was their first shutout since 2016.
Coach Will Porter said it was a return to the type of defense the Comets played earlier in the season.
The players met the three rules of defense that he wants them to obey – alignment, assignment and pursuit.
“They played aggressive, physical football like we’ve been asking them to play and got back to what we were doing earlier in the year, which was bringing a high level of intensity and just playing hard,” Porter said. “I give a lot of credit to Chris Ulerick, who is our defensive coordinator. He really does a good job with them. They do a great job of breaking down the opponent, and we tend to go into games knowing what we’re going to expect. He does a great job of getting them in the right spots. They’ve come accustomed to his style.”
Now Caston will face a Culver power-T offense that has only one formation and no wide receivers. It’s an offense unlike any Caston has faced this season.
“We’ve been working on being more physical this week,” Porter said. “We’re expecting them to run their offense. We have last year’s film and this year’s film. … As we prepared for Triton, we had their film of Triton. We’ve done a lot of film study on it. Coach Ulerick has a pretty good understanding of it. We’ll find out Friday.”
Culver, meanwhile, comes in off a 28-12 loss to Winamac. Coach Mike Zehner noticed an improvement from a 48-8 loss to Triton the previous week.
“Offensively, we’ve got to get in a rhythm and make sure we finish some drives and get back to scoring some points like we normally do,” Zehner said. “We’ve got to get kids more reps. We’ve got a lot of young guys. We’ve got to make sure that we’re getting those guys reps in practice and make sure as a coach I‘m rotating guys and doing those things. I think we’ve got a good group of kids. It’s just we’re really young, and we’ve got keep improving, and I think we will.”
Meanwhile, the Culver defense comes in respectful of Caston junior running back Sam Smith. Smith ran for 139 yards and three touchdowns last week, and the 36 points Caston scored were their most in a home game since a 48-14 win over Tri-County in the 2013 sectional.
“He ran all over us last year as a sophomore,” Zehner said. “He’s definitely a kid that gives us a lot of fits. They’re running the double slot option, so we’ve got to be disciplined defensively. But he’s a load to bring down. Not just one kid is going to bring him down. He’s got some speed. He’s the real deal. He can play for any team in the area. That’s for sure.”
Culver is 5-0 against Caston since they became conference rivals in 2015. Caston hasn’t beaten Culver since 1984.