• Val T.

Week 7 football preview: Rose Bowl: Pioneer preparing as if star Knox QB will play

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Pioneer (5-1, 2-0 Hoosier North) at Knox (3-3, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.

Pioneer’s ground attack chewed up 328 yards last week in a 48-6 win over Triton. They led 42-0 at halftime and also got two defensive touchdowns from Logan Smith as well as a touchdown reception.

“I thought the focus was a lot better,” Pioneer coach Adam Berry said when asked to compare the Triton game to the Indianapolis Attucks game a week earlier. “We got the ball to start the game. We moved it right down the field and scored. Then our defense got a stop. And that’s exactly how we want to start the game.

“Unfortunately, on our second possession, down inside the 10-yard-line, we threw an interception. But our defense came up with a big stop and actually scored a defensive touchdown. So besides that little hiccup with the interception, we got basically off to a perfect start. And then we just kept going from there.”

Ezra and Addai Lewellen combined for 220 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

“He had a big jet sweep for a touchdown,” Berry said of Ezra Lewellen. “And then we hit them with a counter. You could just tell that he had his burst of speed back. His ankle is basically as good as it can be after six weeks of football, so it was good seeing that acceleration from him again.”

Berry also said Addai Lewellen had his burst of speed back after recovering from his ankle injury. Berry added that Ezra’s runs were more around the perimeter and that Addai’s runs were more in between the tackles.

Meanwhile, the Pioneer defense held Triton to 93 total yards.

Stopping Knox might be a tougher task, but the Redskins are coming off a 42-20 loss to LaVille last week, and the health status of Knox quarterback Zac Rose is in question after he suffered an apparent knee injury last week.

“We are preparing like he is going to play,” Berry said. “He is a great football player on both sides of the ball. I believe he leads his team in rushing from the quarterback position. That just shows you that they have one of their better players at that spot. But they also have weapons on the outside. They don’t throw it very much. They want to control the game with their power game, but when they do throw it, they’re very effective. And then, he plays that deep safety spot, but he may start 10 yards back from the ball, but when he reads run, he’ll be up there at the line of scrimmage making plays.”

Pioneer is 39-0 all-time in Hoosier North games. Their 12-7 win over Knox last year was their smallest margin of victory in those 39 games.



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