• Val T.

Week 8 football preview: Winamac seeks 3rd straight win vs. Caston

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Winamac (3-2, 1-2 Hoosier North) at Caston (2-5, 0-5), 7 p.m.

The Winamac defense held down Culver and West Central in winning its last two games, but they also allowed a 90-yard touchdown run to West Central quarterback Garrett Leman in a 35-12 win last week.

“We’re very aggressive, and we’re pretty physical,” Winamac coach John Hendryx said. “But we’ve really got to work on our eye discipline. You can’t just run around and just everybody be flying around trying to get to the ball. You’ve got to get keys read, or the defense is going to to control you a little bit. The thing we always tell our kids is you’ve got a small window that you need to be reading and if you do that, you’ll see the big picture. But if you try to look at the big picture, you’re not going to see anything. And we need to do a lot better job of that.”

Offensively, Hendryx likes that he can spread carries between Trent Fox, Brayden Lynch, Hayden Clark, quarterback Russell Compton and freshman Jadon Jones.

Now they’ll have to take on a Caston 3-4 defense that struggled to stop Culver last week but pitched a shutout against North White two weeks ago.

“A lot of movement with their front three guys,” Hendryx said. “They’re pretty athletic up there. They’ve got the little nose guard (Caydin Webb) that presents you issues just because of his quickness. He’s (Caston defensive coordinator Chris Ulerick) coached a long time, and he does a good job. He knows what he’s doing. His brother (Cullen) coaches middle school for me. Chris is a good guy and a good coach.”

Caston coach Will Porter said his team ran into a physical Culver offense in a 36-12 loss last week. Their defense held Culver scoreless on only one drive, and they also had a touchdown called back on a holding call.

“They were pretty physical and very disciplined,” Porter said. “Not very many penalties at all throughout the whole game on either side. They were just very patient. They would take their three yards and just keep grinding it out on us. It was just a very frustrating, slow-death kind of a game. … It just kind of got away from us.”

Caston will try to solve the Winamac defense this week with Landon Shafer at quarterback. Shafer, a sophomore, started the season there but was later moved to offensive tackle. He’s back under center with Grant Hickle “limited” due to a back injury. Porter said they will try to have Hickle play defense only.

“They’re just really aggressive and physical,” Porter said. “That’s one of the things we have to be ready for and prepared to play. They’ve been physical with every team that they’ve played this year. Even in their losses, they played very close, tight games, so we’re really having to prepare ourselves to be physical. They have a good defensive tackle number 70 (Logan Schultz) and a good outside linebacker number 18 (Clark). … He flies to the ball and is really aggressive and a pretty big hitter.”

Hendryx said Kyle Olds will return from injury this week.

Porter said Ethan Amezquita suffered a broken hand on a kickoff play against Culver and is out. Tyler Barton will start at offensive tackle in Shafer’s place. Porter also said Grant Yeadon will get opportunities on the offensive line.

Caston will dress 20 players for the game.

Winamac has won eight straight meetings with Caston and has not lost to the Comets since 2012. That included a 48-6 win last year.



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