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  • Val T.

Week 8 football previews:Undefeated Valley has Saturday night showdown against future INSC foe Glenn

Caston seeks 2nd win against Winamac; after last year’s loss, Pioneer hopes to return favor at Culver


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

  • Tippecanoe Valley (7-0) at John Glenn (4-3), 7 p.m. Saturday

Senior running back Nate Parker starred again in last week’s 35-13 win over West Lafayette, running 40 times for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Valley physically imposed themselves on a Red Devil team that came into the game ranked No. 2 and made it to semistate last year, outrushing them 371-72 and leading wire to wire.

Now Valley travels to John Glenn for a Saturday night game, who will be one of their new rivals in the Indiana Northern State Conference in 2024.

John Glenn is coming off a 31-27 loss to LaVille last week, but recording back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2010-11 is within their reach. John Barron is in his second season at John Glenn after coaching Plymouth from 2004-21.

“We don’t have much experience playing against John Glenn,” Valley coach Stephen Moriarty said. “And they are a very physical team. They remind me a lot of us in ways. They run a similar offense. They pass just a little more than we do. But it’s the same kind of philosophy, you’d say, on offense that we have, and they do get off the ball, and they’ve got a good defense too. This is a good ballclub.”

Moriarty called John Glenn quarterback Chase Miller, also a member of the John Glenn boys basketball team that knocked Valley out of last year’s sectional, “very athletic.” Running back Mason Kobelt ran for 113 yards and a score against LaVille last week.

This is the first meeting between the schools.

  • Caston (1-6, 1-4 Hoosier North) at Winamac (2-5, 1-4), 7 p.m. Friday

Caston snapped their 20-game losing streak last week, pulling away to beat Culver 49-14. The win was also their first over Culver since 1984. Caston had 497 yards of total offense.

“It’s more about getting the guys blocked up front,” Ulerick said. “I mean, we finally were able to get a push up front. We were finally able to sustain blocks. The guys up front were finally able to open up holes. We didn’t really do anything different than what we’ve done all year. We executed the way we expected to, and it certainly helps that we were playing a team that was not ranked in the top 15 of whatever class they were in.”

Meanwhile, Winamac has won two straight games since an 0-5 start. They handed previously undefeated West Central a 22-14 loss last week in Francesville.

Winamac held West Central to 78 rushing yards last week. Now they will try to stop a Caston rushing attack that gobbled up 399 rushing yards last week.

“He runs the ball hard,” Winamac coach Josh Burgess said of Caston’s Jabez Yarber, who ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries against Culver. “They’ve got some nice pieces. They’ve really improved from the start of the season until now too, so obviously we’ll have our hands full with some of the things they do. It’s a little bit different offensive attack. Obviously, it’s not the option attack that West Central had; they’re a more traditional wing-T. But they’ve run some trips (three wide receivers on one side of the field) stuff, they’ve run some empty (no running backs behind the quarterback) stuff too with the quarterback run game.”

Winamac, a Class 2A team, has won the last 10 meetings with Caston. Caston’s last win over Winamac was in 2012. In fact, that marked the last time Caston has beaten any non-Class 1A opponent.

  • Pioneer (4-3, 2-3 Hoosier North) at Culver (0-7, 0-5), 7 p.m.

Playing once again without Micah Rans and Rylahn Toloza, Pioneer took a 50-8 loss on homecoming night against a ranked Class 3A Knox team last week.

The defense faced an option team in Knox last week but will transition to facing more of a spread attack in Culver this week, according to coach Adam Berry. Berry noted Culver quarterback Jonas McCuen’s arm when watching him on film.

“They’re throwing the ball a lot more obviously, and he shows he has the arm strength,” Berry said. “And you know he has receivers that will go and get the ball. But just his arm strength is probably the most impressive. But they still like to establish the run just like any spread team does with number 12 (Jack) Rodgers. McCuen doesn’t look to run too much but will, but like I said, his arm strength is pretty impressive for only being a sophomore.”

While Pioneer has been without Rans and Toloza, Culver has soldiered on without injured linemen Theron Carrington and Drake Zorich.

“We’re preparing like both of them are going to play,” Culver coach Austin Foust said of Rans and Toloza. “Obviously, that changes up a little bit of what they do because again, there’s quite a bit of difference in how many times they ran the fullback when Toloza was in there versus when he wasn’t. But they’re a good football team, even without those guys. They played a really good Triton team and hung around with them and played really well, and obviously, we saw what Triton was able to do to (North) Judson (a 40-7 win). So we’re not going to take them lightly, whether they have injuries or don’t have injuries.”

This marks senior night for Culver. The Cavaliers pulled out a 28-8 win in Royal Center last year, marking their first ever win over Pioneer.

Pioneer is 5-0 against Culver on the road all time.


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