After some disappointing production last weekend, several area teams are focusing on offense this week.
Culver was nearly shut out by visiting New Prairie in a tough 54-6 loss, while Bremen narrowly nipped Triton in a 7-0 decision.
The Lions (2-2, 1-1 NSC) and the Cavs (1-3, 1-1 NSC) are trying to address some of their offensive woes as they face off in a Northern State Conference game at Bremen Friday. Ball security is a specific area of concern for both after Culver surrendered three turnovers and the Lions coughed up four in Week 4.
“We’ve got to get off the ball, get sustained blocks from the offensive line. We’re not always going to get wide open holes, but we’ve got to get tough yardage, we’ve got to get yards after contact,” said Culver Community football coach Andy Thomas. “We’ve got to get better protection of the football. We’ve just got to get better production out of everybody on offense.”
“Defensively I thought we’ve played pretty well all year. Our problems have been taking care of the football, and last week not scoring when you’re in the 10-yard line four teams,” said Bremen coach Bob Holmes. “We’ve got to do a better job on offensive execution and special teams. Those are the two areas that need to vastly improve.”
“We’re not going to be able to turn the ball over against Culver four times like we did last week and beat them,” he added. “We’ve got to do much better at executing, and our kids know that. We’re not trying to fumble and throw interceptions, but everybody’s got to focus do their job every series.”
While Bremen can feel good about its team defense, the Cavs had a much rougher go on that side of the ball against New Prairie, which chewed up 436 rushing yards at Culver. With key injuries to several players in the backfield, the Lions have struggled to put up those kinds of rushing numbers this year, but the Cavaliers will need to do their homework if they hope to contain Bremen’s versatile attack.
“We’ve got to get some stops, we’ve got to recognize formations, we’ve got to line up right, and we’ve got to tackle better; we’ve got to tackle low,” said Thomas. “They do a lot. They are in Pro 1series, it might be a wishbone, then they’re in spread. They do a lot; they’re a lot to prepare for. The key is that they do them all well so we’ve got to recognize what they’re in and communicate and run to the ball and tackle… We can’t have missed tackles. We had enough missed tackles last week for a season.”
Triton at John Glenn
Triton (0-4, 0-2 NSC) also needs to put up better offensive numbers if it hopes to get the win on the road at John Glenn (2-2, 2-1 NSC) this Friday.
After putting up 40 points in the first two weeks of the season, the Trojans have scored just 19 in the first two games of its Northern State Conference slate, including a shutout by visiting Bremen last week. All total, Triton finished with just 83 net offensive yards while giving up four turnovers against the stingy Lion defense.
“We need to make sure that we take care of the football,” said Triton head coach Rodney Younis. “Last week was the first game that we’ve actually had a turnover. I think that was the difference in the game. I know Bremen turned the ball over a lot too, but for us it was at inopportune times, and we gave them such a short field. So we’ve just got to make sure that we take care of the ball and take care of the things that we have control over.”
While Triton has backslid a bit in its offensive production, Glenn seems to be just finding its identity in that department. The Falcons offense struggled at the start of the year after losing 2011 grad and record-holding back Josh Anderson but have tallied 69 points in wins over Knox and LaVille in Weeks 3 and 4.
Younis will have a pair of key players back with the team in Jayden Mosier and Tyler Milton to help with the job, but he knows his kids will have to play physical if they plan to get the win in Walkerton.
“With Glenn, obviously they’re replacing a lot of kids they had last year, but there are two things they’ve got going for them. Number one, they’re going to be a physical team, and number two, they run the Wing T well,” said the Trojans skipper. “They run it well and there are just going to be new kids and new faces at the positions, but they do a good job.”
In other area action…
LaVille (1-3, 0-2 NSC) and Knox (0-4, 0-2 NSC) are both searching for their first conference wins of the year as the Lancers travel to the Redskins’ home turf.
LaVille put up a creditable 148 offensive yards against Glenn last week but failed to break onto the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter. After breaking a 14-game losing streak in Week 2, the Lancers have had some bright spots — including a strong first half against then-3A No. 1 Jimtown in Week 3 – but haven’t yet been able to translate that into more wins.
Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Meanwhile in independent action, Culver Military Academy (3-1) hits the road for Brebeuf Jesuit (3-1) after ending a 48-game win streak by Lafayette Central Catholic in an inspired 14-12 win at home last Friday. The Eagles have a full head of steam as they head down to Indianapolis, the second time this season they’ve made a trip down to the capital after sustaining their only loss at Heritage Christian in Week 2. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.