by Jason Herd
For the Pharos-Tribune
Young football teams usually make lots of mistakes.
The question for the 2013 Caston Comets will be, can head coach Chris Ulerick overcome those inevitable mistakes and still lead a youthful squad to victory this season?
The Comets must try and replace a group of seniors that won 27 games in their four years, the most of any class under Ulerick’s helm since his first year in 2000. That group included most of their interior line on both sides, not to mention 1,000-yard rusher Jeremy Gonzalez.
The Triton Trojans have been the Comets’ first opponent of the season since 1997, and Caston has won three of the last four meetings. After an optimistic performance in the preseason scrimmage against Culver last Friday, Comet fans had hopes of taking the third straight victory in the series.
Penalties and a key turnover would be the downfall Friday however, as the Comets were defeated 25-13 in Bourbon.
Both teams looked rusty at the start. Caston’s promising opening drive stalled at the Trojan 25. Triton took advantage and struck paydirt on its third drive when Jeremy Jones hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Grant Stichter with 8:42 left in the second quarter.
On their next drive, the Trojans found themselves in Comet territory again, aided by two key Comet penalties. Cole Creighbaum found the end zone from 8 yards out to extend the lead to 12-0 late in the period.
After another offensive stall, the Comets recovered a Trojan fumble at midfield and seemed reignited. But it wouldn’t last long. Senior fullback Conner Martin fumbled and Josey Farmwald scooped it up and scampered 55 yards for a back-breaking score with 48 seconds to play in the half.
Despite only 130 yards of total offense, the Trojans consistently found themselves in Comet territory. Caston fared a little better in that category with 207 total yards, but they were flagged 17 times for 150 penalty yards.
Stichter hit Jones one more time for a 4-yard touchdown with 2:59 left in the third, which all but sealed the game.
Senior quarterback Quentin Douglass went to the air in the final period, hitting Jake Kingery for two big gains and then found Brayton Jellison for a 5-yard score at the 7:05 mark of the fourth.
After a Triton punt, Caston looked in sync for the first time as Douglass again drove the Comets into enemy territory. Martin plunged into the end zone from 11 yards out with 2:47 to play.
Douglass led the Comets with 122 yards of total offense, and a touchdown. Martin led all rushers with 57 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
The Comets (0-1) travel to West Central next Friday to begin Midwest Conference play.]