by Rick Conrad
For the Pharos-Tribune
Caston went on the road to take on conference foe and No. 2 ranked Winamac Friday evening.
The undefeated Warriors were not kind to the visiting Comets as they blasted Caston 66-6 at Roudebush Field.
The Warriors (8-0, 6-0 Midwest Conference) put up some impressive numbers on the offensive side of things but it was the inspired play of the Winamac defense that set the tone for this game.
“This team is the closest knit team I’ve been on in my four years of football,” said Winamac playmaker Levi Schultz. “Everyone genuinely cares for one another and we know that someone always has our back. We have confidence in each other and tonight I think we kind of showed that. We try to cover on each others mistakes and this was a nice win for us.”
Caston (2-6, 2-4) won the opening toss and elected to receive to start the game. On the first play from scrimmage Conner Martin fumbled and Jeff Nies of Winamac recovered the loose ball. Four plays later quarterback J.T. Garnett found Chris Williamson in the corner of the end zone at the 10:00 mark and it was 7-0 Winamac. Caston would get no closer.
The Warriors would score two more times in the opening quarter. First it was Levi Schultz breaking through the Comets defense from 49 yards out and later it would be Tyler Katschke up the middle from 3 yards out. At the end of one Winamac was on top 20-0.
The second quarter saw much of the same as the Winamac defense continued its stifling play by not allowing Caston to move the ball. To make matters worse for the Comets, Winamac’s offense began to pick up steam as it scored five times in the second.
First it was Katschke for his second score, this time from 17 yards out. Following a three-and-out by the Comets, Garnett found Sean Lynch on a 50-yard pass for the score to make it 33-0.
When Caston failed to move the ball and was forced to punt, Schultz caught the ball on the 20-yard line and raced his was to the end zone for a 80-yard return to make it 40-0.
But the Warriors weren’t ready for the break just yet as Matt Shorter recovered a Caston fumble and returned it 18 yards for the score. The last Winamac score of the first half came when hard-nosed fullback Katschke broke free from 38 yards out to make it a 52-0 halftime score.
Warrior coach Tim Roth went with reserves for most of the second half but before he did he allowed his starters one series before sitting them. Katschke once again took it up the middle, this time from 2 yards out for the score. The 59-0 score would stand throughout the third quarter as the reserve defense played admirably in place of the starters.
The Comets were finally able to put a score on the board in the fourth quarter. Following a Winamac fumble, Caston put together a seven-play, 56-yard drive that ended with Jake Kingery punching it in from 4 yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff Shultz took the ball on the Winamac 25-yard line and cut through the Comet defense for a 75-yard kickoff return for the final scoring of the game.
“There are no words to describe what just happened to us here tonight,” said Caston coach Chris Ulerick. “We didn’t practice very well all week at practice and it carried over to tonight. When you practice that way you play that way. For whatever reason we just played very uninspiring football and that just doesn’t bode well when you play a quality opponent like we did.”
Winamac was led in rushing by “The Kat” with 196 yards on 13 carries and four TDs. Schultz had 48 yards on one carry and also scored on a punt return as well as a kick-off return for three TDs.
For Caston it was Martin leading the way with 52 yards on 15 carries while Brayton Jellison had one catch for 17 yards.
“Our defense played exceptionally well tonight, especially in the first half,” Roth said. “We’ve bent a few times this season but we’re starting to get guys comfortable playing in the spots we’ve put them. Our guys up front, there’s a lot of human being there and they come off the ball hard and they’re hard to handle. The guys on defense have a nose for the ball and they go to the football. And on offense, I thought that J.T. stepped in and played well again. He’s getting better and he has to continue getting better for us to make a run in the tournament.”