Prep football

Portage recovers after slow start at Munster

2012-08-10T22:00:00Z 2013-07-27T17:47:16Z Portage recovers after slow start at MunsterPaul Oren Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 10, 2012 10:00 pm  • 

MUNSTER | Wally McCormack doesn't get wrapped up with the stat sheet during a scrimmage, but that doesn't mean the new Portage coach wasn't looking for efficiency against Munster Friday night.

The Indians and junior quarterback Gage Pearman struggled out of the gate, but Portage started to roll once the plays moved inside the 10-yard line.

Four different players scored touchdowns during a 10-play stretch that helped give McCormack's staff some momentum heading into next week's season opener against Mishawaka.

"We wanted to see what happens when we put our hands on the ground and go to battle," McCormack said. "We basically ran the same two plays there and we wanted to see how our guys battled their guys."

The Indians arrived in Munster with a 92-player roster and had separate offensive and defensive units while the Mustangs moved players all around the field on both sides of the ball.

With twice as many players playing half the time, the difference in energy level was noticeable by the end of the evening as Portage started to convert more plays on offense and make more stops on defense.

"One of the benefits of having this many guys is that we should be fresher late in games," McCormack said.

Both teams emptied their bench throughout the night as sophomores from both sides were on the field much of the second half.

Portage running back Avery Sanders had a couple of big runs while Munster quarterback Adam Ostoich ran in a touchdown. While the teams battled each other throughout the night, the schemes were considerably different than a normal regular season game.

"It's tough to go against (Munster) because they are doing all sorts of different things that we didn't really prepare for," McCormack said. "At the same time, I'm sure it was tough for them as well because we tried some different things."

The Indians showcased plenty of their skill players in the red zone as running backs Jeron Blake, Hashim Simpson and Rashaan Coleman all scored touchdowns.

The most impressive play of the night came when Pearman found junior receiver Cody Maldanado for a 28-yard scoring strike. Maldanado broke three tackles on the play after making the catch.

"This was a great learning experience for us," McCormack said. "We'll have a lot of things to look for on the tape."

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