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By LARRY GOFFINET
FORT BRANCH—Gibson Southern’s depth and prolific, balanced offense will test Tell City when they meet in PAC football Friday at 7 p.m.
The 7-0 Titans, ranked No. 2 in the state in both Class 3A polls, have averaged 52.9 points per game while giving up just 12.6. Their lowest scoring game was a 45-7 win over Boonville.
With more depth than any other PAC team, they use a full platoon system—11 different starters on offense and defense.
“Obviously that helps,” said Tell City Coach Ryan George. It keeps players fresher and they “get a lot more practice time at their positions (because each player doesn’t have to split practice between offense and defense).”
On offense the Titans have scored at least three touchdowns passing and at least three rushing in each of their last two games (they also threw in a defensive touchdown on an interception return against Heritage Hills).
George said they pass about 30 percent of the time, but “they’re very balanced. They do both well.”
The Titans have “very good team speed,” he said. “I’d say pretty equal to us.”
He also said the two teams will be comparable in size. “They have a couple of sophomore linemen who started for them as freshmen.”
Those two are Andrew Hartman, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound offensive guard, and Cory Klem, a 6-3, 235-pound defensive tackle.
They also have Wade Fisher, a 6-3, 275-pound offensive tackle who made All-PAC last year.
On offense they “run a little bit of everything—trips, pro-I,” said George.
Austin Peyton, a 5-9, 175-pound senior, is their top running back. “He has good speed and runs hard,” said George.
Nick Sellers, a 5-11, 185-pound sophomore left-hander, is their quarterback. He is also a good runner and has a “very good arm,” said George.
His top receivers are Hayden Maurer, a 6-1, 175-pound sophomore; Zach Wood, a 6-foot, 170-pound junior; and Brooks Martin, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior.
The Titans also have “good team speed on defense and cover well,” said George.
“They’ll be in a five-front against us—a 5-3 and we’ll probably even see a 5-4,” he added. “They’re going to put as many people in the box as they can to try to stop our run.
“We’re going to have to pass more. I say that about every week, but I’m still not real pleased with our route running.
He also mentioned that they’ve “made some pre-snap reads” that resulted in throwing to a covered receiver when another was open.
Though admitting the game “is going to be a test,” George said, “We’re expecting to go down there and win, as we always do.”