44Blitz Game of the Week Preview: Memorial vs. Castle

We've reached the finish line of the regular season on the Indiana high school gridirons. However, our 44Blitz Game of the Week features a pair of teams that don't plan on their season's ending anytime soon.

Posted: Oct 14, 2021 7:45 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2021 2:59 PM

We've reached the finish line of the regular season on the Indiana high school gridirons. However, our 44Blitz Game of the Week features a pair of teams that don't plan on their season's ending anytime soon.

"I don't know if we're ever where we want to be," says Memorial head coach John Hurley. "I do think we're gaining on it."

"We're getting better," says Castle head coach Doug Hurt, "getting better at the right time, we've gotten better all year. There are some areas we definitely need to improve on."

Never being satisfied. That's what separates the great programs from the good. It's what defines John Hurley's Memorial Tigers and Doug Hurt's Castle Knights. The Tigers have bounced back in a big way, since falling to Jasper on opening night. Winners of seven straight, the Tigers are paced by one of the top defenses in the state, allowing under 12 points per game, and a massive offensive line. However running back Ray Brodie's return from injury has been a game changer.

"He's been a pretty dynamic player for us," says Hurley. "Last week was the first time he hadn't scored. I don't think that bothers him. Ithink he's more interested that we get the win and he can do whatever he can to help. He's done a good job as a blocking back. He's done a good job catching the ball out of the backfield. He's done everything we've asked him to do."

Brodie's backfield mate Xavier Tyler has been equally impressive. Both have racked up over 550 yards and eight touchdowns a piece, However, what makes the offensive mottor purr is jusnior quarterback Caleb Ellspermann, who's finally come in to his own, throwing for than 12-hundred and 50 yards and 12 touchdowns.

"This will be his tenth game at quarterback," says Hurley. "He's constantly growing into the position. He's gaining confidence. The more confidence he gains, hopefully the more dynamic we can become."

"'We're still working on our passing game," says Memorial senior running back/defensive back Xavier Tyler. "For the first five, six weeks we were a run-heavy team. And our passing game is just starting to come into fruition. So, I think people haven't seen the full potential, not yet. And it's going to be exciting to see where it goes in the tournament."

As for the Knights, they've tasted defeat just twice this season, both to title contenders Mater Dei and Jasper. Both times, their next opponent has felt their wrath, which is part of the team's philosophy.

"Don't let the team beat you twice, after they do beat you," says Castle junior wide receiver Weston Aigner. "Once you do get beat, you've just got to bounce back and I think we're doing an alright job of that."

One of the main reasons for the Knights ability to rebound has been a defense ranked near the top of their class, giving up less than two touchdowns per game. On offense, there's the running of star junior Peyton Guerzini, who's rushed for nearly 500 yards and eight scores. However, it's a passing attack, led by a pair of juniors, quarterback Cam Tilly, who's tossed 19 touchdown strikes, and wide receiver Weston Aigner's 572 yards and eight touchdowns receiving, that has Castle poised to make noise in the upcoming sectionals.

"You throw Antonio Harrison into the mix, Braden Bishop, last week Zach Interello got his first touchdown at tight end," says Castle head coach Doug Hurt. "Cam does a really good job of spreading the ball around and throwing to the designated receiver. Which I think is a huge compliment and how far he's come."

"It's Cam, it's Coach Bennett, Coach Hurt, just letting us do that this year," says Aigner. "Trusting our receivers. We had a few young guys last year Antonio's a young guy this year that's stepping up a lot. We're just feeling good about our receivers."

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Monday morning, we will see partly sunny skies with temperatures still in the mid 20°s. By the afternoon, we will be warming up into the mid 40°s with cloud coverage increasing. This is due to a cold front expected to traverse the tri-state overnight Monday.
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