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Football: Cardinals offense flies high in scrimmage at Hobart

An East Chicago player runs with ball during scrimmage against ChestertBrickyard Football Stadium Hobart Ind. Tuesday July 16 2013.

An East Chicago player runs with the ball during a scrimmage against Chesterton at the Brickyard Football Stadium in Hobart, Ind., Tuesday, July 16, 2013. | Taylor Irby~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 19, 2013 2:18PM



HOBART — The Carlos Fernandez and Tre’Quan Burnett connection for East Chicago Central was on display multiple times at the four-team Hobart scrimmage on Tuesday night at the Brickyard.

Senior running back and Northern Illinois-bound Martayveus Carter was also at it again as he made Chesterton, Hobart and West Central defenders miss tackles rolling into the end zone a couple times. Carter rushed for 1,296 yards on 93 carries and 19 TDs last season.

But all three of those players said they might not have been at the Hobart scrimmage had fourth-year coach Stacy Adams lost his job at a recent East Chicago school board meeting.

Adams, who coached the Cardinals to a 9-2 season a year ago, was seriously worried that he was going to lose his job just a couple weeks back. But the board decided to keep him.

Now that he’s here to stay — for at least another year, anyway — he’s got business to take care of, and the Cardinals should be one of the area’s better teams thanks to all the talent on his roster.

“We’ve got a lot of good skill players returning this year,” said Adams, who is 21-11 in three seasons at East Chicago. “What we have to do is do what other teams are not doing, so we have to push ourselves a little bit harder and take that extra rep and stuff like that.”

The offense, which averaged more than 30 points a game last year, should be even more explosive with second-year QB Fernandez’s improvements. It could be the key to getting past defending sectional champion Morton.

“Carlos is going to be the main key to this clock,” Adams said. “If he’s going then everything is going to go as well. His passing has improved and his drop back and reads are better as well.”

Hobart coach Ryan Turley is excited about his team’s upcoming season. The Brickies went 8-3 last year after finishing 3-8 the previous season. But he knows the opener against West Side is still more than a month away.

“The best thing about this is you get the jitters out of the system for the kids that are young,” he said. “I thought our composure was good out there and we got off the ball well.”

Former Chesterton assistant coach and current West Central coach Darren Rodriguez said the scrimmage gives his kids a chance to face some of the area’s top programs. His 1A school plays all small schools in the regular season.

But West Central is no pushover, having knocked off undefeated Whiting 41-3 in the sectional semifinal in a 10-3 season last year.

“This is the best competition we see,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a great eye-opening experience and gives them an opportunity to see where they fit. Last year, we had two kids that went to D-II schools and when we were here last year you could see that they fit.”

Chesterton is coming off an 8-3 finish but will have a new coach roaming the sidelines in Mark Peterson.

Peterson said the scrimmage was a great starting point for his new offense.

“This is a great opportunity to see a different face and compete against somebody else,” he said. “We play at Hammond Morton next Thursday and just gives us another feel for what we’ve got here. We’re putting in some new offensive stuff and this is phase No. 2. I’m pretty happy overall.”



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