Day, Schuetter make potent fullback tandemSeptember 1, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER - They're both rotated in and out of the backfield on Friday nights. They each bring different styles to a position different from the one they played last year, but in the end, regardless of how they get there - they both get there.
Isaac Day and Ashton Schuetter are both new and not new to the fullback position for Jasper this year. Both of them played the spot when they were in middle school, but went in different directions when high school football rolled around. Schuetter became an All-Southern Indiana Athletic Conference selection as a center, while Day has been a slot receiver.
Once on different parts of the offense, their paths now intersect in the same position - and it's hard to argue with the results. Schuetter has two rushing touchdowns on the year, and he was just under 100 rushing yards in the Aug. 27 win at Evansville Harrison. Day, meanwhile, has ran for a touchdown in each of Jasper's first two games.
"We're just doing our job, I think that's the most important thing," Day said. "We're not worried about how many touchdowns we get, how many yards. We just want to do the best we can so we can win ballgames."
"As long as we're just advancing the ball - me and Isaac, we don't care about how many yards or touchdowns or first downs we get," Schuetter said. "As long we're moving the ball, helping out the team, that's all we really care about."
The two seniors have both embraced their new role for the Wildcats this year, but each learning curve is different, and that learning curve was on display earlier this year.
"It probably took me a little longer than it took him to adjust to fullback," Schuetter said. "But after the summer, I really picked it up pretty easy. Just to mesh is harder, and it's just about protecting the ball, running hard."
It took Schuetter a bit to adjust to the position because even though there's a blocking component to playing fullback, he had to learn how to receive handoffs, hold the ball and run with it.
For Day, meanwhile, there are similarities to where he was at slot receiver.
"You still receive a lot of handoffs and things like that, and I think just coming from that - having that background - that's good to have going into this position," he said.
Day and Schuetter not only produce when their number is called on as fullbacks, but they reap the benefits of splitting the carries. Going both ways last year was a lot for Schuetter. So, it helps both him and Day to share the touches while going to their defensive spots - Schuetter a middle linebacker, Day a free safety.
"The thing that's very advantageous for us is that they can give each other a break," Jasper coach Tony Lewis said. "Because after two-to-three plays, they know the other guy is going in, that other guy gets a break and that helps us defensively."
And while they're both getting a lot of touches, each is putting their own touch on the position. Day will flaunt some quickness that opposing defenses have to account for, while Schuetter will use his size and carry the ball as a power back.
"When Isaac goes in, it gives them a little challenge," Schuetter said. "He's a lot more quicker than I am and he can make more moves."
"I think it's difficult for defenses to keep switching back-and-forth between us," Day said. "I can't run over guys like he can (both smile)."
Both of them show their value by not just being effective as fullbacks, but also as leaders because they're two of Jasper's captains. Day knows he has to supply a vocal role to get his teammates to do their jobs, while Schuetter is used to being vocal as a middle linebacker, which helps him when leading everybody else.
It also helps that their friendship dates back, allowing for them to have chemistry in their new roles.
"I think that's perfect for sharing a position if you're good friends," Day said. "It just makes it a lot easier.
"I think they both like each other, they encourage each other," Lewis said. "And any time you can play for each other as a group, then you're going to be better."
The things Day and Schuetter are doing are showing up not just on the stat sheet, but also in the win column. Jasper is off to its second straight 2-0 start, and will hope to push it to 3-0 Friday against Evansville Reitz.
However, they've been down this path before, as the Wildcats began the 2020 season 5-0, only to go 2-3 their final five games of the season - which included a 30-7 loss to Evansville Central in the opening game of the sectional.
"I think we're just more experienced this year with how good the SIAC is," Schuetter said. "We know that if you win a couple games, it's really not that impressive. You just have to keep working on things, getting better every single week and getting better for the postseason."
"I think we just got to show that we can't take our foot off the gas," Day said. "We got to play every play like it's our last and we can't end the season like we did last year."
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