up for grabs

Story Photo

Senior defensive tackle Garrett Osborn brings pressure on backup quarterback Reid Brunswig during Saturday’s scrimmage.

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Senior defensive tackle Garrett Osborn brings pressure on backup quarterback Reid Brunswig during Saturday’s scrimmage.

By Rod Haxton, editor

Very little is settled after first scrimmage

The first scrimmage of the season for the Scott Community High School football team accomplished about what head coach Jim Turner expected.

It showed there’s still a lot of work to be done - especially on the offensive and defensive lines.

And it did little to answer personnel questions facing the coaching staff.

“The boys like the scrimmage because it’s a chance to hit in a game-type situation, except we made sure to protect our quarterbacks,” said Turner.

“As coaches, it’s a chance to get things on film so the boys can see what we’ve been trying to teach them.”

Was there more good than bad to be seen on Saturday?

“Maybe,” says Turner, “but, there are definitely areas where we have to improve on both sides of the ball.”

Part of the challenge is trying to get a good read on players when the No. 1 offense is playing against the No. 2 defense, and vice versa. It does help that the No. 1 offensive line was going up against starting defensive tackles Garrett Osborn (sr., 6-3, 230) and Daniel Nolasco (jr., 6-2, 285).

Senior Kevin Lozano (5-9, 180), who is battling for a starting defensive end spot, was also lined up across from the starting offense.

 

“The big thing right now is remembering all the plays,” says Mikennon Donovan (sr., 255, ORT), one of the two returning starters on the interior line.

“It seems that the more we play the more intense it’s getting. It’s great being in full pads now because we can get a lot more physical,” he noted.

While playing physical is good, at this point in the season the coaches are just as concerned about technique.

“We were looking to see if our linemen were blocking the right schemes and how high they were (blocking),” Turner says. “Probably 50 percent of the time we were blocking the right guys and 50 percent of the time we were kind of low.”

Offensive coordinator Brian Gentry liked what he saw from his runningbacks once they got into the open field.

“The guys in our backfield are very quick and shifty. We need to get them into as much space as we can,” he says. “With our first group, we showed signs of being able to put pressure on defenses in the run game if we can get them in the open.”

Gentry was also pleased with the lead blocking he saw from fullback K. Lozano.

The assistant coach also felt that quarterback Bo Hess made some good reads in the passing game.

“We’ll have to speed things up a little bit,” he noted. “The routes are taking too long to develop. We have to sharpen up our routes and the timing.” 

 

Mixed Reviews

Likewise, Turner said that while the running game looked good at times, he also credited part of that to poor defense.

“We had backs making cuts and breaking tackles on plays that should have gone for little or no gain,” says the head coach. “Other times, we had a pretty good seam to run through. It comes down to being more consistent with who we’re blocking.”

And as good as the defensive tackles can be, again it comes down to consistency.

“Neither one plays low all the time like they should,” Turner says. “They have All-League talent, but they aren’t going to play at that level if they continue to stand up and look around. When they do that they’re easy to block and they take themselves out of plays.”

 

Battling for Positions

Who will emerge as the starting linebackers is still very much in doubt after the first scrimmage.

Junior Jarret Jurgens is in that mix after he was sidelined with a broken foot in last year’s district playoff game against Southwestern Heights.

“It feels good to be back on the field in a game-type situation,” says Jurgens, who looked impressive in a couple of starts before the injury.

However, he acknowledged that the linebacker spots are up for grabs.

“We’re switching guys around at middle linebacker. It could be anybody right now,” he says. “Wyatt Hayes was filling holes pretty good. I saw him flying around everywhere.”

Turner says that the four players battling for the inside linebacker positions - Hayes (soph, 5-11, 175), Reid Brunswig (jr., 5-11, 175), Eddie Tilton (sr., 6-1, 175), Jess Drohman (sr., 5-10, 150) and Trey Loftis (sr., 5-5, 170) each brings strengths and weaknesses.

“None of our linebackers have the size we’d like, but with our experience at defensive tackle and their ability to, hopefully, draw double-teams, that will help out the inside linebackers.”

Also in the mix for the two defensive end openings are Brunswig, Lozano and sophomore Kyle Sherwood (soph., 5-10, 210).

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