Local teams square off in pre-season scrimmages
Area high school football coaches got their first glimpse of what to expect from their squads as teams participated in their first scrimmages last Friday.
Allendale-Fairfax High, Williston-Elko High and Cross High engaged in a three-team scrimmage in Williston.
Both Allendale-Fairfax High coach Glynn Darby and Williston-Elko High coach Derek Youngblood agree that there’s plenty of room for improvement before the season opener.
“We definitely made our share of mistakes, but overall I have to say it was encouraging being our first time out,” Youngblood said.
“Right now, we’re trying to develop some of our younger players so it was exciting seeing them out there for the first time.”
The Blue Devils had several players that shined in the scrimmage. Defensively, Evander Tyler, Kendall Myers and Daquan Cuthbertson did a great job in run support.
Offensively, Tyran Parker led the unit on a couple of scoring drives. Blue Devils’ leading receiver from last year, Keshawn Toney, hauled in three receptions.
For the Tigers, quarterback Frank Oliver played well in the scrimmage against Cross. Oliver showed some nifty footwork as he scrambled from pressure before tossing a 65-yard touchdown pass to Qua Cohen.
Defensively, Justin Hunter had a good day with seven tackles and a forced fumble. Others playing well on the unit included Justin Polite, Demoray Devoe and Qua Cohen.
Meanwhile, the Warhorses of Barnwell High traveled to South Aiken to take part in four-team scrimmage that included Saluda High and Fox Creek High.
Barnwell High head coach Dwayne Garrick said the team played well in some areas and not so well in others.
For the Warhorses, one of those areas Garrick is looking for improvement on is the defensive side of the ball.
In the scrimmage, defensively, the Warhorses faired well against Fox Creek. However, it was against Saluda High and South Aiken where the unit had its toughest times.
Both Saluda and South Aiken enjoyed success moving the ball against a Warhorse defense that allowed several scoring drives against each team.
“Defensively, we have to get better. We simply gave up too many big plays today,” Garrick said. “It starts up front where we have to get tougher as a unit and making more plays along the line of scrimmage.”
Despite their problems defensively, the Warhorses did have a few players who stood out in the scrimmage. Dallyon Creech had an interception and five tackles. Griffin Corley finished with six stops, including two for losses. Markel Corley added five stops.
Offensively, the Warhorses didn’t encounter any problems moving the ball. The team displayed a solid running game, finishing with nearly 300 yards on the day. Leading a talent group of backs were returners Brandon Harvey and Mikal Lee.
Harvey fueled the ground game with 193 yards on 18 attempts and a touchdown. Lee also had a superb day rushing with 93 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Quarterback Pete Elmore looked good behind center with a pair of touchdown passes to Julius Arnold.
Others shining offensively included quarterback Craig Pender, who completed a 14-yard pass to Ena Bynum.
“I was very pleased with our ground game. We didn’t do anything fancy. We just stuck in there and ran hard between the tackles.”
Barnwell’s special team units, especially the place-kicking, looked good. First-year kicker Hunter Webb split the uprights on several extra points and nailed a 31-yard field goal.