TEXARKANA — For Sulphur Springs, it was the best of scrimmages and the worst of scrimmages.
To steal a line from noted author Charles Dickens from his “Tale of Two Cities.”
Sulphur Springs had the best of times as they won the controlled scrimmage 1-0. They looked good on offense with the first and second units getting quality playing time.
Zach Spigner had some big yards running the ball as he returned to the backfield. Spigner ripped off a 46-yard gain in one burst in the scrimmage part of the meeting Friday with Liberty-Eylau.
The Sulphur Springs defense had several key defensive stops. Bryton Wood was a force not only with tackles, but picking off two passes. Wood turned one of the interceptions into a touchdown against the Leopards.
Quarterback Drew McCullough threw a 21-yard scoring toss to Christian Jackson for the lone touchdown in the controlled part of the scrimmage.
Then the bad things have to be reported as well.
In the timed half, the Wildcats were unable to score a touchdown on offense. Despite having a first and goal from the two-yard line following a Wood interception. Sulphur Springs also threw an interception which killed a drive.
In a key part of the game, it appeared that McCullough had given the Wildcats the lead late in the half. But a holding call on Sulphur Springs negated the pretty pass and catch from McCullough to C.J. Stephens from 45-yards out.
“We had the good and the bad,” Sulphur Springs head football coach Greg Owens said. “We wanted to create a pace, a tempo and some players got tired. Then we got lazy and started reaching and grabbing. We are not in good shape yet. We are going to have to work on our conditioning.”
“We had good things like the interceptions by Wood. Wood got those picks from hustling and getting after it,” Owens said. “On offense, we moved the ball up and down the field. All the mistakes we had are fixable. Overall I was pleased. I wanted a better outcome from the timed half. I was disappointed they won 13-10. I wanted us to come back, we had chances.”
Owens said, “Penalties hurt us all night, not just when the touchdown was called back. The good thing is we have it all on video. We can study, make corrections and work to improve.”
In the first part of the controlled scrimmage, the varsity squads seemed evenly matched.
Sulphur Springs made a defense stand. The Wildcats gave the Leopards a break later in the possession getting flagged for a personal foul.
The possession for the Wildcats on offense use steady blocking to move the ball. Quarterback Larry Pryor ran for a first down. He also threw to Ben Brooks for key gain. Spigner and Jesse Ortiz looked good on running plays. Cain Cody came into to make a good catch. Another possible drive was halted by a penalty.
Parker Aguilar, Wood and other members of the Wildcats stopped Liberty-Eylau.
The only score of the first part of the scrimmage was the McCullough to Jackson touchdown pass.
Then punting, kicking and other special teams work was done. Mark Maddox and Tanner Ramirez were in action for the Wildcats.
The teams began the timed half. The Wildcats forced an early punt.
Sulphur Springs had to settle for a 28-yard field goal to cap their first possession. Liberty-Eylau scored on a 44-yard quarterback keeper to go ahead 7-3 with 7:03 left in the first period.
Again, the Wildcats had a hard time putting a drive together due to miscues.
Liberty-Eylau scored on a 38-yard pass to take a 13-3 lead.
Sulphur Springs scored later on an interception return by Woods to make it 13-10. But the Wildcats could not rally for the win.
In the sub-varsity part of the scrimmage, the junior varsity and freshmen competed.
Sulphur Springs coach Bruce Silman said, “We got two touchdowns from Tyrese Peters. Peters had a 30-yard run and caught a 30-yard pass from Easton Silman. The line blocked well. We were able to completed passes when we needed to. Nathan Bones ran the ball well. “
Concerning the Sulphur Springs JV defense coach Scott Rozell said, “We gave up two scores on about 40 plays. We played very basic defense. We need to work on pursuit angles. Matt Reynolds and John Hogan knocked down passes. Easton Silman played well at linebacker. We have more work to do.”
Ninth grade coach Chris Valdovinos said, “We did well overall. We got good defensive play from Taylor Arrington, Tyrese Williams and Sebastain Adams. On offense, Cason Goodson played well at running back along with quarterback Ryan Humphries. The kids played very hard.”
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