|Coach finds out some things about Wildcats|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
August 23, 2004 - ARP - Coach Brad Turner found out some things about his team Saturday afternoon.
In their first live action of the year, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats showed their head coach the defense will hit, the offense will move the ball, and they will play with emotion.
It turned out to a pleasing day for Turner, whose team outscored Whitehouse, 4-0, in the controlled scrimmage. Each team had the ball for 15 plays with both the first and second team offenses, then they went a live quarter. The Wildcats scored twice in both the scrimmage session and the live quarter.
"We did some good things out there," Turner said. "We got a two-minute drill there at the end, our defense really ran to the football good. We did a lot of good things.
"We didn't get anybody hurt bad. I'm pleased. I was pleased with how we moved the ball. Both quarterbacks played well. Their strengths really came out. Our running backs ran good, blocked well. It was a good outing."
Junior quarterback Josh Riley started the scrimmage and ended his day by completing 10-of-11 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns and running a team-high eight times for 76 yards and another TD. Sophomore Logan Turner went 9-of-15 for 171 yards and a long TD pass to speedster Keelan Green.
Junior Spencer Daniel kicked all four extra points without a rush.
Ten different receivers caught passes and five different running backs came up with positive yardage as Sulphur Springs amassed 303 yards of total offense in 46 plays.
Green led the receivers with five catches for 119 yards, while junior Chris Person had 31 yards rushing on just three carries.
The Wildcats' first drive ended in a fumble, but they scored on their next drive when Riley kept on the option and raced 33 yards for the score. Four plays later, Turner took over at quarterback and hit Green on a deep sideline pattern he turned up for a 70-yard TD.
In the live quarter, Riley connected on a swing pass to Keenan Clayton, who took it up the sideline for a 50-yard score. Then, running the two-minute drill, he hit Hunter Potts with a 23-yard TD pass on a deep slant in which Potts made a nice extended catch over the hands of the safety.
Defensively, the Wildcats debuted their new 4-4 look, which caused six Whitehouse fumbles. Three were recovered - one each by Colby Mills, Tremayne Jones and Patrick Whitehead.
Led by a pair of tremendous hits by free safety Keenan Clayton, the Wildcats held Whitehouse to 111 total yards in 42 plays. Middle linebackers Keidric Duffey and David Barnes each had a sack along with outside linebacker Jared Ramey.
Each team had two players ejected for scuffling, but Turner said he knew emotions would be running high since this was the Cats' first full-hitting, live action of the summer.
"We didn't have a Blue-Gold scrimmage, we didn't have any live action during two-a-days, so I knew emotions would be high," he said. "There's no question. I know our guys will bite you. They're going to get after it.
"It's better to have to pull them in a little bit rather than trying to get them pumped up."
There should be no reason to have to get them pumped up next Friday, when the Wildcats face Jacksonville in the season opener at Texas A&M-Commerce's Memorial Stadium.
"The speed will change some on Friday night because Jacksonville will be a little faster, but Whitehouse is better than last year," Coach Turner said. "Coach (Randy) McFarlin will make them into a good team. But I was pleased with how we performed. I thought our kids did well.
He was very interested in the play of the offensive line. With only one starter returning (right tackle Wes Woods), the starting unit of Jose Vargas, Chris Berry, Jacob Jenkins and Cole Strawn were challenged by the Whitehouse blitzes. With starter Zane Attaway recovering from a car accident, and Vargas and Berry out for part of the scrimmage, Chris Alford and Travis Edmond stepped in and performed well.
"Our offensive line did OK. For them, it's probably the biggest chore because offensive line-wise when you jump up to full speed, it changes," Turner said. "It's happening a little quicker, so there were some mistakes. They blitzed quite a bit. Sometimes they got to us, sometimes they didn't.
"Overall, I was pleased."