Ready to Run: Owens wants Wildcats to take a step forward in final scrimmage

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Aug. 23, 2007 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats took a solid first step last week in their first scrimmage against Greenville. Head coach Greg Owens wants them to be ready to run after tomorrow's scrimmage.

The Wildcats will host Terrell at Gerald Prim Stadium in their final preseason scrimmage. The junior varsity and freshmen will start the scrimmage at 6 p.m., with the varsity to follow at 7:30.

Owens saw a lot of enthusiasm and intensity from his players against Greenville, but said the stakes will be higher this week since the season starts Åug. 31 against McKinney.

"I don't want to get a false sense of 'we're pretty good right now,' " Owens said. "We've still got a lot to work on. I liked the the way we came out and played emotionally, but there's still a lot to be done. I don't want us to get overconfident and full our ourselves thinking we don't have to work very hard.

"We had a couple of practices this week that were a little a lackluster. I don't know if we were a little full of ourselves or what, but we've got to get back to the basics and do it. That's a little concern, but I hope these guys are ready to go and come out and play with emotion. That's what we want to see."

While Owens wanted his team to show emotion last week, this week he is more concerned with execution. The Wildcat offense generated just one touchdown against Greenville.

He is banking that a young, mostly inexperienced offensive line can start jelling, though injuries to Mason Y'Barbo and Jake Russell have necessitated some juggling of the line-up. It appears that on Friday the Wildcats will start three sophomore (Colby Suggs, Beau Carpenter and Alex Peek), one junior (Colton Nash) and one senior (Dakota Graham) on the offensive line. Not only are they playing together for the first time, some of them are learning a new position. Suggs was a quarterback last season and Nash has played almost exclusively defensive line.

"For the most part, this scrimmage is offensively about execution," Owens explained. "That starts with those five guys up front. It starts with the snap, and those guys taking good steps and giving the quarterback some time.

"Hopefully, the mistakes we made physically and mentally last week, we've corrected those this week and we know a little bit better what's going on."

He expects Terrell to blitz more than Greenville did and to show the offense some different looks.

"They'll turn up the heat a little bit more," Owens predicted. "There will probably be a little more blitzing than there was last week. They'll have some good athletes up there, and they'll be really quick and there will be other things that we'll have to deal with."

The scrimmage will start with the JV and freshmen each running 40 offensive and defensive plays.

The varsity will take turns on offense and defense with the first string running 15 plays and the second string running 12. The teams will then have the ball on the goal line for five plays each, followed by a five PAT/field goal attempts and five punts.

After that, the teams will engage in a live half of football. The exception will be no kickoffs and fair catches on all punts.

Older Archives

Looking for News-Telegram Sports and News Archives for January 2004 - November 2008