Cooling Off: Full-speed scrimmage ends Wildcats’ practice on an enthusiastic note

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

Aug. 13, 2008 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats ended their final long practice of the week Wednesday morning with a scrimmage that is best described as a draw.

The offense showed flashes of its big-play ability, while the defense also revealed its aggressive nature during a full-speed scrimmage that ended the practice on a high note.

The Wildcats will have a shortened practice on Thursday, then have a light workout on Friday in preparation for Saturday's first intersquad scrimmage against Greenville.

The offense was a bit sluggish in the early portion of drills, but after taking a 20-minute break, the scrimmage started. Then, so did running back Ryan Young.

Young, a senior transfer from Alba-Golden, took a swing pass from senior quarterback Tyrik Rollison on the scrimmage's first play and outraced the defense to the end zone. Kicker Rodrigo Larios punched through the extra point.

But, the defense had moments of its own. Senior cornerback Darrell Franklin broke up a third-down pass that forced the offense into a 42-yard field goal try by sophomore Fernando Arellano. The kick was long enough, but drifted wide right of the post.

On the next series, 6-7 senior defensive end Colton Nash knocked down an intended screen pass to end the series.

After a break for the second string and JV to scrimmage, the varsity starters went at it again. This time, the defense held the offense to a 37-yard field goal attempt by Larios, but a bad snap ended the threat. The field position was set up by a long catch by senior wide receiver Ben Barrows from Rollison.

Then, on the final play of the scrimmage, junior wide receiver Shane McQueen got loose deep and caught a bomb for a touchdown. Senior Austin Brewer booted the PAT.

Defensively during the scrimmage, linebackers Dillon Verner, Jimmy Villa and Jayden Wallace each had a sack.

In the second-string scrimmage, quarterback Johnny McSheffery broke free on a keeper for a long TD, then McQueen blocked the extra point attempt.

In the JV scrimmage, linebacker Chris Sorley intercepted a tipped pass and ran it back for a TD.

REBOUNDING POSITION - Junior 6-5 defensive end Kedrick Dial, who also plays basketball, has become adept by knocking down passes. He and frontcourt mate Colton Nash (6-7) line up at opposite ends in some situations. ... The SSHS cheerleaders treated the varsity, JV and freshmen players to popsicles during their break. ... Also this morning, the band was practicing its routine on the adjacent field. Next week, the football team will be practicing at 5 p.m. in the afternoon, which will overlap the band practices.

TEAM DRILLS - In the team drills before the scrimmage, junior cornerback Keiston Clayton distinguished himself by doing a good job breaking on passes. Junior receiver Garrett Ferguson also had a good day catching the ball. ... Head coach Greg Owens released the varsity roster with 47 players on it; 23 are seniors; 23 are juniors; and one is a sophomore (kicker Fernando Arellano).

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