Friday May 10th marked our first ever white and royal spring scrimmage. This was our first mainly because we hadn’t had enough players to hold one in the past two years. With twenty-six players dressed and thirty on the roster, we felt we confident in holding a game that not only would assist our evaluation of our program, but also serve as a fundraiser for our new field.
The original idea was to split the teams in half and play the game as separate entities. However, that didn’t work after a few one workout warriors left the team before our first practice. It was even less feasible after an injury, a family issue, and two suspensions. Thus, we tried to get the offenses and defenses evenly matched on the field and run our offense against our defense.
Side note: the point system was… defensive TD 7, offensive TD 6, INT or fumble recovery 3, sack 2, 3-and-out 1. Defense won 32-18.
With every practice, every scrimmage, and every game, you have to find takeaways on both the positive and negative side. On the negative side: we don’t know the game of football. Our kids have such limited football IQ that we struggle understanding blocking schemes when someone on the DL lines up different than usual, or we blitz and you’re full slide to the left- yet you still watch an OG turn to the right and miss the actual ‘zone.’ We also have a number of bad snaps from our starting center when he sees blitz. Now, that could be a direct result of us not cutting our own players, but we should still get a snap off and maybe miss a block. Another negative is our lack of feel for the field. We gave up back to back first play TDs to the offense because our Rover lost contain on OZ and then Speed Option.
However, even though our OC was extremely disappointed in the offense not looking professional enough (bad snaps, TE lining up 3 yards from the OT, screwing up formations when we only run three) there were many positives. Our starting QB flashed his athleticism both on offense (after a big run he screamed “this is varsity football, dawg” in his mumbled Danish accent) and on defense at FS. His big runs and two INTs (one for a touchdown) were impressive. We had guys playing out of their usual position, and while struggling at times they played well overall. Our 3-tech was a MLB for two of six series. Our WLB played SLB all night, and another OL/DL played a down at SLB after a back up QB had the wind knocked out of him. A real bright spot for myself as a coach was seeing our awkward thirteen year old starting TE catch a deep ball in the seam for thirty yards setting up a score.
Overall we played aggressive, hard nosed football which is what we’ve been preaching since I took over in January of last year. A fight broke out between two OL/DL players, which was broken up quickly, but made for an interesting moment- it was our first fight at a Cornerstone practice in two years. We had over 200 people at a scrimmage game on our 50 yard practice field, and we saw some major improvements in our mental and emotional toughness.
One major takeaway was that we realized the game week will be for review, not install. Normally I like to put in one new run and one new pass combo every week, but this isn’t that week. We will play our spring game with 3 formations (21 and 11 personnel), 4 runs (IZ, OZ, Speed, Dive-Option), 1 PA, 5 pass combinations, and 1 pass protection (full slide). If we plan to win this game, we must master them more so than we have so far.
On defense, we will show only our 4-4 defense, two blitzes and two coverages (1 and 3). We will have a slight variation on our front between G (6i, 3, 1, 5) and Tite (6i, 2i, 1, 5). We will also run our ‘heavy’ call which puts the Rover and Sam on the LOS bumping our 5 tech into a 4 and squeezing hard into the B-gap. This frees up our WLB to scrape and follow the OG on pulls vs the wing-t. We had planned to install our 4-3 and run cover 2 and 4, but that didn’t pan out.