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Martinsville, Bassett still have work to do after scrimmages
Magna Vista and Patrick County flash good play, still improving
Sunday, August 18, 2013
By BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -
Martinsville head coach Orion Martin said his team has “a lot of work to do” following Friday night’s scrimmage at William Byrd in Vinton.
But that wouldn’t be a shock for any team in mid-August, given that Friday’s scrimmage was Martinsville’s first live action against another opponent.
“We had a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball but that’s expected,” Martin said. “The kids played hard. We just have to clean up the mistakes especially on defense.”
Not lining up right and using the wrong technique led to the Bulldogs giving up a couple of long runs that Martin was not expecting.
The scrimmage consisted of a rotation of 10 plays on offense and 10 plays on defense and no score or stats were kept.
Overall, Martin was pleased with the effort the team displayed and how hard they played but wants them to keep improving before they open the season in two weeks against Morehead (N.C).
“We’re nowhere near close to being ready. We’ve got to keep working,” Martin said. “We have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. We’re not satisfied with our performance. We’ve got to keep working.”
Magna Vista good, not great in scrimmage
The Magna Vista football team opened up its preseason schedule Friday against Pulaski County, the same team that knocked the Warriors out of the playoffs last season.
Each offense got a series of 10 plays and ran that sequence six times. The first team was able to run 35 plays and head coach Joe Favero said he was pleased with what he saw in his team’s initial scrimmage.
“I thought our defense did a great job of getting to the ball,” Favero said. “We had two or three players swarming to the ball and it was nice to see not just one person trying to finish a tackle. Our linebackers as a group also played very well.”
The Magna Vista offense took to the air — at least two-thirds of the plays called involved the passing game. Favero said his quarterbacks did a good job of going through their reads and making good choices. He also said the offensive line did a great job of giving his quarterbacks time to make the right reads.
One thing Favero said he wants to work on is having his receivers and backs hold their blocks longer. The Warriors struggled at times to get to the outside and Favero looks to shore that up in order to utilize the team’s speed on the flanks.
Also, he hopes to eliminate the big plays as Pulaski was able to gain large chunks of yards on a couple of plays.
“We need to play a little lower on the front line because we gave up a couple of big plays. Hopefully we can eliminate them this week,” Favero said.
Bassett shows youth against Blacksburg
Dealing with a young offense, Bassett head coach Jay Gilbert saw some of the early growing pains with his offensive unit Friday in a scrimmage at Blacksburg.
While Gilbert said his team played hard for the entire scrimmage and was happy with the overall effort from both the first and second teams, he said holding onto the ball will be the main topic addressed this week during practice. The Bengals put the ball on the ground seven times in a 17-7 loss.
“We run a read-option offense with a lot of speed and timing and we’re young, so we knew we would be off a little bit,” Gilbert said. “But we turned the ball over about seven times and that comes with meshing the option and being unsure at times. So we have to go back to some fundamentals with ball handling.”
A bright spot for Gilbert was Martinsville transfer Xavier Johnson on defense. Johnson moved during the summer and didn’t play football for the Bulldogs last season but decided to play his senior year at Bassett. Gilbert was impressed with Johnson’s play at outside linebacker, saying he did a great job getting off blocks and to the ball. Gilbert is not sure if he’ll keep Johnson on the outside or move him to the inside to help fill the loss of Piedmont District first-team linebacker Eddie Bowman.
“Overall I think we played pretty well defensively,” Gilbert said. “We gave up one long run on a missed tackle, which they scored on. They scored twice on our (second string) but it was 7-0 against our first team.”
Cougars flash improvement in scrimmage
Patrick County head coach Kenneth Perry said he was pleased overall from what he seen in his team’s scrimmage against Grayson County on Friday night in Independence.
The team’s spread offense seems to be ahead of the defense, according to Perry, as the team scored on two 50-plus yard touchdowns in the scrimmage — something the team did not do much of last season.
Perry said there is still work to be done before his team takes on Heritage in Lynchburg on Aug. 30 in the regular season opener, but he is happy how the team is progressing.