Freshman Hawks Scrimmage Update with Smithville
By Cory Martelli
The CL freshman football team took the field Friday afternoon against Smithville Tigers in their first ever look at high school football and picked up where they left off last year as a district champs at Mountain Valley Middle School.
The offense as well as the defense seemed to have their starters already figured out as a few players swapped in and out on the first teams during the scrimmage.
The Hawks first string offensive-line appeared to have a consistent work ethic in blocking a well sized Tiger front four as well as down field blocking assignments with their linebackers and secondary.
To match the blocking schemes of the front five, was a backfield with speed and agility with quickness from a motivated backfield which seemed to have several gears within their transmission.
One of those gears, which the running backs seemed to have, was their ability to maintain down field blocking against the Tiger’s secondary. If there was a running back which did not have the ball, then they were down field throwing blocks for their teammates which translated into larger down field gains past the five yard mark from the line of scrimmage.
Another gear as mentioned was speed and agility. The back field looked to posses speed, there agility of moving off that first tackle looked to work best as the Hawks dodged, spun and cut through holes and open field.
The all important YAC (Yards after contact) for a running back is a crucial stat that goes unnoticed most of the time in football, but the freshman back field did well enough here in their first scrimmage to earn high marks in this category.
On the flip side of the coin, the freshman Hawk defense too had a descent scrimmage against a Tiger offense which ran a spread formation from the shotgun with a single running back, which had moves like Mic Jagger.
The first team “D” for the Hawks found itself scrambling and trying to learn the avenues of this offensive scheme which the Smithville put up against CL and had early success against the Hawk “D”.
The Tiger offense did indeed spread out their offense on the field with twin receivers left and right simultaneously on multiple occasions leaving huge running lanes and gaps for the QB and RB to maneuver once that read was placed on the Hawk D-ends. While the front four of the defense forced the play of the Tiger offense in one direction or another, the line backers cleaned up using their speed to run down Smithville’s talented running backs.
Once the defense began to learn how this offense ran and threw the ball, the Tiger offense began to slow down in yards gained and passes caught.
The pressure from the front four on the Tiger QB forced bad passes and several interceptions were made by the secondary.
The line backing crew had “First Scrimmage Day” success as they sunk the 8 ball in the corner pocket time and time again. Outside line backer Brandon Robinson played a key role for the Hawk “D” racking up some impressive run downs, gap stopping tackles and forcing the Tiger QB into some bad decisions.
Brandon Robinson or “B- Rob” was quoted by saying, “while my over all playing was pretty good, I definitely look forward to more improvements and that those improvements will come over time, as this was just the first scrimmage”.
When we asked B-Rob what is the biggest noticeable difference from last year at Mountain Valley to stepping up as a freshman, Robinson replied, “the biggest difference from Jr. High Football and High school football is the speed of the game, the expectation to hustle every play and the size of the players.”
Looking back from last year as District Champs at MVMS, B-Rob also said, “if I could go back today and talk to the eight graders on what to know when they get here next year, I would tell them to stay in shape in the off season by working out and to also understand to learn to keep their tongue’s in their mouth on what they say and how they act here at CLHS because the coaches will definitely put you in your place. It’s definitely an attitude adjustment”.
As first scrimmages go for a freshman level The ReSporter would have to give CL Freshman an overall rating of a B-.
After all it was a first scrimmage and no one gets and “A” coming out of the starting blocks, there’s always room for improvement, players are looking to find themselves in a new setting and mistakes abound as they always will on their first go around.
This being said, the freshman team looks to be competitive with a schedule that will be a grind.
While there might have been a few gears that were missed the offense had several scores during the match.