After a disappointing defeat to start the season, Bryan County High School head coach Allen Cartwright liked what he saw from his team in practice.
The Redskins had an open date on the schedule last week following their 16-0 loss to Metter in the season opener.
“We had a great week of practice during the off week,” Cartwright said. “It was definitely beneficial to us. It allowed us to work on fundamentals, and we were able to rest a couple of starters who were a little banged up.”
The work has continued this week as Bryan County (0-1) prepares to face Claxton (0-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bell Memorial Stadium. The short trip to Pecan Grove will be the first of three straight road games for the Redskins.
Like Bryan County, Claxton was shut out by Metter in its season opener. The Tigers fell 20-0 at home last Friday as Metter scored a pair of second-half touchdowns to extend their 6-0 halftime lead.
“Claxton is very athletic, and they have some fast skill players,” Cartwright said. “They are young in certain areas offensively, just as we are, but they play extremely hard.”
That youth on offense showed in Bryan County’s season opener. The Redskins mustered less than a 100 yards
of offense, failed to complete any of their eight pass attempts and committed four turnovers.
To try to help remedy that, Cartwright is giving increased roles in practice to some of his more-experienced players such as senior Dominique Mock at halfback and junior Kimonti Murray and senior Quran George at wingback. Also, senior Markus Johnson has begun getting repetitions at fullback.
Mock carried the ball just once for 2 yards in the season opener, while Murray had three carries for 5 yards. Junior fullback Markez Bostick was Bryan County’s leading rusher with 15 carries for 47 yards.
However, Mock and Murray both showed flashes of their ability in the Redskins’ 14-3 win over Savannah Country Day in their preseason scrimmage. Mock rushed for 54 yards on just four carries, including a 41-yard touchdown, and Murray gained 48 yards on three carries.
While those experienced players are getting more playing time on offense, Cartwright said he isn’t making any drastic lineup changes in the wake of the shutout loss to Metter.
“We have continued to work the same personnel for the most part and just continued to work the fundamentals,” Cartwright said. “We would like to continue to play a lot of players that will hopefully build some depth heading into region play.”
For the second straight game, Cartwright will face one of his former teams. He was the head coach at Claxton for six seasons, compiling a 26-34-1 record from 2006 to 2011.