Richmond Hill capped off two weeks of spring football practice this past Friday with their annual spring "Black/Gold" scrimmage. While the Gold team, the current number one offense and number two defense edged the Black team 8-0, both sides made plays that impressed and gave their coaches reason for concern.
In the first half the Gold team dominated the action from the offensive side of the ball then in the second the turnovers started piling up and the Black defense took control.
"The first half both teams moved the ball some and at one point we (Gold team) kept the ball for 14 minutes... the defense is about where it needs to be although we have a couple of soft spots we will work on" said head coach Brian Brocato afterward.
It was during that 14 minute offensive surge that the Gold actually scored twice. Quarterback Xavier Owens culminated the long second quarter drive by scampering around his right end for an 8 yard touchdown run. Owens also ran for the extra point to give the Gold team the only scoring they would need, but it was another Gold backfield mate that got the crowd excited earlier in the drive.Darius Postell took a hand off from Owens and hit a seam on the left side of the line and out ran the secondary for an apparent 50 plus yard touchdown run. A holding call behind the play negated the run however and was the costliest of what were a long list of penalties that were one of Brocato’s main concerns.
"We were the least penalized team in the region last year and we need to make sure we get back to that. We are not going to be the kind of team that easily overcomes our own mistakes". Another of the coaches main concerns from the scrimmage were the turnovers.
After a turnover free first quarter and most of the second a fumble "free for all" began after the Gold teams score in the second quarter.
Black took the kick off and then on the second play from scrimmage coughed it up to the Gold. Gold returned the favor on the next play, one of 4 fumbles, 3 of them in the second half, when both teams were wearing down, and the Black defense started asserting themselves.
The Black team was taking advantage of their defensive prowess and the Gold teams gifts. Unlike the first half it was Black’s turn to control the ball, they just couldn’t get it in to the end zone. Both teams seemed to have an abundance of players they were trying out in the backfield:
For the Gold team Owens, Postell and Zach Christie did the lions share of ball carrying for their side.
The Black team had freshman quarterback Eli Thompson who had the only pass completion of the day, a first down throw to tight end Taylor Compton and running the ball Brandon Sullivan, Nick Montalto at fullback and Zach Denney, Alaric Lindqvist, Jahann Thompson, running out of the halfback position.
Both teams lined up with a full backfield and most of the plays went between the tackles, although Brocato plans to use the option some during the season. On defense Brocato feels his linebackers are going to be the strength of the team but there were some good plays turned in by the defensive line as well. Some of those getting their names called throughout the night on the defense were:
Caleb Brewer, Josh Davis, Matt Wyatt, David Carter, Jalen Reyes, Zach Brantley, and Pierce Carter just to name a few.
Now with spring behind them Brocato has plans to continue his team’s improvement during the summer. Voluntary weight training will continue throughout the summer and the team is planning a non-contact summer camp at Ft. Stewart June 18-23.