PLAS Patriots scrimmage in preparation for fall

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriot football team traveled to Greenville Tuesday to participate in four 7-on-7 scrimmages hosted by Fort Dale Academy.

The Patriots beat the Fort Dale Eagles 4-0 in game one of the day and went on to beat Monroe 7-1, Lowndes County 6-3 and the Eagles 5-2 to finish out the day.

Head coach Gene Allen said seven-on-seven match ups were a good way to see what his team is and isn’t capable of when the fall season rolls around, and many of the team’s players showed Allen they were ready.

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“We’ve got Marquese Christian coming back who really catches the ball well,” Allen said. “We’ve got Dekota McConnell who transferred in from Carroll who does a really good job at receiver. He goes up and catches the ball and has good speed. Another kid who came from Carroll, Brayden Herrera plays running back, but he also plays safety is going to do a really good job. He does a great job on the field offensively and defensively. We have Adam Grice coming back from last year, and he and Brayden and Reed Johnson will be our main running backs.”

The team focused on passing and pass routes during the scrimmages. “It’s really better for the offense because of timing,” Allen said. “The quarterbacks can make reads. Defensively, we try to do what we do during the year, but most teams that we play are going to play … some sort of man defense in the games. When that happens, usually your best athletes win. We played a lot of zone yesterday. We’re at a disadvantage because we have take one of our players out.”

Although there were bright spots, Allen said the team needs to work on a few things to prepare for the start of the fall season.

“We’ve always got to work on drops, where they’ve got to be in zone coverages,” Allen said “We’re still screwing that up. We have to take a linebacker out when we got to a seven-on-seven because we play with eight guys in the back, so we try to overcompensate a little bit and get out of position a little bit. We’ve got to get them back to where they’re supposed to be. We’ve got to work on breaking on the ball a little more, as well. We’ve always got to work on running to the ball. They can’t take breaks.”

Allen said that while the seven-on-seven scrimmages were friendly competition, winning isn’t the team’s ultimate goal.

“They’re keepings score, so we’re trying to win, but that’s not the ultimate goal,” Allen said. “The ultimate goal is to get better for this fall when we get out there and play.”

The Patriots will be back in action next Monday and Tuesday as they travel to Huntingdon College in Montgomery for another round of scrimmages.

“There will be some public schools there this time, so that will be good,” Allen said. “It’ll probably be a little more competitive because you’ll have some really skilled guys there. We went there last year and played some really good, skilled public school teams. It’ll be fun to go out there and compete with them and see how we do.”