Wednesday, August 9, 2017
By Tony Burns
There were some good licks passed Tuesday at Memorial Stadium as El Dorado closed practice with about a one-hour scrimmage. There was a quick whistle and the quarterbacks weren't touched. Other than that, the Wildcats played real football, which was unusual for just the second day of full pads.
"We're that far along. We've been in shells. We've been in team camps this summer. This group is pretty mature. We've got depth. So, we thought we were ready for it," said El Dorado coach Scott Reed. "We got a lot of plays in in an hour because of the tempo. I thought the offense started really well with a couple big plays and had some big plays on the day. And then, defensively, I thought we rebounded and did some really good things. I thought we were really good against the run today. And, I'm talking about 11 guys, not just the inside. I thought our secondary did a good job on the third-and-shorts and all that, people getting to the right spot and being aggressive. Even from safety, I saw Bishop (Foster) flying in there one time on power on third-and-2.
"It was really competitive."
Quarterback Darius Holly connected with Keshun Greene for a touchdown on a fade pattern. Taliq Ellis turned a quick hitch into a 60-yard touchdown, making a defender miss in the open field.
"I thought Darius and Alex (Hicks) showed some good things at quarterback. I think Darius threw one interception and it was on a busted route. Those are the things we've got to clear up because that turns a big play, offensively, into a turnover," said Reed.
"Offensively, the ball was on the ground too much. We had a couple contact fumbles with our tailbacks, which is not good. There were a couple balls we could've caught. They were going to be tough plays that we've got to catch. The kids knew it. They came back saying, 'I've got to make that catch,' which is good. We've got to get a little more disciplined in route running and protection. But, I really liked the speed and the confidence that most of our kids played with."
In addition to Greene and Ellis, Reed said Shun Levingston looked good as the slot receiver. Keonte Larry, Richard Kesee and Jarius Curry all logged carries at tailback with the first team.
Sophomore kicker Greysen Hubbard converted a pair of 35-yard field goals.
"What I really liked is the offense went down and scored - boom, boom. And, our defense settled down," said Reed. "Their attitude, there wasn't any thought that that was the way it was supposed to be. They just settled down and started playing and they turned up the intensity and the physicalness, which was really good to see. There's a lot of pride in that group and they expect to be good.
"I really liked the competitiveness. There wasn't one side or the other that was head and shoulders above."
When asked about having a scrimmage so soon, Reed said there were questions that needed to be answered in some areas. He also reiterated, the Wildcats were ready for it.
"I would say it's early. But, we've got three or four tailbacks we're looking at. We need to test them a little bit. We also have some new faces defensively and we need to see them tackle in game situations," he said.
"One of the things we looked back over the last few years and we didn't always start as well as we'd liked. We think a lot of it had to do with not getting after each other enough. To tell you the truth, if it was a hundred and five (degrees), we probably wouldn't. The weather has been perfect. And, we've got more depth. They've shown me through the first week and two days that they're ready."
The Wildcats will back off the contact today and focus on kicking game. Today's practice will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. at the high school. Reed said the team might scrimmage again on Friday.
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