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Scrimmage Saturday
by Damian Tromerhauser
Aug 18, 2012 | 2105 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks ball carrier Hennessy Banks tries to shed tacklers during Saturday’s scrimmage.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks ball carrier Hennessy Banks tries to shed tacklers during Saturday’s scrimmage.
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Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - Reed linebacker Trae Wells gets set to bring down a Douglas ball carrier during a preseason scrimmage at Galena Saturday.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - Reed linebacker Trae Wells gets set to bring down a Douglas ball carrier during a preseason scrimmage at Galena Saturday.
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The Friday night lights are set to turn on in five days, and with the season on the brink all three Rail City gridiron squads hit the field on Saturday for preseason scrimmages to try and work out some kinks before opening kickoff.

Spanish Springs welcomed Carson City, with the format set at a script of 21 plays for both sides, followed by 10 more each to get in the desired work.

While scrimmages usually have the feel of a low-keyed practice, Cougars coach Scott Hare wanted to up the ante a little to create a game atmosphere.

“We tried to make it more like a game with the fact that they were on the sidelines,” Hare said. “Usually you run a scrimmage and the players are behind and you’re standing there and kind of guiding them as they go. Today we really tried to make it so it was more of a game feel. I thought they responded real well to coming off the bench and getting in the game and we lined up pretty well. They moved in and out well. Those are really the things right now. With a scrimmage, you just want to make sure you know how to line up. Plays don’t work on offense or defense until you line up correctly. So I was happy to see that.”

Along with having the players on the sidelines, as opposed to on the field, Spanish Springs also tried to get into game shape in regards to its team chemistry.

“We’ve kind of put some different pods of guys in there together to see how they worked out,” Hare said. “We wanted to run a variety of different things and get into a couple of our different formations with some movement and just see how it looks together. Those were mainly the things we were looking for to see if certain sets of guys work together and line up.”

While the Cougs were warming up for their season, Northern 4A Division I rival Reed was doing the same across town at Galena with the Grizzlies as well as the Douglas Tigers.

“It went great,” Reed coach Ernie Howren said. “It was typical scrimmage. We’re just learning that things move a whole lot faster and when that happens, you kind of forget a few of your assignments. So we had a few assignment errors but it’s all the same stuff you expect to see go on in the first scrimmage.

“I think the biggest thing is we want them up to game speed. We want them flying around at a very high level. It was a great start, but I think when the kids go back and watch the film they’re going to be critical of themselves and they’re going to look and go ‘We can get a whole lot better.’ I think as a program we know we can get better. The things that we have built our program on, we saw those things coming out in the scrimmage and I think that we’re on the right track. That’s why you have scrimmages though, so you can fix those things during the week to get ready for your first game.”

Howren said he saw a number of things from the Raiders that need work before Reed travels to Union City, Calif. to play James Logan in the season opener.

“We definitely need to focus on blocking and tackling, which are the two most important things. We definitely need to get a whole lot better at those two things,” Howren said. “They weren’t bad, but they definitely weren’t at the level that we would like to see. Those things will be two areas of emphasis this week coming up.”

The Raiders were not the only ones having issues tackling on Saturday. For the Sparks Railroaders, it also will be an area of emphasis in the week ahead.

“The scrimmage was alright,” Sparks coach Rob Kittrell said. “There are definitely some things we need to work on and focus on getting better from here. We missed some assignments on offense. We also need to take better care of the ball on offense. Defensively, we have to become a better tackling team.”

While there were many areas to improve on, Kittrell said the Railroaders did a good job with their alignments.

“We were lining up in the right spots. Now we just have to get better at playing football.”

With Yerington set to visit Sparks on Friday, the Railroaders will look to make those adjustments quickly.

“There’s a couple things both offensively and defensively we need to focus on. We have to finish off our tackles better and quit dropping to our knees when tackling,” Kittrell said. “Offensively, our tempo needs to be faster than it was today and assignment-wise we have to have a better understanding of the rules.”

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