Clay Stephenson’s first spring game as head coach went according to plan: everyone worked hard and no injuries.
In the annual spring football scrimmage, the White Team defeated the Gold Team 16-7 at Phil Reeve Stadium.
“We pushed them hard this spring just to compete,” head coach Clay Stephenson said. “We wanted to push them as far as they could go to see how they respond because a lot of these guys haven’t been in the fire. The effort from kickoff to the end stayed the same and that’s what we’re most proud of from a coaching standpoint.”
The Yellow Jackets wrapped up two weeks of spring practice with the annual spring game. The scrimmage featured eight minute quarters and the only special teams on display were field goal attempts.
“This group of (rising) seniors here is a very fun bunch to coach because the get after it every day at practice because they know they have to to get a spot,” Stephenson said. “This is their time to shine and, as coaches, that’s our goal is to make their senior year the best one ever and I think we’re well on our way.”
Rising senior Jake Morrow started the game at quarterback for the White Team, while rising junior Jake Prather started under center for the Gold Team.
“I thought the quarterbacks played really well,” Stephenson said. “I felt like they executed what we had in really well and that was the goal … going into spring, just executing what we had and playing hard and I thought both quarterbacks today did a great job of that.”
Stephenson said Morrow will in all likelihood be the starter come August.
“Everything’s not set in stone, but that was our idea in the spring,” Stephenson said. “We’ve got preseason practice and summer to see if that gap changes any, but we feel good as a coaching staff of what we’re going to be able to put out there, so I don’t think there’s much of an issue there. We have 100 percent confidence in Jake Morrow to get the job done come August.”
In the game itself, the White Team scored the first touchdown of the game when Brett Bradley took the ball into the end zone from a short distance out. With 6:07 remaining in the second quarter, White Team took a 10-0 lead.
Gold Team’s only score came in the second half, when Cooper Harmon crossed the goal line from one yard out with 4:32 still to play in the third quarter.
One Yellow Jacket who stood out during the spring game was rising freshman Christopher Lewis. Lewis had multiple carries on Tuesday and proved difficult to bring down.
“He loves football, he loves contact and he loves getting after it,” Stephenson said. “He loves every day coming out to practice, so his attitude and effort he gives at practice showed up today.”
Rising senior Edwardo Fajardo added three field goals in spring game action.
After the game, some kids, including Stephenson’s son, were seen sporting t-shirts with a picture of Stephenson with a headset on, along with the words: “Coach’s Crew.”
Stephenson said it was a welcome surprise.
“It was awesome because a lot of those are my kids in my classroom and … it’s awesome when I can mix my classroom job with my afternoon and Friday night job,” Stephenson said. “That was neat to see.”
Calhoun football now enters its summer workout period, as school is set to conclude on Friday, May 24.