The Sonoraville Phoenix concluded their spring practices with a scrimmage against the Coosa Eagles Friday at Sonoraville High School. Head coach Denver Pate said his team played with both effort and intensity
“I thought we competed for four quarters,” Pate said. “Each one of those guys, when they got out there, they really worked hard. You could tell with a lot of those guys it’s paid off for them in the weight room.”
The scrimmage itself featured varsity playing the first half, junior varsity taking the field in the third quarter and the freshman on either squad participating in the final quarter. There were also no punt returns or kickoffs.
Early on in the scrimmage, the Phoenix offense was firing on all cylinders.
Rising senior Blade Bryant started the game under center for the Phoenix. On the first offensive possession, Bryant recorded the game’s first touchdown on a quarterback draw with 6:40 remaining in the first quarter.
Sonoraville’s second offensive possession culminated in Tyler Capps rumbling his way over the goal line with 3:20 to go in the opening quarter of play.
The running game was a marquee feature of Sonoraville’s offense throughout the scrimmage, not only from the running backs, but from the quarterbacks as well.
“We want our line to be physical,” Pate said. “We want to show them that it’s paid off in the weight room. We want to be a physical football team.”
After Bryant, rising junior Brady Lackey entered the scrimmage late in the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Lackey showcased his arm when he located Ben Burns for a long touchdown pass.
“I thought both of (the quarterbacks) have their strengths,” Pate said. “Blade’s got some wheels so we want to put the ball in his hands a little bit and be able to run. I thought (Brady) Lackey did a good job coming in and throwing it around a little bit.”
The Phoenix offense went 3-3 in scoring drives to open the scrimmage. Meanwhile, the defense held Coosa out of the end zone, never allowing the Eagles’ offense to sustain long drives.
“I thought our defense did a good job,” Pate said. “I think those guys flying around to the football, you’re going to miss some tackles, but as long as we’re playing hard, that’s what I want. I thought on the perimeter we made plays when we needed to.”
One of the biggest questions will be who starts at quarterback for Sonoraville come August. While there is a competition for the starting job under center, Pate said there needs to be 10 other position battles for the Phoenix to be as competitive as possible (for the 11 player positions on the football field).
Pate said before the Phoenix take the field again in August, there is still some team bonding.
“As far as trusting one another and playing together as one unit,” Pate said. “We’ve got to continue to do that and get better at that. Continue to get stronger and in a little bit better shape.”