LaFayette Ramblers

The LaFayette Ramblers closed out their spring practice for 2021 with a mix of new and old on Saturday afternoon.

There were several new names and faces to keep an eye on and some of those new names and faces got a chance to shine in an older place as the original home of the Ramblers, now known as the Ross Abney Complex, was used for the hour-long intrasquad scrimmage.

A LaFayette High School alumni photo, featuring former LHS athletes dating back to the 1960's, was taken pregame before fans settled in to get their first look at the Ramblers under new head coach, Andy Scott, who was hired just over a month ago.

"I was real pleased with our effort," Scott said. "Obviously, we have a long way to go. Playing kids both ways was a learning curve, but overall, I'm very pleased with all of the varsity and JV kids. We ended up with a good mix of kids and we found some players that we're very proud of.

"We've got a really good group and I think we have a chance to be a pretty good football team."

In an effort to get as many playmakers on the field at once, LaFayette's varsity offense went with Zach Barrett under center and Jaylon Ramsey, who started at quarterback for the vast majority of the past two seasons, lined up next to Barrett in the backfield.

Ramsey showed off his athleticism as a running back and as a receiver out of the backfield, while Barrett aired it out several times. One of those times resulted in a 40-yard connection down the field with Ramsey, who moved the ball into the red zone.

However, the offense was unable to get into the endzone on that drive and they were shutout for the entire scrimmage as the defense came up with some crucial stops on third and fourth downs. One of those stops came on the final play of the scrimmage as Kevin Kremb punctuated the day's effort with an interception.

Other running backs, such as Dawson Pendergrass, Trey Taylor and Christian Keaton, delivered some hard running for the Ramblers behind some veterans in the trenches.

The junior varsity players also got a chance to shine and it was the defense getting the better of the offense on those possessions as well. Blaze Taylor and A.J. Thompson both returned fumbles for touchdowns, while Thompson recovered a second fumble late in the scrimmage.

"I think it went pretty well," Scott said about his team's two weeks of spring practice. "Obviously, the biggest thing is just the change in how we do things and how we practice. We're trying to be a little more physical and things like that, but I think we got better every day."

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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