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On a Hot Summer’s Night …

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On a Hot Summer’s Night …

Bulldogs and Elks Square off in Scrimmage

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

ELKHART – Finally! After two weeks of sweating under a hot East Texas sun, area football teams kicked off the 2016 football season with scrimmages against someone other than their own teammates.

The Crockett Bulldogs hit the road and traveled to Elkhart to take on the Mighty Elks in a match-up of former district foes.

Both teams showed flashes of what will come later in the season. The Dawgs showcased their speed while the Elks demonstrated their physicality. Given the opportunity to display what they had learned so far in 2016 against an opponent in a different colored jersey, the two teams made the expected mistakes of going the wrong way or jumping offsides but on a few plays, man oh man!

WORKED1On the Dawgs first possession, Xavion Dixon broke free for a 60 yard sprint to the end zone. Alton (AJ) Owens also showed off his wheels with a 20 yard TD run around the right end and Derrick Sherman made a highlight reel catch, just for good measure.

Another highlight for Crockett was the passing of BJ Anderson as he connected time and again with his receivers, including one perfectly placed throw to Lucky Daniels who caught the ball in stride on a fade route to the end zone.

The Elks offense also showed some spark as they pounded the line of scrimmage with running back DJ Williams until he was banged up near the end of play. Quarterbacks Hunter Bush and Johnathan Simmons also showed they were up for the task as both performed well in the Elkhart offense.

After almost two hours of intense heat, the cold front that settled over the area on Saturday began to move in and brought with it some precipitation and lightning. As a result the scrimmage, was ended early and both teams were sent to their respective locker rooms.

Before calling it a night, Crockett Head Coach Jimmy Thompson commented on his team’s performance. Starting with the Bulldogs’ health, Coach Thompson commented, “Other than losing a kid for six weeks earlier this week, we’re in pretty good shape. He broke his finger catching a pass but he should be back by the time district rolls around. There’s the bangs and bruises like there always are at this time of the year.”

WORKED2Offensively, the coach said, “We did some good things, obviously. Lucky made a great catch down here but make no mistake BJ made a great throw. That kid had him covered like a blanket. But, it’s like I’ve told out kids all along, if you make a perfect throw, they can’t cover us. We ran the ball pretty well. Elkhart did some things we weren’t prepared for so we didn’t look quite as good as I would have liked. The main thing is to come out of the scrimmage healthy and figure out who needs to be playing where. We will do that and if both teams come out of this healthy, it was a great scrimmage.”

Elkhart Head Coach Sam Wells was also asked for his thoughts on the scrimmage. “We got to see a lot of speed in Crockett. We didn’t execute some things and we have some improvements to make. They’re a really good football team, but our kids showed some positive things as well. We just have to build on that and get ready for the regular season.”

WORKED3“It was only a scrimmage,” he added. “We are going to get better, keep plugging away and be back to work on Monday. One thing I did like was seeing our kids like to hit. They’re physical. We had some injuries early on and that got us down a little bit. We took the first drive and marched it down the field, but just couldn’t punch it in.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com