New Van-Far/Community R-VI football coach Kevin Baldwin was pleased overall with how his team performed in last Friday’s Jamboree held at Monroe City.
During an event featuring three scrimmages with the host Monroe City Panthers, Scotland County, and Schuyler County, the Indians’ defense shut out two opponents and didn’t lose in any of the match-ups.
The highlight of the evening came in the first scrimmage when the Indians held the host Panthers to zero points.
“I was really glad that we drew them first,” Baldwin said.
“We knew that was going to be our test. For us to come out and hold them scoreless, the defense was definitely the bright spot of the night…We got off the ball, hit hard, tackled decent but not as we needed to. We bent a little but didn’t break.”
One noticeable theme of the evening was that the offensive and defensive lines were made up of mostly fresh players as there were different faces on both side of the ball.
“From day one, I’ve talked to the kids about the magic number nine, with five offensive linemen and four defensive linemen,” Baldwin noted.
“We’ve run some kids in and out but it sure is nice when you don’t have to put the same four to five kids on both sides of the ball because we do show up fresh.”
In the scrimmage with the Panthers, there were a couple of bad snaps that led to minus 35 yards rushing after two recoveries.
Sharrod Connor returned after battling injuries last year and had four carries for 26 yards.
Quarterback Parker Wallace completed 1-of-3 passes for 10 yards and one interception.
Defensively, the Indians held the Panthers to just nine carries for 37 yards.
In a scrimmage where the offenses start the ball on the other side of the 50 at the 40 yard line, the Indians’ defense didn’t allow the Panthers to get any closer than the nine yard line.
The game finished as a 0-0 tie.
In the second scrimmage, Scotland County surprised the Indians by picking up a 27-yard run on the first play and scoring two plays later on a seven yard touchdown pass.
That fortunately would be Scotland County’s only score as they didn’t get closer than the 11 yard line in their final offensive plays. They did have eight carries total for 63 yards.
“I think we kind of got caught off guard,” Baldwin noted. “I think we were a little bit high on our laurels from playing Monroe. That was a good test to see what we were made of. We had to be patient and come right back. The kids did not want to get beat and not get outscored by anybody.”
Backup quarterback Josh Hodde helped the offense on its seventh play with a nice pitch to Trey Miller for a 12 yard gain.
Connor followed a couple of plays later with a 16-yard run inside the five yard line. Miller then scored on a four yard touchdown run to tie the scrimmage.
Miller had five carries for 25 yards and one TD while Connor had two carries for 21 yards. The game finished at a 6-6 tie.
Van-Far/Community R-VI played its final scrimmage with Schuyler County and both teams were scoreless.
Schuyler County’s offense did go four-and-out before picking up three first downs.
They got to the three yard line when the Indians’ defense stuffed a runner on the last play at the one yard line, keeping them out of the end zone.
Wallace threw an interception just inside the 20 yard line during one Indians’ drive.
He answered though on the next play with a 24 yard run.
He added a second big run, this time for 21 yards and scored a touchdown. Unfortunately, it was called back for a penalty.
Wallace had three carries for 19 yards. Miller added three carries for 16 yards while Eric Hombs had two carries for nine yards. Connor added three carries for eight yards.
The defense allowed just eight carries for 35 yards.
“We tried to get as many kids on the field as we could, especially in the third scrimmage to get as many young kids as we would get out there,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin did note that his team didn’t show all of its best plays on both sides of the ball as some Jamborees are scouted by upcoming opponents.
He did say the offense was a little sloppy but he would be more disappointed if the offense plays the same way in the first game on Friday night at MMA.