Throughout this football season I will take Mondays as a chance to examine the high school games that took place the Friday prior, shedding light on the players and teams that took steps forward or backward, and trying to make clear how things stand in the grand scheme of the season.
Football season doesn’t officially kickoff until the end of the month, but scrimmages are under way. The way I see it, if the teams get a chance to have a couple of run-throughs to work out the kinks, why shouldn’t I.
So, welcome to the preseason edition of Monday Morning Quarterback.
In Friday’s scrimmage against Ada, Duncan’s defense made a statement of strength.
In 24 plays, the Demons’ first-string defense recorded three sacks and four tackles for a loss. Though Duncan got burned early by the Cougars’ passing attack as it focused more on itself than on its opponent, once the defense switch formations Ada’s offense vanished.
The Demons’ defense was versatile, with a good balance of speed and strength from the front line to the secondary, and it was aggressive.
The defense will have to be all of those things for Duncan throughout the season, too, since it doesn’t look like the Demons’ offense is one built for shootouts. It’s more of a run-heavy, control-the-clock offense.
The formula for success is simple for Duncan this year: Score a touchdown or two, kick a few field goals, and try to keep the opposing team to single digits, or as close as possible.
Does size matter?
If smartphones and tablets have shown us anything, it is that sometimes small things can be pretty amazing and powerful.
So, instead of viewing these Demons as small, perhaps it’s better to think of them as space-efficient. The iDemons 4S.
Of the 43 players on Duncan’s varsity roster, only five are listed as being taller than 6-foot-1 and nearly a third have to ask for help getting the last box of Wheaties off the top shelf at the grocery store.
Of the 17 seniors, only Jack Braught (6-3) is listed above 6-1.
Tanner Norton got the start at quarterback for Duncan on Friday, but head coach Jim Holloway indicated prior to the scrimmage that the starting spots are still up for grabs at a number of positions, including quarterback.
Norton, a senior, split time with the first-team offense with junior Connor Kelly, who impressed coaches with his improvements over the offseason.
Neither made any glaring mistakes nor any attention-grabbing highlights Friday as the Demons showed off only a fraction of their offensive playbook.
It could be an interesting battle for the starting spot, though, as the two have similar builds and similar styles of play.
Not to be counted out though, is junior Cody Hood, who made more highlights than anybody for Duncan on Friday, with a touchdown pass and a couple of lengthy runs. At 6-2, Hood looks the part of a pocket-style quarterback more than Norton or Kelly, but that isn’t necessarily what Duncan is looking for this season.
Friday’s scrimmage was a controlled environment, and while both teams had some excitement about hitting other players for the first time, everyone on the field recognized this wasn’t a real game.
Duncan wanted a chance to evaluate players and work on executing plays. Holloway said coming into the scrimmage that he was pleased with how quickly his team had grasped the concepts and learned the playbook, and the Demons’ performance only backed up what their coach said.
But as far as trying to draw any real predictions from this scrimmage? Perhaps you’d better check back in next Monday for the second and final preseason edition of Monday Morning Quarterback.
Greg Crews is sports editor of The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 143 or at email@example.com.