Pilcher likes scrimmage effort

Published 4:42 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coach Ed Pilcher thought his Bainbridge High School Bearcats football team had an overall good effort in their 10-6 Friday night preseason scrimmage victory over the Dougherty High School Trojans at Centennial Field.

The scrimmage, which was not continued after halftime due to lightning, was a tune-up for Saturday night’s season-opener against the Cairo High School Syrupmakers at Cairo’s West Thomas Stadium. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.

“Our effort was there on both sides of the ball,” the Bearcats head coach said. “On offense, we need to do a better job of ball security, and on defense, we need to do a batter job of tackling.

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“We had some fumbles, but they were not caused by hits. We just didn’t secure the ball. We will work on ball security this week in practice. Defensively we’ve got to do a better job of tackling. Eight men on our defense were starting for the first time. We also had a lot of players miss the scrimmage due to sickness,” Pilcher said.

As the scrimmage went along, the Bearcats did a little better job of securing the ball and tackling.

“Overall, we are executing much better on both sides of the ball than we did this time last year. I wish we could have played at least another quarter, but the decision to stop at halftime was correct. The safety of the kids is always what is most important,” he said.

Pilcher said he was very pleased with the play of his special teams that featured a 27-yard field goal by junior Keenan Adams and a 97-yard kickoff return by junior Shawn Samuels. The field goal was set up by a 48-yard run from scrimmage by running back Thomas Smiley.

“I was especially pleased with our kicking game,” he said. “Keenan Adams did a very good job kicking and punting.”

The coach hopes the team will be 100 percent when they play Cairo Saturday night.

“Right now, we don’t have anybody with an injury serious enough to miss the game. We hope all the sick players are ready to go as well,” Pilcher said.

The defense came up with a big play following a 24-yard, second-quarter touchdown pass from quarterback Sharoski Griffin to running back Arabian Williams that put them up briefly 6-3.

Marcus Williams lined up to kick the extra point, but the middle of the Bearcats defense came through to block it.

The visitors lead was short lived, however. Samuels caught the ball on his own 3-yard line, went up the middle, and broke loose on his 97-yard touchdown return. Adams’ extra point kick then completed the night’s scoring.