Building Up: Positives for Mustangs in Scrimmages
North Moore head football coach Greg Simmons was encouraged by what he saw from his team in scrimmages Saturday, but said there’s still plenty to work on before the season starts.
The Mustangs participated in a six-team jamboree hosted by Eastern Randolph High School. In three sessions, they squared off against Eastern Randolph, Randleman and Granville Central. In the first two scrimmages, teams played on half a field and were given 15 plays on offense and defense.
In the third, the teams played in a game-like situation on a full field with a 30-minute clock.
“I think it was great for us,” Simmons said. “It was a great learning experience for us because now we’ve got it on film. Now we can really start talking about what we’re doing wrong and what we’re doing right.”
The team watched film from the defense’s performance at practice Monday and planned to watch the offense Tuesday.
“I’m trying to teach them everything, the way we’re going to do things now,” he said. “I think I’ve made my point on quite a few things. The tape never lies. That’s what they’re learning.”
Simmons said he thought the team got better with each scrimmage. He liked the way his kids kept competing even though some were forced to be on the field almost the entire time.
“They never complained, they never quit,” he said. “When it was over with and I was talking to them, they all looked like they were ready to go again. I like that. They want to learn, they want to get better and they believe in what we’re doing. It’s a matter of getting them there.”
Lack of depth is an issue the team will have to overcome, and Simmons and his staff have placed a premium on conditioning in order to do so.
The offensive line’s youth and inexperience were also apparent — Simmons said none of his offensive linemen eligible on Saturday had ever taken a snap at the varsity level.
The Mustangs were held scoreless on offense but had some opportunities.
Simmons liked what he saw from senior quarterback Tyler Wallace — playing football for the first time since his freshman year — when he lined up under center. Adding seniors Xavier Scotton and Jamar Brower to the backfield with him provides the Mustangs with a lot of options.
Brower broke a long run on the last offensive play against Randleman but was ruled down just short of the goal line.
Simmons said he thought his team made some big plays on defense and wasn’t afraid to hit. Against Granville Central, North Moore forced a three-and-out on the Panthers’ first possession. The Mustangs recovered a fumble when the Panthers went for it on fourth down on their next possession.
Both Scotton and Brower delivered some big hits, and Simmons thought Wallace played well at linebacker as well. Simmons was impressed with Ethan Galloway on the defensive line too.
“He had a motor,” Simmons said. “He was getting up field trying to make plays. I love that.”
But the Mustangs were susceptible to big plays through the air and on the ground in all three sessions. Simmons said the mistakes made on defense are fixable and gave credit to their opponents for making the plays.
In order to have success, he said every player has to do their job on every play and must eliminate those mental mistakes.
“When everyone did their jobs right, I thought we did some pretty good things,” Simmons said. “But everything’s gotta go right. All 11 guys have to do 11 responsibilities perfectly. If 11 guys do 11 things right, then we can make things happen offensively and defensively.”
North Moore has their bye on Friday and will open their season on Aug. 27 at home against Princeton.
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