Football season got serious Friday night when Ringling traveled to Lone Grove Friday night to scrimmage the Longhorns.


Football season got serious Friday night when Ringling traveled to Lone Grove Friday night to scrimmage the Longhorns.

Defense dominated action during competition between the first-team offenses and defenses. Neither team came close to scoring, but things opened up considerable when the second team offenses and defenses hit the field. The Longhorns got the better of things by scoring three touchdowns to the Blue Devils’ one.

Senior Jacob McClennahan quarterbacked the Lone Grove first-team offense in both sessions. Junior Dylan Baker and Brady Lee took turns in the backfield behind McClennahan. The Longhorns managed 31 yards on their first 10 plays with two first downs. McClennanan was 2-of-4 passing for 15 of those yards.

Senior Matthew Farris took first-team offense snaps for the Blue Devils. Farris moved under center from his former running back spot when Andrew Stoker, the favorite to start at quarterback, re-broke his right leg during baseball season. This was the first night Farris had ever quarterbacked in scrimmage or a game.

Ringling picked up one first down and ran 10 plays for 25 yards.

Junior Jaz Long and sophomore Justice Ruhnke took turns at quarterback for the Longhorn second teamers. The scrimmage’s first score came when Hunter Bellavigna broke through the middle and out-raced Blue Devil defenders for a 60-yard touchdown run. Sophomores Turner Richardson and Taylor Pybas divided time as signal caller for the Ringling second teamers. Richardson hit junior Jackson Dillon for a 35-yard strike that moved the Blue Devils inside the Lone Grove 20-yard line. But the Longhorn defense didn’t allow a score.

“I thought our defense looked good,” Ringling coach Tracy Gandy said. “This is one of the fastest defenses we have had in awhile. We have a lot of young people along the offensive line, and we were watching them pretty close. And I liked the way they played. I thought our effort was excellent, and I liked our athleticism. The things we saw that needed correcting were coachable things. I believe this team is ready to get better.”

McClennahan was 2-of-4 for 40 yards during the first team’s second attempt. The Longhorns managed 48 yards and two first downs in their 10 plays.
Farris seemed more in rhythm in his second try with the Blue Devil first teamers. He ran for 30 yards on four carries and completed one pass for eight yards.

“We challenged our players to play hard and be physical,” Lone Grove coach Kenny Ridley said. “Ringling provides a great barometer for us to see how far we have come. They will expose you if you are not physical.

“I thought Dylan Baker and Hunter Bellavigna both did well running with the football. Dylan provided elusiveness, and Hunter gives us a power runner. Hopefully we can mesh those two together and have a solid running offense. We need to fix some inconsistencies along the offensive line, but I was pleased with the way that group of players competed tonight.”

Freshman Michael Sundeen scored on a 70-yard run for the Longhorn second-teamers. And two plays later, freshman O’Shay Harris broke free and raced 65 yards for a touchdown. The Blue Devil backups managed to score on the 10th and final play of the night when Taylor Cunningham ran it in from two yards out. The big play in the drive was a 40-yard run by senior Kodie Shepard.

Dickson defense holds it down
MARIETTA — Dickson didn’t allow any scores in its three-way scrimmage against Rush Springs and Marietta on Friday.

The Comets’ defense recovered two fumbles and showed a physiality that was pleasing to coach Jeremy Reed.

“The biggest gain was 10-15 yards and nobody was close to scoring on our main defense,” Reed said. “It was fun to see in action.”

Reed said the offense is coming along behind junior quarterback Drake Haggard.

“We dropped touchdowns that were legitimate touchdowns,” Reed said. “We had errors in blocking assignments, but they were things that are easily correctible. Defense is always ahead of offense (at this stage), but we moved the football well.”

Marietta coach Dewayne Taylor said the Indians only had one major breakdown on defense.

Healdton run successful
KINGSTON — Healdton coach David Bingman was impressed with his running game against Kingston on Friday.

The Bulldogs’ offensive line should be the strength of the team. Bingman said his rushers were able to average more than eight yards a carry.

“We’d stand back as coaches and see big gaping holes,” Bingman said. “The running backs were running hard and the line was blocking well.”

Right guard Zain Gossvener is one of four starters returning from last year’s front five.

“We have a lot of experience on the line and it helps when you’ve got people that know what’s going on.” Gossvener said Saturday.

Erik K. Horne contributed to this report.