|Beech, Oakland clash in first scrimmage of the preseason|
|Thursday, August 2, 2012|
MURFREESBORO — It was a rough first scrimmage for Beech as it traveled to Oakland Thursday morning.
The Buccaneers managed three scores in nearly two hours of down-and-distance football, and they bookended the scrimmage.
Jalen Hurd scored on two long runs down the right sideline in the very early portion of down-and-distance. However, the team was shut out for almost the remainder of the scrimmage until Lincoln Kenitzer found Alec Meadows on a long bomb down the right side of the field for a score.
In between, Oakland converted a number of turnovers into scores, saw quarterback Emmanuel Smith turn a broken play into a Hail Mary and put the Patriots in scoring position and the 1s, 2s and 3s all scored for Oakland.
“I believe we’ve got to practice with more intensity and we’ve got to get in better shape,” Hurd said. “I still think overall we did a pretty good job and the line did great. We’ve just got to work on a few technical things – where to block, where to line up and what to do on certain plays.”
The teams then went to work in 11-on-11 drills on one side and passing and coverage drills on the other side of the Oakland practice field. Beech was more than competitive in both of these areas.
“We did really good on one-on-ones. We did really good on goal line. I guess after that break we had (before down and distance) I guess our minds just cleared from what we had done,” Meadows said. “It’s definitely fixable. We’re a team and we can pick each other up. We work on that stuff daily – the mental side of the game and the toughness side of the game.”
Hurd had the long runs to open the down-and-distance portion, but after that the pop seemed to leave the Buccaneer squad.
"I think we just had a mental breakdown,” Beech coach Anthony Crabtree said. “It was a different thing on every play and we just never did get everybody on the same page. They got frustrated and tired. It looked bad. It’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
The first group is comprised of mostly older players but there is not that much experience. Crabtree said going through experiences like they did on Thursday will pay off in the long run in preparing the Bucs for the regular season.
And perhaps that started to show when the 1s went back out late in the scrimmage and Meadows caught the long ball from Kenitzer.
“I think that was a positive play for us late in the scrimmage to boost our morale back up,” Crabtree said. “Morale was a little bit low at that point in the scrimmage. People were tired and hot, and to have a good play like that helps mentally, helps us get those guys back on track.
“I don’t think our kids laid down I think they had a hard time concentrating. When you’re thinking you’re not playing and that’s where we were. We were spending more time thinking about what we were supposed to do instead of just doing it and that stuff shows up quick.”
The Bucs will go back to work tomorrow having a “mental day” at practice before taking a break at the Wave Pool tomorrow afternoon. The team has its media day Saturday morning and is back into action that night. The Bucs travel to Lipscomb Academy to take on the Mustangs in a scrimmage that will be mostly 11-on-11 with emphasis on the kicking game as well.
“I think on the field we’re good,” Kenitzer said. “I think off the field we just need to keep each other up.”
Click here to see a photo gallery from Thursday's Beech-Oakland scrimmage.
— Corby A. Yarbrough, Sports Editor
Photos by Corby A. Yarbrough l THE STANDARD