With their season opener just over two weeks away, newly appointed head coach Dustin Cook and his Manchester Greyhound football squad took to the home gridiron last Saturday morning, Aug. 9, in what the coach deemed as the “Blue-Gold Game.”
The Greyhounds were split into two teams, one team wearing blue jerseys and gold pants and quarterbacked by junior Jordan Freeman, while the other side wore the white jerseys with the gold pants and were led by sophomore signal-caller Bryan Young.
The mock game was played under controlled conditions, with no special teams tackling and each offense starting their drives on their own 35-yard line, though both teams were in full pads with the opportunity to tackle in game situations for the first time since practices began.
Offense was at a premium on Saturday as just one touchdown was scored. That came on the blue team’s first drive when Freeman found receiver Chase Darnell in the flat and Darnell eluded the defense and sprinted into the end zone for the touchdown. Kicker Jordan Franklin’s extra-point attempt clanked off the left upright and the 6-0 lead held for the blue team the rest of the way as the defenses dominated.
The blue team defense recovered a fumble and the two offenses swapped punts the rest of the way, with Freeman handling the punting duties for both sides.
“As far as offense goes, I thought we had some plays that were really good where our play makers did their job,” said Coach Cook in an address to his team after the scrimmage. “For the most part we did a pretty decent job but there are still things that we need to work on.”
“I thought that for the most part everyone was in the right spots on offense and defense. Our defense was outstanding, flying around making tackles and making plays in the open field.”
This was one of the better tackling days that I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” continued the new Greyhound head coach. “We are going to be a great tackling football team and because we are a great tackling football team we are going to win a lot of games.”
The Hounds get a chance to tackle someone not wearing blue and gold on Friday night when they travel to St. Bernard for a pre-season scrimmage. The next Friday, Aug. 22, the Hounds will be hosting the West Union Dragons in what should be an interesting county battle before making a trip to Green High School on Aug. 29 for their 2014 regular season opener.