Teams Report Success In First Scrimmages

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2011

After a couple weeks of practice, area prep football teams finally got to hit people in different colored jerseys last Friday night as all four Herald-area teams hosted scrimmages.

As can be expected, optimism remains high, especially since nobody came away with a counting win or loss after the preseason friendlies.

Buckingham

Buckingham hosted Altavista in a two-team scrimmage last Friday, and the Knights seemed to pick back up where they left off last November.

The Knights won the scrimmage, which featured both 10-play controlled and down-and-distance situations 41-28 (41-14 with the first-teams playing against one-another).

“I saw some good things,” said BCHS head coach Craig Gill. “We executed pretty well on offense, and were flying around the ball on defense. Of course, we have some things we have to work on, but overall, I was pleased.

“We have some new people we have to work in, and some returning players in new positions, so when you consider that, I think it went as well as we could have expected it to go. We came out of it unscathed injury-wise, and that's always a concern, but especially when you're doing live-action for the first time.”

Buckingham will travel to the Riverheads jamboree on Saturday morning.

The Knights will scrimmage Buffalo Gap at 11 a.m. and will face Riverheads at 2 p.m. Both contests should be live-action with the exception of kicking and punting.

“This should be a good test for us,” said Gill. “We have a tough schedule ahead of us. Buffalo Gap is always a strong team and Riverheads is defending a state championship, so we'll have a good idea of where we are after Saturday.”

Buckingham will begin its regular-season schedule on Friday, August 26 at home against traditional season-opening rival Appomattox at 7 p.m.

Cumberland

Cumberland hosted a jamboree scrimmage against West Point and William Campbell.

The Dukes defeated West Point 2-0.

“Our defense looked good,” said CHS head coach Michael Sutton. “[Devonte] Booker threw two touchdowns to [Rashawn] Sims. The offensive line looked really good. Justus Dowdy was able to run effectively and was a force on defense at linebacker.”

William Campbell won its scrimmage session over Cumberland 2-0.

The Generals hit on a long touchdown pass early on.

“They got that long one, but we settled in and played well after that. We were able to move the ball on them, but we couldn't get in the end zone.

“Turnovers were a plenty, and they hurt us in both sessions. We had three fumbles and one interception.”

Cumberland will travel to Craig County on Friday night for a 7 p.m. for a VHSL benefit game.

Cumberland will begin its regular-season on September 2 at home against Prince Edward at 7 p.m.

Fuqua

Fuqua hosted Randolph-Henry on Friday night. The Statesmen came out on top 4-3 combining the first and second strings, while the first strings tied 3-3.

“We had some big plays and they had some big plays,” said Fuqua School head coach Skeeter Fore. “We got to see everybody play, and these scrimmages do help us see things you don't necessarily get to see in practice.”

Fuqua didn't escape the scrimmage totally healthy.

“We do have a couple of players banged up,” said Fore. “Of course, for schools in our situation, that's more critical than it would be for teams with larger numbers, but I think for the most part, they're just little things. We did lose one for a couple of weeks, but if he heals like the doctor seems to think, we can have him back early in the season.”

Fuqua will travel to new James River District member Bluestone on Thursday at 7 p.m. for its second and final scrimmage.

“We're not looking past Bluestone, but we've got to start looking toward the first game. Two weeks will be here quickly.

“We've got to concentrate on eliminating penalties and turnovers. We didn't have too many last Friday night, but it is always a concern early in the season.”

The Falcons will travel to Brunswick Academy on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. to begin both regular-season and Virginia Commonwealth Conference play.

Prince Edward

Confidence, or the lack thereof may be the biggest obstacle the Prince Edward football team will have to overcome early-on.

Still, the Eagles, who saw their first live action against an opponent under first-year head coach James Ford, did come away with some positives in a 1-0 scrimmage win over former district rival Bluestone.

“They were big,” said Ford of Bluestone. “I don't remember these guys from last year's team, or from last year's JV team. For the most part, the guys did well, and they showed that they're starting to grasp what we're going to do on offense and defense.”

The 1-0 score was a lower margin than what the Eagles would've liked to have seen, Ford still sees it as a step in the right direction.

“We had a couple of scores called back for penalties. I'm glad, because we can address that now and get it out of the way before the season starts. Defensively, I was pleased. We forced turnovers and fumbles, and they weren't able to move the ball against our first defense.”

Still, there's a long way to go, but Ford believes that a lack of talent is not the issue.

“They're starting to pick up the system, and when they do, we'll be okay. Right now, they're a little too cautious. They're scared to make mistakes. We're not expecting anybody to be perfect, especially in the middle of August. Right now, we're trying to find out who can play, and who is willing to stick their nose in and make plays.”

Prince Edward will travel to Randolph-Henry on Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. scrimmage.

The Eagles will open up regular-season play on Friday, August 26 at home against Fluvanna.