There's no doubt that every high school football coach has his own individual approach to scrimmages. Some are most interested in how their presumed starters look against outside competition; others are mostly concerned with evaluating play of non-starters to better gauge the likely depth chart.
By Chapin Jewell
There’s no doubt that every high school football coach has his own individual approach to scrimmages. Some are most interested in how their presumed starters look against outside competition; others are mostly concerned with evaluating play of non-starters to better gauge the likely depth chart.
No matter the approach, scrimmages represent that first real taste of game action. Both Keyser and Frankfort held their first scrimmages over the weekend, with the Golden Tornado traveling to University on Friday, and he Falcons hosting Grafton in Short Gap on Saturday. While each coaching staff will no doubt see room for improvement, and naturally this is early in the season, the reality is that both Keyser and Frankfort dominated their respective scrimmages.
By the time the smoke cleared, Keyser’s “ones” and “twos” scored two touchdowns apiece, holding University scoreless at the same time. As such, the Golden Tornado first and second-string lads topped the Hawks four touchdowns to zero.
Each team had two 10-play offensive possessions. Keyser scored touchdowns on the ninth play of each of their first two possessions. University failed to score on either possession, but came close on a long pass play, the tenth and final play of their second possession. Each team then went a couple possessions using actual down and distance play. No scoring occurred by either team. When the second teams got in, Keyser’s second string scored on both of their possessions.
Offensively, Keyser used a mix of running backs in a mostly run-oriented attack. They did, however, connect on many of the passes that were thrown as well. Defensively, the Golden Tornado were very stout, smothering University for all but a few plays.
Keyser is coming off a strong 9-3 season that saw the Golden Tornado reach the state quarterfinals. They return as many as eight starters on each side of the ball. University is looking to rebound from a 5-5 season that saw the Hawks fail to make the AAA playoffs, but are doing so with a young squad.
Frankfort dominated Grafton in a similar way. By the scrimmage’s end, Frankfort tallied five touchdowns to Grafton’s zero, with the Bearcats failing to threaten much at all offensively.
Frankfort utilized a versatile running attack from their own stable of backs, with four separate Falcon running backs scoring touchdowns on the day. Frankfort set the tone early, scoring on a long run on their second play from scrimmage. The Falcons did most of their damage on the ground with limited pass plays attempted.
Defensively, it was a strong showing for the Falcons, who return eight players on both the defensive and offensive units from a season ago.
Frankfort is coming off a strong 8-3 season that saw the Falcons return to the playoffs for the first time since their 2014 title game appearance. In fact, 2018’s eight wins followed three straight losing seasons for Frankfort. Grafton is looking to improve upon their 5-4 record from a season ago.
Overall there were similarities between Keyser and Frankfort’s performances. Both utilized a strong defensive performance and multi-pronged rushing attack in besting their scrimmage opponents. Combined, Mineral County’s Keyser and Frankfort outscored their scrimmage opponents University and Grafton by a combined nine touchdowns to zero, a good start for both teams.