Scrimmage foreshadows promising season
| Brett Collier reporter |
With two weeks to go until the 2014 season kicks off, the Pittsburg State football team held its second scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 23, at Carnie Smith Stadium.
The scrimmage featured the offense working through several game-like scenarios against the first-and second-team defense. While no official score was kept, the scrimmage provided the players with a chance to play at game speed and the coaches to evaluate where the team stands before the season begins.
Head football coach Tim Beck says that while expectations were met for this scrimmage, it took some time to get there.
“Early on, we didn’t meet expectations,” Beck said. “We came out here a little bit lackadaisical. We did some nice things offensively, we kind of sat back on our heels a little bit defensively. It got better as the scrimmage went. But overall, we expected a little better performance tonight.”
On offense, quarterback Anthony Abenoja, will begin his third year as a starter for the Gorillas.
Abenoja will have to lead an offense that will be without the services of three-time All-American wide receiver John Brown, who is now with the Arizona Cardinals.
Beck says he was pleased with how the offense performed in the second scrimmage than the first scrimmage.
“We were much better tonight,” he said. “They came out here and they were focused. They drove the ball down the field, they were able to get the ball in the (end) zone a couple of times. It’s been better than it’s been up to this point.”
The offense was able to put the ball in the end zone in different, but effective ways. Using various groups of players, the offense was able to utilize the short passing game to drive the ball down the field and eventually get the ball over the goal line.
On defense, the Gorillas lose four-time All-American linebacker Nate Dreiling, but with linebacker Tyler Disney, senior in exercise science, returning, the defense looks to remain potent.
Beck says he likes what he has seen from the defense so far during practice.
“On defense, we’re very talented,” Beck said. “But we still have to get everybody on the same page. We have to get everybody playing really, really hard on every play.”
The defense was able to show just how much talent they have, causing a fumble, putting pressure on the quarterback and forcing a safety at the end of the scrimmage. Overall, Beck says he wants to see more from his team the next two weeks of practice.
“When school started it was real hot,” Beck said. “We handled the heat alright the first day, but we haven’t really been able to since then. We’re doing OK. We definitely need all of next week before we get into game week.”
Beck added the team still has a lot to go through before its first game Saturday, Sept. 6, at Carnie Smith Stadium against Northeastern State.
“We still have a lot of things to cover,” he said. “We’ll have what’s called a mock scrimmage where we’ll go through all situations. We have a lot of stuff we still have to cover. There’s still a lot of work to be done before we get into a game-week situation.”
After their game against Northeastern State, the Gorillas will play on the road back-to-back weeks, starting with a Thursday night game at Lindenwood University on Sept. 11, before hitting the road again to take on Washburn University on Sept. 20.