Guthrie controls Piedmont in final scrimmage
It was a defense on Friday night that Guthrie coaches will be looking for this upcoming football season.
Piedmont was unable to manage a first down in their 24 offensive stats and piled up an estimated 10-yards on those 24 plays. Meanwhile, Guthrie found the end zone three times in their 24 varsity snaps.
“I thought we did a lot better than last week,” Watkins said.
“I was proud of the kids. We challenged them to come out hard and I thought we did a great job of executing on both sides of the ball.”
Junior Kai Callins had two scores – a 4-yard run and a 63-yard catch. Callins made several moves to bring into the opening for the score on a pass from Bryan Dutton.
The receiving group and secondary will get a boost in week one against Duncan when junior Donovan Jordan returns. Jordan, a season ago, led all receivers in yards.
Outside of the scoring plays, the offense took advantage of what head coach Rafe Watkins described as “great” pass blocking from the offensive line. The line allowed time for quarterbacks to find receivers and when plays broke down Dutton and Roberts were able to get into space for big gains.
The line, who will be replacing four starters, has received high grades for their performances in the two scrimmages. The coaching staff has been pleased with their progress, but understands defenses will become more challenging when the games begin with added pressure and pass rushers.
On defense, the highlight play of the night came on a one-handed interception by cornerback Callins, who was challenged a good portion of the night and did not allow much on his side of the field.
Watkins spoke high of junior defensive lineman Conner Howard and his performance in the two scrimmages by grading out as the best lineman. Watkins went on to say juniors Trevor Blassingame and Blake Finley each had a great week of practice.
Guthrie will look to put all the pieces together this week as they prepare to open the season against Duncan, a team they dominated offensively in a 36-0 win in Duncan.
Watkins said the offensive and defensive lines will be challenged by Duncan of their physical presences on both sides of the ball.
“Coach Holloway is as a fine a coach as there is in the state of Oklahoma. I look up to him a great deal and he’s going have his team ready to play,” Watkins concluded.