Tuesday, August 21, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot dominates scrimmage

Leader sports editor

Cabot drastically changed the tone of last year’s preseason scrimmage game against Lake Hamilton by dominating the practice matchup Monday in Pearcy.

The format didn’t allow for a proper score to be kept. The two teams alternated 15-play drives that started on the 30-yard line, and they ran 15 plays no matter what happened.

The good news for Cabot is that its first-team defense did not give up a single score against the Wolves’ first-team offense. That was not the case last year when Lake Hamilton’s first teamers torched Cabot over and over again.

The second-team defense was also pretty good. The defense would have scored two touchdowns had returns not been blown dead.

In all, the first and second-team defenses each forced three turnovers.

After the 70-yard drives, each team took two 10-play drives that started at the opponent’s 20-yard line, one each for the first and second teams.

Cabot scored eight touchdowns, missed one extra point and missed one field goal. Lake Hamilton scored one touchdown and made two field goals.

The Panthers scored one touchdown on their first 15-play drive. Max Carroll broke a long run to get the offense to the Wolves’ 1-yard line. Quarterback Kason Kimbrell snuck it in from there.

Lake Hamilton’s first team offense couldn’t get anything going. The Wolves’ second team offense got it in the end zone once in six plays into their first possession. They also drove the ball downfield to set up a field goal after resetting back at their own 30, but the drive wasn’t legitimate. Cabot forced two turnovers that were disregarded so the Wolvescould complete their 15 plays. The first was a scoop-and-score by Joshua Samons after Rob Rankin forced a fumble when he sacked the Lake Hamilton quarterback.

On the very next play, Bryson Early intercepted a pass at the 15-yard line and returned it to midfield. Lake Hamilton reset back at the 20 to attempt the field goal.

The Panthers’ second-team offense put together a 11-play drive that totaled 75 yards because of an illegal procedure penalty. Russ Rankin had runs of 11 and 17 yards while halfback Karon Brown and quarterback Grant Bell had carries of eight yards apiece. Bell capped the drive with a 4-yard keeper for the score.

After resetting back at the 30, the second-team offense drove the ball deep again before running out of plays at the 16-yard line. Bell broke loose for a 15-yard run followed by an 11-yard carry by Peyton Barger. After an incomplete pass, Brown went 5 yards and Russ Rankin got loose for 17 on the 14th play. Cabot used its last play to try a 33-yard field goal that was no good.

Cabot’s first team defense gave up one big play on Lake Hamilton’s next possession. A pass out to the flat saw one defender miss and the Lake Hamilton receiver outrun Cabot defenders to the 19-yard line. From there, though, the Wolves went backwards. Matt Griffin got two sacks, Conor Bennett got a sack and a tackle-for loss.

Brandon Arthur blew a play up by knocking his blocker back into the handoff exchange, and linebacker Ian Thompson intercepted a pass at the goal line.

Seth Hoggard then blocked Lake Hamilton’s field-goal attempt to keep the Wolves’ first-team offense scoreless.

Cabot’s first-team offense took the field again and scored twice before experimenting with the passing game. After driving to the 26-yard line on seven plays, Cabot suffered its first major miscue of the evening. A fumbled handoff exchange lost seven yards, but fullback Zach Launius broke loose for 33 yards and a touchdown on the next play.

After resetting back at the 30, Kyle Edgar broke a tackle, beat the defense to the left sideline and raced 70 yards for another score. With five plays left, Cabot tried throwing it four times without a completion. After two incomplete passes and a holding penalty, the Panthers ran a reverse to Launius for a 50-yard gain. Cabot’s drive ended with Kimbrell being sacked for an 8-yard loss.

In the drives starting at the opponent’s 20-yard line, Cabot held Lake Hamilton to two field-goal attempts. The first was good, the second was again blocked by Hoggard, who also had an interception at the 2-yard line that would have gone 98 yards for a score had the play not been blown dead. Right after Hoggard’s interception, Colby Ferguson got a pick before the blocked field goal.

Cabot’s first-team offense scored three touchdowns on its 10-play possession. The first took four plays. Launius went eight yards and Edgar 11 to get it to the 1-yard line. A fumbled snap lost a yard, but Edgar scored on the next play. The Panthers scored again in four more plays.

Kimbrell was dropped for a loss on the first play before picking up 11 yards on the second. Carroll went 8 yards and Kimbrell scored from there. On the third drive, Launius went 6 yards to the 14. Edgar then showed good lateral movement, taking a handoff right and cutting it back to the left after reaching the second level of defense, and outrunning everyone to the end zone.

“You saw those two fullbacks, Launius and Edgar,” Malham said. “Both of them have pretty good speed and we’re probably going to play Edgar some at halfback too.”

The Panthers open the season on Tuesday at War Memorial Stadium against Jacksonville.