Tuesday, August 21, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Falcons’ practice game a positive

Leader sports editor

The North Pulaski turned in a good performance for onlookers at Falcon Stadium on Friday night in Jacksonville. The Falcons played their annual Maroon-White game with offense and defense both turning in some highlights.

North Pulaski coach Teodis Ingram mixed the starters between the maroon and white teams, and felt pretty good about his team performed.

“Well you know we basically wanted to come out and run some things we’ve been working on to try and improve,” Ingram said. “We did some good things, but the things we did wrong, we have a game-type situation we can take them to the film room and show them where it went wrong and how to fix it. It’s a learning tool. We wanted to give game-type experience, play in front of crowd and that type of thing, but we also wanted to make it a very productive practice. I think we’ll get a lot out of this.”

The first series saw big offensive plays, but didn’t result in a touchdown. Yakeem Young broke loose for a 20-yard gain on the first play. Damon Thomas had a 15-yard run on third down to keep the White team’s drive alive. Gates then hit Steven Farrior for a 25-yard pass play to the red team’s 20-yard line, but the drive stalled from there.

On the second possession, Weaver caught a 33-yard pass in the flat but that drive also stalled.

The third drive ended when a handoff exchange was fumbled and recovered by the defense.

The fourth drive ended without a first down when Fred Thomas made a huge hit on fourth down to stop the play for lost yardage.

Fred Thomas also scored the game’s first touchdown on the next drive.

He broke loose on a hand-off, dodged one tackler, cut toward the sideline and scampered 70 yards for the score.

North Pulaski played three different quarterbacks trying to find a new starter. Projected starter Austin Allen will miss the entire season after suffering a torn ACL.

Gates, Farrior and Michael Barnes all took snaps and had good moments, but Ingram is no closer to selecting a possible replacement for Allen.

“Gates throws the best ball,” Ingram said. “Farrior looks good running it and Barnes knows the offense better than the other two. So we’re not really any closer. You may see a situation where we play all of them.”

On the sixth and final drive, Fred Thomas again found the end zone, this one on a 12-yard run to the right sideline.

“We know what Fred can do and we’re also very excited about Damon Thomas’ ability to run the ball,” Ingram said. “I think we’re going to have better run blocking that we had last year as well. I just wish our passing game was further along that it is right now.”

The Falcons travel to JA Fair to start the regular season on Aug. 31.