The numbers on the scoreboard didn’t matter this Friday night, but what happened on the field still held plenty of importance for Bryan and A&M Consolidated’s football teams as they played their first of two scrimmages this preseason.
Bryan hosted Lamar Fulshear, and Consol hosted Cypress Woods — a district opponent of the Vikings. Rudder also faced San Antonio Stevens on Saturday in Pflugerville, while College Station had the weekend off.
The opening scrimmages for Bryan and Consol were a first look for two teams hoping to boast powerful defenses.
Bryan head coach Ross Rogers said he was happy with his team’s effort on that front, starting with his four returning defensive backs led by Xavier Johnson, a first-team all-district pick last season. Rogers also said junior Jack Blackburn played especially well in the secondary.
Viking linebackers Nick McDaniels and Patrick Menjares impressed Rogers and will have key roles this season. Rogers said defensive linemen Austin Bailey and Caleb Merrell also had good scrimmages with Merrell recording multiple sacks, a good sign for a relatively inexperienced defensive front led by 2018 District 14-6A defensive newcomer of the year Dylan Carroll.
Overall, the Class 6A Vikings had little trouble shutting down smaller 4A Division I Fulshear.
“We’re a bigger school, had them out-manned a little bit, but I liked the execution of our defense and thought we played real well in our secondary,” Rogers said. “I thought defensively, we had a real, real solid effort.”
Junior quarterback Nico Bulhof handled the kicking and punting game well, and offensively, Rogers said Bulhof and the rest of the unit improved as the scrimmage progressed. He was particularly happy with how senior tailback Jay Tyler gained yards after contact behind a solid-looking offensive line, which features five seniors.
“As the scrimmage went on, we moved [the ball] better and better,” Rogers said. “We threw the ball better. We caught the ball better. And Nico showed what he had done last year when he came in — started slow but finished fast whether he was running or throwing. You’ve got to have a successful quarterback, and I thought he did some really good things.”
Consol played a strong live quarter against Cy-Woods, head coach Lee Fedora said, adding that he was happy with the Tigers’ leadership and not just from the senior group. While the first scrimmage provided a good starting point for the team chemistry, Fedora said he hopes to see the Tigers show a lot of energy in their second scrimmage.
“A lot of times when it’s just regular practice, it’s not so much hitting as hard as you’re going to be hitting in a real game against other people,” Fedora said. “And that’s what’s great having that scrimmage is getting accustomed to that full tackling.”
With the first scrimmage in the rear-view mirror, Fedora wants to see how his team responds to the soreness that results from live action. He plans to treat next week like a typical game week as the Tigers prepare to play at Tomball at 7:15 p.m. Thursday. Rudder and Bryan will face off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Merrill Green Stadium, and College Station will host Temple in its lone scrimmage at 6 p.m. Friday.
“I think having two scrimmages is great,” Fedora said. “That’s what I’ve always liked, because you get through this one and now we’ve got a week to prepare for our Tomball scrimmage, and it’s getting you in that mold of what you’re going to do for the real season.”
UIL football teams typically either hold spring practice and one scrimmag... Click here to read full article