Spring games are spring games for a reason, coaches get the opportunity to see their players in action, find the weaknesses and hopefully a whole lot of strengths. Maybe find that player that jumps out and says I’m ready for some game time action. One of the more interesting parts of this particular game was the the preset rules allowed the second team to play the first quarter and that the fourth quarter would be a running clock. The second teams got matched up with the score 0 – 0 and something to prove before handing the ball over the the first team.
For the most part the first quarter was played between the forty yard lines. The Lee coaches had to be impressed with the swarming second team defense that for the most part kept Charles Henderson bottled up the whole quarter. You could definitely say that the young Generals were not afraid to stick the heads in there an lay some hits.
On the offensive side Lee looked a little more like a second team although as time wore on several players seemed to settle into the action. The offensive line developed some rhythm and tenth grade quarterback Tyrone Franklin delivered several passes that could have been hauled in. Ninth grade running back, Reggie Davis, also picked up the pace as the line improved. The teams battled to a 0 – 0 tie after running approximately three final plays of the quarter. With Lee having the ball, the officials and Charles Henderson coaches had several conversations about when the quarter should end. After about ten minutes and three plays the first teams took the field.
The second quarter started much like the beginning of the game, a little sluggish and maybe a few nerves. Several offside penalties slow the pace and neither team got much going. Breaking in a new center and quarterback created a few exchange problems that continually messed with the pace of the offense. The defense on the other hand looked game ready. With exception to a few self induced errors, penalties, they were very active and kept Charles Henderson at bay the entire second and third quarters. Newcomer, linebacker Cameron Longmire, answered the bell and Chris Ware showed the sideline to sideline speed that keeps him on the field. With no real threats the half came to a 0 – 0 close.
The ones came out on offense in the third quarter featuring their three headed running attack of Cladarius Pickett, TaDarriun Murray, and Landry Little. Two rising juniors and a rising sophomore respectfully. The offensive line took over with the experience of Cam Hill, Luke Wallker, and the always interesting Will “I will draw a fifteen yard penalty on somebody” Derico (and he did). As the line took over the backs began picking up large chunks of ground. After a scramble by quarterback Savalas Knight in which he dumped the ball to Murray in the flat the Generals founds themselves at the Charles Henderson ten yard line. Little took the ball on the next play and broke about five tackles and received a nice block at the goal line by Kevontae Ruggs to opening the scoring, Lee 6 – 0.
Following a Henderson punt the only Lee turnover occurred when a somewhat errant snap caused a three car pile up in the Generals backfield resulting in a lost fumble. The defense quickly shut down the Henderson offense and got the ball back to the offense at the end of the third quarter. The Generals picked up more momentum when Knight hit Ruggs with a nice pass moving Lee to the Henderson twelve yard line. Two five yard penalties on Lee moved the ball to the 22 yard line. Murray then showed both his speed and power by taking the ball around left end and in for the touchdown. The score left Lee leading 12 – 0 and the night was over for the General starters. The coaches saw what they needed and that was several holes that need filled but it appears there are more than enough players willing to step up and fill the gaps.
With eight minutes to go Charles Henderson took possession as their offensive one’s played the Generals defensive two’s. Five minutes and after their fourth or fifth timeout of the night Charles Henderson finally pushed our two’s past the goal line. Converting the extra point to make it 12 – 7 with a little over three minutes to play. As mentioned earlier, the fourth quarter running clock somehow became stuck and after the Generals second team offense gave up the ball to the Henderson first team defense the Lee coaches answered with CH’s first team offense facing the Lee third team defense and in the end it was to much to ask of the current eight graders and Henderson scored at the end to take the 14 -12 “victory”.
Overall it was a very entertaining game that gave both schools an excellent look at what they can expect come just a few short months from now. The season will be here before we know it.