Aug. 27, 2009
This season, senior tri-captain Andrew Poulson is be taking fans inside the action of everything that is Lafayette football -- practices, off-field anecdotes, road trips, games, the inside scoop on his teammates and more. Be sure to check GoLeopards.com all season to experience preseason football through the eyes of a Leopard.
Wednesday night was the night to let it all hang out. In what was promised to be the biggest and last real test of live scrimmaging of the preseason, the Leopards did not want to disappoint. The first practice of the double-day was held in helmets, stressing focus and improvement while serving as a final tune-up before the 60 some odd play scrimmage that was to be later that night.
It was a warm morning, but of little consequence, for the team reacted well and showed a lot of focus on the task at hand. As we were closing practice I made sure to remind everyone exactly what the scrimmage meant. It's the final exam; last chance of the preseason to show what exactly they can do to make this team better. The coaches take it as a marker of everyone's progress and improvement that needs to be shown after two weeks of camp. I made sure everyone knew that this was the time to prove themselves. I was pleased with the result to say the least.
Treating the scrimmage just like a game-day scenario, the coaches ran pre-game drills and stretching; coaches were all hooked up with their headsets and the referees talked things over with everyone. Under the lights and a small crowd gathered. The Leopards came out to play.
The offense came out with a bang with quarterback Rob Curley handing the ball off to Greg Stripe on a reverse, giving the speedy wideout plenty of room to run. After finally being taken down by Donald Ellis on an excellent example of effort just 20 yards out of the end zone, the defense decided it was time to wake up. Although close, the offense was not able to find the end zone and had to settle for a field goal.
Several more plays were made with magnificent running by Maurice White
and Jerome Rudolph
, great breaks made by the defensive backs (returning two picks for touchdowns) and overall an excellent effort by both sides.
The biggest thing is that you cannot coach effort. That night, it didn't need to be. There were great blocks and some impressive strips/tackles/moves made. Tahir Basil, a freshman defensive lineman, made some eyes open when recording a safety after tackling full back Mark Hall in the end zone.
Many different scenarios were put into play including overtime, giving us a good feel for every type of situation they could potentially find themselves in.
The coaching staff was very pleased with the effort and really the overall enthusiasm everyone was putting in making this preseason scrimmage a very successful one.
The scrimmage was a good step towards preparing for the season, but the team is still in need of improvements. As expected, mistakes were made and the players needs to learn form them. It is important to get everything tuned up and made perfect as game day is only about two weeks away.
This scrimmage served as a good learning tool -- one which this team plans to use in full effect in order to get better and take yet another step towards the ultimate goal: a championship season. Keep that in mind because everyone here can't stop thinking it.