A football scrimmage, to most coaches, is truly nothing more than a glorified practice. The score is not kept on the scoreboard and the game doesn’t count on the team’s overall record. So, truly, the real benefit of a scrimmage is for the head coach to get a good look at the strengths and weaknesses of his team.
Jason Esters, the head football coach at Barren County High School, got a good look at the strengths and weaknesses of his team Thursday night in the Trojans’ home scrimmage against Edmonson County. BCHS did some things well, but the Trojans also did some things not so well and that, right now, is what has Esters concerned.
“I was discouraged early on because I don’t think we’re anywhere close to where we need to be in terms of our conditioning. We didn’t do a very good job up front, we were getting tired early and wanting out. We’ve got to work on that,” said Esters. “The offensive line stepped it up in the second quarter, but early on they were killing us. We’ve got to shore up our blocking next week before we play Metcalfe County or it will be a long night.
“Overall, I am pretty pleased with how we played. Defensively, we played a heck of a game in the second quarter and offensively we moved the ball a little better. The defense had a heck of a stand there at the end of the second period. In a real game, that would have been a great way to end a game.”
The Trojans open the 2011 season Aug. 20 against Metcalfe County in the first game of the ninth annual T.J. Samson Bowl. The game, which will be played at Glasgow High School, is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
Barren County tried to run the ball up the middle against Edmonson County on Thursday on the legs of quarterback Luke Matthews and tailback Tyler Furlong.
“We kind of knew who we had in terms of our skill guys. But like we talked about before, for us to win ball games we’re going to have to be able to run the ball up the middle and there were times tonight when we couldn’t do that,” said Esters. “I was worried about being able to do that before the game and I am still worried about that after the game. We didn’t look very good early on trying to run up the middle.
“We kind of spread them out a little bit towards the end and started to run some stuff that we want to run this year. Early on tonight it was the stuff we ran last year on offense and I think we may have to trash that stuff.”
Defensively, Esters said he learned a lot about his team’s pass defense. Edmonson County was able to move the ball down the field often with the screen pass.
“They hurt us a lot on the screens. They burned us pretty bad on the play-action stuff. We’ve got to work on our screens,” said Esters. “We’re not a big screen offense and I think that showed tonight because our defense didn’t know what to do when they were throwing those screens against us. That’s one thing we’re going to have to work on, and some of our younger guys were getting beat deep and we’re going to have to work on that.
“Last year, our defense wasn’t as bad as it looked. We gave up a lot of points, but I will put a lot of that on me because we didn’t put ourselves in very good situations in terms of field position. Going into the offseason we knew our defense was going to have to be what carried us because we had a lot of guys coming back on that side of the ball. Early on tonight, we bent and bent and almost broke a couple of times, But overall, I am really pleased with how our defense played.”
And now, Esters and his staff will turn their attention to Metcalfe County as they prepare to match football smarts with Metcalfe County coach Larry Harbison, widely considered one of the better football minds in the state.
“We got to get in shape. Our conditioning is not very good. Metcalfe County is probably in better shape than we are,” said Esters. “Defensively, we have to work on some screeens because I know coach Harbison will be working on screens after he sees this film.”