By RANDY CAVIN
Special to The Messenger
South Fulton had something to prove in its first scrimmage before the start of the 2012 football season, and the Red Devils proved they can play with last year’s 2A state runner-up.
The Red Devils went after Dresden and went after them hard by controlling both lines of scrimmage early on in the game, which ended with both squads scoring four touchdowns.
SF kept the Lions from scoring in their first 10-play possession and forced one turnover with Dakota Cantrell recovering the loose ball.
SF did not take long to strike in its first 10-play possession. Senior quarterback JaQuay Garmon hit junior tight-end Skylar Britt for a 35-yard gain followed by J.P. Fowler’s 15-yard run up the middle. The scoring drive went for three plays and 50 yards.
The Red Devils struck again on the eighth play of the same possession with Garmon hitting junior split-end Tyler Morris in the end zone from 15 yards out to take a two-touchdown lead.
South Fulton was strong early in the contest, but the heat and humidity started to get the team later on. SF head coach Kelly Spivey said his team may not be in as good a shape as he would like or the Lions are just in better shape.
“To be perfectly honest, I thought early on we looked fantastic at the line of scrimmage,” he said. “I thought we owned it. I thought either we are not in good enough shape or they are in better shape when the game wore on. But, that can be fixed. The biggest thing is conditioning. They are not as deep as they use to be, but they are still deeper than us.”
The Lions had trouble hanging onto the ball throughout the scrimmage, and they fumbled once again on their second 10-play possession, this time falling on the ball. Quarterback Davis Moran hit Daniel Bowers three plays later for 21-yard touchdown play.
SF failed to score on its second possession of the scrimmage, but Garmon did connect with Britt once again on a fly pattern for a 40-yard gain. However, the Red Devils were not able to capitalize on the big gain. Fullback Corey Pinion coughed up the ball, and Dresden’s Dylan Kemp recovered it.
After two 10-play possessions for both teams, the scrimmage switched over to a more game-like setting with both teams playing down-and-distance. The Lions scored on their third possession to tie the game at two touchdowns each.
SF allowed Dresden to score again two possessions later to give them a 4-2 lead. The Red Devils then fumbled the ball, and the Lions recovered with Joey Caldwell scampering in for a 23-yard touchdown. Fowler scored on a sweep from one yard out to make it 4-3. Fowler scored again, this time on the defensive side of the ball on a fumble recovery to end the scoring at four touchdowns each.
Spivey was pleased with his team’s performance early on in the game and, especially, with his starting quarterback, although he was concerned about some of the risks he took.
“I thought he took a few too many gambles, but I thought early on he was extremely efficient throwing the ball,” Spivey said. “Early on, I thought he was spot on the money with every read he had and every ball he threw. The big difference is our line early on gave him a lot of time to throw. Later on we missed a block and he tried to do too much. We have got to protect him or he is going to get himself hurt because he takes too many gambles.”
Published in The Messenger 8.6.12