Lions’ spring grade an incomplete

Lions’ spring grade an incomplete

Posted: Friday, May 27, 2011 12:02 am
By: Kenneth Coker, Press Sports

Lions' spring grade an incomplete

Dresden’s Logan Thomas (left) prepares to lay a hit on Henry County’s quarterback, while Lion teammate Dylan Kemp closes in.
MCKENZIE — If head coach Scott Hewett had to hand out a grade to Dresden for its spring football workouts following its recent scrimmage against a Henry County contingent made up of mostly reserves and junior varsity, it’d probably be an incomplete.
The Lions showed a couple moments of offense brilliance while outscoring the HC split squad two touchdowns-to-one, but also struggled with their execution at numerous junctures during the two-hour session, which concluded the team’s spring drills.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Hewett said after his team’s fifth and final offensive series. “We had a few good plays, but overall, our execution and timing were off.
“I think there’s some good to build off of, but there’s still a lot of work to go.”
Altogether, Dresden  (9-3 last season with a victory over state-ranked Riverside along the way) had at least eight miscues at the start of offensive plays (bad hand-offs, high snaps or straight-out fumbles).
Gatlin Hatchel  — a senior in the fall  — and Davis Moran, who will be a junior when school starts in August, shared time at the quarterback position.
The duo alternated play for much of the scrimmage as the Lions look to fill the shoes of Dale Hutcherson, who passed for over 3,000 yards the past two seasons combined.
“You can’t replace a player like Dale,” Hewett said. “You just hope to find someone that can play that position, because quarterback like him doesnπt come along every year.”
Hatchel had at least four passes that went for over 10 yards  — the highlight being a 60-yard connection to Colin Kanehl down the right side that was Dresden’s first score.
Moran also had a handful of completions that spanned more than 10 yards.
The Lions’  third series  — where they attempted to run the midline option   — was the team’s least productive up until the final play as Dresden was stopped at the line of scrimmage on most of the snaps.
“We tried to throw some midline in, but our timing was off because we haven’t had much experience with running it,” Hewett said.
Dresden’s second score of the scrimmage against the Patriots came on the second play of the fifth series as Devan Raymer broke free for an 80-yard dash to the endzone.
Defensively, Tyler McPeak  — who topped the Lions’ tackle chart last season with 119 stops  — was a bright spot.
McPeak made numerous bone-crushing blows and a couple of stops behind the line of scrimmage during the exhibition outing. He also recovered a Patriot fumble.
Dresden’s Dylan Kemp and Logan Thomas also applied pressure to the Henry County quarterbacks, forcing many early or completely ill-fated passes at Bethel’s field.
Additionally, Hewett lauded the spring efforts of D.J. Ellis (guard/linebacker), Ben Kendall (wide receiver), Joey Caldwell (fullback), Eric Van Dyke (fullback), Blake Stoker (safety) and Colter Swafford (wide receiver/safety).
All of those players  — sans Van Dyke and Ellis  — will be sophomores in the fall.
“We’ve got a lot of young players,” Hewett said. “A couple have come out that didn’t play at all last year. We’re raw and we’ve got a long road ahead of us to get ready for the season.”
Dresden kicks off the 2011 campaign and the rural West Tennessee prep season in earnest with a Thursday Week 0 game against Westview on the University of Tennessee at Martin’s field on Aug. 18.

wcp 5/26/11

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