Obion Central’s LaDevin Fair turning the corner
By MIKE HUTCHENS
The best thing about Obion Central’s first preseason scrimmage was that the Rebels still have two more weeks before the results count.
OC showed it has considerable work to do prior to its Aug. 20 opener vs. Union City with a number of physical and mental mistakes in a 90-minute session against Henry County Friday night.
The Class 5A Patriots, who return 17 starters off last year’s 10-2 squad — including a handful of Division I prospects — outscored the Rebel starters four-touchdowns-to-one at Troy.
HC scored two other TDs, one against Central reserves, and another time when second-teamers were in the game for both squads. OC’s starters scored a second time against the Patriot No. 2 defense.
Obion Central head coach Shawn Jackson had little good to say about the play of his team afterward.
“We played stupid football. We lined up wrong, we dropped balls, we ran wrong routes, we threw interceptions and we didn’t tackle anybody much at all,” the Rebel head coach said. “And we had really bad leadership from our seniors.
“I really couldn’t tell you how good Henry County was because we were so poor.”
Henry County, which ran the ball at will, scored on four of its five possessions with its starters and was stopped inside the red-zone on downs on its other series. Quarterback Najee Ray ran 10 yards for the first of those TDs, then threw a 40-yard scoring pass.
The Rebels, meanwhile, did score on their second series when Trey Phipps hit Josh Floyd with a 12-yard touchdown pass — one play after the two had hooked up on a fourth-down completion to keep the scoring drive alive.
Central turned the ball over on its next two possessions, though, one on a deflected pass that was intercepted and the other on an underthrown ball that was picked off.
OC did score a second time late in the scrimmage when Phipps and Tanner Cary hooked up on a nice 60-yard touchdown play.
Jackson concluded by saying all the mistakes his team made were correctable — something he and his staff would get to work on immediately.
“Actually, it went about like I thought it would,” the coach insisted. “I’m sure a lot of our guys have been listening to people tell them how good they were going to be, and this will surely get their attention that they aren’t very good right now.
“And this will be a good teaching tool in the film session and next week in practice.”
The Rebels will play in the Crockett County Sports Orthopedic and Spine Jamboree on Friday, facing Humboldt in both varsity and jayvee play.
SF hits stride
The Red Devils shook off a sluggish start and ended up outscoring Gibson County 26-6 Friday at Dyer.
After the Pioneers hit paydirt on their first possession, SF got its act in gear and scored on four straight series.
Fullback Cody Tatum had two of those TDs, while JaQuay Garmon threw a scoring pass to J.P. Fowler. Hunter Wade ran for South Fulton’s other TD.
“We had a penalty and a sack to open up offensively, then we gave up a big play on their first play from scrimmage on defense and let them score on fourth down,” SF skipper Kelly Spivey said of his team’s play.
“I thought we settled down then and took some things personally that they did and really got after them. Our defensive line was solid the whole scrimmage and Willy Kneuppel at linebacker had a good night.”
South Fulton will scrimmage a second and final time at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Dresden in preparation for its Aug. 19 season opener vs. Bruceton.
Published in The Messenger 8.8.11