GARLAND — Friday morning’s preseason football scrimmage against Garland Lakeview Centennial was a mixed bag for the Sherman Bearcats at Homer B. Johnson Stadium.
While there were several impressive individual plays and some promising performances by a few youngsters, there were also a few lapses that showed head coach Gary Kinne and his staff what needs to be fixed before next week’s season-opener against Little Elm.
On the day, Lakeview outscored Sherman 27-10, but Sherman’s first-team defense allowed only one touchdown, and that was in the scrimmage’s very first series after giving up a 31-yard quarterback scramble on third down.
The format of the scrimmage consisted of two halves of 12 plays each on first-team offense and defense and 10 plays between each of the second teams. The morning was capped by an untimed live quarter lasting 30 minutes on the real clock.
Special-teams play was nonexistent except for uncontested field-goal tries, and senior Austin Roan nailed his only attempt from 50 yards out as Sherman won the live quarter, 3-0.
Defensively, Jerrille Hughes and Tarrence Franklin each notched a sack, while Christian Hunt, Dakota Denney and Stacey Hunter each had a big backfield tackle for loss, and Kiaron McKinney had a pass breakup.
On the second team, sophomore Maliq’ Owens made an impression with some big hits.
On offense, Sherman senior Tre’ Mask showed he is on course for an impressive senior season, rushing five times for 65 yards and catching a pair of Case Rolen passes for 16 yards in limited action.
Sophomore Cameron Pleasant, whom I dub “Baby Tre’ ” (for good reason, he’s Mask’s cousin and a spitting image of him), got the rest of the backfield touches with the first-team offense and showed some elusiveness, finishing with 63 yards on 13 carries but also with a fumble.
Rolen acquitted himself satisfactorily in his first action as Bearcat starter, throwing some nice balls but suffering one interception. His 15-yard toss to sophomore Jordan Henry in the first series was the only Bearcat touchdown of the morning.
Rolen finished the brief scrimmage 6-of-12 for 56 yards and was sacked twice.
Sophomore quarterback Dalton Felder got snaps on both first-team and second-team offense and completed two of his three passes, and junior Clay Gilbert also got into the action.
Even though it was a morning scrimmage, it was pretty hot and extremely humid on the artificial surface of HBJ. A couple of Sherman players lost their cookies on the sideline, and junior standout lineman Aaron Garza had to come out during the live quarter after getting a little too toasty. In other words, August football.
Altogether it was a plain-vanilla day for the Bearcats, no doubt by design.
All indications are Sherman will be ready for next Friday’s home opener. The Bearcats will definitely be more oriented toward the run this season, at least early on, with the big offensive line and 1,000-yard rusher Mask returning.
The expected longer times of possession should in turn take a lot of pressure off the Bearcat defense and allow them to catch their collective breath. Those opportunities were in very short supply in 2012.