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Area teams get first look at each other

By aalvarado
Aug. 13, 2011 at 3:13 a.m.
Updated Aug. 14, 2011 at 3:14 a.m.

Yards away from in end zone, quarterback Jake Smiley makes a short pass to a teammate during Industrial High School's scrimmage against St. Joseph High School in Goliad on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. The teams participated in a three-way scrimmage that included Goliad High School also. KASSANDRA LAU/KLAU@VICAD.COM

GOLIAD - After practicing in the sweltering August heat and beating up on teammates for more than a week, teams from St. Joseph, Goliad and Industrial got to go at someone else for a change: each other.

For the first time this season, the teams were able to get after different foes as the schools scrimmaged each other Saturday at Tiger Stadium here.

"It's fun hitting other people," said Industrial quarterback Jake Smiley. "No doubt about it."

Preseason scrimmages give teams a chance to simulate a game environment as much as possible. Three-team scrimmages give teams a chance to go up against more opponents that play different styles.

"We can't get at practice what the tempo was today," said first-year Industrial head coach Shane Lothman.

Although they didn't keep score on Saturday, the scrimmage was the closest thing the teams have seen to a game since regular season last year.

The coaches also noticed how the night scrimmage broke up the monotony of two-a-day practices.

"Just look at them, you can see the excitement," said Goliad head coach Mark Cunningham. "That's a two week haul of banging at each other, then, finally, you get to see something new."

For coaches, scrimmages go a long way in making a depth chart and answering questions.

The Flyers look to find offensive play makers to replace Hayden Vesely and Ryan Longoria who graduated last season. All indications are they will go with junior quarterback Eric Alvarez to call the signals this season.

"He's got some things we need to go back and work on, but for the most part I'm happy with Eric's progress to this point," said Flyers head coach Donnie Slatter.

Running back Kion Wells had injury problems in 2010 and on Saturday you could see how ready he was to get back on the field.

Wells picked up a pair of first downs as he ran twice for 22 yards on the Flyers first two plays against Industrial.

"For us, it's about distributing the wealth and moving the ball around, but at the same time we'll give Kion his carries," Slatter said.

The Tigers look to grow this season in Cunningham's second at the helm of the Goliad football program.

Last year, the Tigers went 2-8. This is the first full year that Cunningham had some of the players in an offseason workout routine. He is now familiar with his team after a season of adjusting to each other.

"We actually know all our kids names now," Cunningham said with a smile.

The Cobras will be going through their own transitional year with a new head coach in Lothman. He replaces Doug Kuhlmann who took a position with San Angelo Lake View over the summer. Lothman, though, isn't an unfamiliar face, having served as the defensive coordinator for the Cobras last year.

Under Kuhlmann, the Cobras were a throwback, running the wishbone offense. This summer the Cobras qualified for the 7-on-7 state tournament in College Station, suggesting a move toward a more balanced offense.

Industrial showed off some of that offense on Saturday. The Cobras switched to a veer offensive look that better suits a team that graduated some of their bigger offensive linemen last year.

But, they were still about to throw the ball on some play action plays.

"We're still going to run the ball like we have in the past," Lothman said. "To win and be successful, you've got to be to able to run it and throw it too. Being able to spread them out."

The Cobras scored the lone touchdown of the scrimmage on a seven-yard draw play against Goliad.

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