Coaches Evalúate First Scrimmages



Sports Editor

Triton coach Ben Penny got his first look at the Hawks against outside opposition in a scrimmage with E.E. Smith at Cape Fear in the Cumberland County Jamboree on Wednesday night.

“It went pretty well,” Penny said. “We did a pretty good job of putting up a fight against E.E. Smith. We ended up scoring six times to their one, a pretty good night.”

Penny was looking for some continuity and improvement as the Hawks hosted the Harnett Jamboree on Thursday evening. That event had not been completed at press time for this edition.

The offensive line was an area Penny was watching Wednesday as that group had extensive graduation losses from last year’s 8-4 team.

“I thought they did a pretty good job,” Penny said. “We were outmatched size-wise, but I thought those kids put up a pretty good fight.

“We’ve still got some things we’ve got to work on but overall I was pleased with the offensive line.”

Penny is defensive coordinator for the Hawks.

“We’ve kind of developed some depth on the defensive line,” said the Triton alumnus, who enters his fourth season as head coach. “Javion Carven is the only one we have with any kind of playing time coming back up front.

“We found some things. We’ve moved Shiquan Cox from tight end to defensive tackle. He’s transitioned nice. He had a good night. Some of the younger guys from JV stepped up. I felt like we added some depth there. We’ve still got a few things to work on at linebacker, but we were pleased overall.”

Penny thought Triton’s offensive production might have stemmed from the Golden Bulls’ lack of familiarity with the Hawks’ Wing-T.

“Justin (Leggett) ran the offense perfect,” Penny said. “Couldn’t ask for a better job. We didn’t throw a lot. That’s one of the areas that we have to work on. As far as his boots and the screen game, that was working very well.

“Justin ran the offense. I think he ended up scoring three times for us running the ball — so we were pleased there.”

Da’John Williams scored twice for the Hawks and Travone Williams had one touchdown. Latrell Mc-Dougald and Seth Gurkin also had some big runs.

Defensively, Tyrik McLean had five tackles for loss and two sacks. Cox and Colton Neighbors also were among the tackle leaders.

Penny was cautious about taking too much away from the disparity in scoring against Smith.

“It’s a practice,” said the Hawks coach. “We felt like we had a good practice.”

Triton is scheduled to open the season Aug. 18 at home against Enloe.

South Defense Effective

South Johnston hosted Gray’s Creek, Lumberton and North Johnston for scrimmages on Wednesday evening.

“It definitely exposed some things we need to work on offensively,” said second-year South coach Matt Riggsbee. “We’re not executing to the best of our ability. The good thing is there’s nothing going on that has anything to do with our athletic ability. Everything is fixable.”

Riggsbee is directing the offense since former offensive coordinator Robert Senseney became head coach at West Johnston. Lee Webb is South’s defensive coordinator.

“Defensively, we had a good night,” Riggsbee said.

The Trojans’ first defensive unit yielded just one score on a blown coverage against Lumberton.

“You’re in a situation when a team has 10 plays from the 40, going in, as many times as the clock allows against three different teams in different situations,” Riggsbee said. “We only got scored on twice and those were just by missed assignments.”

Jaequan Smith scored on a bubble screen for South against North Johnston.

Riggsbee said South had some big gainers but Smith accounted for the only touchdown.

South meets Garner and Wakefield in scrimmages Saturday beginning at noon at Southeast Raleigh.

“I like it that way,” Riggsbee said of the high caliNow ber of competition. “There’s no point in going up there and getting a false sense of security. Against teams that are pretty good, your weaknesses are exposed.”

South travels to Corinth Holders on Aug. 18 to start the 2017 season.

Midway At North Lenoir

Midway scrimmaged with Jones County, host North Lenoir, West Carteret and Bunn on Wednesday.

The Raiders were limited to an extent by players who have not completed enough practices to hit in full equipment as well as some injuries.

“We saw some positives,” said Raiders defensive coordinator Billy McLamb. “We’re ahead of where we were last year. Hopefully, we can get some people back and make a good showing.”

Other than Jones County, the other teams were playing two platoons. Midway has a lot of players going both ways.

“We only have one returning starter on the offensive line,” said Midway coach Jason Fussell. “We want to develop some depth there.

“We don’t want guys having to go both ways up front.”

The Raiders go to the Sampson Jamboree at Clinton tonight.

Midway opens the season at home against Union on Aug. 18.

Daily Record Photo/Maggie Hobson

At left, Seth Gurkin of Triton takes a handoff from Justin Leggett _

Daily Record Photo/Paul Burgett



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