Brownwood varsity to take the field at 4 p.m. Thursday, sub-varsity teams start at 2:30 p.m.
Coming off a display of dominance in their initial scrimmage, the Brownwood Lions will attempt to keep their momentum rolling into the regular season when they visit Class 5A Wichita Falls Rider Thursday for the second and final scrimmage of the preseason.
The freshman and JV squads will take the field at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Stadium, with varsity action to follow at 4 p.m.
The format for the varsity will feature 15 plays for the Brownwood first-team offense, followed by 15 snaps for the Rider first-team offense, then the second-team offenses for both teams will each run 10 plays. That scenario will then repeat itself, giving each first-team offense a total of 30 snaps, while the second-team players will get 20 snaps on each side of the ball.
The scrimmage will the conclude with one live quarter.
In Brownwood’s first scrimmage, the Lions scored five touchdowns and amassed 458 yards in 40 snaps, while yielding just 26 yards and two first downs to Burnet.
While pleased with the effort and performance, Lions second-year coach Kyle Maxfield is cautious when it comes to scrimmage results.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better effort,” Maxfield said after the Burnet scrimmage. “I felt like we dominated up front on both sides of the ball, more so probably on the defensive side, but our offensive line came off the ball pretty well. There’s a lot of things to build on, but it’s a scrimmage, it’s controlled and there’s still so much to work on and there’s a long way to go.”
Burnet returned just three offensive and four defensive starters from a 7-4 playoff team a year ago, while Rider welcomes back nine offensive and four defensive starters from a squad that finished 4-7 and reached the postseason.
As for expectations, Maxfield said, “It’d be nice to see the same result, but Rider’s a team that will probably match our speed a little better. I think speed was the big difference in the scrimmage with Burnet.”
Offensively, the Lions averaged 11.5 yards per play over their 40 snaps. Brownwood’s five touchdowns alone accounted for 199 yards, with three coming from 45 yards out or farther. The Lions finished with 281 yards on the ground on 26 carries — an average of 10.8 yards per tote — and amassed 177 yards through the air on just eight completions — an average of 22.1 yards per catch.
Tommy Bowden scored first on a 10-yard option keeper at quarterback, then he tossed a 70-yard touchdown to A.J. McCarty. Dylan Hickey scored on a 4-yard dive, Cain Kittrell sprinted to the end zone from 69 yards out and Joseph Johnson added a 46-yard scoring jaunt.
“Any time you score that many times in the first scrimmage it’s kind of a surprise,” Maxfield said. “What was a big plus for us was different guys touching the ball. It’s easy to do that in a scrimmage, we just have to keep that same philosophy when we get into the season. The more people that touch the ball, the more people that can score, the harder we are to defend.”
Kittrell led the ground game with 78 yards followed by Johnson with 67 yards, Clayton Bertrand with 42, Hickey with 32, Gavin Jefferson with 31 and Bowden with 20.
Bowden completed 5 of 8 passes for 114 yards, McCarty connected on a pair of 51 yards and Bertrand added a 12-yard completion.
Leading receivers included McCarty with the 70-yard scoring reception, Marcus Mosley with a 41-yard catch and run, Ben Kallman with two grabs for 27 yards, Nick Salazar with two catches covering 22 yards, Revada with a 12-yard pick up and Jetton with a 7-yard reception
During Burnet’s 40 snaps, the Bulldogs mustered a mere 23 yards passing and just 3 rushing. The Bulldogs were also sacked four times. In the first series of 24 plays for the Bulldogs first- and second-team offense, the Lions yielded just 4 yards and did not give up a first down.
“Burnet struggled getting back to the line of scrimmage not only running the ball but also with their quick passing game,” Maxfield said. “We were breaking on the ball really well and making plays all over the field. Our pursuit to the ball was great. That was a big thing (defensive coordinator) Coach (Sam) Gillispie wanted to see with the defense, just flying around and getting to the ball.”
Following Thursday’s scrimmage, preparations for the regular season opener begin as Brownwood will battle Class 5A Canyon at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1 at Wolfforth Frenship High School.