EARLY — If Friday’s scrimmage is any indicator of the upcoming season, then the Early High School Longhorn football team have a bright future for 2018.
The Longhorns held Goldthwaite scoreless throughout the entirety of Friday’s scrimmage while tallying 30 points on five touchdowns, but Early coach Blake Sandford quickly dispelled any hype based off what he considers a competitive practice.
“First off, it’s a scrimmage — a practice is what this is,” Sandford said. “What we want to see is our kids execute, run the plays that were called and fly around and I thought they did a good job. It’s way too early to tell on anything. It’s just one of those things where you keep stacking good days on good days and I felt like the kids flying around, their energy level and effort was good tonight.”
Early defensive end Jose Pesina picked up a pair of sacks to help stymie Goldthwaite’s first possession, then the Longhorns scored early and often on their ensuing possession.
“We were just having fun and trying our best,” Pesina said. “It was really fun. I’ve been waiting to hit someone since last year … It’s a whole new team. We’ve been practicing really hard to get some wins.”
One play after a 73-yard touchdown run by Jesson Terrant was called back on a holding penalty, the Longhorns hit pay dirt again when quarterback Ryan Trompler lofted a screen pass to receiver Timmy Smithson, who broke a few tackles on his way to the end zone. After another Trompler 70-yard pass put the Longhorns on the 1-yard line, Pesina punched it in. Minutes later, Trompler found Smithson for another touchdown, this time from 51-yards.
“We have a lot of energy and we’re excited about this season,” Trompler said. “We have a bunch of competitive kids that are ready to go and start winning some football games. We were just on our game. We prepared the whole week, trained really hard and gave it our best effort.”
The highlights continued as the second team hit the field, but they mostly came from the Longhorn defense with defensive back Terry Fowler scoring on a pick-6 interception, then a few plays later defensive lineman Jayden Vasquez picked up a sack. During the overtime period, where each team has one untimed series starting at the 25-yard line, the Longhorns made quick work of Goldthwaite after Smithson picked off a pass in the end zone. Terrant ended the scrimmage with a touchdown from the 1-yard line with a pair of Trompler passes setting up the score.
“We all have a fight in us. We’re ready to go out, give 100 percent and do what it takes to win,” Trompler said. “I’m so anxious. I’ve been looking forward to week one since November of last year.”
The Longhorns will have one more scrimmage Thursday against Reagan County, then kickoff the season against county rival Bangs August 31.