The Brownwood Lions wrapped up the first week of preseason practice with an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday morning at Gordon Wood Stadium and, much like after Monday's initial workout of the season, second-year head coach Sammy Burnett continues to shower praise on the team's development.
“We're where we want to be,” Burnett said in regard to the progress made thus far in the preseason. “No. 1 to me is culture, making sure our kids are learning to serve each other, play for each other and lead each other, and I think we had a great week of that. I'm more excited about that than anything because I know the result of that is unity and wins will come from that no matter what kind of talent you have. I'm very pleased with the leadership we've had from our seniors and the fact that we're buying in and doing what what's being asked and being very coachable.”
As for the scrimmage, the Lions first-team offense began the event against a makeshift defense and generated 410 yards total yards and five touchdowns in a dozen snaps.
Brownwood scored on its first snap, a 70-yard quick toss from quarterback Drew Huff to A.J. McCarty, while the second play was a 70-yard scoring sprint by Reece Rodgers. Later, Rodgers added a 60-yard touchdown carry, Royshad Henderson found the end zone from 55 yards away and Huff connected with Zach Strong on s slant for a 50-yard touchdown.
“I thought we dominated up front which is good,” Burnett said in regard to the performance of the first-team offense. “There was a little unity there with the front five so that's pleasing, especially coming off last year when that was kind of our Achilles' heel. Drew threw the ball around really well and of course we're dynamite on the outside when it comes to our receivers. I was pleased with what I saw all in all on the offensive side.”
The first-team defense, also against a makeshift offense, controlled the line of scrimmage as well. The Lions yielded three short completions, collected one sack and did not yield a first down in 12 snaps.
“We're ahead of the game in that we were able to do some stunts, that kind of stuff, but we're fast and flying to the football and I like that a lot,” Burnett said. “That's what we're trying to stress.”
Health-wise, the Lions are in good shape heading into the second week of practice.
“We have one young man with a little quad pull or hamstring pull, other than that we're healthy,” Burnett said.
As for the objectives in the second week of practice, Burnett said, “ We're still trying to get more of the playbook installed, so we're basically quick game and quick screens right now. We'll work on our three-step drop packages and then get ready to go for Liberty Hill.”
Liberty Hill visits Gordon Wood Stadium Saturday, Aug. 17 for the first of Brownwood's two scrimmages — with the second being at Burnet on Thursday, Aug. 22. The JV and Freshman Lions will square off with Liberty Hill at 10 a.m. on a split field, while the varsities are set to clash at 11 a.m.
“We're not a program that's going to scheme Liberty Hill or Burnet in those scrimmages, we're going to get better at what we do,” Burnett said. “Liberty Hill is a very physical football team and what I want to see in that scrimmage is us matching their physicality.”