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The Ada News
Ada — The Ada High football team wasn’t exactly in state championship form during Wednesday’s Maroon-White scrimmage. But fortunately for the Cougars, they certainly don’t have to be in late May.
Fans at the Ada High soccer field saw a scrimmage that was a bit rough around the edges but also had plenty of bright spots.
Head coach Matt Weber said he’s still encouraged by what he saw from the 75 or so players who took part in Wednesday’s workout.
“It was fun. That’s what we wanted. It’s kind of a reward for them at the end of the year to get a chance to have fun,” Weber said following the 90-minute workout. “Like I told them, we’re a long way from being a polished football team, but we have a lot of good football players. When district time comes around, we will be polished.”
By the time the scrimmage moved to “game-like” conditions, the Maroon team — guided by backup quarterback Dillon Briggs — scored on three straight possessions. The White team, made up mostly of potential starters, struggled at times and managed just one scoring drive. All drives started at the 50-yard line.
During the first Maroon possession, Briggs and company needed nine plays to reach paydirt. Briggs had runs of 10 and 5 yards during the march, capped by a 15-yard touchdown catch by Osahwv Frazier.
The White squad answered when quarterback Cory Kilby connected with Blake Harrison for a 15-yard TD catch and run.
Enter freshman Sheldon Hysten. After Kilby scooped up a fumbled snap, he handed the ball to Hysten, who juked out the first defender he faced and got free for an impressive 30-yard run. That set up a 5-yard TD keeper by Kilby.
Earlier in the scrimmage, when the teams weren’t advancing the ball after each play, Hysten ran around the right side, got a nice block from Damion Jackson and sped down the sideline for a 50-yard score.
“He’s looked really good. He’s ran some scout team (offense) going against our No. 1 defense and he’s always slammed it up in there. He’s going to be a good football player for us before he gets out of here,” Weber said of the young, talented running back. “We probably saw more young kids today than we did some of the older kids.”
The Maroon team scored its second TD of the scrimmage when running back Darren Hawkins reeled off gains of 30 and 15 yards. After a short catch by Andrew Robinette, Justin Miller scored from four yards away.
The next White possession ended abruptly when Kilby was picked off by Dayton Morgan on the first play.
Morgan then hauled in a 13-yard pass from Briggs on second down and short for the Maroon and Hawkins did the rest, scoring from 30 yards away to end the scrimmage.
While the scrimmage had its share of scoring, it was clear that a hard-hitting Ada defense was a bit ahead of the offense at this point.
Weber said the entire series of 2014 spring workouts has been very productive.
“During the spring, you want to get bigger, stronger and faster. It’s been our best spring since we’ve been here as far as that goes,” he said.
The best news is, the Cougars remained relatively injury free.
“We got a couple of bumps and bruises. You always want to get out of spring ball healthy, and for the most part, I think we did,” he said.
The Cougars will get to enjoy summer break until mandatory weight lifting begins June 16 — eight weeks before the season begins. At that time, players will lift on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays until fall workouts begin.
Weber said the outlook for the Cougars is bright.
“We’ve got the talent to have a really good football team. We’ve just got to make sure there’s absolutely no selfishness and everybody’s getting along,” he said. “When you have good players, you have a chance to win every game. It comes down to fundamental football — taking care of the football and blocking and tackling — and we fully expect to have a good football team.”