Knights’ football geared for repeat run

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 5/15/19

OAKLEAF – Oakleaf High’s football scrimmage on Friday showed off a little of last year with familiar faces dominating the scrum, but a few new faces showing out as second year coach Frank …

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Knights’ football geared for repeat run

Posted

OAKLEAF – Oakleaf High’s football scrimmage on Friday showed off a little of last year with familiar faces dominating the scrum, but a few new faces showing out as second year coach Frank Garis looks to one or two up last year’s dramatic region playoff first round finish.

“Lots of new faces out there,” said Garis. “Defensively, we kind of have everyone in the right places. We have guys that are returning starters and now have experience playing at a higher level. We should be pretty good defensively.”

Tops on the return list was junior quarterback Walter Simmons on the offensive side with wingman Jalen Rivers at tackle wide receivers Sean Washington, Antonio Marshall and Terrance Anthony outside the numbers.

“On offense, today was not the full scope of what we are going to do,” said Garis. “We’re still trying to find our best personnel packages out there.”

On the first two series for the offensive, Simmons and number two quarterback Ty Petty were both limited to just three downs and a punt as Garis tried to establish and inside run game. On his second series. Simmons hit Anthony for a 55 yard gain inside the red zone.

From the 13, running back Adrian Gray got around the corner on a left sweep, but a flag for an illegal crackback block negated the score.

An out pass got knocked down from defensive back Christian Sellers, a key defensive returner for Oakleaf.

The defense got a sack on Simmons to create a second and 13, but Simmons recovered to hit Washington in the end zone for the first score of the night.

On his second scoring series, Simmons and running back Adrian Gray combined on a nifty read option play that Simmons went left side for six, then lateraled to Gray trailing for another eight yards. Gray later scored from eight yards out.

On the offensive line, Rivers teamed with Seger McKisik and Mason Eschelman to open holes.

“I figure we have four and a half of the five guys solid on the offensive line,” said Garis. “We’re looking at guys to make that stronger.”

In the backfield, returner Adrian Gray was formidable and strongman Kevin Davis made things tough between the tackles, but very much different then the slash and dash of departed Keshawn King.

“We are going to have to execute at a higher level on offense,” said Garis. “Keshawn was one of those special guys that it didn’t matter how you executed because he just made things happen. We are running some high level concepts out there and the kids are learning fast.”

One item that Garis thought was slightly lacking was the up-tempo pace normally a part of the Oakleaf attack.

“We didn’t have a regular chain crew and things moved a little slowly up and down the field,” said Garis. “We worked with what was happening to keep the tempo fast.”

On defense, linebacker Jordan Randall, time and time, lined up off defensive end Chantz Williams shoulder to offer a scary site for the offense.

Garis also commented that the team’s overall conditioning was sufficient for the game experience.

“I think we are in the right place,” said Garis. “We had pads for the normally alotted time.”

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