Indians, Pirates, Rams keep health, dreams
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Scott City scored the lone touchdown in Friday's three-team jamboree
PERRYVILLE -- A fresh start, a few notable plays and no injuries seemed to be the basic requirements for a successful maiden voyage into the 2010 season as Scott City and Perryville gathered Friday night at St. Vincent High School for a jamboree.
While score was not kept, chalk up a victory for all three schools.
The zeroes that were lit on the unmanned scoreboard might have been a count on the injuries and dashed dreams.
"I'm extremely pleased we came out healthy, that was key No. 1, and I'm pretty happy with the effort we put forth, that's a big deal for us," said Scott City coach Jim May, whose squad struggled to a 2-8 record in 2009. "Last year I think we lacked on effort, and a lot of times we didn't understand what it meant to play hard for 48 minutes. I think they're starting to get it."
The Rams scored the night's only touchdown in varsity action, even without last season's top offensive threat as senior running back Garett Schaefer, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, sat out after suffering a minor head injury in a scrimmage last weekend.
In Schaefer's absence, sophomore Travis Phillips stepped in and busted off a 65-yard touchdown run against St. Vincent. Phillips, listed at 5 foot 6 and 145 pounds, flashed some speed as he took the handoff from quarterback Jamie Scholz and penetrated the right side of the line, cut toward a vacant area on the right side and outraced the secondary.
"He started the last four or five games as a freshman last year as a defensive back," May said. "He's a pretty good little player. All the experience of playing freshmen and sophomores will hopefully pay dividends for us. I'm excited about the future, but we've still have got a long way to go."
Phillips got numerous carries in a Scott City offense that moved the ball by both ground and air.
"I didn't expect him to be that good," Scholz said. "I know he's a good kid, but I didn't expect it to be like that. He played really well."
May referred to Schaefer's injury as a "ding," but he wasn't going to take the slightest risk with any of his players.
Phillips said he got more carries than he expected. He came away looking like a player who at least will be able to lighten the load for Schaefer, and he also walked away upbeat about the Rams.
"I think we did better than last year," Phillips said. "I think our team has really turned it around. I'm happy with the way we played."
Old problems loom
Perryville was another participant that endured a difficult season in 2009. The Pirates had trouble scoring throughout a mistake-prone 1-9 campaign, and that persona lingered somewhat Friday.
The Pirates did not score and were not scored upon. Perryville moved the ball against Scott City but lost one of its possessions on a fumble. Senior quarterback Joey Bauwens connected for a long touchdown pass with senior receiver Ryan Kassinger against Scott City, but offensive pass interference was ruled on the play.
"We're our own worst enemy yet," Perryville coach Keith Winkler said. "To be a good football team, and where we want to go, those things have got to stop."
On the bright side, Perryville moved the ball with consistency and made a couple big defensive plays, including an interception by Bauwens that was returned deep into St. Vincent territory.
"We had some good things that happened, too," Winkler said. "The big thing is just fighting through that adversity. When things go bad for us, we have to put it behind us, refocus ourselves and get ready to go."
Indians gain experience
St. Vincent is coming off a 5-6 season that saw it win a district title but ended in the first round of the playoffs. The Indians, Class 1 and the smallest school of the three jamboree teams, were hit hard by graduation with quarterback Tim Schumer the only player left at the same position from last year's offense.
"I was pleasantly surprised with our conditioning," St. Vincent coach Paul Sauer said. "We seemed to hold up pretty well. I don't think anyone got hurt and we gained some valuable experience, and that's something we really need right now."
He also gained some knowledge about Scott City, which his team will face in the second week of the season.
"Scott City, that running back is awful quick," Sauer said. "They broke a big one on us right off the bat. We're going to have to figure out a way to contain him here in a couple weeks. And I think they've got one even better than him, so we're going to have our work cut out for us in Week 2."
St. Vincent officially launches its season Friday at Park Hills Central. Scott City opens at home against Malden, while Perryville plays its first game at Herculaneum.