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It wasn’t perfect, but Oliver Springs head coach Wiley Brackett was for the most part happy Friday night following his team’s 30-21 scrimmage victory at Stone Memorial High School.
“We’ve still got a long way to go before we’re where we need to be but I was pretty pleased tonight,” Brackett said.
While Brackett was happy at the end of the night, things didn’t go so well in the beginning. On Oliver Springs’ fifth play of the night, Bobcat QB Garrett Miller threw an interception.
Miller, however, bounced back to lead the Bobcats on scoring drives on four of the next five possessions. Miller ended the evening completing 8 of 13 passes for 112 yards while adding 56 yards on the ground on 16 carries.
“I was glad to see him settle down and get into a rhythm after that pick,” Brackett said. “When Garrett and (Jordan) Romero are clicking, we can be hard to handle.”
Romero had a solid night for the Bobcats as the senior running back finished the scrimmage with 79 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Romero also got stronger as the night wore on as four of his final eight carries covered at least 10 yards.
All-in-all, the Bobcats amassed 466 yards of total offense on 90 snaps. The majority of those yards came on the ground as Oliver Springs ran the ball 67 times for 303 yards.
WR/RB Michael Nelson led the Bobcats in rushing with 86 yards on six carries. Nelson’s biggest run came with the Bobcats trailing 14-9 as he took an option pitch, reversed field and raced 67 yards for a touchdown.
John Simms led the Bobcats in receiving on the night as he hauled in seven passes for 92 yards. Simms’ final reception went for six points as he brought down a nine-yard pass from back-up QB Lance Green.
Oliver Springs, however, did turn the ball over three times on the night.
“I didn’t like the turnovers,” Brackett said. “We’ve got to do a better job of protecting the football.”
Defensively, the Bobcats got mixed reviews on the evening. The Bobcats forced three turnovers, two interceptions and one fumble recovery, but Stone Memorial also scored three touchdowns and finished the night with 163 yards passing and 158 yards rushing.
“We’re learning a new system on defense and we gave up a couple of big plays,” Brackett said. “But we also made some plays. The biggest thing we have to learn right now is how to be physical.
Shawn Wright and Logan Crisp picked off passes for the Bobcats while Green recovered the fumble. Crisp was also Oliver Springs’ second leading receiver on the night as he caught three passes for 35 yards.
“Logan played well tonight,” Brackett said. “He’s a second year player that’s going to get a lot of playing time at DB and receiver.”
Another positive on the night for the Bobcats was the kicking of Austin Rice. Rice tore his ACL last season, but appeared back at 100 percent Friday as he made 3 of 4 extra points and he also hit a 19-yard field goal.
“Austin has a strong leg and will be a weapon for us,” Brackett said. “Anytime we get inside the 30 this year we won’t be afraid to let him kick a field goal.”
Friday’s scrimmage was one of two this season for the Bobcats. The Bobcats scrimmaged Halls Tuesday in their final full-scale scrimmage before opening the season at home on Friday, Aug. 19 against Kingston.
Oliver Springs will also be at Midway Friday night for the 2011 Roane County Jamboree. The Bobcats will play Harriman.
“We’ve just got to keep working hard on the Xs and Os right now,” Brackett said. “We’ll spend a lot of time conditioning. We’ve still got a lot of work to do before we open the season in a couple of weeks.”
Oliver Springs Statistics
Rushing- G. Miller 16-56, West 9-34, Nelson 6-86 with 1 TD, Miles 6-13, Woods 7-17, Morgan 1-2, Green 7-16, Romero 15-79 with 2 TDs.
Passing- G. Miller 8-13 for 112 yards with 1 INT., Green 5-10 for 51 yards with 1 TD.
Receiving- Simms 7-92 with 1 TD, Crisp 3-35, Nelson 1-14, M. Miller 2-22.