Much like the field at Statesboro High School the Bradwell Tiger football squad looked like they were still under construction Friday.
The Blue Devils’ varsity squad racked up 17 points and the junior varsity added 20 to win the scrimmage, 37-0.
In addition to losing the scrimmage, Tiger starting lineman Aaron Jacobs likely fractured his leg on the second offensive play and defensive back Keyong Miller broke a bone in his hand during a tackle.
"We got to fix this," Tiger head coach Jim Walsh Jr., told the team after the game. "We got two weeks before we have to line up and after tonight we need about a month. They totally dominated you the entire night."
Offensively the Tiger tackles didn’t get up to the linebackers quick enough to close the holes and shut down the running game of full back Sheldon Barnes and quarterback Wilson Brown.
Defensively the Tigers could not line up on the ball correctly.
"We are still trying to find our way," Walsh said. "At times it looked like we knew what we were doing. Other times we were blocking the wrong guy."
Walsh said they are working to solidify the front lines offensively and defensively, knowing they are relatively young. He said the plan was to keep the play calling simple.
"I think in time they can be pretty good," Walsh said. "But right now it’s a struggle."
The coach said his squad has a chance of being a good football team, but they will have to mature quickly. There are two weeks left before the season opener at Glynn Academy.
"Once we get our front guys gelling I think we’ll be able to give Sheldon (Barnes) a little more help," Walsh said.
The returning seniors were the bright spot for the Tigers. Ulrick John opened seams on the O-line and controlled blocks and made the tackles on the D-line, forcing the Blue Devils to double team him. Darvean Herron and Delrish Moore made tackles on defense as expected. Corey Gilliard showed more experience on the D-line.
Offensively, Barnes powered through when he could, sometimes carrying up to three defenders on his back. Even when blocked at the line, Barnes kept his feet moving and usually gained yards. Brown looked composed and comfortable at QB, adding his own rushing yards with speed to the outside.
Among some of the newer players, Keyong Miller made an interception. His brother Devin hit key tackles. And sophomore Chester Brown is gaining confidence on the O-line. In one play he made a key block that opened a gap for a 20-yard carry by Barnes.
Herron and John have been selected to the 2009 All-State AAAAA pre-season team.
"It was more due to our inexperience than anything," Walsh said about the loss. "But these are great kids. They work hard. They want to please us. And they want to be successful."