Bradwell Institute will play Toombs County in its scrimmage at 7 tonight in Lyons.
Tonight, new BI head coach Greg Hill will see who is ready to make the big plays and who still needs a better understanding of the Tigers’ new offensive and defensive schemes.
Hill knows the commitment his players gave to the squad, sacrificing summer vacation for pumping iron and running in the heat. He has seniors ready to lead the team to a better record than last year’s 4-6 mark.
It’s been more than 50 years since Bradwell and Toombs have played football against each other. For Hill, that means there is a list of unknown variables going into the game.
According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, the Bulldogs once were called Lyons High. The Tigers are 4-4-1 in the series with the Bulldogs in games that took place from 1954-67.
Last year, the Bulldogs also finished 4-6 overall. But Hill said he knows a few things about Toombs County and thinks his team is ready to take on the Bulldogs.
“I have an idea of what Toombs will do and how they will line up, so we’ve been giving the players a look at that in practice,” he said.
The coach said the Bulldogs will run an offense that is similar to what the Tigers intend to use. “So our defense has seen that all spring,” he said. “Defensively, Toombs lines up a little differently than we do. It is similar to what we did here last year in the 3-5 type of defense. We’ve showed them that, and the guys are familiar with it.”
The Tigers still have to pick their starting quarterback, although it appears sophomore Duane Johnson is the front-runner.
Tonight’s game offers Hill a chance to see just how well the kids have learned his option offense. They will run the ball like the Tigers always have done well, but expect to see the passing game consist of 40 percent of the offensive scheme.
More importantly, Hill is looking for a sign that the players understand the coaching staff’s mission.
“I am looking for great effort,” he said. “There will be mistakes made here and there, but as long as we are playing with great effort, we can go back and correct things before our first game.”
The Tigers have two weeks after tonight’s scrimmage to prepare for their first regular-season game against rival Liberty County.