With the beginning of the 2022 football season quickly racing toward the starting line, Dixie hosted Greenwood Christian and Calhoun Falls in a three-team scrimmage as part of all three’s final preseason action before playing Week 0.
In the scrimmage, each team played two consecutive offensive drives, starting at the 20-yard line. After a completed drive — either completed by a touchdown or a failed fourth down — the teams would flip the field, starting a new drive at the 20. Each team had two different sets of offense and defense before each team had an offensive and defensive drive from the 10-yard line in a goal-line situation.
Here were some takeways:
Calhoun FallsFrom the day Zak Theus took over the Calhoun Falls football program in June, the Flashes have progressed by leaps and bounds from the past few seasons. In its second scrimmage of the preseason, Theus saw progress from his team from Monday to Thursday.
“Progress, there’s definitely progress,” Theus said. “On Monday, we went to Mid-Carolina, and there were little things that we struggled with. I think we corrected them. We don’t have a lot, so we get tired and have to do with what we can. I think we’re seeing progress. ... There’s some good and some bad that we’re going to work on and correct. I’m positive and optimistic about what we have going into Friday.”
Offensively, the combination of Ty Turman and Da’Quean Lewis were electric. Lewis was a ball magnet, snagging the ball through contact seemingly every other grab, shaking a defender and sprinting down the sideline until he was caught or scored a touchdown. Turman dominated with his legs, scrambling out of the pocket and continuously making something happen. When he used his arm, he was continuously finding Lewis.
“They were a little frustrated at first. Things weren’t going our way,” Theus said. “Our older kids stepped up and said, ‘OK, let’s stop complaining and play ball,’ that’s when we started moving the ball. I think we moved it fairly well.”
The biggest issue for Calhoun Falls is depth as it heads into its Week 0 matchup against Northside Christian Academy.
“It’s going to take time,” Theus said. “I looked out there one time and saw six freshmen out there. They’re going to have to grow up. We have some good players.”
DixieDixie started its scrimmage with a bang, as senior running back Hunter Satterfield found a hole and used his elite speed to take it nearly 80 yards for a touchdown.
While there wasn’t any score kept during their games, Dixie scored on nearly every possession.
“We executed a lot better here than we have been,” Dixie coach Vic Lollis said. “I was really impressed with the way we are executing offensively and defensively. ... Right now, I would say that we are weeks ahead of where we were last year at this time, and that’s a lot easier.”
Early in 2021, the Hornets were winning a lot of close games before really taking off against West Oak. After that game, Lollis said the team was gelling a lot better and understanding its assignments. Dixie used that momentum to earn a second-place finish in the region a year ago.
Originally, the Hornets were scheduled to only play Calhoun Falls, but a late addition of Greenwood Christian provided a different passing attack than the Hornets had schemed against. While they didn’t have a ton of time to prepare for a consistent passing attack, the Hornets did well, breaking up several passes and coming down with a pair of interceptions.
“We haven’t practiced a lot against the pass,” Lollis said. “Right now, we’re just trying to get our fundamentals down. We’ll scheme on it and see where we need to get better at. Overall, I think the played well.”
Greenwood ChristianThursday was Greenwood Christian’s first time in live action, as its previous scrimmage was canceled because of poor weather. While the execution wasn’t perfect, coach Jolly Doolittle was excited by some of the plays his team made.
“We’ve been leaning on each other a little bit in practice. A lot of inexperience on the field and a lot of rust,” Doolittle said on what he saw on Thursday from his team. “The thing I told the team was the biggest thing that excites me were all the mistakes that can be corrected. There were a ton of them. We’ll go back into work and start correcting those mistakes, I think we’ll be a lot better. I saw some good things. I was pleased with our guys’ effort.”
Throughout the day, the Hawks lived and died by the big play. On defense, they were able to get stops, but every now and then, they would give up a big play. Offensively, Kade Heaton found his receivers down field with some regularity, most notably Owen Whittington.
“There was a lot of guys that we were counting on. All the retuning guys did pretty well,” Doolittle said. “We had a bunch of first time players out there that I saw a lot of good things out of today.”