Bulldogs fare well in opening scrimmages
MCHS to host Dennis Miller Jamboree of Champions Friday
After a busy two weeks, Marlboro County High football coach Dean Boyd is pleased with the progress and the work ethic of the 2015 team.
"We are hardly game-ready but the guys are focused on getting better every day. We have only had one bad practice and even that resolved itself," said Boyd.
That questionable workout occurred Monday. The solution was to start over, after running a few wind sprints.
"They weren't too pleased with that but they got the message and picked up the tempo for the rest of the day," said Boyd.
The team participated in its first scrimmage of the season last Friday, taking on West Florence and Carvers Bay in Florence.
While determining the winner of a scrimmage is difficult, the Bulldogs seemed to get the best of the action.
Highlights included a long touchdown by Decosta Ford on a screen pass from Jacob Evers and the running of Dylven Covington.
The Bulldogs hosted Wilson High School in a scrimmage on Tuesday. After starting shortly before 7 p.m., the workout was delayed for over an hour by a thunderstorm that rolled through Bennettsville.
"We probably looked better on Friday but I was still pleased with the effort and focus on improving," said Boyd.
With Covington sitting the scrimmage out after getting banged up against West Florence, sophomore Tavaris Ingram led the Bulldog rushing attack.
"He had a really good scrimmage, dragging tacklers with him on several runs," said Boyd.
The Bulldogs' short passing game was effective, with several screen plays going for long yardage.
"Jacob (Evers) has really improved on the short throws, which are harder than they look. He is still working on making the right reads on the throws down-the-field," said Boyd.
Evers was 10 of 16 passing with a touchdown and an interception. He hit Myrone Williams with a 10 yard strike for a score late in the scrimmage.
Williams raced 50 yards for the Bulldogs' first score while replacing Evers for a series. He later passed to Ford for a touchdown.
The scrimmage wrapped up with the teams working on special teams and goal line situations. That exposed the biggest area for concern for the Bulldogs.
"Right now, we can't kick an extra point with any confidence. All of our kicking game is going to need work but not having identified a kicker is a big concern," said Boyd.
Along with Covington, the Bulldogs were without the services of receiver Alonte Littles, defensive tackle Terrence Ocean, defensive tackle Akeem Williams and center Chris Stubbs. All were held out of action due to injuries.
The Bulldogs traveled to North Guilford High School in Greensboro Wednesday evening to participate in a jamboree.
They played Reidsville High School, which was the North Carolina Class 2A state runner-up last season.
Marlboro County fell 28-18 in a game in which the Bulldogs lost four fumbles and had two touchdowns called back due to penalty.
Kijana Johnson scored on a long pass from Evers. Tylik Johnson returned a punt for a score and Williams scored on a pass from Evers.
The Bulldogs will have two more opportunities to work against live opponents.
This Friday, the team will host the Dennis Miller Jamboree of Champions. Marlboro County will play Keenan High School from Columbia in the nightcap, around 9 p.m.
The jamboree starts at 5 p.m. and will feature five teams that the Bulldogs will face in the regular season.
Region rival Darlington will face Central of Pageland in the first match-up. Marlboro's third opponent, Cheraw, will face the Bulldogs' final opponent, Manning, in the second scrimmage.
Class 3A runner-up Hartsville will play Chesterfield, then defending Class 2A champion Dillon will play Lamar. Tickets for the jamboree are $5 in advance, $7 at the gate.
Next Thursday, Marlboro County will host Northern Guilford in a game-situation scrimmage.
The Bulldogs open the regular season on Saturday, August 29 in the Derrick Law Firm Kick-off Classic at Myrtle Beach's Doug Shaw Stadium. The Bulldogs will face North Brunswick of Leland, NC.