Seth Fuller (2) crosses the goal line for the Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers in a high school football scrimmage Friday against the Cory-Rawson Hornets in Rawson. (Staff photo/Jake Dowling)
RAWSON — The 2013 season was a big disappointment for the Waynesfield-Goshen varsity football team.
The Tigers finished 2-8 overall and 2-4 in the Northwest Central Conference, however at Cory-Rawson High School on Friday, W-G showed improvement and talent along with some techniques that need some ironing out.
“Overall, we need to clean up our performance, but we are coming together nicely,” said Tigers coach Tyler Turner.
Some of the things that need cleaning up is presnap. The Tigers had issues calling in plays in time and getting the play off, but one piece that is coming together nicely however, is at quarterback where senior signal-caller Lake Turner has shown steady development and has full command of the offense.
“Our quarterback is doing better at reading the defense and calling the right plays against that defense,” Turner said. “I made some nice plays today throwing and running the football so the growth of our quarterback is what I am happy about the most.”
Turner played well in leading the Tigers to a 13-13 tie in three quarters.
Turner rushed for 34 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown run and 5-of-7 passing for 137 yards with a 30-yard catch-and-run touchdown to Seth Fuller. Turner’s only mistake on offense was a fumble returned 80 yards for a Hornets’ touchdown.
Turner also intercepted two passes on defense as well.
“We did a lot of things right today,” Turner said. “But we are still struggling to pick up some of our blocking assignments with the younger guys pin offense.”
The biggest eye-sore on offense is the offensive line where Turner had to scramble and was flushed from the pocket many times. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ running game, which was also a strength in the scrimmage, had troubles finding holes as the defense was able to penetrate.
“We’ll clean that up this week in practice,” said Turner. “We have some young guys on the line and with some reps and playing time, they’ll come into it. I’m confident that we will get that fixed.”
Despite a leaky line, the running game was strong.
Senior running back Brandon Turner gained 71 yards on 15 carries. On one play, Turner bulldozed through a defender and on another, he bolted past the defense on a sweep to the right side.
“I think our backs know our offense well,” Turner said. “They’re starting to see things develop and they’re reacting well to what the defense is throwing at them.”
Aside from the running game, junior receiver Drew Lament was a target to many of Turner’s passes. Lament caught a 38-yard bomb by Turner while dragging multiple defenders before being walloped by the Hornets’ secondary. It is safe to assume that Lament will be Turner’s security blanket throughout the season.
Defensively, however, the Tigers had some issues tackling in space.
The Hornets’ running game and short passing game gave the Tigers fits as the defense allowed a 70-yard touchdown scamper and a 48-yard catch- and-run touchdown, although one of the scores was called back due to a penalty.
The one bright spot for the Tigers’ defense was the ability to pressure the quarterback, as W-G had many quarterback hurries, pressures and sacks.
“Defensively, we have not seen a lot of spread offense so we definitely have many adjustments to make,” Turner said Friday. “But we did some things well tonight.”
The Tigers have a week to build on yesterday’s performance as W-G will host Delphos Jefferson next Friday night to start their 2014 campaign, which Turner believes will yield a good team who will overcome last season’s struggles.
“I know what this team is capable of,” he said. “We have some great athletes on this team and we just have to build on the little things then it will all come together. Our guys have a year of growth from a season ago. 2-8 is not what they are capable of and I expect that we will be more competitive this year.”
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