BOONVILLE - Starmount hosted South Iredell in the first of two preseason scrimmages in preparation of the 2012 season Wednesday night.
Playing against live action for the first time this offseason, the Rams moved the ball consistently on offense and shutdown a high-flying Viking’s attack on the defensive side of the ball.
“I thought the first part we were the more aggressive team and then they were the second part, so it probably evened out,” head coach Scott Johnson explained. “We don’t prepare for what they do in scrimmages, we just work on us. But overall, I’m pretty pleased. We still have a long way to go.
“I thought we moved the ball pretty consistently on offense. We rotated our entire offense every five plays, so it was hard to get into a rhythm,” he continued. “And I thought we were physical and I thought we ran to the ball well and made some good plays in space on defense.”
Johnson said several players stood on both sides, including dual quarterbacks Samuel Stone and Trey Money, who split time in the back-field.
“I thought James Watson and Michael Wood had really good days on defense. Zach Worley played well after moving to linebacker. Our offensive line did well most of the night. Samuel and Trey both threw the ball well. And I thought Chaston Martin and the fullbacks ran the ball hard,” he said.
The Rams forced two fumbles on defense and picked off a pass on the night. South scored two touchdowns on long breakaway plays, but Starmount battled back and recorded a safety.
Offensively, Martin, Sergio Sariana and Hunter Myers all broke free for first-down runs in the early going. Stone completed six passes on the afternoon.
Johnson said the only problems the coaching staff saw were “all fundamental things.”
“I’m pretty pleased overall. There’s nothing that I’m real upset about,” he explained. “I told them everything I saw was stuff we can fix. All fundamental things.”
South, which runs a spread offense with speed and quickness, resembles teams Starmount has ran into during the 2A state playoffs the past two seasons. Johnson said he schedules the Vikings to see a East Lincoln, East Rutherford, Salisbury-type offensive club.
“That’s a good football team, they have a lot of speed. That’s why we have them on the schedule the next two years - that’s the kind of teams we don’t see until the playoffs,” he explained. “This is the only time we get to see that kind of athletes that make us make plays in space. Early in the year we get it, then we don’t, so we try to schedule them.”
The Rams return to the field Saturday with the final scrimmage of the offseason at South Stokes. Starmount will see action against North Stokes, Southwest Randolph and the host school.
“You can do all you want during the summer, but it’s not the same as getting hit,” Johnson added.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.