Wednesday’s Spring Game between visiting Covington and Destrehan demonstrated the difference between a timed game-type period and a controlled portion to the scrimmage.
Covington was unable to sustain drives against Destrehan’s defense in the early portion of the game that featured the teams alternating series between the first units, followed by second teamers.
Early in the 15-minute live-action period, the Lions showed that in football you don’t always have to sustain drives to score.
On Destrehan’s first possession Covington’s Ian Goody intercepted a Damaruis Jackson pass and returned it to the Wildcats’ 22. On the next play, Lions quarterback Blake Sharp tossed to Cobe Callahan and the Lions had a 6-0 lead.
“We get a turnover and we were able to capitalize off of that,” Covington coach Greg Salter said. “I thought defensively, for the most part, we played pretty well. We have up a few big plays, but other than the big play, I thought we the kids we didn’t have playing defensively, I was really pleased and we got to see some young kids like Ian.”
Goody had an interception in the controlled portion of the scrimmage but instead of that potentially setting up a score, Destrehan started over at its own 30-yard line to continue its series of 10 plays.
The Wildcats came up with a big defensive play of its own in the live-action period when junior-to-be linebacker Dylan Gibbs scooped up a Lions fumbled and raced 68 yards for a touchdown.
“I thought we played well at times. The turnovers were big for us. They scored and we turned the ball over and they had a lot of momentum and then we get the big play by Dyan Gibbs for the big touchdown to kind of turn it around,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said.
Gibbs’ score with 3:53 remaining in the period gave Destrehan a 14-6 lead that would hold up as the final score.
Destrehan had taken a 7-6 lead moments earlier on a big offensive play when Jackson hooked up with Quincy Brown on a 70-yard touchdown strike.
On Covington’s final play of the period on fourth and long, a sack by Savion Travis of Sharp ended the game.
“It was a good scrimmage. We got some questions answered and that’s what spring if for. We just have a lot of work to do. We will get some guys back that didn’t play tonight but when we get that back, I think we will be fine,” said Robicheaux.
“I thought it was a good scrimmage. I think both of us got what we needed out of it. I know they had guys out, too, which is typical of spring. We got a chance to identify some kids that will really help us in August,” Salter said.
It was a fitting conclusion for the Wildcats, whose defensive pressure caused numerous sacks both in the controlled and live portions of the outing.
Some of the sacks, said Salter, could be attributed, in part, of the Lions not scheming against Destrehan.
“We wanted to concentrate on us. They (the Wildcats) do a really good job of moving their guys up front around and slanting and creating some confusion along our o-line. Going in, I knew that was something we might have a problem with but I wanted to see how our kids responded to that stuff,” Salter said.”
In the alternating 10-play series between the teams, Destrehan’s first-unit scored three touchdowns to one for Covington.
Each team sat out several starters including Destrehan running back Kyle Edwards.
Ryan Walker made the most of his opportunity at running back. He produced the first Destrehan score when he bounced to his left on a 32-yard run. Will Bryant, who converted on all of his attempts in the controlled and live-action portions of the outing, added the extra point.
Three plays into Covington’s first possession, Sharp was sacked by Destrehan linebacker Dylan Whitted, setting the tone for a Wildcat defense that came up with numerous sacks and constantly pressured Sharp.
Destrehan scored on its second series mounting a 70-yard drive that concluded with a 20-yard pass from Jackson to Brown.
Covington scored on its second series but only after Jhase Gooden came up with sacks on two of the first three plays.
With a new set of downs, the Lions scored on a 15-yard pass from Sharp to Reggie Gause.
Destrehan scored on a 32-yard pass from quarterback Mike Mollere to Brown on the Wildcats’ final play by the first-unit squad.
While there were some mistakes a few penalties it was a comparatively clean outing with few procedural penalties that tend to take place in spring.
“It was pretty clean as far as that goes,” Robicheaux said. “You are looking for effort. You are looking for guys running to the football. I thought defensively up front we played real well. There are still some answers that need to be made in the back end but I think, overall, I was happy with the effort.”