The outcome of the opening drive by Lutcher’s first-team offense against the first-team defense set the theme for the Bulldogs’ intra-squad scrimmage Thursday afternoon.
The squads were split into two teams. One featured the No. 1 offense and the No. 2 defense. The other boasted the No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense. The format was game-like with no live kicking and always featured the first-unit squads competing against each other and the same for the second teamers.
On that opening possession, Lutcher’s offense drove on the length of the fumble but fumbled the ball going into the end zone. After that, the Bulldogs’ first-team defense allowed only a single field goal the rest of the game, which saw each team having the ball for eight possessions.
“Our first offense drew the ball inside the 3-yard line and fumbled into the end zone and that was kind of the story of the day. Other than that first possession, after that, they kind of dominated. They forced three turnovers, which is not good for the offense but that is one of the things we talked about our defense doing a better job and they created three fumbles,” Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins said.
With much of the defense returning from a year ago, the Bulldogs are expected to be pretty formidable on that side of the ball – and it showed Thursday afternoon.
“I thought two returning guys we have up there, Jamel Thomas and Carter Poche, were really a force,” said Jenkins.. “I thought Carter made a couple of really big plays on the perimeter. Our linebackers, we have a good bit of experience there with Chris Burkhalter and Ivan Clark, really played well. (The first team offense” was able to hit on a couple of big plays but the secondary didn’t give up any touchdowns as well.”
The offense on the other hand, is a work in progress.
“On the offensive side, we showed some flashes of good things,” Jenkins said. “I just didn’t think we were very consistent. Obviously, the turnovers, the fumbles, were something that was a concern.
“That first drive, we really had a good rhythm. I thought the fumble into the end zone kind of deflated us and it took us awhile to recover. We were able to generate another couple of decent drives but never could string things together with some consistency.”
Quarterbacks were not live in the scrimmage, so that hampered what the offense was allowed to do, according to Jenkins.
“I also think that the way we formatted it, Mekhi Patterson, who was our first quarterback, was not live and we probably took away one of his strengths, which is his ability to run the football and make plays in space. He wasn’t a factor there. He has to learn how to be able to control a game as a passer from the pocket. That’s one of the things we really tried to stress,” the Lutcher coach said.
The offense is looking for replacements for the likes of since-departed running back Rondell Mealey and quarterback Kolby Bourgeois.
“Rondell Mealey, a big-play running back from last year is gone and Kolby Bourgeois, who threw 30 touchdown passes each of the last two years. We lost some receivers that played for us. We’ve got some guys that were out this spring that we might have next fall,” said Jenkins.
Some of the young players, Jenkins said, showed promise on Thursday.
“We just have a whole lot of young guys that need to learn to play at that speed on that level. Those incoming freshmen, we think they have a chance to be special and they showed that with three touchdowns,” said Jenkins, referring to the second-team offense.