Mustangs, Panthers collide in Thursday’s preseason clashPublished 5:45am Saturday, August 24, 2013
The Stanhope Elmore Mustangs, one of the youngest iterations coach Jeff Foshee has put on the field, stood toe-to-toe with the visiting Smiths Station Panthers Thursday night at Foshee-Henderson Stadium.
“I didn’t want to play a finesse team,” said Foshee. “I wanted to play a team that was going to bloody your nose up. If we can get more physical on both sides of the ball, I think our chances this season are pretty good.”
Thursday’s game, and those played over the weekend, serve as a final tune-up before opening the 2013 season proper next week against Marbury (SE on Thursday in Millbrook) and Enterprise (Smiths Station on Friday).
“He’s playing with 18 seniors where I’ve only got seven,” said Foshee. “We didn’t play as well up front as I’d like, but overall the effort was good. and I’d rather get all of these mistakes out of the way now than next week.”
While the depth chart suffered a gut punch after graduation, Thursday’s game was the onfield debut for a handful of Mustangs.
Jeryus Williams stepped in at quarterback and led the Mustangs on a first-half scoring drive.
“For his first ball game, I think he looked really good,” said Foshee. “He made the right decision a couple of times. He threw the ball out of bounds instead of trying to force something.”
Williams finished the night (three quarters) 7-of-12 for 110 yards with a touchdown pass to Chance Kessinger in the first half and a 35-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.
B.J. Smith came in at running back to replace Deandre Ward (also lost to graduation) and helped pace the Mustangs ball-control attack.
“We knew what they were going to do, and we tried to stay pretty vanilla on both sides of the ball,” said Foshee. “Everything we did wrong, we can correct.”
At the end of three varsity quarters, Smiths led 21-14.
Stanhope Elmore’s offense was faced with a fourth down with about two minutes left in the period and elected to go for it. But were turned away.
“We had a couple of stupid penalties (in the three quarters) that we’ve got to fix,”said Foshee. “We’ve got to improve every week this year to get where we want to be.”