Rivals Holtville and Marbury bang heads in season-opening jamboree gamePublished 1:00pm Saturday, August 24, 2013
After weeks of preparation, working on scenarios and banging heads with their teammates, football teams across the state took to the gridiron this weekend for preseason games.
Essentially, dress rehearsals of the weeks to follow. Locally, rivals Marbury and Holtville added another chapter to their story Thursday night at Boykin Field.
“I’m pleased with our effort. My guys played with great intensity, which is something I wanted to see,” said Holtville coach.
Both Holtville and Marbury are looking for fresh starts after struggling through the 2012 season.
“The kids played hard, and they are giving it everything they’ve got,” Marbury coach James Strickland said.
“All I’m asking for is perfection, and this group is going to keep fighting for it.”
Bright spots abounded as both Adams and Strickland saw players find time in the spotlight.
Zach Davis led Holtville on a scoring march, completing a pass to Taylor Whitt for the varsity’s only touchdown.
“We had a few mistakes, but it’s a (scrimmage) and that’s expected,” said Adams. “We’ve got to clean up some of the penalties. We can’t have holding calls costing us big runs.”
Davis’ counterpart in blue, Blake Davies, marched the visiting Bulldogs up and down the field using the read-option and a few well-timed passes.
Marbury’s drives in the first three-quarters ended on fourth downs though.
“He’s going to get better. He and I have to get on the same page about some things,” said Strickland.
“We’re going to work on his footwork at practice. He’ll be fine.”
Holtville’s Jarmal Kendrick came down with an interception to end one drive. Dalton Speigner nearly had another. Both teams called off the dogs near the end of the third quarter and began to clear their benches. Marbury scored twice in the fourth quarter to take a 14-7 lead.
“I like our second quarterback; he’s a sophomore and he’s tough. He’s gritty and works,” said Strickland.
“Depth is going to be an issue for us. The two guys who caught the passes are safeties. They weren’t getting much work on that side of the ball, so we brought them over to offense just in case.”
While Holtville’s offense stalled late in the game, Adams did see Reese Burbage come within a block or a juke of breaking a long run.
“He’s a hard-working freshman and he will step up and see some playing time on Friday nights,” said Adams. “He’s going to help us a lot.”
With the last rehearsal finished, both teams will retreat back to their respective dressing rooms in preparation for a 10-week performance. Holtville will host W.S. Neal Friday at Boykin Field.
Marbury will travel to Millbrook Thursday for a meeting with the 6A Stanhope Elmore.