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The Paris Wildcats wrapped up their first week of pre-season football drills on Saturday by scrimmaging for about an hour in Wildcat Stadium, followed by a hamburger lunch for players and their parents.
Paris has two pre-season scrimmages against other schools before the season opener on Aug. 30 at Mount Pleasant. The Wildcats will scrimmage at Henderson at 9 a.m. next Friday.
Saturday was only the players’ second day in pads. The scrimmage began about 10:30 a.m. between two squads – a White team and a Blue team, each having about 35 players.
They scrimmaged for six segments of eight minutes each and finished off with a more traditional 12-minute quarter. A first-down chain was used, along with a running clock – no stoppages for incomplete passes, penalties or going out of bounds.
Head coach Steven Hohenberger stood on the field, behind the offensive team, watching the action. Assistant coaches were on with the two teams on the east sidelines.
Each segment began on the 25-yard line. If the defense held on downs or forced a turnover, the ball went back to the 25.
During the first 8-minute scrimmage session, the offense marched down the field in eight plays. It was to be the only touchdown scored all day.
On first down, White quarterback Demonquez Allen completed a 15-yard pass to the 40, then handed off on second down to running back Shundarrious Woodson for 15 yards more to the Blue 45.
Then the Blue team stopped a pass for a three-yard gain and broke up another pass, and it was third-and-seven from the Blue 42-yard line. Allen found wide receiver Kenny Mason wide open in the left flat, and he picked up 10 yards before he was knocked out of bounds at the Blue 32.
Woodson was stopped for no gain, setting up second-and-10 at the Blue 32, setting up an exciting two plays.
Woodson took a handoff from Allen and found daylight around the left side, scampering 32 yards into the end zone for an apparent touchdown.
But during the play, a referee threw a yellow flag against an offensive lineman for holding.
When the guilty lineman was identified, Hohenberger shouted: “Come on now, that’s a touchdown! We’ve got to be disciplined.”
The penalty was back to the 40, setting up a third-and-18.
Allen gave the ball to running back Dren Rollerson. In virtually a carbon copy of Woodson’s run. Rollerson went left and went untouched 40 yards to the end zone.
After the scrimmage, parents went across the parking lot to the high school cafeteria for a $5 hamburger lunch. Hohenberger introduced the players, then let them go. Then he talked to the parents.
Earlier in the week, Hohenberger had talked about how frequently parents attended their children’s practices and games when their children were young, and said he wanted to reverse a trend he had noticed – that didn’t hold true as strongly once they got into high school.
It means something to kids to look up into the stands and see their parents watching, Hohenberger said. It might encourage them to study harder and to play harder, he said.
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra
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