Football

Meeteetse’s Kalvin Erickson (right) lines up opposite of Lane Rohde of Cody during a scrimmage in Cody on Aug. 27. (Photo by Angie Erickson)

They may not have been keeping score, but Meeteetse football coach Zeb Hagen liked what he saw out of his players in their scrimmage Aug. 27 against Cody.

“They played well together,” he said. “Offensively and defensively they showed a lot of signs of success that we can build on.”

Running a scrimmage between a 6-man and an 11-man team created challenges for both squads. On defense, all 11 players on the Meeteetse roster were on the field against the Broncs.

“The scrimmage was definitely a good opener to the season and I think we all had fun and it was good to get back on the field,” Tozai May said. “I think we showed good potential of what our team is capable of.”

Though inexperienced in the 11-man game, Hagen felt they were still able to learn from the experience.

“I think they bought in,” he said. “They still have to tackle and shed blocks. They have to get to every ball on every play and improve on open-field tackling.”

The Longhorns installed a new offensive system this year, and Hagen is comfortable with where the team is and likes what he’s seen from his players running routes. He’s also pleased with the growth from junior quarterback Dace Bennett.

“I think he’s starting to see more of the short field instead of just looking deep,” Hagen said. “He’s making his read progressions better. I could definitely tell he worked on that.”

Hagen also liked what he saw out of Mickle Ogden when he took some snaps under center. Overall, the coach didn’t say that any one player really stood out in the scrimmage, saying each had their flashes.

New players, like senior Dale McBride who played in his first game since the sixth grade, stuck out more to Hagen because he hadn’t had a chance to see them play before.

One of those newcomers, the small but lightning-quick freshman Joe Piña, was able to make some plays defensively in the scrimmage.

“For a freshman, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the field,” Hagen said.

Even with these positives, there is still plenty for the team to work on.

“I’m going to be nit-picky, but I also know it’s the first week of the season,” Hagen said. “We need to improve blocking-wise, in pass protection and in run blocking.”

The Longhorns open the regular season on Saturday at NSI Academy. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

“I really think our team is ready for the season, although there are still a few adjustments to make, I believe we will have a lot of success this season,” May said.

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