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August 22, 2013

Lions to face tough test in scrimmage

GREENVILLE — Last year the Quinlan Ford Panthers controlled the Greenville Lions in a preseason football scrimmage.

Greenville coach Marvin Sedberry is gearing up the Lions for another strong test when the two teams meet again tonight at T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium in Greenville. The freshman and junior varsity teams will scrimmage at opposite ends of the field at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity contest at 7.

“I feel like last year they hit us in the mouth and we weren’t ready for them,” said Sedberry. “The biggest thing about them is they were physical. We can play physical. Will we do it for a whole scrimmage?”

Ford outscored the Lions 2-0 in last year’s scrimmage in Quinlan, scoring once in the controlled part of the scrimmage and once in a live quarter. The Panthers owned a 215-65 advantage in total yardage.

Ford got a head start on the Lions in 2013 scrimmages, having squared off last week against Edgewood. This is the Lions’ only scrimmage since they elected to give up a week of practice in the fall in favor of 18 spring training practices. The University Interscholastic League gives 4A and 5A teams the spring training option. Ford is a 3A team.

Last year the Lions did not have spring training and had two scrimmages, including one against Liberty-Eylau.

The scrimmages are getting both teams ready for their season openers. Greenville plays at Princeton on Aug. 30 and Ford faces Troup on Aug. 30 in Bullard.

Sedberry said the scrimmage will be controlled. There will be no live quarters or kicking game. The first offenses will run 30 plays and the second offenses will snap the ball 10 times, he said.

“Will the kids play and play hard,” Sedberry said when asked what the scrimmage goal was. “You’re always concerned about conditioning. For the most part we’ve identified our number ones. Hopefully there will be somebody who steps up that we haven’t noticed that’ll make us a better team.”

Ford was an 8-4 playoff team last season, reaching the area round. But the Panthers have lost two 1,000-yard rushers to graduation with James Silkey and Taylor Sikorsky. The Panthers return two starters on offense and three on defense.

The Lions return six starters on offense and defense off an 0-10 team.

 

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