Cook pleased with Pios scrimmage effort

LAFAYETTE – This early in the prep football season, it’s not about wins and losses when it comes to scrimmages, or even jamborees for that matter.

And nobody knows that better than Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook.

So even though his first team was outscored 7-0 by St. Thomas More Thursday during their annual scrimmage at Cougar Field, the veteran coach was somewhat pleased with what he saw.

“We’re looking for who can get out there and perform and make some plays,” said Cook following the two-hour practice/scrimmage with the Class 5A Cougars. “It’s good to go against a quality team. We know we’re going to be outmanned a little bit when we get here but I saw a lot of good things today.”

Cook was especially pleased with his squad early in the workout when the two units were going over various team drills.

Action kicked off with inside run drills while the two team’s receivers and defensive backs worked 1-on-1 drills at a separate station.

That was followed by 7-on-7 passing drills on both sides of the field while the offensive and defensive lines worked on pass protection drills at midfield.

From there the teams each worked on their kicking game before heading into the game-type portion of the scrimmage where each team took 12 snaps with the first teams and 10 with their second and third units.

“It’s a little different, but we do an inside drill and a pass perimeter drill so the ones are getting 24 plays (12 run and 12 pass) against their front,” said Cook. “And then we run 12 plays in the scrimmage so you get 36 plays with your ones, it’s just in a different format. We were able to get a lot of good looks today and that’s what we try to do.”

During the scrimmage portion of the workout, STM was able to mount a drive, getting out of a few third-and-long situations before scoring six plays into their 12-play series. The Courgars were also driving on their second series before running out of plays.

“Defensively, I thought we flew around pretty good,” said Cook. “We got them in some third-and-longs and, hey, they made some plays. They have a quality team.”

Cook was also proud of the way his offense responded after giving up the touchdown.

The Pios marched down the field on a series of runs by quarterback Stu Cook and running backs Luke Besse and Nick Gossen, getting down to the STM 30 before turning the ball over on a fumbled snap.

“I was pleased with the way the offense took it,” said Cook. ‘We had a nice little drive going and then we missed an assignment. But that’s going to happen in a scrimmage.

“We were just trying to look at some things. We came over here and we had plays scripted that we wanted to see and we were able to get to most of those.”

Resetting at the 30-yard line following the fumble, the Pios started another drive that ate up nearly 50 yards before running out of plays.

Overall, Cook was upbeat following the scrimmage.

“I’m not disappointed at where we are right now,” said Cook. “I think it’s relatively the same type of scrimmage we’ve had year in and year out over here and we’ve been able to go from there and be okay. So, hopefully, it will the same thing will happen this time.”

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