Crowley hosts Beau Chene in annual scrimmage

CROWLEY – With jamborees right around the corner and the start of the 2011 prep football regular season just two weeks away, it’s time for coaches around the state to see just how far along their teams have come since the first week in August.

The Crowley Gents will get a sneak peak of their progress today when they play host to Beau Chene in a scrimmage at Gardiner Memorial Stadium.

Action is slated to get under way at 5:30 p.m.

“We have gotten a lot of work in during the first two weeks and it’s at that stage of August camp where you really want to play an opponent,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate on Thursday. “We’ll get a little taste of that this Friday with Beau Chene.

“You know, it’s a lot of bumps and bruises right now and we need to get to the point where we’re getting through camp, getting ready for the season opener and, hopefully, we’ll get some bodies healed up before then.”

Despite being a little banged up, which is common for the first two weeks of practice, Tate is pleased with what he has seen out of his team, one that returns nine starters - four on offense and five on defense.

“Really and truly, the first two weeks have been really good for us,” said Tate. “We’re getting a lot of work with special teams, a lot of installation with offense and defense and now we’re getting to a point where we’re doing a lot of reviewing. We’re getting a lot better reps, the timing and communication is starting to get a lot better. But like I said, it’s time to play somebody else besides ourselves.”

Although Tate sees his team progressing, he will have a better feel for where his team is after the scrimmage.

“It’s going to be a scrimmage where we get some live reps, which is good,” said Tate. “It won’t be game-type conditions, but it is live reps and that’s a big key. We’ll get it on film, evaluate personnel and see where we’re at.”

Tates objective is to see where the Gents stand with a pretty much revamped offensive line and a new quarterback.

“We’re looking for timing and trying to be clean, no penalties,” said Tate. “And, of course, we have a new offensive line so that’s something that we will be evaluating.”

One of the big question marks is quarterback, where the Gents must replace standout Tuskani Figaro. Andre Mills is the heir apparent.

“Andre gets his first live snaps with the number ones where he has to be the quarterback and we’re anxious to see how he handles that,” said Tate. “I just think they’ll all get better as we go on.”

Beau Chene, which plays in District 4-4A, should provide a stiff challenge for the Gents on both sides of the ball. The Gators scored twice last year in the annual event and held Crowley’s potent offense to just one score in two series.

“This has always been a good and competitive scrimmage for both of us,” said Tate. “And again, we’re just excited about getting to go against someone other than our offense and our defense.”

The main goal of the scrimmage is not winning and losing, but instead is about execution.

“It’s more about execution, communication and seeing the players react with live snaps against a different opponent,” said Tate. “And, really, you want to come out of it clean with no injuries and have a good evaluation of where you are at this point.”

Both team’s first- and second-team units will take the field first for a pair of 12-play drives before the younger kids go at offensively and defensive in a 10-play series. The first units will take the field again to cap off the scrimmage.

“We’re going 12 plays with the ones and if the 12th play ends inside the 30, then you finish that series,” said Tate. “We’ll go 10 plays with the twos and then we’ll repeat that at the end. The younger kids will get some work in the middle of the scrimmage. When you talk about offense and defense, it will be somewhere around 100 plays.”

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