Eagles, Indians benefit in joint scrimmage with George WestFree Access

Jourdanton’s Nick Cordova gets tackled by a Pleasanton defensive lineman during their scrimmage. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Both the Pleasanton Eagles and Jourdanton Indians took to the field for one last scrimmage a week before the regular season starts on Aug. 30. The scrimmage was between Pleasanton, Jourdanton and George West at Jourdanton’s Indian Field.

Pleasanton head coach Stephen Liska and Jourdanton’s Darrell Andrus both saw plenty of upside to the three colliding in a dual scrimmage.

“It’s game speed that we got to see today. You don’t always get to see that every day in practice,” Liska said. “We have segments where we try to make it live and get after it. But when you’re going green on green, sometimes it doesn’t happen. Today, we got to work against two tough teams. George West is a great program out of Live Oak County. Coach [Brent] Kornegay does a heck of a job down there. … Then you’ve got coach [Darrell] over here from Jourdanton and he’s building this program up the right way. He’s doing a great job with his staff and those kids are getting after it.”

While he said it was tough to find a true rhythm for any team on each side of the ball given the initial oscillating format that rotated teams out after a certain amount of plays, coach Andrus echoed his counterpart’s sentiment.

“I 100 percent agree. When you’re going up against a team that was in the third round of the playoffs last year, we were in the second round and Pleasanton’s a Class 4A Division I team, you’re having to cover the likes of Dalton Hobbs,” Andrus said. “You’ve got game speed going on. You try your best in practice to simulate that, but you just can’t. So, these two scrimmages — which are really three when you look at the schemes we had to go against — I feel like our team had three good scrimmages. We’ve got things to work on and we will, starting [Saturday] at 10 o’ clock.”

Allotted plays

Each team faced each other twice on both offense and defense for 12 plays each drive.

Pleasanton and Jourdanton were able to simulate live play during those allotted plays. While it wasn’t a real game, the teams enjoyed stirring up the gridiron rivalry.

“I was hyped today, real hyped,” said Pleasanton QB Nathaniel Acevedo. “We got to show them what we’re made of. We stopped them all on defense. We drove them down on offense. I kinda wish we could play them in the regular season.”

The allotted plays were also the best chance for each team to see one another given that it made up most of the scrimmage.

In it, Liska was pleased to see the Eagles’ newfound running game start to open up.

“Obviously, when the run game is working, the passing game will come too,” he said. “We’re getting there, it’s a work in progress. It’s different when you’re playing 7-on-7 to Friday night when you’ve got five, six, seven bodies coming at you.”

For the Indians, it was about getting meaningful reps, especially in the trenches. They were without senior offensive lineman Zach Myers, which opened the door for some other players to step up on the offensive line, where any success will begin for the Indians.

“It was good. We had our starting left tackle, Zach Myers, out with an ankle injury. So, getting him back next week will be big,” Andrus said. “Seeing some younger kids step up — we’re only gonna go as far as our front seven on defense and front five or six on offense takes us.”

Live quarter

Jourdanton and George West were the only two teams to square off in a live quarter of 12 minutes to simulate live gameplay.

George West was the only one able to record a touchdown in the live quarter on a 25-yard run by their running back with 2 minutes, 34 seconds left.

Jourdanton was able to knock on George West’s door thanks to a 30-yard pass from Cole Andrus to Jarel Lilly, who was draped in coverage by a George West defender. The Indians would fail to convert the prime field position into points on their next four plays. The Indians also picked up a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following their unsuccessful 4th-and-goal try.

That final series of events was the biggest downside in coach Andrus’ eyes.

“I was very pleased and it was unfortunate. You get the ball down in the redzone against a team like George West, you’ve gotta come away with points,” Andrus said. “Then we lost our composure, had a couple of penalties, didn’t hit an open player. We had some time on a couple of plays and Cole missed an open receiver, too. Then, we had a kid lose his composure on a 15-yard penalty there at the end, which, that’s not what good teams do. So that was disappointing.”

Jourdanton will host Poteet on Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m., while Pleasanton will travel to Alamo Stadium to face San Antonio Edison on the same day.

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