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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Bishop Luers' Jordan Presley tries to keep his balance as he makes his way through a pack of players during Friday night's scrimmage against North Side at D'Arcy Stadium at the University of Saint Francis.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette North Side's Auntrail Franklin, left, tries to get around Bishop Luers' Josh Dippold during a scrimmage at D’Arcy Stadium at University of St Francis on Friday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette North Side's Ronald Collins III throws the ball to a teammate during the scrimmage against Bishop Luers at D’Arcy Stadium at Saint Francis on Friday.

Saturday, August 11, 2018 1:00 am

High school football

Teams soak in the knowledge

North Side, Luers QBs, coaches learn at rainy scrimmage

Elizabeth Wyman | The Journal Gazette

Friday night football tends to be unpredictable – including the weather.

What began as a sunny, humid August night at Saint Francis' Bishop John M. D'Arcy Stadium, quickly changed to a rainy, sticky outing as Bishop Luers played North Side in a scrimmage.

“This is actually my first game getting soaked as a coach, and it's not as fun as a player,” North Side second-year head coach Mike Brevard said. “It just makes the game more intense (as a player), where as a coach, I'm just cold and wet right now.”

Cold and wet or not, Brevard said the scrimmage is necessary for getting his team ready for game-like situations, but he's more enthused that the team got back on the buses in one piece.

“We tried to stay pretty basic, and our ultimate goal was just to stay healthy, so the fact that we left the field healthy and everybody's returning to North Side in good shape, I feel it went pretty well,” Brevard said.

Scrimmages are for learning, and for North Side sophomore quarterback Ronald Collins III, that's exactly what he needs, Brevard said. The Legends are coming off an 0-10 season, and the still-young team can only go up.

“This dude right here (Collins) was 14 last year; barely had a mustache,” Brevard said about his quarterback. “This year he's a little bit older, he's smart and like I said, it's truly a process.

“I think tonight Ronald's a perfect example of that. He's a sophomore quarterback and each day we want to get better and better.”

Collins didn't get much help from his receivers through the air, but back-to-back 10-yard runs gave the sophomore some momentum.

“I was impressed with my team and how we played; not even just how we played, but how we cheered each other on and just kept going throughout the game,” Collins said.

Collins said it was a good thing it rained so he could get some experience playing through it.

“That's big as a quarterback,” Collins said. “The weather can throw everything off for you just being able to throw in the rain and stuff, so that helped me out a little bit.”

Luers coach Kyle Lindsay agreed that it was a good thing his team was forced to play in the rain.

“I'm actually kind of glad the rain did hit us because as a team last year we didn't handle adversity very well,” Lindsay said.

Knights senior quarterback Norman Knapke didn't seem to be bothered by the rain.

Knapke went 6 for 12 in the short scrimmage, including 35- and 37-yard passes – one to wide receiver Nate Moore for a touchdown.

“This offense this year, he's got a lot of decision making on his shoulder as the play is going on,” Lindsay said.

“He's the general of it (offense). I was happy with the way he was managing the guys out on the field. I was happy to see him snap at some guys when they made some mental mistakes.”

Early in the scrimmage, emotions ran high and a squabble broke out that led to North Side senior running back R.J. Armstrong being escorted to the sidelines by his coach.

“We rarely hit at practice, so guys are already itching to hit, and you finally can hit somebody else, so of course we got a little eager,” Brevard said.

Eagerness is even more apparent now when the two teams will take the field again next Friday for the first regular-season game.

“I think the kids' excitement grew as that scrimmage ended, knowing that they were one step closer to playing a live game,” Lindsay said.

ewyman@jg.net