Cleveland football coach E.K. Slaughter had some mixed emotions following Friday night’s three-way scrimmage with Hixson and Boyd-Buchanan. It was apparent that a recent comment by Slaughter is correct ... the defense is farther along than the offense.
There were a number of bright spots for the Blue Raiders defense on Friday, especially the play of big defender Henry McClendon.
“Henry had a very, very good night,” said Slaughter after the sun went down and the three teams called off the scrimmage when darkness settled in.
McClendon keyed the defense, along with the play of linebackers Nathaniel (Nate) Bradford, Jesse Jones and Robert Pillow. McClendon and Jones teamed up on several stops on the right side of the line as the Raiders’ “D” gave up only a single touchdown for the night.
“It was a good night overall and we did some good things,” the Blue Raiders’ coach said as he greeted his two young children after the scrimmage. “Still, we made too many mistakes and we didn’t do a lot on offense.”
Cleveland only gave up one score, that on a late drive by Boyd-Buchanan which was fueled by a pass play that advanced the football to the 1-yard line. A dive over the right side was the only dent in the Raiders’ goal line.
Slaughter emphasized that the offense was not as sharp as he would have liked.
It was not the quick-and-sudden offense the Blue Raiders put on the field against East Hamilton a week earlier. Cleveland had 10 to 12 touchdowns in that scrimmage, but Friday night’s touchdowns were limited to a couple by the varsity.
Tailback Jamarcus Mobley had some positive runs and ran hard, but the openings were not as numerous as they were a week earlier. Part of this could have been that Boyd-Buchanan and Hixson put a more physical defense on the field.
Quarterback Chad Voytik had some good throws and ran the offense with consistency, but the sharpness of Cleveland’s offensive attack was not up to expectations.
Slaughter and his staff will be reviewing the film of Friday’s scrimmage, which will provide a number of things to work on this week.
The Raiders will practice Monday and Tuesday after school (since classes begin Monday). There will be a Wednesday scrimmage, starting between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Chattanooga Central, and a third practice Thursday. The Blue Raiders will get an off day Friday.
Cleveland will be playing in the preseason jamboree Saturday night at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium. Cleveland will be going against Franklin in the preseason warm-up.
n A bright spot for the Cleveland football team Friday was the play of the freshman squad at the start of the evening.
Freshman quarterback Austin Herink guided the young Raiders to a pair of quick scores to set the tone for the freshman clash. Hixson’s freshmen then rallied with a ground attack for a score against the Cleveland freshman defense.