The Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Hawks football team participated in the program’s first preseason scrimmage against the Yellow Jackets of Lookout Valley last week.
The tension of the moment could be felt during warmups with the first scrimmage for the majority of the Hawks players about to kickoff.
But, nerves quickly turned into fight and determination as the Hawks impressed with two scores on three possessions.
Lookout Valley struck first, taking advantage of the TCPS butterflies on a 20-yard sweep for the first touchdown of the day. On TCPS’s first possession, the Hawks drove to the Yellow Jackets 25-yard line before turning it over on downs.
The Yellow Jackets scored again on their next possession, this time from 5 yards out on a dive up the middle. The Hawks woke up and came to life on their second possession, marching 70 yards on eight plays for the score. The touchdown came on a 6-yard run by Junior fullback Jordan Elam.
On the Hawks’ final possession of the scrimmage, junior quarterback Rashad Marshal scrambled for the score from the 5-yard line.
After the scrimmage, coach Steve McKenzie was critical of some things, but saw several positives to take away from the afternoon.
“We made a lot of mistakes today on both sides of the ball. Ultimately, it is on me. We coaches didn’t have them prepared mentally like I thought we did,” he said.
He also pointed out some bright spots as well adding, “What makes me the most optimistic is that we didn’t quit, we fought back and played them to the end. This is our program’s first scrimmage with another team in preseason, so it’s expected that our kids were going to be nervous. But we turned to some of our players that have seen this before. A few of our players this year came here from established programs and know what these things are like, and they helped guide those who are new to this whole process.”
Lookout Valley ended the day with three scores, while TCPS walked away with two scores.
“I am just really excited about this year. We have a really special team, not just in talent, but in character. These young men have worked hard over the summer and are eager to prove that we are building something awesome here,” said McKenzie.
Jordan Elam carried seven times for the Hawks for 75 yards and one TD. Andy Chase made the most of his one carry with 31 yards. Cody Collins had three carries and gained 21 yards while Rashad Marshal had four carries for 17 yards and a TD.
In the passing game, Marshal went 1-1 for 19 yards while Luke Benton was 1-2 for 13 yards.
On defense, Zadarius Williams and Andy Chase finished the afternoon with three tackles for the Hawks with Eric Hall notching two stops for TCPS.