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SPOTLIGHT
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TMP keeps things simple in warm-up

Published on -8/26/2012, 6:12 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Prior to Thomas More Prep-Marian's Blue and White Scrimmage, Monarch first-year football coach John Montgomery and his staff split their players into two squads, trying to make it as even as possible.

They apparently did a good job, as the Blue and White teams ended the first portion of the full-contact scrimmage 6-6 on Friday at TMP's practice field. Then, the Monarchs broke up into first and second string to square off.

For his team's first real live-action scrimmage, Montgomery had simple expectations.

"I wanted to see everybody be smooth across the board as far as minimizing mistakes and everyone do their 1/11th to make each play a success," he said.

The Monarchs also showcased their new balanced offense, running most of their plays out of the I-formation -- a stark contrast from the team's spread offense run by former head coach Jon Borer.

Starting running back Luke Brull, a senior, took many of the carries and said he enjoyed putting the new offense on display.

"We are getting more carries than last year, but it's going to be nice and even (between running and passing)," Brull said. "It's going to be fun. We'll have to see what happens here."

Montgomery said he noticed many positives from his team's play, but no one impressed him more than when the first-team offensive line got together in the second portion of the scrimmage.

Thanks to his line's blocking, Brull broke two runs for 50-yard touchdowns. The first run went up the middle through, wide-open gap, and on the second, he ran left and broke a couple tackles on his way to the end zone.

"From standing behind (the line) watching it, you could drive a truck through some of those holes," Montgomery said. "I couldn't be happier when we finally got the first-team offensive line together how well they performed tonight."

In the Blue-White portion of the scrimmage, the Monarchs' two quarterbacks put their skills on display.

First-team senior quarterback Shane Zimmerman got off to a bad start, throwing his first pass over his receiver, but on the next snap, he showed his athleticism and scampered for a 70-yard touchdown.

Second-teamer sophomore Max Megaffin also had a solid day, showing how he could be the future Monarchs quarterback.

He connected with senior tight end Anthony Walters across the middle of the field to put his team near the goal line, and then he capped the drive with a short touchdown pass to Walters in the flat.

"Max has progressed a lot over the past year, and Shane has come in and stepped up big time from wide receiver," Brull said.

It wasn't a perfect night. The Monarchs had five fumbles, but three were on bobbled snaps -- not all with the first-team offense.

"There were a few mistakes, but that's what you can expect from a first-time scrimmage," Montgomery said. "There were a little bit of butterflies.

"We put it on the ground a few times, and we can't do that," Montgomery continued. "We threw a couple interceptions, and we can't do that. We are going to work on ball security this week and make sure we are making the right decisions."

The Monarchs will face Ellinwood in their season opener at 7 p.m. Friday at Lewis Field Stadium.

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