Blue outdoes White in TMP scrimmage
By AUSTIN COLBERT
Even though the win means nothing and will soon be forgotten, Thomas More Prep-Marian offensive coordinator James Harris couldn't suppress at least a small smile at the school's annual Blue and White Scrimmage on Friday.
"It's always great to beat your head coach," Harris said after leading the Blue squad to a 21-14 win against head coach John Montgomery's White squad. "But you know we are all a team working toward the same goal. We like to come out here and have a little fun with it, but we also like to see the kids come out here and get a lot of work done."
The football scrimmage, held on the TMP campus, was part of an evening of festivities that included a cookout, watermelon feed and smaller scrimmages by the school's other fall sports programs.
The finale was the football team's scrimmage, which was played in two halves with a 12-minute running clock. The teams were split up via a small draft held by the coaches.
"I thought they came out and competed fairly well," Montgomery said. "We didn't see as many of the mistakes as we saw in the scrimmage last year. Had a little better ball control. Didn't put it on the ground as much. We had some guys making great decisions and good plays."
Both defenses controlled the majority of the first half, highlighted by senior Adam Schibi's early sack for the Blue team on White sophomore quarterback Jared Vitztum.
It wasn't until the final seconds of the first half that the Blue team found the end zone, a tough 5-yard run by senior fullback Jared Gabel.
"I was a lineman since fifth grade so it's kind of nice to touch the ball every now and then," said Gabel, who will mostly be used as a blocker in the regular season. "But I think it really fired our team up. It got us motivated a little bit more to keep going.
The excitement factor picked up in the second half when junior Joe Walters rumbled in for a 25-yard touchdown run to give the Blue team a 14-0 lead.
The White team answered in a big way with an 80-yard touchdown pass from Vitztum to senior wideout Ryan Mayorga. Mayorga did most of the work, out-jumping the defender around midfield and sprinting the rest of the way for the score.
"It was kind of a wobbly pass and I had to come back to catch the ball," Mayorga said. "That fired us up to actually get some yardage instead of going backward the whole time."
The White team tied the game at 14 after an 8-yard Chase Romme touchdown run, leaving the outcome in the hands of Blue starting quarterback Max Megaffin with about two minutes on the running clock.
The junior, who is battling with Vitztum for the starting quarterback job, made the most of it by finding senior Taylor Wasinger for a 50-yard touchdown pass on the final play for the win.
"I like how they came out from a little bit of adversity in the beginning where they missed a couple of passes and each came back and found a way to move the ball," Montgomery said of Vitztum and Megaffin. "Certainly some positive things out of both guys."
The coaching staff plans to look over more film before deciding on a starting quarterback for Friday's season opener at Ellinwood. And it's not only the quarterback situation that is undecided -- there are multiple players trying to lock down only a few key spots in the secondary and at wide receiver.
Even though these tough decisions will have to be made soon, the coaches and players are all looking forward to getting out of the camp mentality and into the game-week mindset.
"We start putting our game plan together and giving them looks at what we've seen Ellinwood do in the past," Montgomery said, "and get them ready to play at their highest level on Friday."
No special teams were used in the scrimmage and no extra points were attempted ... Senior lineman Aaron Moore sat out the scrimmage because of an upper respiratory infection but is expected back at practice on Monday ... Team captains for TMP this season will be Moore, Schibi, senior linebacker Michael Schulte and junior running back Nick Schmidt.