VALDESE — The Draughn and R-S Central football teams played through off-and-on rain for a second straight year Saturday morning in the first Burke County scrimmage of 2019.
And like the weather, the Wildcats alternated — on both sides of the ball — between firing on all cylinders and sputtering in the two-hour, 15-minute session.
The teams started the scrimmage with two varsity sets of 10 plays of offense and defense followed by two 10-play sets of JV offense and defense starting at the 40-yard lines, followed by an hour-long period of game situation.
Draughn senior quarterback Braxton Cox started the first possession with first-down completions to Trent Corn and Nick Chrisco before the Wildcats stalled.
After an R-S touchdown on a toss run left, Cox again found Chrisco and hit Beckett Nelson for a huge gain through the air inside the red zone. Once there, Corn powered in over the left side of the offensive line for the hosts’ lone score of the scrimmage.
The Wildcats held R-S on its second 10-play offensive series. Draughn’s defense got tackles for loss by Chrisco, returning starter Zach Poteet, freshman Donnell Wilkins and transfers Donovan King and Robbie Gibby and fumble recoveries by Poteet and Wilkins.
A Khe-nai Banks 40-yard gain up the guests’ sideline on the first play provided one of few offensive highlights in the game-situation portion. But the play was called back due to penalty. Draughn gained just one first down on three varsity drives (via penalty) while R-S scored all three times it touched the ball.
“On offense, we struggled,” Draughn second-year coach Chris Powell said. “Saw some really good things at time though. One of our big things was how to replace Tyler McKinney, and I think Trent Corn has really worked hard in this offseason. He’s gotten extremely strong. Bryan Walker is working hard back there as well.
“We’ve got to be able to establish a run game. We’ve got to get some movement up front. We’ve got to go back to work on Monday and get that fixed.”
King registered four stops at or behind the line of scrimmage to lead the way from his defensive tackle spot. Powell noted afterward he felt King “earned a starting spot” on defense Saturday.
“Defensively, for the most part, did good early,” Powell said. “Linebackers played very aggressive downhill, which we like. Got a new kid inside there, Donnell Wilkins, and he and Zach Poteet did a really good job flowing to the ball. We pursued really well today. Still need to work on assignments some there on defense.”
The Wildcats scrimmage Chase on the road Tuesday at 7 p.m. and face Bandys on Friday at 5 p.m. to open the 10th annual Burke County Jamboree at East Burke.
Paul Schenkel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-432-8950.