Leaders emerging in secondary as Hawks hold first scrimmage

Leaders emerging in secondary as Hawks hold first scrimmage

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon Hawks held their first scrimmage of the preseason on Wednesday. Following a short practice, the Hawks scrimmaged for a little more than an hour.

"We were able to get a lot done and a lot of guys that needed reps were able to get them," Huntingdon football coach Mike Turk said. "It was a good day but we're still a long way from where we need to be."

Turk said he saw a lot of guys flying around and making plays on both sides of the ball. After seven practices, Turk said the defense is ahead of the offense when it comes to "playing fast and being in position to make plays."

"The thing with a scrimmage is, what's good for one side of the ball is bad for the other side," Turk said. "We had the ball inside the 5-yard line several times and we had a hard time against our first-team defense. Of the four times we had first-and-goal, we scored one touchdown and tried three field goals.

"That's a good thing for our defense, but not for our offense. When we get down near the goal line, we've got to find a way to punch it in."

Turk said the secondary is showing signs of improvement and looked good in Wednesday's scrimmage. The unit has to replace a pair of seniors (Justin Brown and Huntingdon's career interception leader, Keith Anthony) at safety from last season. But the Hawks return two cornerbacks (senior Trammell DeJarnett and sophomore George Johnson) that started all 10 games last season.

DeJarnett picked off two passes, broke up six passes, recorded 30 tackles and had four tackles for loss last season. Johnson made one interception and finished with 32 tackles.

Turk said he sees potential in the unit and has been pleased with their progress in the first week.

"Trammell and George return at cornerback and appear to be playing well. Jeremy Murphy is right there in that top three at corner and freshman Brendon Brown has shown us some good things," Turk said. "At safety, Eric Reeves, Dakota Hooper and Craig Granger are playing well and so is Anthony White.

"We've still got some work to do, but we may have better depth in the secondary than we've had in a few years."

Huntingdon returns to the field on Thursday at 9 a.m. for a practice in shoulder pads and shorts. The Hawks will scrimmage again on Friday morning. Newcomers will scrimmage for about an hour, beginning at 9 a.m., followed by a scrimmage with the retuning players.

Thursday's practice and Friday's scrimmage are open to the public.