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Neither team left with a victory in the Blue and Gold. It was still a win for Chiefland football.
Chiefland High School’s annual showcase scrimmage was unlike any other in recent memory. Head coach Aaron Richardson decided not to divide up the team in the traditional manner. Instead of pitting players as part of a full-time “Blue” or “Gold” team, players switched back and forth between teams, some after nearly every series. There was no clock or score for the game. This first-year coach said this system was meant to build team unity.
“It was important to play as the ‘Chiefland High School Indians’ today,” Richardson said.
It also allowed players to see extended time at multiple positions, a necessity for a team that dressed less than 40 total players for the game. However, the switching system did create a sense of confusion. Players had to run back and forth between the field and the sidelines, from team to team and from offense and defense. Time spent switching between blue and gold jerseys also slowed down the momentum of the game.
Richardson said in future years he hopes to go back to the traditional format. This year’s event served as an important team unity builder under the new coach.
Even without a score to measure the team, both the Chiefland defense and offense had impressive moments.
The first-team offense was sharp early on. Rising junior quarterback James Corbin directed a scoring drive with the help of a productive ground game. Running back Alphonzo Timmons provided power to the backfield and showed off break-away speed on a long touchdown run. Shaquille Patterson added a flash to the running game with his ability to dart through the defense. Richardson said he also hopes to play him some at quarterback as well. Josh Smith, also in the mix for the starting job at quarterback, impressed as well. He made several impressive plays, including a long pass to T.J. Donald on a fourth down that kept the series going.
Near the end of the scrimage, the first-team defense took over. Using an aggressive “50” formation with five defensive lineman and nine men in the box, They stymied the first-team offense. Senior linebacker Thurman Bailey, recently moved to middle linebacker, called the plays and proved to be one of the vocal leaders of the team. Richardson said he was also impressed with Deshawn Rolland.
The “game” was a tune-up for the Indians’ Spring Classic game against Bronson. Though it won’t count as an offical game, it provides a huge opportunity to get a win of any kind-something the program hasn’t experienced since a win over Bronon at last year’s Spring Classic.
This year’s contest will be at C. Doyle McCall field at 7:30 on Friday, May 25. The Indians’ regular-season opener is August 31 at Lecanto.