Naturally, all three teams involved in Friday night's Prairie View Jamboree have some rough edges to work out, but all three squads appeared to be ahead of schedule in the conditioning aspect. Although Tallulah, Riverfield and Prairie View field small squads (translation: a lot of players were going both ways), there was not a single play stoppage due to leg cramps in the triple header.
“We didn't have any cramps, which is always a concern this time of the year,” Prairie View coach Reagan Morrison said. “We still have some work to do on our conditioning, though, and the kids understand that.”
Morrison has stressed the importance of staying hydrated to the Spartans, implementing a no-soda rule. If a player turns in a teammate for drinking a carbonated beverage, the informant gets to skip the final sprint in practice, while the guilty party has to run an extra sprint.
A FOR EFFORT: In a Thursday interview, Morrison said he was more concerned with effort than execution in the jamboree. Objective achieved.
“I saw some guys who wanted to play football tonight and that's what I'm looking for,” Morrison said. “I'm looking for execution, also, but I really liked the effort tonight.”
Only eight practices into the season, Morrison knew the Spartans would have their share of early-season mistakes.
“Just like I told the kids, after eight practices — that's no excuse, we still have to execute — you're going to have bright spots and spots that are not so bright,” Morrison said.
DYLAN DEALS: Junior quarterback Dylan Carroll was rock solid in his first varsity action, completing 11-of-18 passes for 109 yards with a couple of drops. He was 6-of-9 for 37 yards vs. Riverfield and 5-of-9 for 64 stripes vs. Tallulah. He appeared comfortable in the pocket, wasn't afraid to run when necessary and, more importantly, did not turn the ball over.
“I thought our passing game looked pretty good for the amount of time we've spent on it,” Morrison said. “Our timing was pretty good. We didn't have a single bobbled snap, which says something.”
Carroll utilized seven different receivers, led by Austin McDonald with three receptions for 33 yards and Garrett Laird with two for 36.
Layne Gray was the Spartans' most effective rusher with four carries for 20 yards on the night.
DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING: Prairie View allowed only one pass completion in three attempts for negative four yards.
Riverfield rushed for 90 yards on six attempts, with the majority of that total coming on Patrick Pelley's 71-yard touchdown jaunt.
Tallulah gashed the Spartans for 94 yards on 17 rushing attempts.
“We faced two totally different offenses tonight,” Morrison said. “Riverfield ran the spread and Tallulah was ground and pound. You have to keep your pad level low regardless, but it's especially important when somebody is lining up in six-inch splits. We didn't do a good job of keeping our pad level low against Tallulah. That's something we'll work on.”
MOVING FORWARD: Prairie View opens the regular season Friday night in Haynesville against Claiborne Academy.
“Overall, I was pleased with the jamboree,” Morrison said. “We come back Monday and get back to work. Next week, it's 1-0 or 0-1. From what I gather, I think our kids are going to be ready.”