Bastrop High Spring Football
Bastrop's offense showed some firepower in Monday night's spring scrimmage against Ouachita at Ram Stadium, but all eyes were on the defense.
With former head coach Brad Bradshaw rejoining the program as defensive coordinator, the Rams are looking for significant improvement from a unit which shouldered the brunt of the blame for last year's 3-8 disaster.
Inheriting only two returning starters, Bradshaw is being asked to overhaul the unit with an inexperienced cast.
Sure, there is much work to be done, but the defense showed signs of progress Monday night.
“Coach Brad has really emphasized playing with effort and running to the football and, for the most part, I thought they tried to do that for us,” Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman said.
For what it's worth, Bastrop won on the scoreboard, besting the Lions 6-0 in a 12-minute quarter to close out the evening after winning the first-team portion of the scrimmage 18-12.
There were stretches where the Lions gashed the Rams with their running game.
“That happens sometimes. You're on the field for a set number of plays and you start to get tired toward the end,” Bachman said of the Lions' success on the ground.
Of course, it has to be taken into consideration that the defense was matched against a quality offensive team.
“Ouachita has some players,” Bachman said. “They have a good group of skill kids. The cupboard's never bare over there.”
Ends Travez Moore, whose 9-yard sack disrupted the Lions' second series, and David Davis both pressured the quarterback and were active in the backfield to lead the Rams defensively. Brandon Matthews, Kintavius Cash, Jacari Jones and John Robinson were among the others making some plays.
Offensively, the Rams scored on their ninth play of the scrimmage segment on a 6-yard pass from Christian Doaty to Travion Burks.
A couple of series later, Jerry Powell scored on a 20-yard reception out of the backfield and Doaty found Burks on an 8-yard TD toss.
Bastrop started the 12-minute quarter on offense from its own 30.
Converting a third-and-six, Powell carried for 28 yards, leading to Doaty's 38-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Graham on the fourth play of the drive.
Ouachita advanced to the 17, before Cash's fumble recovery turned the ball back over to the Rams at their own 16.
Burks' 55-yard run and a 14-yard pickup by Powell helped set up a first down at the 11.
Bastrop pushed as close as the 4, but the drive stalled after the Rams were whistled for a false start.
Taking over on downs at the 22, the Lions moved to the Bastrop 32 on a 31-yard pass play and a roughing the passer call, before the quarter ended with an incomplete pass inside the 10.
“I didn't like the turnovers and I didn't like the way we finished,” Bachman said. “We have it on the 4-yardline and we're about to hand the ball to Jerry Powell and we get called for a false start. We have some things we have to clean up.
“Explosive is good, but I'm looking for every down consistency on both sides of the ball.”
By rule, the Rams still have six practices remaining, although they will likely break camp on Thursday.
“We just need to finish out the week and start focusing on our summer program because Sept. 5 is coming in a hurry,” said Bachman, referring to the Rams' 2014 season opener against Shreveport Huntington.
Notes: No less than seven college coaches were on hand for the scrimmage, including McNeese State offensive line coach Rob Sale, Mississippi State co-offensive coordinator John Hevesy, LSU special teams coach Bradley Dale Peveto, Louisiana Tech assistant Tim Rattay and Louisiana College defensive line coach Stanley Smith. Delta State was represented by head coach Todd Cooley and linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator Lanier Goethie. ... Also attending the scrimmage was Bastrop alumnus and Alabama junior linebacker Denzel Devall and former Rams' quarterback Deda Ridgell. ... Bastrop and Ouachita will meet again in jamboree action with the Rams visiting the Lions in late August.