Cedar Creek-Sterlington Scrimmage
C.J. Colvin is back. So is Malik Davis. Dallas Reagor is still Dallas Reagor. The offensive line showed promise. It's still early and there are still kinks to work out, but Sterlington showed no signs of straying from its offensive identity in Thursday's preseason scrimmage against Cedar Creek.
Neither Colvin nor Davis showed any lingering effects from season-ending Week 1 ankle injuries as the Panthers gashed the Cougars for 383 yards on 32 carries.
Colvin, a senior tailback, scored on three consecutive carries during one stretch on his way to reeling off 177 yards and four touchdowns on just six carries. Any doubts about his health were erased on his fourth attempt, a 95-yard burst.
"C.J. has worked hard to get back to where he is," Sterlington coach Lee Doty said. "He looked healthy. I'm glad for him."
Davis was projected to share the tailback load with Colvin last season before moving to fullback this year. He finished Thursday's outing with six carries for 35 yards, including a 7-yard score, and added a 12-yard reception.
After Colvin and Davis were lost for the season, Austin Dupree, the Panthers' third tailback, was sidelined for two games, which opened the door for Reagor. A former linebacker, the then-sophomore turned in stunning outings in wins over Calvary Baptist and Carroll. His performance against Cedar Creek was equally impressive as he logged 158 yards on nine carries, punctuated by a 63-yard jaunt for the only touchdown of the 12-minute quarter.
"I thought Dallas ran the ball well and I thought Malik ran the ball well," Doty said. "I thought our running backs had a good night. Malik looked really good at fullback. He had some good runs and a good catch."
As for the offensive line, it was too early to tell immediately after the scrimmage.
"From my point of view it looked good, but I won't know until I see the film," Doty said.
Hayes Crockett and Brody Green split time running the first offense, combining to go 2-for-6 for 25 yards through the air.
Defensively, the Panthers regrouped after the Cougars' Ty Lolly powered his way into the endzone on the eighth play of the initial 10-play segment.
"They did the same thing last year — drove it down our throat on the first series," Doty said. "We made a few adjustments and played good defense for the rest of the night."
Cedar Creek managed just 119 yards of total offense, with all but 70 on its initial series.
"We're running a new defense this year," said Doty, who has replaced the 4-2-5 with a 4-3 base. "It's just easier for us to make adjustments. The kids don't have to think as much."
Sterlington went with a simple package in the scrimmage.
"I'm sure we'll make some tweaks before the jamboree," Doty said. "We made some mistakes, but we're just going to have to live with it. We just have to get better."
With nose guard Colby Rivera wreaking havoc up front, the Panthers held the Cougars to 98 yards rushing on 25 attempts.
"I thought Colby Rivera had a good game. He's hard to block," Doty said. "(Defensive end) Bryce Still and (linebacker) Willie Holloway made some plays."
Cedar Creek was just 3-of-14 for 21 yards through the air. Trey Eddins and Ram Foster intercepted passes for the Panthers, with Foster keeping both feet inbounds for a pick on the Cedar Creek sideline.
"Our secondary looked really good with the exception of a couple of plays," Doty said.
LINING UP: Under the scripted format, both teams ran two sets of 10 plays with the first offense and two sets of eight plays with the second offense, starting from the plus-45.
Two plays after Lolly's touchdown, Trey Eddins' interception ended the Cougars' first session.
Sterlington fumbled the ball away on its second play before Colvin broke off TD runs of 20 and 28 yards.
Cedar Creek advanced to the 26 on its second segment, but Foster's INT ended the threat.
Green's 13-yard pass to Hixson Street helped set up Davis' 7-yard touchdown run on the Panthers' second series.
Next, the offenses ran a series from their own 5.
Jordan Townsend's tackle for a 2-yard loss disrupted the Cougars' possesion.
With Sterlington starting from its 5, Colvin went the distance on the first snap.
An overtime session followed with both sides being given four plays to score from the 10.
Sterlington made a defensive stop as the Cougars fumbled on their second play.
With the Panthers facing third down from the 7, Colvin strolled into the endzone untouched on a pitch to the left side.
12 MINUTES: Returning from a brief intermission, the teams closed out the scrimmage with a 12-minute quarter.
Following empty possessions by both sides, the Cougars crossed over to the Sterlington 37 before Still's third-and-seven sack brought on the punting unit.
Backed up to its own 8, the Panthers crossed midfield immediately as Reagor bolted 31 yards with an additional 15 tacked on for a facemask. Sterlington eventually turned the ball over on downs at the 29.
Flagged twice for false starts, the Cougars went three plays and out.
Regaining possession at the 37, the Panthers began their final series with 1:38 on the clock. That was more than enough time as Reagor raced 63 yards to paydirt on the Panthers' next snap. Landon Green's PAT brought the score to 7-0.
JV: Neither team found the end zone in the JV scrimmage.
Sterlington quarterback Grant Mangrum completed 3-of-4 passes, all to Zach Crain, for 56 yards. Luke Handy's downfield block helped spring Crain for 27 yards — the Panthers' longest play of the JV session.
Larry Rogers rushed four times for 28 stripes for the Panthers.
Defensively, Carson Allen forced a fumble on a sack with Devan Henderson making the recovery in the backfield.
NEXT: Sterlington will play Bastrop in the Bayou Jamb next Friday. Starting time is 8 p.m. from ULM's Malone Stadium.