Starr's Mill edges Sandy Creek in scrimmage

Sat, 08/25/2007 - 5:02pm
By: Kevin Wandra

A day after lighting and pouring rain forced the cancellation of their scrimmage, the Starr's Mill Panthers and Sandy Creek Patriots squared off Saturday morning at the Battlefield Field in Tyrone.

Both teams had numerous players who stood out, but it was Starr's Mill that walked away with the victory, 9-7.

First-year starting quarterback Matt Sweat led Starr's Mill to a touchdown on the game-opening drive. Sweat capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown run off left tackle.

“Matt looked excellent,” Starr's Mill coach Mike Earwood said. “He was poised and was very impressive, especially on the first drive. He looked like a seasoned quarterback.”

Creek running back Ragion Neal tied the game in the third quarter with a 68-yard touchdown run on which he went off right tackle and cut inside a would-be tackler in the open field on the way to the end zone.

One of the most impressive players in the scrimmage was Starr's Mill defensive lineman Blake Debartola. He was active up front, penetrating through the offensive line a few times. Debartola made his biggest play late in the third quarter, sacking Creek's second-string quarterback, Victor Ector, in the end zone for a safety.

Earwood wasn’t surprised by anything that occurred in the scrimmage.

“It was a typical scrimmage,” Earwood said. “The defense handled themselves well. Offensively, we were good in spots, bad in spots and just plain awful in other spots.”

Earwood lauded the play of running back Spencer Penson, wide receiver Jared Rose, defensive lineman Nate Baker and linebacker Parker duPont.

Creek coach Chip Walker had mixed emotions regarding his team’s performance.

“We did some things very well, and we also did some things not so well,” Walker said. “The scrimmage was good for us, though, because we got live experience against a good opponent, and a lot of our younger guys got some playing time.”

Walker singled out nose tackle James Hervey, linebacker Jordan Littlepage (a team-leading eight tackles), defensive end Jeremy Holt, quarterback Rio Johnson (6-of-9, 55 yards), running backs Josh Williams (10 carries, 53 yards) and Neal (four carries, 75 yards), wide receiver Marc Ellis (two catches, 27 yards) and tight end Alex Green (two catches, 19 yards) for their performances.

“All of those guys looked good,” Walker said.

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