By Gary Smith
After finishing in a 0-0 tie with South Gibson County in a preseason jamboree football scrimmage last week, the Peabody Golden Tide will be attempting to clean up its game for Friday night’s season opener against Booker T. Washington of Memphis.
Evaluating Trenton’s performance in the scrimmage against South Gibson County, PHS Head Coach Shane Jacobs said, “I was proud of the way we came out and competed. The guys are disappointed in the scoreboard. You like to win against South Gibson, a rivalry deal like that, even though it was a scrimmage, they would have wanted to win.”
He continued, “I am proud of the effort and execution in a lot of spots. As you would expect in a jamboree, a dress rehearsal like that, you come out and make a few mistakes. When we get the ball down there on the goal line, we have got to punch it in. We got a false start and got behind the chains, when we had a first-and-goal opportunity from the seven-yard line. If we can clean up a few little things like that, we will be fine.”
In the seven-possession half, each offense advanced the football deep into the Red Zone (inside 20-yard line) and was within striking distance for a score. SGC accomplished the feat twice.
South Gibson County threatened first as it snapped the ball 10 times before defensive back Qua Parks stripped the football and Courtlen Wade recovered it at the PHS three-yard line to place a quietus on the Hornets’ initial series of downs.
After Peabody relinquished the football via punt on the eighth play of its opening drive, South Gibson County hiked the ball 10 times and moved it all the way down to the PHS seven-yard line. At this juncture, the drive stalled and necessitated a 23-yard field goal, which sailed wide to the left of the upright.
Following two unproductive possessions, Peabody threatened late in the half. After an impressive defensive stand that forced two holding penalties and eventually forced the Hornets to punt from their own five-yard stripe, the Peabody offense was the beneficiary of excellent field position.
Starting the drive from the SGC 40-yard line with 4:34 left in the jamboree, PHS sophomore quarterback Cooper Baugus engineered an eight-play drive in which the Tide advanced the football all the way down to the visitors’ two-yard line. Despite the fact that the Hornets defense swarmed the ball and forced a fourth down situation, the home team still had a chance to win the game with 49 seconds left.
However, South Gibson County’s Nolan Stidham blocked Zach Groom’s 19-yard field goal attempt and the scrimmage ended in a 0-0 deadlock.
Statistically, Peabody registered 53 yards rushing and 41 yards passing for 94 total yards and six first downs. South Gibson County managed 115 yards on the ground and zero yards in the air for 115 total yards and a half dozen renewed series.
Golden Tide quarterback Cooper Baugus completed five-of-seven passes, and the Hornets went 2/6/0 in the aerial department. PHS did not put the ball on the ground, and SGC relinquished its only fumble. The home team was penalized twice for 10 yards, and the visiting squad was flagged on four occasions for 35 yards.
Rushing leaders included: Peabody – Jarel Dickson, with six carries for 27 yards; Cooper Baugus, with seven scrambles for 10 yards and Jacquez Wilkins, with three runs for 16 yards and South Gibson County – C.J. Sharp, with eight attempts for 49 yards.
Top tacklers were: Eli Hammonds, with four solo tackles; Courtlen Wade, with three primary strikes, one secondary hit and a fumble recovery; Qua Parks, with three initial stops, one help-out and a caused fumble; Brantley Whitwell, 3/1 and Khance Hill, with two tackles and a pass deflection.
The physical scrimmage was good practice for Peabody’s season opening game Friday night against Booker T. Washington in Walter Kilzer Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
Previewing the game, Coach Jacobs cautioned, “We sent a couple of coaches down to Memphis Thursday night to watch BTW scrimmage Trezevant. Other than that, we probably won’t get a lot of film on them. Anytime you play a team from Memphis, you have the opportunity to see some athletes. So, it will be important for us to line up and play our fundamentals and come ready to play on opening night.”