The bands were playing on both sides of Warrior Stadium on Friday night. The student section was full and loud. The quarterbacks were getting hit and there was football going on in between the lines.
Everything about Oconee County High School’s scrimmage against Thomson High School looked, sounded and smelled like a regular game.
It was only when the voice of the Warriors Ben Bridges announced over the PA system in the stadium that there wouldn’t be any score kept on the scoreboard did the temporarily artificial atmosphere and stakes begin to form.
The Warriors pounded the Bulldogs on their way to a 31-7 win, though it wasn’t documented to the patrons in the stadium. Officially the game ended 0-0. OCHS head coach Travis Noland felt a score only muddies the objective of getting better and working on things in preseason scrimmages. There were a few late scores by young OCHS players that maybe diluted the score a little bit, something Noland is always cautious in giving merit before the games count.
“We’re trying to get better, they’re trying to get better,” Noland said. “They had two sophomore quarterbacks they’re trying to figure out who they want to be the starter. I think it’s unfair. When you’re trying to control things, but yet let them play I just don’t like turning the scoreboard on.”
Scoreboard or no scoreboard the Warriors came out and made some plays early on. Senior running back Jimmy Boswell scored the Warriors’ first touchdown of 2019 with a short plunge near the goal line.
Boswell felt good about getting into the endzone after such a productive offseason of workouts as well as the struggles of last season.
“We’ve had four years and almost 1,900 hours of work from going to the gym, summer practices and coming out here and practicing for two and a half hours, of course driving it in was all I was thinking about and for all that hard work to pay off is awesome,” Boswell said.
Boswell wasn’t the only Warrior to get in the endzone. Senior quarterback Max Johnson threw a roping out route to junior West Weeks that ended in the corner of the endzone to put the Warriors up 14-0 in the second quarter.
The Warriors’ starters and varsity players sprinkled out of the game in the third quarter where they added a 42-yard field goal to close the scoring for the varsity portion of the scrimmage.
For more on this story, see the Aug. 22 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.com or call (706) 769-5175.