TRENTON — The goal was progress, and Sidney’s quad scrimmage at Trenton Edgewood on Saturday morning was mission accomplished according to coach Adam Doenges.
The progress will have to continue, though, in order for Sidney to achieve its goal of earning wins in a few weeks.
The Yellow Jackets showed big-play abilities through scrimmages with Edgewood, Milford and Clinton-Massie and the ability to create turnovers on defense. They were inconsistent in both areas, though, and gave up several big plays on defense. Sidney lost to Edgewood four touchdowns to two, Milford 4-1 and Clinton-Massie 3-1.
That doesn’t worry Doenges, who said the team used the scrimmage as an opportunity to judge first, second and third-string players in differing circumstances.
“We wanted to come out and compete, and we did,” Doenges said. “I don’t know so much about how other teams do it, but I think we mixed a lot more 2’s in with our 1’s earlier and even mixed our 3’s in with our 2’s and a few 1’s. We had some guys miss the bus today, so we even had to move some guys up some spots.
“We don’t worry so much about that. We worry about the physicality. We’ll go back and watch the film. It’s another moving day — some guys are going to move up and down the depth chart. We’ll pair it down more with who’s going to get the varsity reps.”
None of the four teams finished with less than eight wins last season. Clinton-Massie finished as Division IV state runner-up, Milford went 8-2 and earned a Division I playoff berth and Edgewood went 8-2 and just missed a Div. II postseason berth.
“These are all really good teams, and I’m happy with how we came off the ball and played physical,” Doenges said. “… There’s four quality football teams out here, and we’re one of them. We kept telling our kids how we were going to play three really good teams, and we also can be a really good team.
“We’ve got to continue to work on things to get there. Offensively, our run game wasn’t moving a whole lot, but we knew going into this year that our run game probably isn’t going to be our forte like it has been the last few years. Just finding the right mix and combination of receivers. The screen game was solid today.”
Many of Sidney’s returnees made big plays. Darren Taborn hauled in a 20-yard pass from Ryan Dunham against Edgewood, Caleb Harris scored on a short touchdown run against Clinton-Massie and Josiah Hudgins grabbed an interception against Milford.
Junior receiver/defensive back Lathan Jones hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from Dunham against Milford and also deflected a pass.
“Lathan definitely stood out,” Doenges said. “I don’t think that takes away from anybody like Taborn or Hudgins because I think those guys were solid today. It just happened to be Lathan’s day with balls coming to his area and making plays.
“I think that’s a great thing with our kids right now. There’s not so much, ‘Well I didn’t get the ball enough today or wasn’t able to make my plays.’ We know going week-in and week-out that it’s going to be somebody else’s turn to make plays.”
Dunham, who leads the quarterback race, played sparingly while backups EJ Davis, Cedric Johnson and Donavin Johnson took most of the snaps.
Davis threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Josh Harlett against Edgewood, while Johnson threw a 35-yard pass to Quamir “Philly” Brown. Brown who took a screen pass and maneuvered his way from the right to left side and was stopped just short of the end zone.
Davis and Cedric Johnson both had big pickups on runs, and Donavin Johnson scored a short touchdown run against Edgewood.
“All our quarterbacks are physical runners, and I thought they did a nice job today of knowing the right time to run out of bounds, too,” Doenges said. “There’s not a real reason to try and pick up that extra yards today. The quarterback thing will continue to shake down this week. It will be a little different this week and Thursday when we scrimmage CJ with the lights on.”
The teams swapped 10-play possessions for about 45-minute scrimmages before changing opponents.
Edgewood scored on a short run to take an early lead and then scored on a 12-yard pass over the middle. Sidney came within 2-1 on Davis’ TD pass to Harlett, but Edgewood scored on another short run and an 8-yard pass to take a 4-1 lead.
Johnson’s short touchdown run finished the scrimmage’s scoring. The Yellow Jackets recovered a fumble in the end zone on Edgewood’s third possession.
Dunham’s 40-yard pass to Jones opened Sidney’s scrimmage against Milford. The Eagles’ offense had the rest of the highlights, though, including 20- and 30-yard touchdown passes in their 4-1 win.
The Yellow Jackets finished with Clinton-Massie. The Falcons scored on a short touchdown run and a long TD pass on their first possession. Harris scored on a 1-yard run on Sidney’s second possession, and Massie answered with a short run on its last possession.
Sidney’s last scrimmage of the season will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at Chaminade-Julienne. The Eagles are entering their third year playing at Roger Glass Stadium on the school’s campus in downtown Dayton.
The Yellow Jackets will open the season on Aug. 24 at St. Marys.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.