DELPHOS – Delphos Jefferson and Delphos St. John’s faced off for the first scrimmage of the year and while it may not have had the same fanfare as a regular season tilt between these two crosstown rivals the enthusiasm and aggressiveness was evident Tuesday at Stadium Park.
As expected the respective defenses dominated as the two offenses work on execution and chemistry. Mental miscues, turnovers and even the simple of task of snapping the football hampered the efforts of the two offenses.
Despite the expected mistakes, Blue Jays head coach Todd Schulte was encouraged by what he saw from his team.
“This afternoon we will watch films and see where we are at,” Schulte said. “We know we have some things to work on but it was good to get out and see a different opponent and get away from that mundane practice.”
Losing a number of players to graduation, the Blue Jays many battling for starting spots.
The Blue Jays’ No. 1 offense did score once in the scrimmage when Curtis Schwinnen caught a short pass for a score from quarterback Jared Wurst. The Blue Jays’ second squad also punched it into the end zone.
Schulte said he was not looking at anything specific and the offense adjusted well to the different defensive schemes shown by Jefferson.
“We just wanted to be aggressive and get to the ball defensively,” Schulte said. “Offensively we wanted to handle our assignments. They did a lot of moving around and blitzing so that made it a little tough on us. It is early and we will get prepared for those things.”
Jefferson, under first-year coach Luke Taviano, struggled offensively as it embraced a new system and breaks in new starters. One of the areas that the Wildcats will need to work on is the center to quarterback transitions as five snaps did not make it back to the signal-caller or were fumbled.
“It is a new center and we are working on it,” Taviano said. “I think the nerves got the best of him and he is trying to work through it. He is more worried about making his steps and blocks and not securing the ball to the quarterback so it’s something we have to work on and he is a good kid and he’ll get there.”
Despite the snapping issue, Taviano saw plenty of bright spots. The Jefferson defense forced several turnovers and produced a number of sacks.
“We had a lot of good things out there defensively,” Taviano said. “A lot of penetration and flying to the ball and that is exactly why we put in that defense so we are going to confuse a lot of people and fluster a lot of people. I just hope the offense picks up speed. I know we can do it.”
One of the reasons for the scrimmage between the two Delphos schools is that in 2020 the two teams will be facing off during the regular season.