KENTWOOD -- Springfield coach Ryan Serpas saw a number of positives to help offset the usual spring-time errors in the Bulldogs' three-way scrimmage against Jewel Sumner and Carver on Thursday at Sumner.
“It's a spring game, so obviously a lot of mistakes were made,” Serpas said. “It was definitely a step up in competition for us and I thought our kids competed well and showed that we do have the ability to be able to put some things together and have some positives going forward. I think there is definitely a lot of good stuff to build on and I'm definitely a lot happier coming out of this spring than I was last spring. Now we just have to get the summer program rolling and hopefully the kids will continue to work and we can get better as a team.”
The Bulldogs were getting their first real look at their multiple offense after switching from the triple option this spring. Springfield ran for 39 yards, led by John'L Fryson with 28 yards on 10 carries.Quarterback Nunzio Martello completed 2-of-7 passes for 4 yards.
“Whenever you do a lot of new stuff, it does take a while for that to come together,” Serpas said. “Today was basically our 10th practice of working on that stuff and we're asking a lot of guys to do different things position-wise. The 10 practices are just not quite enough to be where you want to be at but I did see a lot of promise. Even when they made mistakes, they bounced back from it and corrected it, so I'm happy with the effort on that and not continuing to do the same little thing over and over again.”
Other than a few breakdowns in the secondary, the Springfield defense also had a solid evening.
“We were solid up front,” Serpas said. “I thought there were patches of great play. Secondary-wise, I think we still have to do a little bit of work and try to find the right combination of kids back there. I think the kids are working and I think it will continue to improve as long as they keep showing up and wanting to improve.”
The two-hour-plus scrimmage consisted of 10-play series with the first-team offenses and defenses and eight-play series with the second teams. It wrapped up with a round-robin series of three eight-minute quarters.
After going three-and-out in its first set of downs against Sumner, the Springfield first-team offense picked up its initial first down on a pair of 5-yard runs by Zac Wild and Fryson to the Bulldog 43. But Martello was sacked for an 8-yard loss to stall the drive. Fryson scampered for 17 yards on the final play of the series.
Colten Davis intercepted a pass by Carver's Quincy Curry at the Springfield 29 on the first set of downs against the Rams. Carver scored later in the series on 40-yard pass by Curry.
A pair of fumbles ended drives by the Bulldogs' second-team offense against Sumner. The Springfield second-team defense then allowed a 38-yard touchdown pass to the Carver.
Springfield's first-team offense moved to its own 49 against Sumner on an 8-yard run by Nilan Pinestraw and 4-yard carry by Fryson, but a holding call stalled the drive.
Curry connected on a 30-yard touchdown pass in the timed session while Springfield was held on downs at its own 30. The Bulldogs also went three-and-out on their timed series against Sumner. The Cowboys drove inside the Springfield 10 on their series before a penalty pushed them out beyond the 20 on the final play.
“To come out here and compete with these two teams -- I think they had one of the best teams in 4A (Carver) and another good passing team (Sumner) -- I think we did very well,” Davis said.
Springfield opens the 2018 season on Aug. 31 at home against Ascension Christian.
“We have some 7-on-7 work we're trying to get ironed out and then hitting the weight room,” Serpas said of the schedule between now and the opener. “We have to continue to have these kids show up and work and try to project where they are playing at and where they are going to help the team at the best. I think one great improvement that I have right now that I haven't had is I have some great seniors who are really kind of stepping up and making sure that some of these other kids are doing their job and holding other people accountable. It's definitely a great thing whenever a coach can step back and count on some of those older kids to get things done for you.”