Aug 12, 2012
Knightdale hosts Middle Creek during the HighSchoolOT.com 2012 Football Jamboree at Southeast Raleigh High School Saturday August 11, 2012. (photo by Jack Tarr)
I love the HighSchoolOT.com Jamboree. Not just because it has our name attached to it, but because of the format.
The HighSchoolOT.com Jamboree is a game-like scenario. You go the length of the field, you have four downs, special teams, the coaches are on the sideline, and score is kept. You can't get any closer to a real game until next week.
A scrimmage format like the HighSchoolOT.com Jamboree allows you to take more away from it.
Here are some of my notes that I took away from the event:
Green Hope 26, Enloe 6
The Falcons appear to be much improved this season. Although I don't see Green Hope as a conference championship contender, I do think the Falcons will win a handful of games this year, and could sneak into the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Green Hope coach Kwame Dixon hit the nail on the head when he said you don't coach up 0-11 overnight. It takes time. We saw Green Hope make strides last season with wins over Smithfield-Selma and Sanderson. They should win both of those games this season, and some of the other games Green Hope lost, I think they could end up winning this year.
Clayton 14, Athens Drive 0
I was kind of surprised to see Athens Drive held scoreless, but a lot of credit can go to Clayton. Head coach Gary Fowler said he doesn't think the Comets have played good defense in years, but he sees that changing some this year. Clayton looked good in the scrimmage, and although they put up just 14 points, I think their offense will be good this year as well. The Comets return as much as experience as anyone in the Greater Neuse River Conference, and that could be enough to propel Clayton to one of the top few spots in the league. The conference will still go through Southeast Raleigh and Garner though.
Garner 27, Southern Durham 20
This match-up was one of the most fun scrimmage games I've ever watched. We had questions about Garner's offensive backfield, but I think they're going to be fine. We had questions about Southern Durham's youth, but even when they were down by two touchdowns they didn't stop playing. Both of these teams are athletic and talented, and both should compete for their respective conference titles.
Knightdale 9, Middle Creek 7
Impressive performance from Knightdale, I thought. The Knights played well on defense against a Middle Creek offense that is expected to be very potent this season. Knightdale has speed and athleticism, and they will have to use that to make up for what they don't have in size. Offensively, Knightdale struggled to score, but I think that also had a lot to do with a Middle Creek defense that looked formidable on Saturday.
Panther Creek 7, Millbrook 0
The game between Millbrook and Panther Creek was sloppy, and both offenses seemed out of sync. The only touchdown of the game came on a fumble recovery by Panther Creek's defense. Neither offense was able to punch it in for a single score in the 32 minutes of playing time. Both teams will have to work on that before next week, because both teams will be playing teams that are capable of putting up points this season.
Wakefield 14, Southeast Raleigh 0
I don't know how much to read into the score for either team. We expect Wakefield's offense to be very, very good this season, Connor Mitch only played the first few series, and wide receiver Jordan Fieulleteau didn't play a snap. Southeast Raleigh was also missing two key players – running back Sandy Chapman and defensive back Dante Jones. Marvin Burke, new head coach at Southeast Raleigh, said he was focused on finding depth, not the result of the game. I think Wakefield's offense is as advertised, and you can't discount the fact that the defense pitched a shutout. Southeast needs to find playmakers, but those playmakers may have simply not played last night. Time will tell.
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