Saints give fans sneak peak during scrimmage

Shiloh Christian’s Blue/Gold Game on Friday was about “the fans, as much as anything,” but Saints coach Jeff Conaway still viewed it as a chance to improve.

“We’ve been going up against the same offense and same defense for two weeks, so we were just kind of showing things off,” Conaway said. “That’s what tonight was for. We’ll evaluate the film and we’ll make some corrections and get better, but we’re not going to go over the top on this one.”

For the most part, it was “ones vs. ones” with the first team offense going up against the first-team defense because Shiloh Christian only has two, two-way players in Broc Berus and Lorenzo Lopez, who both double at running back and linebacker. That resulted in a stalemate most plays, although the offense led by third-year starting quarterback Connor Reece did get into the end zone a couple of times. Reece rushed and passed for long touchdowns.

“We were very vanilla with our play calls and we wanted it to be good competition,” Conaway said. “Both units, and we had them split, are playing a very high level and that’s kind of the balance we were expecting.”

Berus and Lopez lined up on opposite sides of the football to help keep it balanced (both bruisers on the same side of the field wouldn’t have been fair). They duo easily were responsible for the best collisions of the scrimmage.

I even joked when asking Conaway if they “didn’t like each other or something” due to how aggressively they appeared to target one another.

“It’s just an edge that our players and coaches are bringing everyday,” Conaway said. “They love each other, but they’re going to fight each other everyday.”

The scrimmage lasted just 25 minutes and included a kicking competition between Caden Carter and Patrick Williams as coaches wanted to see how each one handled kicking “under pressure” with the crowd watching. Williams won the kickoff by hitting 4 of 5 attempts with the only miss coming from 40 yards out.

Despite the limited time running “vanilla” plays, there were a few adjustments Conaway hopes to make before the Saints’ scrimmage at Springdale on Aug. 23.

“We’ve got to get more physical,” Conaway said. “I think every coach is going to say that. We’ve got to block better. We’ve got to tackle better. Of course, there’s things that we’re not satisfied with, but I like where we’re at right now and I like the competition that we get everyday.

“And I believe we are going to get better everyday of practice.”

Hey, it’s just preseason

Please excuse my shaky, unfocused at times attempt at shooting highlights with my new video camera. It was the first time in five-plus seasons I’ve tried to shoot video of the entire field, instead of just focusing on one kid for recruiting highlights. That’s much easier.

That’s why I’m zooming out instead of zooming in on a couple of the better plays, but I promise to improve. I probably should asked my 10-year shoot the video, although he likely would have turned it on himself to shoot something for his Vine of Youtube channels.

Another editor’s note of sorts: Please excuse this not being posted sooner as we’ve been finishing up our annual “Prep Rally” football preview and there also was a little red tape that had to be cut before I could get the video posted on our Youtube account.

Like the Saints, we hope to have all the kinks worked out by the start of the season.

Mike Capshaw
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Mike Capshaw

Sports writer at NWA Media
Mike primarily covers Fayetteville and Farmington.
Mike Capshaw
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