David Mitchell commentary: First impressions from Week 1 of high school football

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerSeptember 4, 2013 

Sayings like “you never get a second chance at a good first impression” or “first impressions last a lifetime” don’t necessarily apply to football.

Whatever we learned about teams in the first week of the high school football season may go out the window by Week 2. A handful of coaches are likely counting on that.

As fans and reporters, though, we have the luxury of looking at each week in a vacuum and making assessments of a team based on its showing that week. So this week, I’m going to take a look at some of our first impressions from football teams around the area.

1. Russell County makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity. The Warriors dressed only about 45 players, only half of which were regular varsity guys, in their season-opener against Central.

Still, they were able to contend with the heavily favored Red Devils for three quarters before finally bowing out in the fourth. Talk about a good first impression.

Coach Demond McCoy has told me on a couple occasions that Russell County’s plan this year was to do everything it can with what it has. He knows the difficulty of playing Class 5A football with a roster that size, but you can’t question its heart.

2. Carver has the talent if it avoids making too many mistakes. When the Tigers were on Friday, they were on. To begin their game against Spencer, they scored touchdowns on four consecutive offensive possessions. Defensively, they allowed just three points.

For most of the game’s 48 minutes, this team was every bit as good as its talent would suggest.

There were times, however, when the Tigers made a too many mistakes. They missed opportunities on offense and made a handful of penalties that could cost them if repeated.

Quarterback Jawon Pass may have had the best first impression of all, throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass on his first attempt as a starter. He missed some throws later, but he definitely looks the part.

3. Justin Crawford and the Hardaway offense can be very good. Crawford rushed for touchdowns of 41, 3 and 59 yards. Quarterback Blake Berry tossed a touchdown pass. Darius Blackmon added a 21-yard touchdown run.

The Hawks hit on all cylinders. We came into this season expecting Hardaway to be a team that could contend for a playoff berth despite only three wins last year. It has a tough non-region schedule, but that should set it up nicely for Region 1-AAAAA play.

4. Kendrick looks like a playoff contender again. The team went 5-5 in the regular season last year. One of those losses came 25-6 to Americus-Sumter. The Cherokees topped Americus in double-overtime Friday.

Now, simply winning a game this year that they lost last year doesn’t necessarily mean they are a better team. It does, however, give us a great first impression of their potential.

David Mitchell, follow David on Twitter @leprepsports and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ledgerenquirersports..

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