Monday, August 24, 2009

Football practice, Friday, August 21

This post was written by Vanguard sports writer Allison Whited.

There seemed to be heavy emphasis on the running game Friday morning, both from the offensive side and the defensive side. Early on, the offensive line repeatedly set about creating running lanes after the snap. The offense overall is pass happy and through other practices, the running game hasn't looked threatening.

That is beginning to change a bit though. There are a couple of freshman backs that will compliment returning starter Bobby McClintock very well. Evans Okotcha and Ben Bowen show good field awareness and an ability to make small cuts to gain a few extra yards on each play. They are also fairly adroit when called on to block for the quarterback.

There were two defensive plays that have to be mentioned. Ryan Pedersen is an intelligent linebacker and plays as much with his brain as he does his body. On one snap, the coach handling the ball as the quarterback created some misdirection that looked as if it fooled the entire defense, and, while everyone on his side of the ball went one way, Pedersen went the other and made a beeline to the "quarterback".

Another impressive play was made by linebacker Erik Pedersen. In an 11-on-11 drill where the run was being pushed, Pedersen patiently waited for a hole to open, which the defense created in just a couple of seconds, and drove straight to the running back with the ball. It was a strong defensive play and it showed the entire defense’s ability to follow through.

On the special teams’ side of things, the Vikes look good. There are two competing kickers, Robert Truax and Wade Penner. Both have a pretty good foot and both are usually on target. It seems like they take turns every day looking like the better option. On the whole, they both look good and give depth at a position that can make or break a game. The long snapper is Braedyn Eagle and he is consistently on target with his snaps. He is fairly imposing and should hold up well under pressure.

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