Dawg Defense shines in scrimmage against Buda Hays
By TJ MAXWELL
Just 10 practices into the new program, the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs showed a few signs of the adjustment period, especially on offense.
“I thought, at times, we showed signs running and throwing,” said Copperas Cove first-year head football coach and athletic director Jack Alvarez. “We kept getting behind the sticks and that’s tough to deal with no matter what you’re trying to do offensively. You can’t play behind the sticks. You have to keep them moving.”
The defense, however, looked in top form as they swarmed to the ball and showed play-making abilities, including a forced fumble by senior linebacker Jacob Carney on Buda Hays’ first possession of the controlled scrimmage. Cove held the Rebels to just 15 yards of total offense in the first eight Hays plays.
“They are flying to the ball and they’re physical,” Alvarez said of his defense. “We’ve got a lot to work on. The effort was good. I thought it was a good, physical practice.
“We are a very young program and it showed. I think that if the kids can stay together and everybody keeps encouraging them, I think we’ll be good in the end. You want to be good at the end of the year, not the beginning, so we definitely have room for improvement.”
Hays, under first-year head coach Les Goad, got the slight advantage in the timed portion of the practice but Cove had the edge through the controlled portion.
“That’s a new program they got in there in February or March and they’re doing a great job,” Alvarez said of the Rebels. “Hats off to those guys. They executed very well, especially throwing the ball.”
The Rebels drew first blood in the timed scrimmage on a six-play scoring drive that put them up 7-0.
The Bulldawgs had a couple opportunities to knot the game but incomplete passes ended one opportunity while a sack, a penalty and an interception foiled the other attempt.
“I thought we gave ourselves a chance to tie it at the end,” said Alvarez. “I was proud of getting them off the field and getting back there and making a couple plays but we got a penalty and it negated that.”
Cove began the controlled scrimmage with a pass over the middle to senior Kameron Spruiell before junior running back Micah Cox broke free for a touchdown run.
A pair of long touchdown passes by Hays had Cove against the ropes, but a 55-yard touchdown pass from Cochran to Spruiell knotted the scrimmage at two scores each.
The Dawgs then took the advantage with a 46-yard touchdown run up the gut by sophomore running back Brandon Ortega.
Another touchdown pass across the middle by Hays again knotted the scrimmage at three scores apiece until Cox squirted free up the left sideline on a screen pass from Cochran for a 70-yard Cove touchdown on the first play of the Bulldawgs’ final possession of the controlled portion.
The Bulldawgs have two more weeks of practice and one more scrimmage at Abilene’s Shotwell Stadium before the season opens up with a home contest against UANL team from Mexico on Friday, Aug. 31.
“We’ve still got to learn what to do,” said Alvarez. “I think the number one deal is trusting and following your keys and trusting your rules. Trust your keys on defense and follow your rules on offense. If we had all done that tonight a little better, we would probably all be pretty happy right now.
“I’m having a blast. The kids are playing hard. We’re not always playing as smart as we can play, but we’re playing hard.”