A quick start from the offense and a swarming defensive effort were a few of the sights fans were treated to Friday at Brunswick High’s Blue vs. Gold spring game at Glynn County Stadium.
Each side of the ball had standout moments in the conclusion to the Pirates’ spring schedule as both the defense (blue) and the offense (gold) were each able to put points on the board in a scoring system that awarded six points for touchdowns, two for three-and-outs, and three for a turnover.
“First quarter, I thought we did pretty good offensively when we had the No.1 offense in there,” said head coach Sean Pender. “But you saw the defense fix what they needed to fix, made the adjustments and made the stops, and that’s good. That’s something we’re looking for.”
The gold team got on the scoreboard first with a touchdown run on the opening drive of the game to take a 6-0 lead.
Team blue notched two points on the ensuing drive as the defense came up with a three-and-out, but the gold team came right back to drive to within the 10 yard line before settling for a field goal and a 9-2 advantage.
Brunswick’s blue team added another point to its total on a stop with 34 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but Jeffery Waye connected on a go-route for a 40-yard gain, and the gold team punched in another rushing score on the first play of the second quarter to go up 16-3.
But, as some reserves entered the contest, the defense made a strong push, which included securing a few turnovers, to cut the deficit to 16-11 going into halftime. The blue team actually went up 17-16 when the varsity returned in the first-string players returned in the third.
The gold team ended up coming out on top 22-17 when a running back took a handoff, broke a tackle, and sprinted towards the end zone for a long touchdown run with just over three minutes remaining, but first-year defensive coordinator Thomas Tedder was pleased to see how his team responded to some early adversity.
“We started off slow, and I don’t like starting off slow,” Tedder said. “We’ve just got to be faster at the beginning, but I like the fact that in the middle of the game, we found a way to get back in the game.
“We made some good stops and put ourselves into a position to possibly win the game… Overall, I’m pleased with the kids. It was a good spring. We’ve just got to get better now from here.”
Brunswick’s defense came up with a number of turnovers Friday, but it left several more on the field. The Pirates jumped a few passes, and had their hands on some more potential interceptions.
It’ll be crucial to capitalize on those opportunities more often come the regular season.
“There was times, we had at least about three interceptions that I counted in my head, but we’ve just got to seize the opportunity and make those plays,” Tedder said. “Once we do that, we’re going to be fine.”
The screen game appears it will have an important role in Brunswick’s offensive attack, but it was not able to get it going in the spring game.
Occasionally the problem was an off-target throw from young quarterbacks Jeffery Waye and Tyrease Jones, who were pressed into action due to the injuries of Anthony Mountain and KJ Lee, and sometimes the receiver couldn’t hang onto the pass. Other times, the defense sniffed out the play after seeing it all spring,
Pender believes improvement in that area will come with more practice in the summer.
“The two young quarterbacks, I thought they did pretty good,” Pender said. “It’s just when somethings went bad for a little bit, they kind of went into a shell for a little bit, but then they bounced back and did okay later on.”
There wasn’t much in the way of special teams work Friday as the Pirates decided to forgo kickoffs and make punts and kicks dead-ball plays — though the team had a few issues when they did lineup.
Brunswick missed its first extra point of the contest and its punt returners muffed a few kicks.
“We hadn’t muffed a punt all spring and then we come out here and muff just about every one of them,” Pender said. “So, yeah, that was disappointing because in practice, we don’t muff them.”