Offense: The offense looked better after a sluggish week, hitting on the only big play of the scrimmage - a 55-yard TD from starting quarterback Kyle Pohl to wide receiver L.T. Smith. They didn't look perfect, but they certainly looked more fluid.
Defense: The most aggravating trend for the Zips on defense last year was the ability to play solid defense most of the time then give up a big play. See above. Additionally, they didn't exactly light things up with respect to goal line defense, giving up seven scores in eight attempts. However, it was the first time they practiced it.
Ravenna’s D.J. Jones is getting a chance to open some eyes. The freshman got a chance to showcase the skills that made him the Northern Inland District Division III Player of the Year during his senior season, peeling off a few significant runs and showing unwillingness to go down when hit multiple times. A few “oohs” and “aaahs” could be heard among the crowd after.“What I like is when a young guy earns the respect of his teammates by being tough and having a local guy like that who is out there earning the respect of his teammates and showing he can play is awful nice,” Bowden said.
Last year’s starting running back Jawon Chisholm continued to impress on many of limited opportunities carrying the football. Barring injury, he should improve statistically across the board in the coming season.
Bowden said he believes the offensive line is coming together. No one player stuck out. But they worked as one, he said: Losing Mitch Straight and losing Adam Bice I figured we'd have a little more time struggle there, but I thought they played as a unit. As a unit, I thought our offensive line played very well today.
Practice changes: Bowden said that he and his staff may have to rethink the way they do things with respect to practices and workouts. Right now, four players – Imani Davis (wide receiver), Keith Sconiers (wide receiver), Dee Frieson (wide receiver) and Hakeem Lawrence (running back) – are all nursing sore hamstrings.
The Zips like to run more than 160 plays per session. Fewer plays may be part of the solution.