With most of the local football teams completing their final scrimmages this week, we are that much closer to opening day for the regular season.
While Aug. 24 can't get here fast enough for fans, many coaches and players are hoping to use as much time as possible to get better in their final week of practice.
"We've still got a lot of work to do," said Marietta head coach Adam Eichhorn after the Tigers lost a scrimmage 13-0 to John Marshall Friday at Don Drumm Stadium. "We're seeing some things we've improved on, and still some things we need to improve on. We're still working a few kinks out. The intensity is getting there, but we've got to get guys to learn how to finish a little bit."
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Marietta High running back Quinton Coffield attempts to elude a John Marshall tackler during scrimmage action at Don Drumm Stadium Friday night.
Marietta is set to travel to McConnelsville Friday to take on the Morgan Raiders, and Eichhorn said that the team's preparation is going to be crucial.
"Getting into this week, we really need to put five days together," Eichhorn said. "We need for the kids to be focused, each day finding one aspect to get better at, and continue that throughout the season."
"From Athens to Ripley, we've seen some things," Eichhorn continued. "The d-line has played well, and the o-line has gotten better at pass blocking. As far as the receivers, the routes are getting better, but we've got to be more confident going up and making catches."
The Warren Warriors were clicking on all cylinders in a scrimmage at Herbert Hoover High in W.Va. Friday.
With a 40-minute running clock, Warren bested host Herbert Hoover, 35-7.
"We didn't punt all night," said Warriors boss Andy Schob. "In fact, Chas (Miller), our punter, had to work on that in the JV game.
"We moved the ball really well against Herbert Hoover."
Warren quarterback Dylan Leffingwell passed for three touchdowns, two to tight end David Ryan of 65 and 21 yards, and one to Miller of 15 yards.
The Warrior running game was solid as well as Jake Scott ran 18 yards for a TD, and freshman Zach Clegg had a four-yard run to paydirt.
"Austin Kuhn was actually our leading ground gainer," Schob said. "He ran really well, and our line blocked really well."
Kicking extra points, Miller split the uprights three times, and Cole Wigal booted two PATs.
Playing a second scrimmage against Logan of W. Va., Warren struggled a little bit with two fumbles and one turnover, and dropped a 13-7 decision, again with a 40-minute running clock.
"The guys may have been a little tired, playing two scrimmages in one day, but that's no excuse," Schob said.
"Again, we moved the ball well, but we've got to finish drives better. We saw some good things, but there's some things we need to get fixed - and they are fixable."
Clegg rushed for Warren's lone TD of five-yards against Logan.
The Warriors are scheduled to host Philo in their season opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
In New Matamoras, the Frontier Cougars are making progress but have a little ways to go still.
"We're on the right track, but we're not where we need to be yet," said head coach Todd Bradford. "We've still got lots of things to accomplish."
Much like many teams, the Cougars have seen areas of strength and areas with room for improvement.
"As far as running the football, and moving the ball on the ground, we're getting there," Bradford said. "Our techniques are lot better now. Week to week we're getting better. The offensive line needs to gel a little better. We need to work on our tackling form. In our scrimmages, there were some plays we should have been able to make that we didn't."
Bradford has been impressed with the performance of the Frontier backfield, senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson in particular.
"Our quarterback has looked pretty good," Bradford said.
"I'm pretty happy with where Jordan is. There is still progress to be made. We've also ran the ball pretty hard. Those two areas, we're pretty pleased."