Marietta High sparred and held its own with defending W.Va. Class A football champion Wahama at Don Drumm Stadium Saturday.
Of course, it was just a first scrimmage of the season for both schools, but the Adam Eichhorn-coached Tigers had to feel good about themselves on the gridiron.
"Overall, I was pretty pleased with our guys," Eichhorn said. "The first scrimmage is usually one that you really don't know until it's over how it will go.
RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times
Marietta sophomore quarterback John Henry (2) hands off to Tiger running back Garrett Davis during scrimmage action against Wahama at Don Drumm Stadium Saturday.
"Our kids came out fired up and showed a lot of intensity, excitement and effort. Those are three things that you can't coach and it was great to see.
Going on offense first, MHS senior quarterback Anthony Kimbrough attempted to establish a ground game with handoffs to Quinton Coffield and Chance Wright, respectively. Both seniors had short gains.
Then, the 6-foot, 182-pound Kimbrough looked to go to the air out of a shotgun formation, and completed a first-down pass to 6-4, 256-pound tight end Matt Morris.
The Tiger signal caller followed that with a keeper for short yardage.
On Marietta's sixth offensive play, Kimbrough hooked up with the 6-1, 201-pound Wright, who made a catch-and-run touchdown of about 50 yards.
Still maintaining possession, the Tigers ran the ball in three of their next four plays from the line of scrimmage.
Marietta's second offensive possession was highlighted by 6-2, 196-pound sophomore quarterback John Henry's long pass completion to Coffield. The 5-8, 138-pound senior speedster nearly scored on the play but ran out of real estate along the right sideline.
"Offensively, we saw a lot of good things with a new system and a lot of guys in new positions," Eichhorn said. "Our offensive line did a great job allowing our backs to find a seam and our QB's to work the ball downfield."
Defensively, Marietta basically stopped the Ed Cromley-led White Falcons, who defeated Weirton Madonna 43-42 in overtime in last December's title tilt at Wheeling Island Stadium in Wheeling, W.Va. The football championship was the Mason, W.Va.-based school's first. The Tigers' secondary allowed one Wahama pass completion but it did not go for a score.
"Defensively, we showed a lot of intensity in getting to the football," Eichhorn said. "For the most part, we didn't allow their backs to get into open space and we were pretty sound in our tackling."
Marietta is scheduled to scrimmage John Marshall in Glen Dale, W.Va. at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Tigers are scheduled to kick of their season in earnest against visiting Morgan at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 30.
"The important thing for us is to put three great days of practice together this week and improve Thursday at John Marshall," Eichhorn said."