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Their first true test on the gridiron was what the Grant County High School football team expected.
In their scrimmages against both Fleming County and Carroll County on Aug. 15, the Braves managed to do some things well, struggled in other aspects and gave themselves and coach Mike Davis a better feel for where they stand prior to next weeks season opener against Pendleton County.
"I was pleased with our performance. Rather than worry about wins and losses, we are worried more about running plays and formations correctly, and we did that for the most part. Everybody got to play and we are still looking for players to step up. We needed to see and hit someone other than ourselves, and the scrimmages were beneficial," said Davis, who is in his fourth season as coach.
Against Fleming, the Braves marched the ball up and down the field thanks in part to a running attack that featured Rex Benson, Terrell Spray, Dillon Pelfrey and Randy Saylers.
"Our running backs did a great job. Rex ran well, as did Terrell and Dillon. I was pleased with Randy, and he saw the field well against Fleming," Davis said.
In addition to the ground attack, Grant County's air assault was clicking on all cylinders against Fleming as senior quarterback Joe Soden found his receivers early and often. Davis credited the play of not only Soden, but his offensive line for that.
"It may have been the best pass protection since I've been here. I saw maturity with Joe since last year. I feel confident with him. Joe and our wide receivers made some nice plays, and our offensive line did a good job," Davis said.
Against Carroll County, the Braves found themselves up against a physical team, but they were up to the task, scoring several touchdowns.
One facet of the game Davis was "impressed" with was the play of his defense.
Our defense played well. We were able to put pressure on the opposition. We had a lot of kids step up on the defensive side," Davis said.
Davis singled out the play of Josh Rump, Justin Loomis, Tyler Sheffield, Jarred Lawson and Cory Beach.
This Friday, GCHS will again hit the field when they host Scott County and Louisville Iroquois in their final tune-ups before Pendleton County.
"We'll see two high-caliber teams and see where we stand. Scott County will run the Wing-T, which will help us in the district play, and Louisville Iroquois has some athletes. We are going out there to get better. I'm not concerned with wins and losses in scrimmages," Davis said.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at GCHS and admission is $4.
"I hope for a big crowd, and I would like to see the entire community come out and support our team," Davis said.
Following Friday's scrimmages against Scott County and Louisville Iroquois, the Braves will hit the practice fields for their final week of drills prior to the season opener at 8 p.m. on Aug. 29 against Pendleton County.