Intensity goes up in preseason’s final week
After a mediocre, flat showing in an opening scrimmage at Putnam City West last week, Piedmont played with more intensity Thursday night against Anadarko and Elk City. The 1:25 scrimmage featured some good and some bad, including turnovers forced and committed by Piedmont, but Wildcats head coach Drew Gossen was pleased overall.
A trio of Piedmont defenders, led by Alex Rodriguez, left, and Dylan Meador, right, bring down an Elk City ball carrier Thursday.
“Their intensity was way better. That’s what I told them,” Gossen said. “Our execution still has some room to grow, but our intensity was up and that’s something we can work with. We can sure up the X’s and O’s.”
Mitchell leads defense
At 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, senior Austin Mitchell appears best suited for a spot in the secondary or perhaps linebacker. So to see Mitchell routinely lineup at nose tackle is a surprise.
The results are hard to argue with, though. Mitchell forced a fumble Thursday and was in on numerous plays near the line of scrimmage. In an unconventional way, Mitchell’s small stature combined with his quickness, give him an advantage.
“He does a lot of things that give people trouble. He’s quick, he’s strong and he’s tough,” Gossen said. “A lot of people see that nose guard and they’re used to a big guy. Normally, you just have to step up and try to drive him. With Austin, the question is whether or not you can even make contact with him.”
Mitchell moved in from Duncan before last season and initially played linebacker, but was moved up front by necessity when injuries hit. Now, he’s found a position there. The senior also plays tight end.
“We expect him to be a playmaker for us,” Gossen said.
Chester scores for second week in a row
Sophomore wide receiver Jack Chester reeled in Piedmont’s only touchdown last week at Putnam City West, and the 6-foot-4 target was busy again Thursday. Starting quarterback Noah Ellis found Chester behind Anadarko’s defense for an easy touchdown in the opening moments of action.
Piedmont quarterback Noah Ellis scrambles outside of the pocket.
“We knew we could hit them deep because they were cheating their safety’s up,” Gossen said. “We were trying to make a play, and to see them actually do it was awesome.”
Elk City departs scrimmage early
Midway through the three-team portion of the action, Elk City defenders exchanged words with Anadarko players after a tackle. Players shoved each other following the play and were separated. Read more →