ROCKVILLE – The defending Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC) champion Georgetown Prep football team took the field on Aug. 23 for a scrimmage against Bishop O’Connell High School from Arlington, Virginia.
The scrimmage was Georgetown Prep’s second of the season, after clashing with Paul VI Catholic High School on Aug. 16, as they searched for answers to who will be their starters for the season opener.
Seven-on-seven drills took place before the game began, and even though players wore helmets and pads, there was no tackling. Coaches from both teams stood on the field watching intently and shouting instructions as players rotated in and out of positions.
The Little Hoyas have not yet named a starting quarterback, so the three players vying for the position all saw substantial minutes behind center and tried out different plays and formations.
Junior lefty Will Angrick and seniors Brian Maddox and Joshua Brown all pleaded their case for the starting position by completing long passes and slipping away from the Knights’ defenders.
Punters Dominic Welsh and Finn Lindsay also received reps, during the drills as players from Bishop O’Connell did pushups on the sidelines.
The Knights overhauled their coaching staff after finishing with a 3-9 record in 2018. First-year Head Coach Kenny Lucas said that his main focus is on helping his team improve.
“I just wanted to see more effort and improvement in the fundamentals of football. Blocking better, running better, more effort with throwing the ball and catching the ball. Just basic things right now,” said Lucas. “We’re trying to still learn and get better at the little things so that they’ll add up and hopefully produce results for us later.”
Knights junior wide receiver Will Stoney certainly produced results during the drills, as he gained separation from a Little Hoyas defender and caught a pass that would have resulted in a touchdown in a regular game.
After the drills were over, the scrimmage began, and the players were allowed to tackle and make full contact. However, there’s no scorekeeping in a scrimmage, and the game clock doesn’t stop as it would in a normal game. The coaches remained on the field as they observed and encouraged their respective players.
The scrimmage lasted a little more than three quarters, but Georgetown Prep running back and Virginia Tech commit Jalen Hampton performed as if his team was in a playoff game. The senior juked defenders, broke tackles and displayed his skillful footwork as the Knights fought to get him to the ground.
“I just give effort; that’s all,” said Hampton. “We played better than I expected us to play. I’m excited for the season; I think we’re going to do really well this year.”
Little Hoyas senior Troy Peterson was the first player to score during the scrimmage. There was not an extra point attempt, and the touchdown did not reflect on the scoreboard, but Peterson still muscled through the Bishop O’Connell defenders at the goal line.
Senior Chase MacCartee was the next Little Hoya to find the endzone as he caught a short pass and sped 70 yards to pay dirt as his teammates jumped gleefully on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, despite Stoney’s performance during drills, the Knights had a difficult time moving the ball down the field. Many of Bishop O’Connell’s drives ended in their territory, and two back-to-back penalties in the third quarter generated a long fourth down.
Georgetown Prep Head Coach Dan Paro said he was looking to see improvement from the previous scrimmage, as well as players expanding on what they had learned in the past week’s practice.
“At the end of the day, you see how they’ve responded. You see how they’ve watched film. We talk about climbing the mountain every day. We’ll watch the film, and we’ll see who got better and what we’ve got to focus on,” said Paro. “I think we took a step forward. We didn’t make a lot of mistakes, and we didn’t turn the ball over.”
The Little Hoyas open their regular season on Aug. 31 with an away game against Woodberry Forest School from Virginia.