In their lone trial run before the season starts, Monache High School football learned they still have some things to work on before next Friday’s first season-opener.
“Overall I would give us a school grade of C-plus on this scrimmage,” MHS head coach Shane Focke said.
The first-year head coach and his team faced off with Exeter in a scrimmage Thursday at Jacob Rankin Stadium that showed the Marauders the areas they’ll need to focus on in their upcoming practices, as well as the ones that look good too.
“I saw that we got a lot of good work in against a really good Exeter team,” Focke said. “I think (it was) an opportunity for our guys to look at themselves on film. (Now) it’ll be a lot easier to fix the mistakes that we’ve been seeing out at practice.
“We ran the ball hard,” Focke said. “Some assignments were missed. We did some things really good and we have a lot of things we’ve got to work on.”
The team’s first touchdown came on about an 18-yard run from senior running back Aidan Galvan but it seemed like for a majority of the scrimmage Monache's offense struggled until the end when they scored three touchdowns with their first team.
In Focke’s eyes, it wasn’t a slow start for the Marauders but just the Monarchs coming out and playing on pure energy while his team stayed even-keeled throughout the game.
“What happened is the other team starts really fast, and the other team does a lot of really good things on pure emotion that cannot be sustained throughout a game,” Focke said. “And then you hit that point where all of that magic goes away and they just have to play football and we’re still at the level that we started the game at and that’s where we can start playing our game. That’s usually the formula that I like to use with that.”
Exeter was able to move the ball almost easily in the beginning and utilize the passing game, however MHS senior defensive back Kaori Sims was able to stop nearly all of the passes thrown to his side of the field. The Marauders also managed to get to the Monarchs quarterback and picked up a sack.
On special teams, each team blocked the other’s PAT attempt once but Monache’s kick return team did look good with Sims breaking off for a 45-plus return before the whistle.
The season begins for Monache, Friday, Aug. 23 in a road game at Golden West High School.