Senators unveiled in scrimmage – well, kind of
The Senators did show their new veer offense, but Quilling made it clear they did not show everything during a three hour-plus scrimmage that also involved Northern 4A rival Sparks and Bishop Manogue of the 3A.
“Overall, I thought we did pretty well for just calling our plays,” Quilling said. “We had no game plan on offense. We just went through all of our plays, no matter how the defense lined up. We just wanted to see how the plays looked on film.”
The Senators have switched from the wing-T used in years past by former coach Bob Bateman, to the veer brought in by Quilling.
“I like the new offense,” said senior running back Josh Carter, a third-year varsity veteran. “We didn’t show a lot of it today. We ran a lot of things we normally wouldn’t do in a game.”
The primary objectives were met, Quilling pointed out.
“You’re never completely happy, but I wanted two things today: I wanted the kids to play with intensity and to fly around and I wanted to work on our skills, and I thought we were able to do those things,” Quilling said.
So, are the Senators ready for their 7:30 p.m. season opener on Friday night at Elko?
“We will be after we look at the film from today,” Quilling replied.
The opener will be a stern test because the Elko Indians are loaded with experience from a team that went 9-2 last season. But the Senators say they will be ready.
“We’re ready to get the uniforms on and get after it,” Carter said. “It’s going to be a good game. Elko has a tough team and I know they will be pumped up playing at home. But so will we.”
There’s no doubt offensive tackle Adam Peterson is looking forward to the opener. After all, the 6-foot, 190-pound senior missed last season with a knee injury and has had three ACL surgeries in the last nine months, the most recent being in May.
“We’ve had a real good start,” Peterson said. “We’ve been practicing hard. We’ll give them (Elko) a good look. We’re going to bring it.”
If Peterson’s comeback less than three months after ACL surgery is any indication, then the Senators truly are fired up to play.
“He blew out his knee last year and then blew it out again in the spring, he’s just a tough kid who works hard,” Quilling said.
The Senators have 17 returning lettermen back from a team that went 5-5 and advanced to the Northern 4A playoffs last season. The leaders of the group are Carter, who rushed for 1,012 yards last season, and Javier Vega, who earned second-team all-division honors as a defensive back.
Senior Scott O’Brien appears to have won a two-way battle for the starting quarterback job with junior Frank Bleuss.
“We’re pretty solid there,” Quilling said. “Scott has established himself as the starter. But Frankie is a solid athlete; he may end up starting at free (safety).”
One area of concern are the offensive and defensive lines, where the Senators are lacking in experience.
“We have a lot of work to do up front, but we knew that already,” Quilling said. “We don’t have a lot of experience. We have older guys, they just don’t have a lot of playing experience.”
Carson won’t be the largest team around, either.
“We’re definitely undersized, but if you stay low and get underneath, you’ll be OK,” Peterson said.
Quilling echoed that.
“We only have one kid at 250, one other at 240 and a couple of others in the 230 range, so we’re not real big,” he said. “But you don’t need to be real big in this offense because we do a lot of quick hitting stuff.”