Northside makes strides during second scrimmage

Published 8:04 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Northside’s first scrimmage of the preseason left head coach Keith Boyd disappointed with how his players performed. But after working on the weaknesses that were exposed, the Panthers’ second scrimmage, held last Friday at South Creek, saw a much-improved showing from Boyd’s players.

The offensive line was one of the position groups that Boyd singled out as improving from the first scrimmage to when Northside faced off against Gates County, Louisburg, KIPP Pride, Bear Grass Charter and South Creek on Friday. The Northside offensive line struggled against defensive lines that stunted in the first scrimmage, which became an area of focus in practice afterward.

“We went back on Thursday after the scrimmage and worked on a little bit of that kind of stuff, because we had been working on basics (until that point),” Boyd said. “Then we went over to South Creek and a lot of those teams were doing a lot of the same thing and we were able to pick up on those things better.”

A result of the improved play from the offensive line was the offense’s ability to sustain drives. Johnathan Clark, now playing quarterback after leading the team in rushing as a running back last year, also performed well on Friday. Boyd said Clark was making all of the right reads behind center, which bodes well since he is adjusting to a new position.

On the defensive side of the ball, Tyshawan Roberson was a standout, snagging three interceptions from the cornerback position. The Panthers’ defensive line also showed improved play on Friday, compared to the first scrimmage.

“Our D-line, Micah Spencer, Parker Alligood and Jon’malik Freeman, they held their own up front a little bit. They didn’t allow as much push as what we had in the previous scrimmage Boyd said.

Moving forward with his young team, Boyd said there’s still plenty to be worked on. Despite being a run-heavy offense, Boyd wants to work on his team’s passing game in order to keep opposing defenses honest, along with just constantly improving on the basics, such as blocking, tackling and protecting the football.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ve seen some major improvements also, Boyd said.