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McGregor: Midgets, Titans, Cowboys knock off early rust

What a difference a year makes.

The unsureness and tentative play which was displayed by the Dickinson Trinity football team during the entire 2013 season was nowhere to be found on Friday.

Trinity, which finished 0-9 last year, wasn’t second guessing. The Titans were just playing football.

“That rookie shyness that we had almost the entire year, especially on the defensive side of the ball is gone,” Trinity second-year head coach John Odermann said. “We have kids that instead of getting into a back pedal when the ball is snapped, they are taking that first or second set forward and moving downhill on the ball. The biggest problem we had last year was our tentativeness and we aren’t seeing that this year.”

The Titans, Dickinson High and Killdeer met at the Biesiot Activities Center for a scrimmage.

Each team was given the opportunity to knock off some early rust and hit someone from the opposition.

“The kids had to make some adjustments with different formations that they aren’t used to seeing,” Killdeer head coach Lou Dobitz said. “We did pretty well. It wasn’t all good, but it was good to see and we have some film to talk about things that we need to work on.”

Trinity, Dickinson and Killdeer rotated in and out for five chances on offense. There were plenty of touchdowns scored but here’s one from each team that stuck out in my mind.

The first — Trinity junior quarterback Willy Jahner scrambled around the backfield and floated a pass from 15 yards out for a touchdown to Joe Mayer in the back of the endzone.

The second — Dickinson junior running back Michael McChesney was wrapped up on the three-yard line, but managed to fight his way into the endzone by pushing through a defender.

The third — Killdeer junior quarterback Hayes LeMieux flipped a quick slant pass to Trenton Rohr for a touchdown between a host of defenders.

The bad was getting burned by a long pass, which happened to each team.

Dickinson second-year head coach John Tuchscherer said there are going to be some good and some bad in the preseason.

“We tried to get the rust off and sure things up a little bit,” he said. “We are really preaching consistency. We had some really great plays and we had some not so good plays. We just have to become more consistent. It doesn’t always have to be a touchdown, but we have to eliminate the mental mistakes where we are losing yards or making a penalty.”

Not only was it an opportunity to see many of the same familiar faces from a year ago, but I got the chance to see the big man from New England. Cody Holt — the 6-foot-7, 260-pound sophomore defensive end — was the one finding his way into the backfield quite often.

For Odermann, Holt coming in was a pleasant surprise.

“He has been a gift,” Odermann said. “We didn’t know it was going to happen and he came out of nowhere. He’s a little raw, but when you are 6-7, 260 pounds you can be a little raw, because you can’t teach that kind of size.”

Killdeer has the unique opportunity of playing teams, which are at a higher level. The Cowboys held their own including Rohr splitting defenders multiple times.

“The kids are up a little bit to play, because they are playing bigger schools,” Dobitz said. “It’s kind of fun.”

Not only did Dickinson’s senior starting quarterback Andrew Heckaman find the endzone, but sophomore Braden Tooz heaved a touchdown, which resulted in celebration from his teammates.

With the scrimmage out of the way, Dickinson, Trinity and Killdeer are all looking to Friday for the start of the season. The three teams will play in a doubleheader at the BAC.

The Midgets host Valley City at 5 p.m. at the BAC, while the Titans and the Cowboys plays at 8 p.m.

“I’m excited about Friday,” Odermann said. “That Killdeer game is a long rivalry. That’s been going forever. I love the Killdeer game. I loved playing in the Killdeer game. Our kids look at that Killdeer game as the bellwether for rest of the season.”