Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hobbs football's scrimmage shows Eagles' potential, things to work on

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Brandon Amaya knocks the helmet off a 
Belen player while carrying the ball during a 
scrimmage Wednesday in Ruidoso.
  Nerves were evident early while watching Hobbs' scrimmage against Belen on Wednesday in Ruidoso.
  After all, this was the first time since Charles Gleghorn took over as head coach in January the players strapped on the pads and faced an opponent with their new systems in place on both sides of the ball.
  While the scrimmage ended with both first teams scoring three touchdowns apiece, Hobbs got a chance to see what was working and what needs some work before heading into their first game of the season Aug. 31 against Gadsden in Anthony, N.M.
  Brandon Amaya: The junior transfer out of Texas (who came to the school last winter) showed his versatility throughout the scrimmage whether he was catching balls as a receiver or running back, taking handoffs or playing corner. Amaya finished the game with 147 total yards – 105 receiving and a touchdown on five catches and 42 yards rushing on six carries. Gleghorn has told me they are just finding ways to get Amaya's hands on the ball and let the quick, yet powerful, athlete do what he does best in open space.
  Offense found rhythm with Price at QB: It was a struggle early on for the Hobbs offense, gaining just 15 yards on the first 12 plays. But a 67-yard touchdown pass from Brayden Price to Kolin Zembas got the Eagles going as they gained 272 yards and scored three touchdowns on the next 28 plays. Price finished 11-for-26 with a pair of touchdowns and an interception, but those numbers should've been higher if not for some dropped passes. Price showed good mobility in and out of the pocket to buy himself time.
  Defensive containment: While Belen gained quite a few yards (407 on 53 plays to be exact), Hobbs was in a position to make plays. One of Belen's touchdowns came off a pass tipped by Hobbs defensive back Davon Hulse. Another big play came when corner Javon King read a play a little too well and jumped a pass just a split second early. The Eagles, who allowed over 40 points per game last season, were there to make plays, but as you'll see on my "What to work on" section, they just have to make them. The Eagles did make some plays defensively, including a forced fumble by Donavon Fierro and a recovery by Jeremiah Hernandez as well as an interception by Zembas.
  Tackling: As I said in my last "What was working," the Eagles were in a position to make plays for much of the scrimmage but missed numerous tackles throughout. One play, the quarterback broke three different tackles for a long touchdown run that should've been a loss. Tackling has been an issue at Hobbs for awhile as anyone who has followed the program knows. It must improve if the Eagles want to have success.
  Securing the ball: Like previously noted, Hobbs quarterback Brayden Price threw the ball OK, but several drops cost the Eagles yards throughout the scrimmage. With this offense where Gleghorn is probably going to want to throw it close to 40 times a game, drops are drive killers. Again, I think some of it was due to nerves and playing an opponent for the first time in pads with this new system, but receivers are going to have to make plays or there will be several short drives for the Eagles in 2012.
  Line play: The offensive line at times gave Price the time he needed without having to scramble, but there were other times where timing was thrown off due to him having to escape pressure. Timing is key with this offense so it will be crucial for the line to give the quarterback enough time to throw while the quarterback will have to help out the line by making timely decisions.