January 2, 2012

Army West notes: First session starts sloppy

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SAN ANTONIO - The first practice for the West was like many first practices for any football team: sloppy.

It was apparent when the position groups started coming together for the installation of the offense - especially when Edgewood (Ky.) Dixie Heights quarterback Zeke Pike and Oklahoma City (Okla.) Heritage Hall running back Barry Sanders worked together.

The pair got off to a tough start in stretch-play drills - and had a few unpleasant exchanges when they struggled with their exchange.

Their first attempt on a stretch play to the right resulted in Pike losing his footing and the ball before getting to Sanders on the outside.

"I just lost the ball there," Pike said as he walked back to the coaches with a skinned knee.

The next pairing resulted in a fumble.

"You have to get it to me," Sanders said.

The third pairing again resulted in another botched exchange.

"I stuck it right in his damn belly," Pike grumbled as he went back to the quarterback group.

It did not improve in the passing portion when Pike misfired on two passes over Sanders' head.

Pike was the third of the three quarterbacks to get reps when the team went into a scrimmage.

Sanders was one of the last backs to get into the set as well.

Neither seemed to get settled.

Quarterback rotation

The early struggles of the quarterbacks were obvious but not surprising as timing and offensive sets are still being learned.

From the early throws and handoff drills, Denver (Colo.) Mullen quarterback Cyler Miles had the best morning.

His throws were crisp and on target and was given the first reps in the scrimmage.

McPherson (Kan.) High quarterback Tyler Matthews went second and quickly made a fan.

Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian receiver Jordan Payton came to the sideline between drills and said that Matthews was the best quarterback early.

"He throws the best ball," Payton said.

Pike was third of the three quarterbacks to get reps in the scrimmage.

Popping pads

The first 11-on-11 scrimmage was supposed to be wrap-up only with no contact on the quarterback.

San Antonio (Texas) Sam Houston defensive end Javonte Magee did not get the memo.

On the second play of the session, Daphne (Ala.) running back T.J. Yeldon cut back a stretch play and took a shoulder from Magee knocking him to the ground.

Magee did not waste time helping his new teammate up instead standing over Yeldon flexing his muscles in celebration.


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