FORT CAMPBELL, Ky.
It may have some new faces playing familiar positions, but it still looks like the same Fort Campbell football team from years past.
The Falcons showed off their speed en route to two victories as it hosted the Border Wars jamboree football games on Friday night at Fryar Stadium.
Coach Shawn Berner’s team dropped West Creek 20-3 in the first game and shut out Marshall County (Ky.) 21-0 in the Falcons’ second contest.
Marshall County salvaged a 23-0 victory against Northwest prior to its game against Fort Campbell.
“We looked good, but I caution that we still have a lot of work to do before (next week’s regular-season opener) we face Clarksville High,” Berner said. “Our offense ran smoothly, our line blocked well, but we still have to look at tape. Everything looks so much better until you see what’s on the film.”
Running back Triston Luke seems poised to carry the tailback torch that has been a position of power at Fort Campbell since Berner arrived. Luke scored four touchdowns in the two games, including all three scores against Marshall County.
Berner was complimentary of his team after the jamboree and stressed the need for his team to build on Friday’s experience as the Falcons open the season against a team that outscored them 34-20 last season.
West Creek and Northwest struggled for much of its games Friday, but both found positive areas to build around for next week’s openers.
The Coyotes had a strong passing game while Northwest’s defense used a goal-line stand to keep Marshall County at bay.
Fort Campbell 20, West Creek 3: Luke had back-to-back runs of 39 and 27 yards, respectively, that set up the game’s first score — a 10-yard scoring run from Isaiah Washington two minutes into the game and the Falcons were off and running.
West Creek’s first series ended in a fumble and it took the Falcons only two plays before Luke ran a score in from 4-yards out. Aaron Otto added a 3-yard run midway through the first of two quarters of play to give Fort Campbell a 20-0 lead.
“There were good points in this game,” West Creek coach Jon Offutt said. “We got a lot of work to do on defense. There’s no question about that, but the kicking game looked pretty good. We’ll have to lean on that pretty heavy this year.”
Coyotes kicker Austin Ridderhoff nailed a 37-yard field goal with 2:07 left in the first quarter and both teams finished the second quarter scoreless after a running clock.
“We’re still standing and trying to tackle,” Offutt said. “We’re also not real good at reading an offense and we’re leaving too many gaps. It’s like building a wall and right now we’re missing pieces to that wall.”
Quarterback Devin Anderson was effective in the passing game, hitting Northwest transfer Terry Lee for a 38-yard gain that was the longest play for the Coyotes. West Creek got to Fort Campbell’s 1-yard line, but a penalty and a 13-yard loss on a sack forced Ridderhoff’s field goal.
Marshall County 23, Northwest 0: The score might indicate a complete domination, but it was far from that. Northwest held its own on defense, giving up one score on a fumble late in the game at its own 1-yard line and giving up a 32-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
“The scoreboard is the least of my worries right now,” first-year Viking coach Chris Austin said. “It’s a jamboree so we’re not going to worry about the score. It’s about our mentality right now and I thought despite the score, we played physical with Marshall County and they have some big kids — bigger than us.”
Marshall County was up 13-0 late in the first quarter, but that was after having three series end with a three-and-out.
The Marshals averaged midfield per possession and could have plunged in from a yard out with 4:47 left in the game. But the Vikings held on fourth down. The Marshals would score anyway when the Vikings fumbled on their ensuing offensive play and Jamie Jilland fell on the ball for the final score.
Fort Campbell 21, Marshall County 0: The good times didn’t carry over against Fort Campbell for Marshall County. The Falcons scored with 5:31 left in the first quarter when Luke scored on a 4-yard scamper.
Quarterback Jalen Williams hit Luke on a 44-yard pass play early in the second quarter and Luke finished off that drive on the next play, plowing into the end zone after running 26 yards for a 14-0 Falcons lead. Luke added another score with 3:11 left in the game after Aaron Otto’s 52-yard run.
“We’re getting there,” Berner said. “It’s still a work in progress, but I was pleased with what I saw out of them (Friday). We’ll see how we respond in practice this coming week.”