It was just a scrimmage.
The scoreboard wasn’t working. Coaches spent most of the time on the field coaching their kids than on the sidelines.
But none of that mattered.
All that was important was the play on the field. And for the second time this preseason, Smyrna’s offense showed vast improvement from a year prior when it managed just 192.1 yards and 9.4 points a game.
“(The offense) is way ahead of where it was a year ago,” Smyrna coach Matt Williams said. “Our quarterbacks have grown, and we’ve grown up front.
“None of those guys had played before last year.”
A year after a dismal 1-9 season, the Bulldogs have shown not only signs of life, but signs that this season will be vastly different from a year ago.
Quarterback Matt Rodell appears much more comfortable under center. The Bulldogs have developed depth — albeit young depth — in the backfield. And the receivers are more experienced enabling them to show off their athleticsm.
In other words, the ‘Dogs are getting things back to normal.
“I love it,” Rodell said of the offense. “It’s great that we have drives. We can run the ball and then do play-action pass. It’s fun to watch.
“Last year we took our licks. I’m really confident about this year in how we are moving the ball. It’s really looking good.”
Smyrna had five touchdowns from five different players in a scrimmage against Summit on Tuesday. The Bulldogs showed glimpses of a passing attack with receivers Darrell Haralson (6-foot-3, 180), Calvin Mosbey (6-1, 180) and D.J. Williams (5-10, 160).
Backup receiver Ikenna Okeke (6-1, 175) caught the lone receiving TD in the scrimmage on a fade pass.
“We’ve got weapons now that can hurt you if you bring people up when we run the football,” Matt Williams said. “Darrell was a kid that really hadn’t played any football. Last year was his first year. He had to really grow and learn on the run.”
Mosbey sat out last season after being declared ineligible. Williams is also a standout in the defensive backfield.
However, the ground game with running backs LaDarius Summers, Rodney Shelton and Devin Smith showed glimpses of big improvement. Sophomore fullback Austin Brown, who had a touchdown run against the Spartans, also has shown he belongs in the rotation.
In short, this team has people that can make plays.
“I think we progressed over the summer,” Mosbey said. “We have a whole bunch of skill players that can play their position right. We have a good line this year. Our offense, honestly, looks good this year.”
Williams has taken over the offensive line this season. He brought in Steve Williams, no relation, from out of state to take over the offense.
“I’m happy, but we have to be realistic of where we’re at,” Matt Williams said. “We’ve done some good things. I know there is going to be someone we face that is really good up front that is going to give us problems.
“We’re going to have to be able to do some other things. I’m pleased with where the offense is, but we’ve got a long way to go.”