La Salle football coach Nate Moore made it a point of emphasis earlier this preseason to concentrate on the collective team.
The Lancers have certainly bought through the first scrimmage Tuesday night.
Moore, in his second season with La Salle, said he was pleased with the effort and performances of several players in Tuesday night’s scrimmage against visiting Springboro.
The Lancers ran the ball well and the offensive line was efficient. Defensively, the Lancers contained the run well.
La Salle has obvious talent on both sides of the ball but this summer Moore focused on team bonding activities which included a three-day stay at Camp Higher Ground in West Harrison, Ind. Moore said the team will return to camp there in the future, saying Higher Ground was “outstanding.”
“The kids have been great,” Moore said. “We have outstanding young men.”
La Salle (3-7 in 2013) plays Colerain (12-1 in 2013) in the second game of a doubleheader Aug. 29 at Miami University’s Yager Stadium in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown. The game is scheduled to kick off at 8:30 p.m.
If the game was up to Moore, Colerain and La Salle would play every year, he said.
“I think there is a lot of people that wanted to see this game happen,” Moore said. “You should play these games. They are backyard rivalries – that’s what makes it fun.”
The Lancers have had several key players make an impact on both sides of the ball this month. Junior offensive lineman Luke Doerger had played well in the preseason and had a good scrimmage Tuesday.
Senior tight end Charlie Collins, who returns after a back injury in 2013, has been physical on the line with blocking and is able to get down the field and catch the ball.
Junior Nick Watson and senior Eric Greene are vying for the quarterback position. Watson was an Enquirer all-area selection last season, but Greene has been very effective this preseason. “They both really stepped up as leaders,” Moore said. “It’s been fun to watch them battle.”
Junior running back Jeremy Larkin – also an Enquirer all-area selection in 2013 – had two touchdowns in the scrimmage and effectively ran the ball between the tackles. His speed will be an asset for the Lancers.
The wide receiving corps includes junior Josh Gebing, who started the game at St. Xavier last year. Junior John McNally moved over from the defensive backfield to the receiver position.
“He’s a tough hard working, talented kid,” Moore said of McNally. “He’s a leader. He’s not afraid to go over the middle.”
Senior speedster Alec Lane and senior hyrbrid running back/receiver Maurice Warren are also talented.
Defensively, the Lancers took a blow this preseason as senior defensive lineman Jordan Thompson had a slight tear in his meniscus and will be out several weeks, Moore said. Thompson will miss Week 1.
“Jordan is irreplaceable,” Moore said. “There is nobody who can take the place of Jordan Thompson – leadership wise and as a player. …Everybody has to play a little better.”
The defensive backfield will be a strength with four players who have stood out.
Senior Quintin Herbert is one of the Lancers’ “Mike” linebacker after he was a starting defensive end last year.
Enquirer all-area selection Drue Chrisman – a junior – is back kicking and punting.