PARIS, Tenn. – Marshall County head football coach Ron Barnard believes some fans take scrimmage results too seriously.
His players do, too. But that’s OK with the second-year coach.
“The good thing is, the kids weren’t happy” with a 14-7 loss in a 24-minute contest against Camden, Tenn., in the Pepsi Mid-America Challenge jamboree Friday night at Henry County High School’s Patriot Stadium.
The Marshals took a 7-0 lead in the first of two 12-minute periods, the score coming on a one-yard dive by running back Nathan Anderson.
A long gainer by Brian Deuker set up the scoring play.
Camden rallied for two scores, both of them aided, Barnard said candidly, by what he considered missed calls by the Tennessee officiating crew.
But the result of a scrimmage, he maintained, is not what matters.
While many other area schools open regular-season play this week, Marshall County will play one more scrimmage, at home Thursday night, against Union County.
Barnard said the plan is to play the lineup that has been identified to this point as first string in the first quarter of a full-length game.
The second quarter will see the second string lineup, while the third period will be for freshmen.
The first-string squad will return for the final period.
“I don’t how the other team will approach it,” Barnard said. “But that’s what we’re going to do.”
The second scrimmage will be at home at Carroll Traylor Stadium.
Barnard liked what he saw at Henry County.
“I feel good,” he said. “I thought we played good defense, we had no turnovers, we had no false starts, and we had no injuries.”
The Marshals will open regular-season play with the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 26, the day after the induction of the third class of members of the MCHS Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame.
The opponent for the opener will be McLean County, which plays at Edmonson County Friday night in the season opener for both teams.