Holy Cross suited up for a preseason scrimmage Thursday evening at Hoss Memtsas Stadium against John Ehret, one of the metro area’s premier teams over the last several seasons.
The Tigers wanted to test themselves against a quality opponent on a cloudy, overcast day, and got all they could handle against a physical Patriots squad.
“I think it’s very important that you play somebody that’s historically good,” Holy Cross coach Guy LeCompte said. “(Ehret coach) Marcus (Scott) has always had a good team and they finished really well last year. It was good work for us today and nobody got injured so that was a good thing.”
The scrimmage format loosely followed suit with Rummel’s matchup against Helen Cox with the first-team offenses and defenses running two series of 12 plays while the second-teamers followed with eight. The starters were scheduled to play a 15-minute running quarter afterwards, but approaching lighting and rain cut the scrimmage short.
Holy Cross started the contest on offense and the Tigers really tried to get their passing game going to start the matchup. Ehret’s vaunted defense, however, had the upper-hand early tallying a couple of sacks, and a couple of deep balls by junior quarterback John Dade Wooton didn’t find the mark.
The Tiger offense did get going, though, as the scrimmage progressed, particularly in the running game with Amiri Franklin leading the way. The 5-foot-7, 150-pounder picked up chunks of yardage on several carries, and also had a 32-yard touchdown run that was called back due to a penalty.
“I really have a nice o-line,” said Franklin, who made the move from running back to cornerback after tailback Celven Hulbert tore his ACL. “They’re there to block for me and they’ll do anything running through a brick wall for me. And when (Tulane commitment Josh) Remetich gets back we’re going to be even stronger.”
Remetich is expected to be back from a minor injury by Week 1, and Holy Cross will have to make due without until then.
The Tigers’ biggest play of the day came during their second 12-play series when Wooton hit Christian Calamari for a 34-yard touchdown, which was the only score of the evening for either team.
Holy Cross’ defense was impressive throughout the scrimmage holding Ehret to minimal yardage, and junior defensive end Barryn Sorrell was dominant. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder had a sack and multiple big hits in the backfield, an impressive feat for a player still adjusting to a new position.
“First, I would like to thank my coaches,” said Sorrell, a former tight end. “They prepared me and pushed me this week as well as the players. We have a good scout team and we work really hard. Preparation is key, we work really hard and I let it out today.”
“It’s Barryn’s first year on defense,” LeCompte added. “He’s a 4.0 student, he works really hard, he’s great in the classroom, he’s great on the field and today you got a chance to see what he can do.”
Sorrell and the rest of the Tigers will get one more chance to showcase their talents before the regular season with a jamboree matchup against Belle Chasse at Chalmette at 6 pm. on August 30.
Despite a shortened outing, Thursday’s contest served its purpose for Holy Cross.
“The lightning weather shortened us up a little bit but we got what we wanted out of it,” LeCompte said. “We got a good look and we got to clean some things up that we can look at on film, but you get out of it what you put into it.
“We were able to look at our basic, fundamental things,” he added. “And it’s not all about winning and losing in a scrimmage, we’re just trying to get better.”