Nixon hosts St. Paul in season's first scrimmage for both teams
NIXON – Two area programs who figure to be in the hunt for playoff spots this season squared off Saturday morning in Nixon.
The Mustangs welcomed the Shiner St. Paul Cardinals, who outscored their hosts 4-2 during a 60-play scrimmage.
St. Paul scored twice during their first 15-play offensive series, getting two rushing touchdowns from Adam Hollenbach.
Tristan Newman got the Mustangs on the board when he galloped 65 yards for a score during Nixon-Smiley’s first offensive series.
Hollenbach’s 35-yard touchdown run was the third score of the scrimmage. It came during the Cardinals’ second offensive series. Hollenbach reached paydirt again on a one-yard plunge to make the score 4-1.
Nixon-Smiley got a big play in the middle of their last 15-play offensive series. Rudy Acevedo hit Tom Palacio in the flats and the Mustangs picked up 25 yards. Two plays later, Acevedo connected with Garrett Earlywine for a 35-yard touchdown to account for the final score.
“It’s good to start off the year and get out against somebody else, but usually in first scrimmages you see some good things and you see an awful lot of things that you still have to work on that are not so good,” said St. Paul head coach Jake Wachsmuth. “That’s kind of where we are right now.”
“What we’re trying to do right now is find as many guys as we can who can play. With our level of play, you’ve got to have more than 11. Overall, I thought our kids played hard.”
Mustangs head coach Carlton McKinney said he anticipated good execution on offense from St. Paul and wasn’t that concerned with the way the scrimmage ended up.
“It went about how I expected,” he said. “With our new defense, there’s a lot of things that we can’t do right now because we use our linebackers in so many different ways. In a scrimmage you really don’t want to show too much, so they were basically forced to play passively and that’s not what we worked on in the first two weeks of practice.”
“Offensively for us, fatigue set in and that’s when our execution goes down. That’s something that we can work on and get better at. There were some positives there. A lot of the mistakes that were made were self-induced and we can correct those.”
McKinney said he was excited to see so many of his underclassmen have a good game including the sophomore trio of Newman, Palacio and quarterback Nick Pena.
“There were several kids that played well, but I think what we need to have is our more experienced players to step up and play the way they’re capable of playing,” he said. “I don’t think we saw enough of that today, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on.”
Nixon-Smiley will next play in a scrimmage on Thursday at Jourdanton, beginning at 6 p.m. St. Paul is scheduled to participate in a tri-team scrimmage with Flatonia and Hallettsville on the same day at a time to be determined.