Strawberry Crest and Plant City, joined by four other area teams, took the field in preseason scrimmages on Saturday.
Strawberry Crest played host to five other local area football teams on Saturday, including Plant City High School, in a series of scrimmages that allowed officials to get geared up for the season, as well as the teams involved.
Spoto, Brandon, Wharton and Lennard were also in attendance for the full-padded scrimmages. Teams rotated on and off the field, each playing two abbreviated halves of football against different teams as they prepare for the upcoming season.
Strawberry Crest played their first half against Brandon and their second half against Lennard, struggling to find consistency on offense while conversely seeing great play from their defense. While the Chargers’ offense often struggled to move the ball against both opponents, their defense stood tall including a strip sack from defensive end Quintin Walker, recovered by Steel Craig deep in Longhorn territory.
For Plant City, it was the Raiders’ first live chance to see what was a largely new group of skill players on offense in scrimmages against Brandon and Wharton. With a new quarterback and a bevy of new starting receivers at the helm, Plant City will heavily rely on their experience along the offense line, in the backfield and in the defensive secondary this season and all three units showed up on Saturday.
Senior running back Reggie Bush Jr. broke free for a huge touchdown run on the Raiders’ first play of the day, one of his two big scores against Brandon in their first scrimmage. Defensively senior safety Ian Jolly came up with a fumble recovery and a pick-six on the day and senior cornerback Jermarian Jackson hauled in an interception of his own to seal Plant City’s scrimmage against Wharton.
“I thought that it was a good opportunity for our kids to see somebody else,” Plant City head coach James Booth said. “For so long, outside of 7-on-7 tournaments, you’re going against each other and obviously for fall camp you don’t want to be hitting on each other. So it was a good chance to see somebody else, somebody different.”
What’s Next: Strawberry Crest, Durant and Plant City will all play preseason games this week.
Plant City @ Lake Gibson: Friday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Durant @ Freedom: Friday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Strawberry Crest @ Palm Harbor University: Friday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m.