Many good things and a few that were bad highlighted the Henry County High School football team’s 36-10 loss to private school power Montgomery Bell Academy in a scrimmage played Friday in Nashville.
It was the second scrimmage of the preseason for the Patriots, who will now move forward as the host of the McDonald’s Football Challenge this Friday at Patriot Stadium. The annual jamboree kicks off at 6 p.m. and serves as a fundraiser for all the schools that participate.
The first matchup pits West Carroll against Stewart County. At 7 p.m., Dresden plays Murray and Murray will stay on the field to battle Jackson North Side at 8 p.m.
Henry County takes on Paducah Tilghman at 9 p.m. The Patriots will open regular season play Aug. 23 with a road game against Haywood County in Brownsville. Kickoff for the opener is set for 7 p.m.
At MBA Friday, both teams moved the ball some early in the first quarter without scoring. Late in the period, MBA scored on a 7-yard run. A bad snap on the conversion attempt led to some confusion on the scrimmage rules and the Patriots allowed the Big Red’s holder to run in for a 2-point conversion to make it 8-0.
The scrimmage rules limited the rush on the kicks and the teams did not actually return kickoffs in the contest, although the ball was kicked with the return men catching it and blocks being delivered prior to the catch.
MBA’s second score was set up by a pass interception at the Patriots’ 28-yard line. A few plays later, the Big Red scored on a 14-yard pass and kicked the extra point to make it a 15-0 contest.
Late in the second quarter, a Patriot drive was stopped at the Big Red’s 10 by another pass interception. Henry County’s defense made a stop and forced MBA to punt out of the end zone. The kick was mishit and traveled only a short distance before bouncing out of bounds at the Big Red 22.
The Patriots took advantage of the short field to score in two plays. Freshman quarterback Ryan Damron hit junior receiver Jawon Odoms for a 7-yard gain along the sideline on first down and threw to Odoms just shy of the end zone on second down with the Patriot receiver catching the ball and scoring a touchdown. Darrius Stephens kicked the extra point and the score was 15-7 at halftime.
Both teams mixed in a bevy of reserves in the second half. The Big Red controlled play to post two third-quarter touchdowns before the Patriots got a 20-yard field goal from Stephens to make it a 29-10 game at the end of the third quarter.
Henry County sophomore quarterback John Carter Olive broke off a 41-yard run that set up Stephens’ kick.
MBA tacked on a final touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make the final score 36-10.