The biggest weakness for Watson Chapel this season is its inexperience at the quarterback position. Despite having two seniors — Roger Totten and Jaylen Jackson — ready to take over, they both lack the experience necessary due to playing behind Kris McCullough and DeVonte Battles for the last two seasons.
“It is tough whenever you have quarterbacks who don’t have experience,” said new Chapel head coach Jared Dutton. “We have two seniors and both of them will work very hard.
“But there is a difference in doing it every day in practice and going out there under the lights.”
Their inexperience showed in Tuesday’s three-team scrimmage between Forrest City, Star City and host Chapel. Forrest City swept the competition, defeating Chapel 20-14 and Star City 20-13, while the Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats 14-7 in the final scrimmage of the night.
“We are going to go to work,” Dutton said. “We are going to fix the things we did wrong.
“There is a lot of things we have to work on and get better, but nobody around here is going to use that as an excuse.”
Star City took a 14-0 lead over Chapel in the first quarter of the third scrimmage thanks to an 11-yard touchdown run by Eric Briggs with 1:10 left. The score would hold until Chapel scored with 5:47 left in the half thanks to a 20-yard pass from junior Trey Madison to sophomore Michael Williams.
It cut the deficit to seven points.
“Our quarterbacks have to make better reads,” Dutton said. “Our offensive line gave us time, and we had guys open, we just didn’t hit them.”
Star City junior Tye Brown gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead when he completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Cory Hampton.
“We returned 11 guys on offense and you can see that on the offense side of the ball,” said Star City head coach Jett Furneaux. “… Especially with a guy like Tye.
“He has played in 17 games and he’s going to do nothing but get better.”
Brown threw for over 200 yards between the two scrimmages with two touchdowns.
“He did a good job of moving in the pocket and creating some things when the original things weren’t there,” Furneaux said.
Watson Chapel will host Batesville on Sept. 5 to begin the season while Star City will play at Lonoke.
“Our goals are set high,” Dutton said. “All we are going to do is go back to work.”
Forrest City 20, Watson Chapel 14
The Wildcats forced three interceptions — including two by junior Bernard Black — but it was not enough to overcome a lackluster offense as Forrest City defeated Watson Chapel 20-14 in the second scrimmage of the night.
“Our defense played very well,” Dutton said. “I expected to do well.
“They’ve been flying around in practice and I have a lot of starters back who play last year. They played how I expected.”
Trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, Chapel tied the game with 1:17 left thanks to a 45-yard interception returned for a touchdown by senior Kristen Trammell.
Forrest City answered with 13 straight points including a pick-six of its own to take a 20-7 lead with 1:42 left in the scrimmage.
With 2:32 left in the second quarter, Forrest City scored on a 11-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Jamal Turner. It was set up by a 40-yard run by running back Bryan Allen.
Chapel’s biggest play of the night was accidental.
Facing a 3rd-and-21 on its own 9-yard line, Chapel’s Roger Totten scrambled for a 26-yard gain. He fumbled near the 35-yard line, but it was picked up by senior Ty’on Williams and taken to the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown. It got the Wildcats with six with 25 seconds left to play.
Forrest City 20, Star City 13
Forrest City senior Bryan Allen rushed for two touchdowns and senior quarterback Jamal Turner threw for another as the Mustangs defeated Star City 20-13 in the first scrimmage of the night.
“We’ve got to tackle better on defense,” Furneaux said. “Offensively, we’ve got to protect the ball better after two turnovers kept us from scoring in that first half.”
In the second quarter, after Star City had taken a 13-7 lead with 7:54 left in the half, Allen broke for an 80-yard run down the far side of the field to give Forrest City a 14-13 lead with 7:38 left in the half.
Allen gave the Mustangs a 7-point lead with a 35-yard touchdown run with 1:30 left.
Star City senior running back Darien Chaney capped a nine-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a 13-7 lead with 7:54 left to play in the scrimmage.
Star City took a 6-0 lead with 7:32 left in the first quarter thanks to a 5-yard touchdown pass by junior Tye Brown.
The Mustangs would quickly answer as Turner completed a 60-yard touchdown pass to junior Leon Smith. Forrest City completed the extra point to take a 7-6 lead with 6:40 left in the first quarter.
Brown finished the first scrimmage 14 of 22 for 120 yards with a touchdown.