In the final week of Red River Valley scrimmages, the Prairiland Patriots football team hosted the Detroit Eagles.
The teams’ starting offensive and defensive units exchanged 10 plays apiece against each other two times before competing in a live 12-minute quarter. Both Prairiland and Detroit showed flashes on both sides of the ball, but Prairiland ultimately escaped with a 14-7 victory in the live quarter with a late touchdown drive with under two minutes to go.
Patriots senior quarterback Connor Sessums managed the scoring drive well, mixing in passes, handoffs and scrambles to march his team down the field for the go-ahead score.
“We did some really good things, especially opening up some holes for the running game,” Prairiland head football coach Greg Mouser said. “I think Connor (Sessums) did a pretty good job of controlling the ball game, scrambling when he needed to and stepping up in the pocket and throwing it when he needed to. We’re a little bit streaky, but that’s to be expected in a scrimmage. Overall, I thought we did a really good job of moving the football. I wasn’t really happy about the offense sort of stalling in the red zone, but we will get that fixed as we move forward.”
Along with consistent execution in the red zone, the teams know the journey has just begun, and they are brimming with excitement. There’s much for Prairiland to work on, but the team has showed effort and heart, Patriots junior Brylee Galloway said.
“We want to change this program, and we are going to be in the playoffs,” he said.
Detroit wanted to keep the expectations simple in the scrimmage by seeing that players were going to compete and execute.
“We didn’t do much game planning or attacking situations, but I need to go back and watch some film,” Detroit head football coach M.K. Hamilton said. “Overall, we are young, upbeat and I feel pretty good about things.”
The Eagles lost impact players Miles Davis at quarterback and Trenton Croke, who anchored the offensive and defensive line. Other than their quarterback and one offensive lineman, last year’s team is back on the field, Hamilton said. Now, the challenge is getting ready for district.
“We’ve got to get in here, compete and get ready for district,” Hamilton said. “The ultimate goal is to win district game and get into the playoffs, and we have five weeks to do that. My challenge to our players is to get better every play.”
Detroit is riding into the regular season with its head held high as are the Patriots, whose positive attitude could be a driving force to potential success this season. Mouser said he sees an enthusiasm and attitude that hasn’t been there since he’s been coach.
“I think they’re having fun, I don’t see anyone hating practice, hating coming out here, I don’t hear a whole lot of complaints on the sideline and I think we’re all moving in that direction we want to go. I think their attitude is outstanding, especially being as young as they are overall,” Mouser said.
The Eagles open their season at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Trenton, while the Patriots kick off the 2019 campaign at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against DeKalb.