The first glimpse of Brusly football — albeit a little over three months before the season actually starts provided a small taste of what’s to come for Brusly fans and opponents.
Brusly concluded the spring with its spring game against the Albany Hornets last Friday at Jessie Fletcher Memorial Stadium in Albany.
In addition to each team getting a select number of plays on a drive for its offense and defense, the last portion of the exhibition was a scrimmage divided into two 12-minute halves.
The Panthers outscored Albany 14-7 in the game and displayed spurts of dominance on the offensive and defensive lines, as well as versatility on both sides of the ball.
“We were physical, had a lot of energy,” said Brusly head coach Hoff Schooler. “You see a lot of guys running around to the football and got 75 guys out here, all 75 got in the mix. Favorite thing, you’re starting to see some things translate from the weight room in the offseason, discipline-wise and toughness wise it’s starting to translate onto the field.
“Technique-wise and details, we’re not where we need to be,” he added. “We got the big picture right. Now we need to go back, turn the film on and correct these mistakes before we move on to anything else. Let’s correct what we got going on now and then we can start moving on to the next phase.”
Brusly’s opening was a snippet of what Schooler said he wants his team to be. The Panthers methodically drove the ball down the field with bruising runs and capped off the drive with a short touchdown run. The drive took nearly nine minutes off the clock.
“That’s what we’re about,” he said. “We want to possess the football and get first downs and protect the football. Started with 12 minutes on the clock and scored with three and some change on the clock. Really a good job. A little disappointed, had a couple of penalties inside the red zone, but still managed to get into the endzone. You see the skill guys, but the guys up front on that drive changed the line of scrimmage and created some lanes for the running backs and Nick (Penell) at quarterback.”
The Panther defense picked up where it left off last year with a dominant performance for much of the game. Brusly’s second touchdown came on Will Anderson’s interception that he returned for a touchdown that put them up 14-0.
Albany scored on its last drive in the second half.
“We’re trying to move some guys around take advantage of some of the things that they can do well and get some depth,” Schooler said of several players excelling in new positions so far. “They’ve embraced it. Bridge (Jamauri Bridgewater) was one of those guys who came to me in the offseason and said ‘coach, I would like to play some defense. I think it would help me at receiver.’ Sidney (Moore) is a guy who is explosive. We need to let him touch the ball a few times. The pick six, that’s Will Anderson. That’s a guy who has done nothing but kick since he’s been here and he’s embraced it. He made a good break on the ball for the interception.”