One of the very few question marks the Granbury Pirates had entering this football season was the defense.
They answered those questions Friday night with a strong showing in a scrimmage at defending Class 3A Division I state champion Stephenville.
The Pirates limited the perennial power Yellowjackets to one touchdown in the controlled portion of the scrimmage and another in the game-type scrimmage.
What’s more, they held the much-heralded quarterback Jarrett Stidham to an 11-for-19 passing day wtih modest yardage. He did throw for the aforementioned two touchdowns, but the Pirate defense did a solid job of chasing him out of the pocket several times and had Stephenville receivers looking over their shoulders for the upcoming hit.
“I think our defense did a great job,” said Granbury head coach Scotty Pugh. “You’re coming in against the defending state champs, facing one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, probably the top quarterback in the state. Yes, I’m pleased with tonight.
“The main thing we were looking at tonight was effort, running to the football, and I think we did a great job of that.”
Junior free safety Brandon Johnson had an interception for the Pirates.
Meanwhile, the Pirates moved the ball on offense, despite not finding the end zone.
The Pirates have their own standout quarterback in junior Ryan Suitt, the District 7-4A Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2012. He passed for over 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns in leading Granbury (7-4) to its most wins since 1998.
Suitt connected with a variety of receivers on several pass plays for good yardage. These included passes of 21 and 20 yards to junior Nick Doughty and 17 yards to senior Skylar Baskin.
“I think offensively we did a great job,” said Pugh.
The game-type scrimmage lasted just over a quarter, and in it included kicking. During this time, Pugh let junior kicker Jacob Rose attempt a 60-yard field goal. It was short, but would probably have been good from 50 yards.
“It was a little unrealistic, but he’s got that kind of leg,” said Pugh.
“I think it says a lot for the maturity of our kids,” Pugh said about the overall performance. “Stephenville is one of the top programs in the state.”
CORNERSTONE WRAPS UP
The Cornerstone Crusaders had very little trouble in their final preseason scrimmage, scoring almost at will in a contest at Brooksmith.
“I think Brooksmith was a little weaker than years past,” said Cornerstone coach Bobby Johnson, noting that the Crusaders varsity saw very little playing time.
Still, Cornerstone scored either nine or 10 touchdowns in the scrimmage. Actually, it was so many it was hard to keep an actual count, said Johnson.
Brooksmith did manage a couple of touchdowns of its own, but they both came against the Cornerstone junior varsity. The varsity Crusaders posted a shutout.
“Our tight offense worked well, as well as the spread,” said Johnson.
“We still need to work on our disciplines. Our new defense worked great.”
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