For the Granbury football team, Friday’s scrimmage at Pirate Stadium against Stephenville was a measuring stick – one with a strong, accurate throwing arm.
Coach Scotty Pugh’s Pirates were tested by Yellow Jacket quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a big-time recruit who has committed to play for Texas Tech.
Granbury’s defense allowed a pair of 17-yard touchdown passes by Stidham, and a 65-yard scoring toss by reserve quarterback Anthony Chavarria.
Pirate junior quarterback Brody Ables beat the Yellow Jackets to the scoring punch, however, as the Pirates scored first. Ables, a GHS senior who was told a couple of days before the scrimmage he had earned the starting job, threw for a 70-yard TD pass to Brenden King.
Pugh said he was extremely pleased overall. He liked the progression he saw from his players, since the opening scrimmage Aug. 15 against Wichita Falls Hirschi.
“I thought we were more physical with them,” Pugh said, noting that there were no major injuries. “This is something to build off of.”
Pugh praised Stephenville, picked by some as the preseason favorite to repeat as a state champion in Class 4A. Stidham racked more than 3,500 yards in total offense last year.
“They are one of the top programs in the state, and I’m proud of the way we played them,” Pugh said. “What they do better than a lot of teams is execute.
“We played fast defensively, and we were around the ball, but we’ve got to tackle better.”
The Pirates also had trouble hanging on to the ball, fumbling four times in the controlled scrimmage portion of the evening.
Senior Malik Allen, a 1,000-yard rusher for the Pirates in 2013, gained 37 yards in 8 carries. That included a 14-yard run.
The Pirates drove to the Yellow Jackets’ 4 on their first series in the timed quarter, but couldn’t score on fourth-and-goal.
The Pirates will open the regular season Friday at Azle. Kickoff for the nondistrict matchup is 7:30 p.m., at Hornet Field.
Pugh said the Pirates will be facing a physical team with size when they take on the Hornets.
“They have a really good quarterback and a really good running back,” Pugh said. “They’re extremely good defensively. They are sound. It will be a huge test – especially at their place.”
The Pirates, members of District 8-5A, are coming off a 9-2 season in which they reached the playoffs a fourth consecutive year. If they do that for a fifth straight time, it will be the first time in school history.
District 5-5A Azle was 3-7 last season, but the Hornets are picked to win their district.
JV SCHEDULE CHANGE
Granbury’s junior varsity football team has a schedule change for Thursday, Aug. 28, at Pirate Stadium in Granbury.
The JV Pirates Gold team will play Azle at 5 p.m., and the JV Purple squad will face Azle at 6:30, according to GISD officials.
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