In spite of an hour-long weather delay, Triton was able to host seven other schools for the Harnett County Jamboree football scrimmage on Tuesday.
In addition to the host Hawks, Harnett Central, Overhills, Western Harnett, Midway, Lakewood, Southern Wayne and North Brunswick also participated in the event. Each team participated in two 30-minute sessions, with offense and defense switching after every 10 plays.
Overhills started off with a scrimmage against North Brunswick before facing off against Southern Wayne.
“I thought we started off a little flat,” said first-year Overhills coach Chris McGee. “We had the penalties, which you tend to get this time of year. But I thought we came back in the second scrimmage and played well. Execution is the big thing. I think we picked it up a little bit, but we’re still a long way from where we want to be. Defensively, I thought we played a little better as the games went on. We need to figure out how to come out of the gates strong and I don’t think we’re doing that right now.”
Senior Jailen Hobbs and junior Tyler Gates each had a pair of touchdown receptions from junior Chris Perkins over the course of the two scrimmages for the Jaguars.
Overhills goes to Seventy-First on Thursday to participate in the Cumberland County Showcase. The Jaguars will return to Triton to open the season on Aug. 23.
On the other end of the field, Harnett Central started off with Southern Wayne before meeting North Brunswick.
Sophomore Marquez Jones and senior Everett Blake each had a touchdown reception from junior Jaden Bryant for the Trojans.
In the second half of the event, Midway started against host Triton before facing Western Harnett.
“We started off against Triton and we were all giddy because we hadn’t been able to play against anybody else yet,” said Midway coach Cory Barnes. “You knock those cobwebs off, you play somebody you’ve never played before and make the best of it. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got a lot of film work to do to see where we can get better. There was also some good things that happened. We made some good reads and threw some good balls. Defensively, it was outstanding tonight. Obviously we’ve got some things to improve on, but from where we were last year to right now, I think with a change in scheme and what we’re doing, I think we’re competing a lot better defensively. We played well against Triton and we played well against Western Harnett.”
Sophomore Wyatt Holland and senior Cal Tyndall each threw touchdown passes for the Raiders, with senior Cameron Barefoot and Thorton Baggett each making touchdown receptions. Tyndall and senior Javen Covington each had rushing touchdowns for Midway.
Barnes noted that Midway had officially named Holland the starting quarterback earlier in the week.
Midway will participated in the Sampson County Jamboree at Clinton on Friday.
Western Harnett met a pair of Sampson County foes, starting off against Lakewood before taking on Midway.
“I felt good,” said Western Harnett coach Blake Culbertson. “Our first time getting out there against somebody else. We’ve just got to correct some things, little issues, tackling. I thought our effort was good for the most part. I’m pleased with our first scrimmage.”
Junior Daquan McNeill ran for a touchdown for the Eagles.
Triton met a pair of teams coached by former Hawks assistants, Midway (Cory Barnes) and Lakewood (Barrett Sloan).
“We started off pretty slow (defensively),” said Triton coach Ben Penny. “We had some young guys up front getting introduced to varsity football. I think we’ll get better. We’re pleased with the backfield right now and the offensive line’s going to be better. Overall, I was pleased. I was a little worried about Midway’s offense and being able to defend RPO’s and the option. I think we adjusted and did well. The offense was a point of focus and I was pleased with how well we ran tonight. We kept it simple and basic and didn’t go deep in the playbook. And we executed the basics and I was very pleased to see that.”
Triton had numerous rushing touchdowns from sophomore Malik McNeill and senior Romello Cowan on the night and one from freshman Eligah Holmes.
Triton travels to Gray’s Creek on Friday as part of the Cumberland County Showcase. The Hawks are matched against St. Pauls at 5 p.m.
Western Harnett travels to Northwood for a scrimmage on Friday.