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Nederland tests strengths, weaknesses against two teams

NEDERLAND — It’s officially high school football season in Texas and Nederland got in some more practice with a double scrimmage Friday against Lumberton and Newton at Bulldog Stadium.

Each team traded off practicing in 12-minute increments alternating between first and second stringers.

Nederland head coach Monte Barrow was pleased with the overall performance of his team’s first scrimmage.

“I was pleased with the things that we can’t coach, which is effort and flying around the football,” he said. “In the same breadth, as coaches, we’re going to go back and look at the video, find the things we didn’t do well and harp on those next week and try to get better at those things.”

Nederland started the night off facing the Newton Eagles locking offensively and defensively with the two-time 3A Division II state champions. However, the Bulldogs kept their composure and quickly found a hole with 2 minutes left in the opening round.

Nederland quarterback Bryce McMorris handed the ball to Josh Mazyck, who is coming off a season-ending injury from his sophomore year. The junior raced for 40 yards finding the end zone seconds before being tackled.

“Offensively, we didn’t make stupid mistakes,” Barrow said. “We didn’t jump offsides or anything like that. The little things we talk about, like trying to be a smart football team — we did that. For this stage in the season we did pretty well.”

The Bulldogs proved their offensive prowess yet again, scoring against the Lumberton Raiders in style. Backup QB Corbin Chandler hit a long throw to junior Cale Baker, who juggled the ball for several moments before finding his grip and putting the Bulldogs in scoring territory. Senior Elijah Fowler closed the short distance dashing into the end zone to add another touchdown to the night’s score.

“I was really pleased with the way our second unit went in there and played,” Barrow said. “A lot of times when you’re in a regular game and you’re in a situation where you are either up big or down big and you pull those starters, you don’t want to give up points or let it get worse when you’re down. You want those guys that practice just like everybody else does, who go in there and perform.”

Nederland continued to tack on points throughout the night, reaching the end zone two more times against Newton and once more against Lumberton. The Bulldogs held their own defensively, only allowing one touchdown in an earlier turn against the Eagles.

“Defensively, we adjusted to two different types of offenses that we don’t see a lot in what Newton does and what Lumberton does,” Barrow said. “I was proud of our defense and the fact that we didn’t game plan for those.”

Nederland heads to Memorial on Thursday to take on the Titans in their second scrimmage.

“We’ll see a different animal with Port Arthur Memorial,” Barrow said. “The athleticism they’ll bring and the overall team speed will be a great test, especially defensively. We want to improve on the things we didn’t do well tonight. As a football team that’s how you grow.”