Howe football scrimmaged against Pairs Chisum at Bulldog Stadium on Aug. 12, and, as my good friend Louis L'amour would say, the Mustangs were rode hard and put away wet.
The teams opened with 15-play possessions beginning on the minus 30-yard line, and Howe's number one offense wasted no time in setting the tone. Jaden Matthews gained 25 yards at the right side of the Howe line on the first play and later, a Brandon Wall to Matthews pass lit up the scoreboard.
The Bulldog ground game was in fierce motion as Cooper Akins scored on a 65-yard run and Matthews tallied again, this time on a 62-yard dash. Chase Harvey, Clay Marshall and Matt Griffin were cleaning out the Chisum defense on the right side.
Wall completed a couple short passes, first to Brent Masters, then to Dylan Moreau, and these two took them both to the house for scores.
The Bulldog defense was doing work as well. Tanner Hartsfield, Andrew Griffin and J.P. Queen blanked the visitors totally during the early stages of the scrimmage.
If our sometimes unreadable notes are correct, the Mustangs did not pick up a first down in the first 25 plays of the scrimmage. To complete the event, played on a slightly damp field after a cooling rain storm blew through just before the 6 p.m. scrimmage started, the two teams went at it in a “live half” of action.
Live except there would be no kick returns on punts, and no extra point attempts.
Chisum picked up a pair of first downs on its opening possession, taking advantage of two Bulldog penalties to move inside the Howe 25-yard line. After a pass completion gained seven yards, two stops for no gain and a fourth down fumble stopped the drive at the Howe 18-yard line.
Three plays into the Bulldog possession, Matthews cut back on a run up the middle and raced 52 yards for a touchdown.
Howe did not yield another first down in the scrimmage and Masters scored twice, the first coming on a 50-yard run, and he then caught a Wall pass and toted it in from 30 yards out.
Cooper Akins also scored on a 50-yard sprint.
A Mike Helpenstell sack stopped Chisum on its next possession and Andrew Griffin, getting some plays on the offensive side, outran the beleaguered Chisum defense on an 80-yard scoring run.
“Clay and Matt opened up a big hole for me on that one,” Griffin said (that would be Clay Marshall and Matt Griffin.) Cade Courtney put the final touches on the scrimmage with a 25-yard scoring run.
It was a good test for the Bulldogs in their first scrimmage but the questions get harder in the coming weeks.
An Aug. 18 scrimmage at Aubrey precedes the opening game at Gunter.