The Dragon football team opened its season Friday with a scrimmage against Scecina, and had a solid showing in the two varsity segments.
It was a solid preparation for the regular season, which begins next Friday, Aug. 21, at Lawrenceburg with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Dragons got out to a fast start, scoring twice in the opening segment and a third time in the second segment. NP punched it into the end zone just four plays in, as Duke Blackwell caught a 23-yard pass from Alex Neligh for the score. It was set up by two Nick Brickens carries for 31 yards and an 11-yard pass to Logan Greene.
On the Dragons’ next touch, a 36-yard run by Neligh set up a 4-yard plunge by freshman C.J. Faubion, giving NP two scores in its first eight plays, both on drives starting from its own 35.
In the second segment, where teams began from the opponents’ 35, Brickens had a 4-yard run for a score.
Meanwhile, the Red Rage held firm, holding Scecina to just eight total yards and one first down in its first 15-play segment. The Crusaders had just 15 yards until the final two plays of the varsity scrimmage, when they had a pair of 35-yard TD passes.
In the varsity segment, NP outgained Scecina 206-85 – with 70 of those Crusader yards coming on the final two plays. Brickens led the way on the ground with 74 yards on five carries. Freshman Luke Ely had 29 yards on five carries, and Neligh carried twice for 37 yards.Neligh was 4-for-9 passing and Gunnar Large 1-for-3, spreading the ball around to five different receivers – Blackwell, Greene, Brett Luker, James Crumlin and Colby Jenkins.
In the JV segment, Zach Neligh threw a long TD pass to Jaxon Manes to give the Dragons a fourth score.
“We don’t really gameplan for these things. We’ve been working on our first week opponent for a while,” NP coach Kyle Ralph said. “Offensively, the offensive line came out and set the tone with just blocking their assignments, with a tremendous effort. We just wanted to see our kids compete. I think on offense, we did a tremendous job. On defense, we did a tremendous job, too. Later on, we started subbing and finished on a sour note giving up two touchdowns on some busted coverages, but we knew mistakes would happen tonight with no gameplan, but we just wanted to see great effort. I feel like our players did a great job of doing that tonight.”