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Optimism returns to Kelly Memorial

Saying, “Overall, I am very pleased … a long way to go, but pleased,” SCHS head football coach Ron Duncan put the closing touches on the annual spring football practice with the Pizza Hut Red and White scrimmage May 16 at Kelly Memorial Stadium.  
The next time there will be serious action on the playing surface at the local stadium will be Friday, Aug. 15, when the AAAAA Effingham County Rebels are here for the fall scrimmage. The St. John’s (S.C.) Islanders will be here for the regular season opener Saturday, Aug. 23.
“It was a good scrimmage,” remarked Duncan after viewing Friday’s action. “Of course, there is a ton to work on. I was proud of the effort and attitude Friday night as well as the entire spring. It is a much different attitude right now. I think we are a young program as a whole, but there is a common goal of winning as a team. Lots of improvements have been made in that area.”
With a variety of methods to put points on the board that rewarded both the offense and the defense for big plays, sustained drives, actual touchdowns, turnovers, and stops, it was the offense that eventually prevailed 65-35, though the defense led the way at intermission 35-30.
“As far as the score goes; there is no good way to come up with a point system that makes it fair,” explained Duncan. “Last year was close on the scoreboard, but the offense didn’t do much of anything. This year there were a lot of good things going on the defensive side the ball. Throw about three or four starters in with that group (from the offense) and the defense probably dominates.”
Impressive numbers were put up on the offensive side were put up by rising senior but first-time quarterback Donta Wilburn who had six totes for 103 yards on the ground and was 5-for-8 for 77 yards through the air.  
Rushing-wise, rising senior running back Tavarious Johnson had 15 carries for 82 yards; rising senior Caleb Krulic was 13-for-74 yards; and rising junior Malik Prescott was 5-for-38 yards. Rising freshman QB Armani Bunbury was 5-for-8 for 30 yards passing.  
“I think what we are doing offensively fits our kids,” said Duncan. “As we grow and mature, I think we will continue to add to our system. I’m sure we will be in the gun some, but it will be in our system and not until we are ready for it.”
In the fourth quarter, which ended with a running clock and the junior varsity on both sides of the ball, saw another freshman quarterback, Dajon Prescott, rush twice for 27 yards and complete 2-of-4 for 40 yards. Other freshmen making their presence known in the final stanza were Kim Hunter (2 rushes for 39 yards); Kashaun Robinson (2-for-12 yards); Zacky Pendegrass (5-for-19 yards); and Keshaun Herrington (2 catches for 40 yards).
As for who was who on each side of the ball, Duncan closed with, “We did have the personnel divided up to create as much of a competitive atmosphere as we could get. There were several starters playing on the opposite side the ball. We limited a few of our guys in an effort to get some younger guys in and get them in somewhat of a Friday night atmosphere. Hopefully, we can develop some depth in certain areas.”