SOUTH KINGSTOWN—As far as first rehearsals go, things went about as well as could be expected for the Chariho and East Greenwich football teams in their Injury Fund scrimmage at Curtis Corner Middle School Saturday.
Both squads left the 24-minute game – a 21-14 Avenger victory – feeling similarly, with plenty of room for improvement yet satisfied with the positives.
“We don’t have that rhythm yet of people instinctively feeling where they’ve got to go but I think we got out of here healthy,” Chariho coach Mike Kelly said. “A couple of boo-boos but objective one in Injury Fund for me is not to lose anyone for next week.”
“Overall I was pretty happy,” EG coach John George said. “We still have some work to do but overall we did OK.”
As the final score indicated, most of those positives came on the offensive side of the ball.
EG was well aware of what it had coming back in running back Carney Crawford and quarterback Andrew Miner and each had solid performances Saturday.
Crawford – who actually spent the better part of the scrimmage sick on the sidelines – showed his signature big play ability in the time he was on the field, picked up 107 total yards and a touchdown despite only touching the ball four times.
Miner, meanwhile, connected on all five of his passing attempts for 120 yards as the Avengers scored touchdowns on all three of their offensive possessions.
One of the biggest questions facing EG would how its rebuilt offensive line hold up and overall it fared pretty well as Miner was sacked just once and the Avengers had only one run that didn’t gain positive yardage.
The Chargers also had their own questions coming into Saturday’s game, namely how first-year quarterback junior Jake Rousseau would handle transitioning to starting varsity.
From the very first snap the new QB looked comfortable running the Chariho offense.
On the Chargers’ opening drive their first two plays netted them minus-one yard but facing a 3rd-and-11 Rousseau kept a play alive with his legs and then found Jarrod Bursell along the right side to pick up the first down on a 19-yard gain.
The drive would ultimately falter at the East Greenwich 34-yard line but from the opening series Rousseau looked comfortable both passing and running the ball.
“My big thing tonight was to see how the quarterback handled things,” Kelly said. “It was our first time out so we tried – it wasn’t a hurry up – it was just literally a no huddle to try and save all the running back and forth and he handled that OK.
“We didn’t have any of those screw ups of wrong play calls and stuff so I was happy.”
In addition to Rousseau’s play, the Chargers also got strong offensive performances from Adam Harvey, Blake James, Tyler Bobbin, Mitch Renner, John LaMotte and Jake Whan.
The flip side of all the offensive numbers though, is obviously both coaches will be taking a good look at their respective defenses as neither team can expect to give up 30 or 40 points a night and have consistent success.
Both the Chargers and Avengers will finish up the preseason portion of their schedule Friday at 7 p.m. as Chariho will host Narragansett, while EG hosts Exeter-West Greenwich.