Dialleo Burks saw some good, some bad and some ugly.
The LaGrange High School head football coach saw a little bit of everything in his team’s surprising 20-13 loss to Heard County on Friday night in a preseason scrimmage at Callaway Stadium.
“We got off to a slow start. We had some personal fouls. We were jumping offsides. We were out of position (on defense). We have to be more disciplined. Anybody can get beat when you make mistakes. We missed a lot of tackles,” said Burks.
For all that the Grangers didn’t do in the defeat to the Class AA Heard County Braves, LaGrange High still never quit. That was not an option, not even after the Grangers fell behind 20-0 in the third period.
“We showed some heart. We fought back, and that is what being a Granger is all about,” said Burks.
LaGrange High scored the last 13 points in the game. The Grangers rallied late in the second half on junior fullback Cornell Kendrick’s 1-yard smash with 46.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Grangers also got an 11-yard touchdown run from sophomore halfback Myles Johnson with 10:13 left in the fourth period. Heard County held on, and the Braves beat the Class AAAA Grangers.
That is salt in the wound for LaGrange High, even in a preseason game.
“We weren’t executing, and we weren’t paying attention. Heard County isn’t that good,” said Jonathon Sutton, the 6-foot-1, 241pound freshman defensive tackle for LaGrange.
Granger senior defensive lineman Jonathon Olajubutu wasn’t thrilled with the loss to the Heard County Braves either.
“We had some mental busts. We need to learn our offensive and defensive schemes better. But in the second half we came out and fought,” said Olajubutu. The Grangers just dug themselves too big of a hole. LaGrange High trailed from the 1:14 mark of the first period to the end of the game. Emory Jones, the 6foot-4, 190-pound junior quarterback for the Braves, burned the LaGrange High defense on a regular basis.
Jones, who has already committed to Ohio State, completed 7 of 11 passes for 150 yards against the Grangers. Jones drilled two touchdown passes of 44 yards and 62 yards in the first half.
“We were prepared, and we have a lot of playmakers,” said Jones, who passed for 16 touchdowns and 1,400 yards last season.
LaGrange moved the ball at times, too, but with the running attack. The Grangers rushed for 209 yards in the scrimmage. LaGrange’s Kendrick finished with nine carries for 56 yards.
The Grangers also got 32 yards on the ground from senior quarterback and running back Amad Ogletree. He is still LaGrange’s first team quarterback.
But it was the Heard County Braves who left the stadium with the win.
“We have a good quarterback and some skill guys on the edge. We have a lot of potential, and we played fast on defense,” said Heard County head coach Tim Barron.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer