For the Cardinals, opening day in the Troup County Recreation Football League had a lot in common with their final game from last season.
The defending Textile Bowl champion Cardinals were back at it on Saturday afternoon as they handcuffed the Hurricanes, 28-0 in a preseason scrimmage in West Point. The Cardinals had themselves some opening day fun at the River Bowl Stadium.
“We had a good outing and a strong game. I could see that we were ready. We executed well, and we know how to win. We want to repeat (as 11 to 12-year-old champions),” said Brandon Todd, the head coach of the Cardinals.
Todd’s football crew went out and scored 28 points in 20 minutes against the Hurricanes. The opening day game, strictly a preseason contest, was comprised of two 10-minute halves.
The game does not count on the record for either team, the Cardinals or the Hurricanes. But the Cardinals played as though it did. That was their football mentality from the opening kickoff to the final play of the scrimmage.
On the opening play of the afternoon, the Cardinals were in cruise control with Taeo Todd’s 60-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Todd is the son of the Cardinals head coach.
Like father, like son.
Taeo Todd would score a second time in the first half on a 21-yard touchdown run as he reversed the field with 1:37 left. The Cardinals went back to the running game for a 22-yard scoring sprint from Cam Dooley, also in the first half.
“We were having fun and gaining some experience,” said Cardinal teammate Recavien Howell. “We were just hitting anybody. We are probably going undefeated (this season).”
The Cardinals had 92 yards on the day in the preseason scrimmage. The Hurricanes had 43 yards and not one touchdown, although running back Nolan Black did have a 40-yard scoring run called back because of a holding penalty.
“Our team needs more blocking and tackling,” said Black.
Hurricane defensive end and running back Kelvin Howell thinks his team is going to have a good season.
“We just need to work as a team, and we do want to win all of our (regular season) games. We need to get hydrated,” said Howell.
Cardinal wide receiver and linebacker Zantavious Brewer feels good about the season ahead, too.
“We know how to run the ball, and our players are good friends. They don’t let me down. We’re going to keep on working,” said Brewer.
Taeo Todd of the Cardinals scored the only touchdown in the second half on a 10-yard run. The Hurricanes played some hard nosed football in the scrimmage, too, with center and defensive end Boots Martin and quarterback Preston Pressley.
“We have a lot of work to do, but we had a few bright moments. When we get more practices in we’re going to be okay,” said Hurricanes head coach Otis Gilbert.