The Minden Crimson Tide finished out their spring practice with a Red/White scrimmage Thursday night at the Pit at W.W. Williams Field.
In a close game, the Red team used a late defensive touchdown by Devontrez Jackson to tie the game, and then went ahead as Tray Hawkins ran in the two points conversion to give the Red team bragging rights with a 14-12 win.
"I was very pleased overall," Minden head coach Randy Peters said. "Certainly we have several things we need to work on, but I thought we competed well and the kids made good plays on both sides of the ball."
Despite being split between two teams, Peters liked what he saw from both his offense and defense.
"I thought defensively we were very aggressive," he said. "We gave up some deep passes and we can't do that, but we got good push up front and ran to the ball well. Offensively, we ran the ball well at times and we threw the ball down the field, so I see a lot to work with."
The defenses had the upper hand for most of the game, including the first half, as the white team went into the half with a 6-0 lead.
The two quarterbacks competing for the starting job, Ronald Richard and Turner Francis both had their moments. Most of Francis' big plays came through the air, whereas Richard made things happen when he pulled down the ball and ran.
"Both quarterbacks played well," Peters said. "And both will play this fall. One of them will have their package, and the other will have his. They have different skill sets, but both of them will be on the field. Both of them impressed me. I'm very pleased with our quarterback situation."
The first big highlight of the first half came on a pass from Francis to Coltan Haynes. Francis threw deep down the visitor sideline where the defender batted the ball into the air. As Haynes was going to the ground, he hauled in the careen for a 30-yard gain. The two later connected again for the games first touchdown. This time Francis hit a wide-open Haynes, who side-stepped the safety for a 45-yard touchdown. The two-point try was unsuccessful and the White took a 6-0 lead.
Cortavieous Rice and Ladarrius Joseph both ran the ball well in the first half, and Francis had another big play when he hit Michael LaBrie with a big play, a 40-yard catch and run.
Right before the half, the Red team pulled off a big play as tray Hawkins broke off a nice run, with a couple of big moves as he ran 45-yards.
The two teams then broke for the half, with the Red team leading 6-0.
Francis and Haynes hooked up with another big play on the first series of the second half, but it was called back by a penalty.
Richards then made a couple of nice runs, before Bryant Stanberry sacked Richards on a big third down. On the following series, the Red defense returned the favor with a couple of sacks from Shaun Seamster. But Richards rebounded from the sacks with a long pass inside the five-yard line to a leaping Jared Johnson. The play went for 41-yards and set up the Red's first touchdown, a three-yard run by Richards. The two-point try was no good, and the game was tied 6-6.
The white then came back with a scoring drive of their own. Rice and Francis had nice runs, setting up a Francis to Mikey James 17-yard touchdown pass. The two-point try was again no good, and the Red led 12-6.
After getting the ball back, Francis hit LaBrie with a nice pass, before Richards, who was now playing defense, began to make big plays defensively. Back at quarterback, Richards began to make plays offensively as well. Richards had nice completions to Johnson and Marshal Frye, but the Red team eventually had to turn the ball over on downs.
The white team began running the ball as they tried to run out the last minute on the clock. Just as the game looked to be over, Red defensive lineman Devontrez Jackson broke through the line, stripped the ball away from the white running back, and raced untouched 32 yards for the game tying touchdown.
On the two-point try, Zack Watson handed off to Tray Hawkins, who headed to the left side of the line. Hawkins was hit in the backfield by a white defender, spun back to his left and headed around the right end, where a block by Watson sprung him to get into the end zone with the two-point conversion for the 14-12 lead with under 40 seconds left.
The white team tried to come back but an interception by Javion Johnson ended the game.
"They were running out the clock, and the kids made a play," Peters said. "Since it was the spring game, they ran a play instead of kneeling it, and DeVontrez just took the ball away and went in for the score. Then Tray made a nice run on the two-point play to put them ahead."
Peters likes where his team is as the spring comes to an end.
"I'm pleased with where we are at this point," he said. "Now we're going to get into our summer and get to work. I really think this fall can be a great situation."