Pioneers expect to improve

August 18, 2004|MARTY WARREN

HARRODSBURG - Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast expects his young team to get better as the season progresses starting with the season opener here Friday at Alvis Johnson Field against Western Hills.

A trio of sophomores -Brandon Ford, Cory Jackson and Freeman Edwards - will carry the offensive load for the Pioneers.

"They are young and will get a lot of experience quick," said Yeast, who begins his second season at Harrodsburg. "The more reps they get, however, the better they will get. As the season gets longer, they will be able to make the plays that we need."

Edwards will run the offense from the quarterback slot.

"He has come a long way from his freshmen year," Yeast said.

"The biggest thing he has going for him this year is he has gotten all of the reps in practice. That's a big plus. He's starting to understand coverage a little better. That's important because we have to be able to throw the ball as well as run it. The more balanced we are, the better team we can become."


Jackson played along side Mark Dunn in the backfield last season and is capable of breaking a long run at any time with his exceptional speed.

"Cory and Brandon both have a chance to be special players for us," Yeast said. "Both players have lots of speed and that is something you can't coach."

Small roster creates need to manage the clock

Yeast has been pleased with his team during its two scrimmages. One thing that concerned him was his team's inability to sustain drives. Most of their scoring plays came on long runs or passes, but with just 22 players the Pioneers will need to manage the clock to keep from wearing down.

"We have to be able to run the clock," Yeast said. "We're only playing 12 or 13 guys the whole game and we have to be able to run the clock or we could be in trouble. We're trying to focus on getting our offensive line better and our backs have to be patient and read the blocks. We also have to stay healthy. An injury could really set us back."

The Harrodsburg coach said he has been pleased with his defense but concerned with turnovers. The Pioneers turned the ball over just one time in their first scrimmage, but committed five mistakes in a scrimmage against Garrard County.

"Our defense is fast, and that's a plus," Yeast said. "We want to focus on getting 11 guys to the football. At the same time, we can't lay the ball on the ground. We can't spend too much time on the defensive side of the ball."

Yeast admits he knows little about what Western Hills might try to do.

"Just by talking to their coach they have more kids out this year and they are excited about the upcoming season," the Harrodsburg coach said. "They lost of couple of their skilled players but they have an excellent quarterback that loves to run the option. That's makes it tough because you have to play assignment football. They have decent speed. I know that because we saw quite a bit of them during track season."

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