By Evan Ren

Killeen Daily Herald

As scrimmages go, it was largely typical, featuring sloppy offense, missed assignments and plenty of rust.

But as the Eagles closed spring practice with their annual team scrimmage on Thursday, head coach Brett Boyd saw something he hasn't seen during his four-year tenure at EHS: His defense was actually ahead of his offense.

"I'm excited about our defense, particularly our front seven," said Boyd after the workout at the Ellison football field. "The good news is they're all young kids who are going to keep getting bigger and stronger."

Breaking the workout into 10- and 12-play segments, the Eagles' first and second units squared off against each other initially, after which the junior varsity repeated the process.

Punting and field-goal kicking were briefly worked on during the second half of the scrimmage, during which the matchups were changed to first team vs. first team and second team vs. second team.

From the outset, the Ellison defensive units dominated, yielding only two scores on the day a 55-yard touchdown pass from Ivan Delgado to Clarence Wilson, and a 15-yard quarterback scramble for a score by Curtis Henderson.

For the bulk of the scrimmage, the Eagles' new 3-4 defense under the direction of new coordinator Buddy McBride fully exploited a combination of missed blocking assignments and fumbled snaps.

"When you use zone blocking, you need to move together as a unit," Boyd said. "But often, we'd have someone going off in a different direction and that just creates havoc.

"Offensively, we need to develop consistency and eliminate mistakes."

Manning his trademark bullhorn during the course of the workout, Boyd remained in the background, allowing his assistant coaches to guide the scrimmage.

Only occasionally did he interrupt the proceedings, mainly to point out repeated mistakes.

"I didn't get too involved with things today," Boyd said. "I was just here to watch coaches and kids."

The Eagles will open the regular season on Sept. 2 when they host Hays Consolidated. They will scrimmage Harker Heights on Aug. 20 and Georgetown on Aug. 25, both at Leo Buckley Stadium.

n EAGLE NOTES Starting quarterback candidate Demyron Bell, who was attending a funeral, did not participate in Thursday's workout. ... McBride, who replaces Richard Tucker as defensive coordinator, arrives at Ellison from Georgetown High School.

Contact Evan Ren at

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