WENDELL — East Wake and Enloe begin their respective football seasons on Aug. 23 and Aug. 30, but with much to learn from each other the two teams met for a 7-on-7 scrimmage Thursday morning.
While there was no score kept, it was obvious that the Warriors had their way with the Eagles, but that’s not what either team was concerned with Thursday.
“All I want out of these games is for our kids to learn something every time out,” East Wake coach John Poulnott said. “Today, we saw a new look from Enloe with their man defense. We work on that during drills, but haven’t seen it that much in our games. Now we get to see if those drills are working.
“I think the biggest thing that we’ll take out of this one is that it reinforces what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis and we’re prepared for a team like Enloe that might try to pressure us.”
With both teams participating in their fourth 7-on-7 game of the summer, the two can learn a lot from each other.
Enloe and East Wake’s defenses last year were torrid and that was one of the biggest reasons for the teams combining to go 4-18 last season. With the Warriors and Eagles allowing an average of 32 and 33 points per game, respectively, these scrimmages provide a chance for both teams to work on their secondaries.
“We do this a lot for our cover guys and the rest of our defense,” Enloe coach Mike Massey said. “By the time the season starts, we want them to not only learn the route coverage, but to master it. Not only that, but see how it works against multiple types of receivers.”
Another similarity between the two teams is the style of play they get from their quarterbacks. Enloe’s Dwayne Pernell and East Wake’s Trent Evans are both running quarterbacks who leave much to be desired in the passing game.
With neither allowed to run the ball in the scrimmage, Evans excelled with three touchdowns while his counterpart struggled with six interceptions, but finished the game with the team’s lone touchdown.
“I know it wasn’t my best game, but I’m happy to be gaining the experience,” Pernell, a rising senior, said. “I think we’re slowly coming together as a team and we were excited to at least get that last one.”
For Evans, much of his confidence comes from his receivers finding open lanes.
“My receivers are giving me really good routes,” Evans said. “Just the fact that they are getting open and letting me work quickly is really helpful.”
On the other side of the ball, Evans intercepted two passes as a safety, but the biggest story on defense was cornerback Jalon Lindsay. The rising junior came away with four interceptions, all in zone coverage, and impressed his coach.
“He’s not normally our No. 1 corner, but he proved to us today that he can handle himself pretty well,” Poulnott said. “We’ll see if that continues heading into August and, if it does, that means we have three good corners for two spots.”
For a young corner like Lindsay, stacking up against a passing offense allows him to learn on the fly.
“These games help us so much because we can make mistakes and learn from them,” Lindsay said. “We know where to break down and know where we have to be on the different routes we’re seeing.
“Things like this might not happen during the regular season, but it prepares us for what we might see against teams who like to pass the ball.”
Smith: 919-829-4841; @RCorySmith