Down to the final seconds of the live period that ended the Sealy and Columbus football scrimmage, the Tigers’ defense delivered a goal line stand to keep the Cardinals out of the endzone a second time and finalize the score at 7-7.
“There were three or four in that goal line stand that are kind of JV guys that may be varsity but something like that might have just earned them a spot on Friday night,” Sealy head football coach Shane Mobley said.
Sealy and Columbus, a state semifinalist in Class 3A last year, both ran 15 plays on one side of the ball before alternating possession ahead of the live quarter of play, and although plenty was learned on the field, even more knowledge was gained in the film room in the following days.
“Now it’s time to get back into the coaches office and put X’s and O’s back together and that’s the fun part right there,” Mobley said. “Then it’ll be getting the kids to the situation where we’re going in with a game plan actually having offensive formations to breakdown and scheme against.”
Although the Cardinals broke off some big plays and scored in the first part of the scrimmage where score and time were not kept officially, Mobley saw plenty to be pleased with. One of the biggest takeaways in the coach’s eyes, however, was seeing a running back with size on the other side of the ball.
“You can’t simulate that in practice, and even if you’ve got (the size) to simulate in practice you don’t want him hurting any of your kids so the only time you see that is live game time,” Mobley said.
The Tigers’ sophomore quarterback, D’vonne Hmielewski, saw his first game-speed action at the varsity level and developed a rapport early with receivers Draper Parker, Jakobe Davis and Connor Krenek. He also showed flashes of his ability to escape from the pocket but was advised not to take off running down the field quite yet.
Instead, running backs Alvin and Avonte Nunn took the handoffs and were able to show off their downhill running ability by pulling piles of would-be tacklers in their wake. Both of the brothers scored for Sealy with Avonte, a sophomore, crossing the goal line in the early portion and Alvin, a senior, providing the Tigers’ lone touchdown in the live period.
Alvin was competing again for the first time after recovering from knee surgery during powerlifting season and although he said his body felt good after the first live action, he thought his performance still left plenty of room for improvement.
He talked about reigning in his emotions to be a better leader for the team in his final year and looked forward to providing a spark in the first regular-season game against Brazosport this Friday.
Last year, it was the Brazosport Exporters who handed Sealy its first regular-season loss since 2017 and seeing the big Columbus running back do work last Thursday gave Mobley flashbacks to that game at home last year when the Exporters stole the win on a last-minute field goal.
“It reminded me of the same thing that happened against Brazosport when we had third down. The running back broke two or three tackles to put them in field goal range and that was the difference,” Mobley said. “Talked about what should have been said and what should have been done and what’s going to be done with this group. The younger ones won’t understand until they see it, the older ones know what’s about to come.”
Another big positive that came out of the scrimmage with the Cardinals was that no major injuries were suffered on either sideline ahead of the regular-season openers this week.
“It’s always great to scrimmage Columbus. Just like I told Coach (Matt) Schobel, he’s getting his kids ready to go, we’re trying to get our kids ready to go,” Mobley said. “It was just good, clean fun. I think that’s been something that’s not been in the vocabulary for Sealy and Columbus in the past, but now our kids had fun with their kids and their coaching staff is a great group of guys.”
On Monday afternoon, Brazosport ISD announced it was canceling all in-person and virtual instruction on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week citing weather concerns ahead of Tropical Storm Laura’s arrival. As a result, the season-opening football contest set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Freeport was canceled.
Coach Mobley confirmed the cancellation Monday afternoon and said the team was looking for another team to play in Week One but as of press time, there was no game scheduled for this weekend.
For a full season preview of the Sealy football team, see the Austin County Fall Sports Preview inside this edition.