Delone Catholic and New Oxford will start a regular season series in 2016 and 2017, but fans got a sneak peek of what that matchup could look like during a scrimmage in McSherrystown on Friday. In a battle of two teams with rookie head coaches, the Colonials, who were winless last season, more than held their own against their neighbors six miles to the south. The teams don't keep score in scrimmages but New Oxford reached the end zone three times to Delone's one. Here are three takeaways from Friday's scrimmage:
NEW OXFORD OFFENSE VS. DELONE DEFENSE >> There was good news and there was bad news for the Colonials' offense. The bad news was the three turnovers — two fumbles, one interception — forced by Delone's defense, and the lack of a passing attack. Delone's secondary bottled up the Colonials' receivers and quarterback Corban Czap didn't complete a pass until the end of New Oxford's third drive. His first pass attempt was picked off by Brandon Zumbrum. The good news for New Oxford was it's option offense riddled Delone all night. Czap and Josh Shultz both had big days behind the Colonials' massive offensive line. Czap had two runs of at least 30 yards and a touchdown run from 15 yards out while Shultz found the end zone twice. A solid run-game could go a long way in helping New Oxford have a bounce-back season.
DELONE OFFENSE VS. NEW OXFORD DEFENSE >> The Squires' offense looked solid on its first drive. Delone marched down the field, mixing run and pass plays until junior Brian Shermeyer rolled to his left and squeezed a pass through the middle of the defense to his receiver in the back of the end zone. But the offense failed to score again after that and struggled to move the ball. Other than a few sporadic plays, Delone's tailbacks rarely had room to run and New Oxford's defense forced two turnovers — a Trevon Brown interception and a forced fumble — on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter. The Squires have a week to fine tune the offense before they host Trinity.
TURNOVERS, TURNOVER, TURNOVERS >> Turnovers are a coach's worst nightmare, and there were plenty to go around Friday night. Delone forced three turnovers — two fumbles and an interception in the first two quarters, while New Oxford forced a fumble at the end of a long Delone run and picked off Shermeyer. At one point, there were turnovers on three consecutive possessions. Both teams will need to hang on to the ball better next week when the real games start.