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The leadership and execution of senior quarterback Josh Avery, the running of senior back Cody Cooper-Speight and the pass-catching of senior Zach Pittman keyed an encouraging performance from the Fike High varsity football team in the 13th annual Fike Jamboree in the Fike High Stadium on a sweltering Friday evening.
The Golden Demons of head coach Tom Nelson battled on even terrms or claimed a favorable results against all four of its opponents — 4-A Corinth Holders, 4-A Rolesville, 2-A Nash Central and, finally, 3-A D.H. Conley.
Fike and Corinth Holders each tallied a pair of touchdowns, while the Demons notched a 2-1 margin against Rolesville. The verdict was 1-1 against Nash Central and, despite numerous threats, neither Fike nor Conley dented the goal line in 10-play or five-play segments.
“Good and bad,” Nelson reviewed the session of some 2 1/2 hours. “It was good to go against somebody else. Nobody got hurt and the weather was good. I feel like our conditioning got better; scrimmaging four times without a break was sort of like playing a game.
“I think we are going to be good up front. There are always areas that need improvement, but I am not displeased where we are.”
Against Corinth Holders, the Demons tallied on Avery’s quarterback keeper and his TD toss to Pittman. A long completion to Octavius Carpenter left the Demons a couple of yards from the end zone on the final play of the second 10-play segment. Cooper-Speight provided elusive running.
The Pirates countered on a pair of Matt Cozart TD passes.
Mistakes were prominent in the Fike-Rolesville session. The Demons lost three fumbles and had an interception. Rolesville, which posted a 4-7 mark last season, lost a pair of TDs on offensive pass interference infractions.
Cooper-Speight darted into the end zone twice. Avery’s aerial to Pittman set up the second TD. Rolesville tallied on Noah Douglas’ toss to Jacian Lewis.
“They’ve got some experience and good size,” noted Rams head coach Wilson Helms of Fike, “and we got a good look against them. Fike is a solid team and it was a good test to see how we matched up against a solid team with soem tradition.
The Rams were coming off a favorable outcome against Conley, and Helms admitted: “We got a little ahead of ourselves.
Against Nash Central, Fike’s Cooper-Speight not only found the end zone on a short burst but had an interception. Back-up quarterback Eli Pope passed to Pittman for a TD. Leading the Demons’ ground attack was Davon Edwards.
With second units on the field, Nash Central got its TD on Kendall Winston’s run.
“Fike does more misdirection and read options than other teams, and it was good for us to see that,” remarked pleased Nash Central head coach Chris Lee.”
The Bulldogs of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference were coming off favorable results against Corinth Holders and Northern Nash.
“Fike is the strongest team we’ve seen so far,” Lee declared. “I have been really pleased with how physical we’ve been. We’ve got to get better throwing the ball. We’re the small fish in this pond, but we are holding our own.”
Nelson chuckled over the fact that neither Fike nor Conley scored. Both teams had displayed ample offensive propensity.
“That was the last (scrimmage) and I think we were both a little tired,” Nelson reasoned. “We played a bunch of other guys.”
The session included 25 offensive plays for both teams and heralded Conley receiver C.J. Johnson, who has committed to East Carolina University, played sparingly. Johnson snared a pair of TD aerials in the Vikings’ opening test against Rolesville.
Fike did not scrimmage 3-A Big East Conference rival Northern Nash, coached by former Hunt and Fike assistant Andrew Farriss.