ARKADELPHIA – El Dorado scored on two of its first three plays in Tuesday’s benefit game against Nashville, played at Henderson State University. But that was all the offense generated by the Wildcats against the Scrappers.
Eli Shepherd hooked up with Steven Tollette and Devunte Kidd on a pair of 75-yard touchdown passes. Tollette scored on a screen pass and Kidd scored on a screen-and-go.
“We looked at a lot of different people, worked on a lot of different personnel. We used tight end/fullback a good bit,” said El Dorado coach Steven Jones, who said the game produced a mixed bag of results.
“Some good. Some bad. We’ve got plenty of stuff to work on. Offensively, up front just cleaning up our run game. We had some confusion at times, just little stuff. Defensively, we’ve just got to tackle better. We were flying around but we’ve got to finish plays.”
The coach said Shepherd and sophomore Sharmon Rester received equal reps at quarterback. On Wednesday, Jones announced that Shepherd will be the starter in El Dorado’s season opener against Conway.
Offensively, El Dorado lost a pair of fumbles against Nashville.
“There’s no concern. We’ll be ready to play Conway,” said Jones. “It was a dress rehearsal. We had a chance to see a lot of guys play. The main point of the scrimmage for us was to find the extra guys who could play. We feel confident about our first group. We were trying to find that guy that’s kind of on the fence of being a contributor. We have a good idea of who we can throw out there on Friday and who is not ready.
“Sophomore Marquees Waller played corner for us last night. He showed he can make some plays out there. Another guy defensively that I thought did a good job was Camerius Rucks. He did a good job.”
Jones said his team must avoid being a victim of the snowball effect and regroup faster after a mistake.
“When something bad happens, we’ve got to go to the next play, the next rep,” he said.
“Nashville had some quick strikes on us last night. We would kind of hang our head. We’ve got to go to the next rep.
“We have to get over it. Same thing offensively, we’d go three-and-out. We’ve got to be ready to go back on the field again and make sure that’s behind us.”
After the early offense, Jones said his team might’ve relaxed just a bit. He also said it was a matter of the coaches looking for other things.
“We felt like we could get the ball out in space. We just had some other stuff to work on,” he said.
“We had to see against somebody else what we could do in certain situations with certain people in the game. We know Kidd and Tollette can make plays out in space. But we wanted to see who else can play and what schematically we need to work on.”
The Wildcats had a light recovery day on Wednesday but will have a full practice on Thursday.
Thursday night at 6 p.m., El Dorado’s eighth and ninth grade teams will scrimmage Camden Fairview at Memorial Stadium.