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NTL FOOTBALL: YOUNG PLEASED WITH WILDCATS' PERFORMANCE IN SCRIMMAGE AT WELLSBORO (20 PHOTOS) (2020-09-05)

By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
WELLSBORO — Aside from a couple of defensive breakdowns, Athens coach Jack Young was happy with his team’s performance here Saturday morning in its scrimmage against Wellsboro.

“I was pleased with our physical play,” said Young.

“Overall, I thought it was good. I think this was a good test for us on the first weekend,” he added. “I’m really glad we came here.”

The Wildcat defense kept Wellsboro out of the end zone on both of its 10-play possession to start the scrimmage, but gave up a pair of TDs in the down-and-distance portion.

“To me the biggest thing I saw today were some fundamental things,” said Young. “I thought we played well defensively, but Wellsboro did hurt us, and they hurt us because we broke down in our fundamental defensive play.

“The long TD pass was a breakdown in coverage,” he noted. “We just weren’t on the same page, and that just shouldn’t happen.”

“I thought we did a pretty good job off tackling, though,” added Young.

Offensively, junior Shayne Reid, sophomore Caleb Nichols and senior Tanner Dildine each produced in the ground game, while sophomore QB Mason Lister completed several passes underneath, and one long ball downfield to junior J.J. Babcock.

“We showed flashes of being able to run the ball, and I think we’re going to be able to run the football, but we have to get better up front. We can’t be one-hit wonders,” said Young. “(Wellsboro’s) two (defensive) tackles are tough, they gave us fits.

“I think we’re going to be able to throw the ball, too. I think we’re going to have a mix this year,” Young added.

The Wildcats open the 2020 campaign Friday when it hosts Sayre in the Rusty Rail Rivalry game.

“We’re going to watch the film, and get back to work,” said Young. “It gets real now.”

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IN PHOTO 1: Athens’ Karter Rude. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.


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