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May 22, 2008


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Raiders shine in scrimmage
But coaches say there’s plenty of work to do over summer
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Raider cheerleaders — for the only time in 2008 — cheered for both teams Friday.
And there was plenty to holler about during the annual Red and Gray intrasquad scrimmage.
For instance, there was Claude Johnson plowing his way over classmates and cohorts for extra yardage; Al Allen reeling in an approximate 60-yard strike from Jacob Owens; or Spencer Baird finding the end zone with his fleet feet and connecting with receivers on some nice gains.
The list goes on. But the nice plays were offset, too, by the inevitable failures in execution.
It was the spring game after all. And there are still months to go before the Raiders head to Rockdale County for the Aug. 29 season opener.
Asked about his squad’s performance Friday, Raider head coach Randell Owens handed the phone to assistant Mike Haynes, who said the Raider performance was pretty good.
“We’re not where we would like to be but we’ve got some people who can fill some holes,” he said.
The defensive coach said he was impressed with Al Allen.
“He (Allen) looked good on both sides of the ball,” said Haynes. “He had good vision and made some athletic plays on defense.”
Haynes praised Claude Johnson, noting that the runner has clearly paid his dues in the weight room. He also said Alex Young was strong at cornerback.
While Georgia Bulldogs’ G-Day game victors celebrate with steak and lobster, there was no red meat for the Raider Red team, which downed the Gray 27-13. Instead, the Red squad could feel some pride in the belly. And the annual scrimmage isn’t about winning or losing anyway, Haynes said. It’s about making assessments.
“We play that (who wins) down,” said Haynes. “It’s not about winning as much as it is about kids showcasing their talents and establishing a depth chart.”
Haynes said the team has established a preliminary depth chart, but added that hard work over the summer can lead to changes once preseason practice begins.
“One kid can outwork another over the summer and gain on them,” he said.



 

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