High school football: Palestine’s Angel impressed with “physicality” of team

High school football: Palestine's Angel impressed with "physicality" of team

The Palestine Wildcats took snaps in their first scrimmage of the season Friday as they hosted Madisonville and Hallsville.

Since 2019, a common theme for head coach Lance Angel’s teams has been physicality. Former running backs Jeremiah Davis and Jakarion Conley can attest to that as they both topped 1,200 yards rushing – with Davis eclipsing 2,000 yards rushing.

Friday showed more of the same and what the Wildcats are capable of in 2021, along with an aerial attack that has expanded since Angel’s return in 2019.

“It’s always good to see us live against someone else,” Angel said. “We were able to get a lot of plays in and I thought the overall execution was good.”

Jarrod Walker connected with Ben Clerkley on a bomb down the right sideline, which set up a physical rushing touchdown from Elijah Walker.

Walker took the carry down the middle of the line before plowing over a defender en route to the end zone. He also capped off the night with another rushing score when he sprinted past the right side of the line for a touchdown.

“Of course in this system you want to see your players show that physicality,” Angel said. “They did that on both sides of the ball. There were a number of players who hadn’t started on varsity last year that made a few plays for us.”

Complementing Palestine’s physical rushing attack was a stout defensive line. The line had a series of plays where Hallsville was unable to move the ball past the line of scrimmage.

Along with their strong front seven is a secondary that showed the ability to make plays in the open field. Jermny Walker had a couple of open field tackles where he was able to position himself squarely with the ball carrier.

Trishon Gardner had an athletic interception during the scrimmage where he read the quarterback and picked off a pass down the field.

Dy’myzean Martin nearly snagged a second one for the Wildcats on the next play as he perfectly jumped a receiver’s route down field.

Palestine returned on offense later in the evening and continued to showcase a different side of their offense. Hudson Deer connected with Ti Crawford on a 35-yard pass.

Palestine hosts their final scrimmage Thursday against Wills Point. They’ll open their season Aug. 27 at home against the Van Vandals.

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