No Clements, but West Vigo soldiers on in scrimmage

West Vigo's scrimmage against North Vermillion at Jay Barrett Field on Friday was supposed to be the first time the public got to see how the Vikings will look under new coach Aaron Clements.

The Vikings were seen, but Clements himself was not. However, he had a pretty good excuse for his absence.

On Thursday evening, Clements' wife was induced into labor. Life doesn't wait for football, but as acting coach Ben Whitman noted? The Vikings had to get on with it and make sure the scrimmage against the Falcons didn't go to waste.

"You can look at every game and have an excuse. This time we didn't have our primary play-caller and our guy at the top of the food chain. You're not going to get a bigger excuse than that, so whatever is thrown at us through the rest of the season? We'll be ready for it," said Whitman, normally the Vikings' defensive coordinator.

The scrimmage was a mixed bag for the Vikings. North Vermillion controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. That's big for the Falcons given that they have a run-oriented, quarterback-dependent read-option offense. Quarterback Jerome White rushed for 92 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Cody Tryon rushed for 62 yards and four touchdowns.

However, it wasn't all gloomy news for the Vikings. Quarterback Kaleb Marrs was under pressure from the Falcons' pass rush, but he did a very good job making things happen when flushed out of the pocket. In fact, nearly all of the six passes Marrs completed were on rollouts, designed or otherwise. Marrs completed 6 of 9 attempts for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

"I continue to contend that Kaleb Marrs might be the best quarterback in the Wabash Valley," Whitman said. "No matter what offensive system we decide to run? He's leading the system."

North Vermillion quarterback Jerome White scores a touchdown during a scrimmage at West Vigo on Aug. 12, 2022.

There were three varsity sessions. Starting from their own 35, with 18 plays in each sequence, the Falcons started first and would score a pair of touchdowns. White scored from 12 yards out and Tryon caught a middle screen for a 10-yard score.

West Vigo scored once in its 18-play session and they had Marrs and wide receiver Deandre Lowe to thank for it. Marrs rolled left and Lowe slipped away from North Vermillion's defense on a slant-and-go route. Marrs found Lowe wide open for a 61-yard touchdown connection.

West Vigo out-performed North Vermillion in a 10-play session starting at the 10-yard line, as the Vikings scored four touchdowns to the Falcons' three. Chase Hedden, who proved to be a reliable target for Marrs, caught two TD passes. Eli Roach and Rhyan Shaffer each scored via touchdown runs. White and Tryon accounted for all three Falcons scores via runs.

The final varsity session began at the opposition 35. North Vermillion had the upper hand, scoring four touchdowns to West Vigo's one. White and Tryon once again accounted for all four of North Vermillion's scores, all coming on the ground.

West Vigo's lone score was on the last play of the scrimmage as Marrs rolled right under pressure and found Ryan Cobb in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown pass.

Injury-wise, offensive lineman Hunter Callahan was injured on the Cobb touchdown play, but walked off under his own power. Running back Jacob Dewey was injured, but also walked off the field. Early in the scrimmage, during the junior varsity session, Braydin Bauer was helped off the field with a left leg injury, but later returned to the field.

"I feel as the game progressed, we saw more players trusting their teammates to do their jobs," Whitman said.

West Vigo begins the regular season at South Vermillion and North Vermillion hosts North Central next Friday.

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