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— Brian Little and Rodney Selph saw both good and bad in Tuesday night’s scrimmage in Gentry.

But ask Little this about his Gentry football team — is there a bitter taste left because of a blown lead in a sloppy fourth quarter or is there more encouragement after an impressive first half and a 14-0 lead?

“Good question,” says the Pioneers thirdyear head coach. “Because at halftime I did feel pretty good. But I am disappointed in that fourth quarter. They moved the ball right down the field on us and scored and we couldn’t do much offensively.

“But it’s fixable I can assure you. And with that I can tell you I feel pretty good about tonight. In three preseason scrimmages (two intra-squad) now I feel pretty good about this one. I feel like we’ve got a football team.”

After letting the junior varsity players take the snaps in the third quarter — where West Fork scored the lone touchdown of the period on a reverse-field run by sophomore quarterback Dylan Harrison — the Tigers rallied behind starter Isaac Muggy for a pair of fourth-quarter scores while the defense intercepted Caleb Ramsey twice to “win” the scrimmage 21-14.

Muggy led the Tigers on a 12-play, 73-yard drive to open the fourth, accounting for 50 yards and scoring on a 3-yard run with 6:41 remaining.

He later threw a 44-yard strike to Griff Smith for another score and a 21-14 lead, just one play after Harrison came up with an interception on a deflected pass.

Muggy looked like a leader, Selph says, and that’s what the senior needs to be to replace one of the school’s all-time winningest quarterbacks, graduated All-State performer Daniel Holiday.

“He made some plays running and some with his arm,” Selph says. “And that’s we need out of him. We need that for us to be successful.”

Selph says he appreciated his team’s “betterlate-than-never” attitude to save face after the first half.

Ramsey, the Pioneer’s three-year starter, completed 12 of 20 attempts for 138 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to Mario Orozco and Gentry rang up 272 total yards.

Senior backs Justin Wilks (9 carries for 53 yards) and Nick Weeks (5 carries, 68 yards) helped give some balance to the offense. Weeks broke through several tackles in a 46-yard run up the middle for a 14-0 lead midway through the second period.

Defensively the Pioneers forced two punts and two fumbles in the first half. Eathen Ramsey and Tyler Rosenthal recovered those and West Fork got almost half of its offensive output on a single play, a 52-yard pass from Muggy to Logan Genz to end the half.

“We’ve got to establish an identity on that side of the football,” Little says. “I want that defense to develop an attitude that says ‘Run it right here. We’ll stop you.’ It’s not there yet but I think it will be.”

The Tigers did have a 96-yard scoring pass from Muggy to Eakins in the second quarter called back by penalty (illegal man downfield). There weren’t many more bright spots, Selph says.

“We weren’t real happy with the first half I can guarantee you that,” he says. “We did what we should be doing in the fourth quarter. We fired off the football for the most part and it showed.”

The Tigers open their season Sept. 4 at Greenland. The Pioneers are at Colcord, Okla., on Thursday, Sept. 3, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Sports, Pages 6 on 10/07/2009

Print Headline: Little sees good, bad in benefit vs. West Fork

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