By Kyle Roberts
Ruston High capped off its spring season Thursday with a trip westward down I-20 for a scrimmage against the Haughton Buccaneers in a format with multiple offensive sets to begin and a running clock for two quarters following.
“I thought we ran to the ball very well defensively,” Ruston head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “Some areas where I thought that we need to get some experience really showed up. We worked on some standard defenses during our practices, and we didn’t really work on a lot of blitz packages. (Haughton) did some things that we hadn’t looked at, but it’s going to be a really great opportunity to take some time to sit down and watch video with our offensive line and running backs on blocking assignments.
Earlier this week, Baugh talked about how newcomer Aidan Anding, following a postseason run with the Bearcat basketball team, had begun to shine as a cornerback.
“He was a bright spot for us,” Baugh said. “He had a couple of interceptions; he really played well for us.”
One of the biggest takeaways of the night for Baugh was seeing the experienced players picking right back up where they had left off.
“For those guys that we expect to play well, I thought they did a great job,” Baugh added.
Baugh also spoke to how emotions ran a little high with some players on both teams getting a little chippy.
“We didn’t handle some situations really well with some pushing and shoving,” Baugh said. “The guys with experience on our team should know how to steer away from that stuff. But I attribute that probably to the fact that we’ve been hitting on each other for nine days, and now they get excited to go play against someone else; they’re excited to be there.
“We just have to learn how to control our emotions a little bit better in some circumstances.”
Baugh said that the biggest success metric of the night was seeing the veteran players put in the work and preparation for the scrimmage — and for all of spring ball.
“I’ve been really pleased with those guys coming out and handling themselves the way they need to for our football team,” Baugh concluded. “A lot of times when you bring back three-year starters, they’re not necessarily trying to earn a position. But these guys, I feel like they have absolutely gone out and prepared themselves to play the way they need to for our football team. That’s really good to watch. That feeds off on the younger guys that might not have as much experience, but they see those guys putting in the work to continue to be as good as the can be.
“It’s going to be really good not just for this one football team, but for our football program as a whole as younger kids come through and see that.”