After beating on each other in practice, Marietta High's football team is looking forward to mixing it up in a scrimmage at Athens High in The Plains at 10 a.m. today.
The Bulldogs are a member of the Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) while the Adam Eichhorn-coached Tigers will be competing in their second season in the East Central Ohio League (ECOL).
A couple or so years ago, both MHS and AHS were once a part of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL).
RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times
Marietta junior quarterback Anthony Kimbrough (11) listens as Tiger head coach Adam Eichhorn (not pictured) speaks to the team at a practice session. Kimbrough will be taking center snaps at Athens in a scrimmage today.
Last August, Marietta hosted Athens in a season-opening scrimmage at Don Drumm Stadium.
"Last year, Athens was kind of a pro-style type team, maybe a multiple set team, and a little bit of spread," said MHS defensive coordinator Lucas Stanton. "We've played them seven-on-seven, and we've got an idea of kind of what they do. They're kind of a hurry-up offense. They really like to spread it out. They're fast paced at the offensive end."
Offensively, Anthony Kimbrough, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior, is expected to start at quarterback for Marietta. Last season, he was a backup QB and a starting outside linebacker.
"It's exciting so far, and I'm ready to start the season," Kimbrough said.
This season, Kimbrough may be also playing in the defensive secondary at cornerback.
"Anthony's made a lot of progress so far," said MHS offensive coordinator Jason Schob. "We've been working all summer quite a bit. He's looking a lot better."
During the scrimmage, look for Kimbrough to be handing off to players like Quinton Coffield, Austin Jones, Spencer Frum, and Garrett Davis.
Kimbrough's backups will be Connor Beavers and freshman Mike Henry.
The MHS signal callers will be throwing to people like Nick Spurr, Chance Wright, Zach LaBarre, Beavers, and Coffield.
In the trenches, some of the Tigers to keep an eye on this season will be Eddie Kimbrough, Jonnie Hedrick, Trevor Strahler, Cogan Bishop, and Tanner Leach. Their job of course will be to provide pass protection and open up holes for the backs.
"At any level, that's where it starts," Eichhorn said. "You've got to have ball control, and you want to be able to get your yards on the ground.
"Our first goal is to be able to establish up front, control the line of scrimmage. I'd love to be able to run the ball. We've got weapons, but we need more of them."
Marietta is also scheduled to scrimmage Ripley at Don Drumm Stadium at 9 a.m. Saturday and visiting John Marshall at 7 p.m. Aug. 17.
"Ripley's a double wing, Wing-T team, like they were last year," Stanton said. "That's a good offense to go against from a defensive standpoint.
"And John Marshall with their new coach from Cambridge will be more of a power running team.
"All we want to see out of those scrimmages obviously is making improvements from Athens to Ripley to John Marshall. We want to see what we need to improve on, what we're doing well, what are strengths and weaknesses are - all that sort of thing. That's kind of what you want to use scrimmages for. Also to get those kids who haven't had much varsity playing time a little more experience before going into that first game."
Marietta is slated to kick off its season opener at Morgan in McConnelsville at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24.