THE PLAINS - Marietta High was not at full strength in the trenches when it scrimmaged host Athens High at Rutter Field Wednesday morning.
But the Tiger line, spearheaded by people like Tanner Leach, Jonnie Hedrick and Cogan Bishop performed admirably in the heat and against a very good Athens Bulldogs football team.
"It's always a plus to be able to face a quality opponent like Athens during our preseason schedule," said first-year MHS head football coach Adam Eichhorn. "They are a well-coached intense group of kids."
Last season, the Ryan Adams-coached Bulldogs claimed a Tri-Valley Conference crown with an undefeated regular-season record of 10-0. They bowed out to Jackson, the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League champion, 27-7, in the opening game of the Ohio Division III, Region 12 playoffs.
Last season, Marietta, a D2 school, finished 2-8 under the guidance of interim boss Bob Springer.
Offensively in the scrimmage, MHS junior Anthony Kimbrough started at quarterback. On defense, he lined up at cornerback.
Quinton Coffield was one of the running backs, and Chance Wright was Kimbrough's primary receiving target. Connor Beavers started at the slot receiver.
Marietta's offensive coordinator was Jason Schob; its defensive coordinator, Lucas Stanton.
It should be noted that preseason scrimmages are exhibitions, and the coaching staff is usually on the gridiron, directly behind the quarterback on offense. Usually each team has the ball for a certain amount of plays, or until or a turnover or a touchdown is scored.
But the score is unimportant. What is, though, is for coaches playing a lot of different players at positions on the field - and seeing what they can do during game-like conditions.
"From a coaching standpoint we saw things we did well and things we need to work on," Eichhorn said. "That's the great thing about these scrimmages. You get to go right back out there tomorrow and make corrections and build on the positives."
Marietta is scheduled to host Ripley in its second scrimmage of the preseason at Don Drumm Stadium at 9 a.m. Saturday.
"I'm extremely confident that we will make big strides on our execution this Saturday against Ripley," Eichhorn said.