Selma, Keith square off in jamboree before season opener

Published 1:28am Saturday, August 25, 2012

With just one week left before the games start to count, a pair of local squads got together for one more warm-up contest before the start of the regular season.

The Selma High School Saints faced the Keith High School Bears in a jamboree game Friday at Memorial Stadium.

The Bears got on the scoreboard first when quarterback Maurice Crumpton found running back Rodney Ellis for a 16-yard touchdown pass to put Keith up 6-0 with 9:12 left in the second quarter.

After going into halftime trailing by six, the Saints were finally able to respond in the fourth quarter on a drive sparked by a fumble recovery when running back Darrius Hawkins broke up the middle for a 14-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 6-6 with 11:04 left to play.

Selma’s Deondis Mendenhall tacked on the extra point to give the Saints a 7-6 lead and wrap up scoring for the game.

Saints head football coach Leroy Miles said his team showed a lot of character in Friday’s jamboree.

“We talked at halftime about character. You don’t measure a kid by how he gets knocked down or who went into halftime behind, and I wanted to see the character of my kids,” Miles said. “[I said] ‘Can you play from behind now? We’re going to make a positive out of this and we’re going to see if we can play from behind’, and I stressed that at halftime. You don’t measure a person by how they get knocked down, you measure them by how they get up. This was a character test for us and I think they hung in there and just played with great character.”

Harry Crum, head football coach of Keith High School, said turnovers hurt the Bears, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed, and he was impressed with Crumpton’s passing and running on the night, as well as some big runs by Ellis, Charles Johnson and Walter Young.

“We played good for three quarters — we played solid,” Crum said. “My quarterback, Maurice, he got a little anxious and had broke on a play, got kind of loose with the football, somebody hit him and caused a fumble, and momentum shifted after that. I think we’ll be able to overcome that. We’ve got some players we’ve either got to work a little bit more on conditioning. We’ve worked them pretty good, but as hot as it’s been, I thought we’d be in a little better conditioning than we were, but I think we’ll overcome that.”

The Saints will open regular season play on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. with their annual rivalry game against crosstown foe Southside High School at Memorial Stadium.

The Bears will travel to Camden to face the Wilcox-Central High School Jaguars on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.

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