Minus key players, Bears lose spring football game

Published 8:41 pm Saturday, May 6, 2017

During spring football games, the last thing that matters is the final score at the end of the night.

That’s one of the messages Keith football coach Harry Crum told his guys following Friday night’s spring jamboree, when the Bears lost 21-0 to McKenzie and 19-0 to Georgiana.

Keith was without several key players, including running back Jeashan Black, who was participating at the 1A-3A state track meet in Cullman, and lost linebacker Ky’Woine Thomas to an injury early in the game, although it was unclear whether the injury was anything severe.

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Keith was also trying to replace running back Domonique Jones, who has been the workhorse of the offense the last three years.

“You can’t make mistakes on good football teams because in all likelihood they are going to capitalize on it,” Crum said. “We were not as focused as we should be.”

Both of Keith’s opponents scored on a fumble return for a touchdown during Friday night’s contests, which lasted one half apiece, but there were some positives to take away as well.

Keith quarterback Jared Edwards hit Martavis Hatcher for a 60-yard pass, but the Bears’ lost the ball on the next play.

“He caught it and went down to the inch line and on the next play we fumbled the ball,” Crum said. “That gives you an indication of how our night went.”

Of course, Keith was also playing two of the better 1A programs in the state.

Georgiana and McKenzie combined to go 18-5 last season and both reached the playoffs.

“I wanted to get our guys on film so we could make some corrections and get ready for the season,” Crum said. “Usually when you talk about Georgiana and McKenzie, they are going to be in the upper echelon of 1A. They are serious about football.”

Crum said the team is likely to use a running back by committee approach to replace Jones. Black, Devonate Jones, Tyrone Lumpkin, Wilbert Holmes and Darrell Benjamin are likely to split carries.

“He’s a hard one to replace, but we have some younger kids that are anxious to run the ball,” Crum said.

The Bears are set to open their season at Winterboro on Aug. 25.