Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Falcons get defensive at spring scrimmage
CORINTH — Even with one of its best players absent, Lake Dallas made one thing pretty evident as the Falcons concluded spring practice on Thursday night.
There isn’t going to be any shortage of playmakers at Falcon Stadium in 2011.
Despite missing starting quarterback Dalyn Williams, who left with Lake Dallas’ baseball team on Thursday for its regional quarterfinal playoff series with Canyon Randall in Midland, the Falcons gave a glimpse of what looks to be a squad packed with speedy playmakers that look primed to help them improve from last year’s third-place finish in District 4-4A.
The scrimmage ended with a 7-0 win for the Green team, which featured Lake Dallas’ second-team offense and first-team defense.
“Everything went about like we expected it to,” Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young said. “We knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of points just because our defensive line has a little more depth and experience than our offensive line does. We anticipated that, but we were physical tonight. We really got after each other. There were a lot of people running around and making big hits. I was excited about it.”
Lake Dallas’ defense carried the day, at least in part, due to the absence of Williams. Slated to be the starter in 2011 as a senior, Williams led Lake Dallas to a 5-6 record last season and a first-round playoff loss to Canyon Randall, but garnered plenty of attention due to his athletic ability. He’s receiving looks from schools ranging from in-state programs like Baylor and Texas Tech to out-of-state powers Florida, Oklahoma and LSU.
Sophomore backup Marshall Dominey has taken most of the snaps in Williams’ place during the spring and appeared comfortable behind center on Thursday night, managing the offense well despite not putting any points on the board.
“It made me better,” Dominey said of the spring. “It gives me more preparation in case something goes wrong or Dalyn gets hurt. I have a lot more confidence now that I can step in if that happens and do what I need to do.”
Young said much of what Lake Dallas did on Thursday in its spread offense with Dominey won’t change once Williams returns to the fold in the fall.
“Everything will look about the same,” Young said. “There are a few differences — [Dominey] is left-handed so that changes a few things — but overall the offense is going to look pretty much the same. Marshall did some good things for us tonight, and he’s been impressive all spring for us. There’s no doubt he would play and start for some people. It’s nice to have him there.”
Even with Williams out, there was plenty athleticism on display.
Star athlete Dontonio Jordan, who picked up offers from a variety of colleges over the offseason including Michigan State and Stanford, picked up where he left off after last year’s breakout season.
He nearly broke a 44-yard kickoff return for a score after fielding it 5 yards deep in the end zone. He also got loose for 22 yards on a screen pass and had an impressive 13-yard run after reversing field to avoid a gaggle of defenders and backtracking nearly 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Running back Tre Dickerson, meanwhile, looked incredibly quick on a few plays, including a 15-yard run off of a handoff out of the shotgun, while Ferrando Joseph made a splash in his debut at receiver after staring at safety for Lake Dallas in 2010.
Joseph, who teamed up with Daveon Parrish last season as one of the best safety tandems in the district, is switching to offense next season — although he may still see limited action as a defensive back. He’ll be replaced in the secondary by junior Roman Mitchell, who will join Parrish after a strong showing in the spring.
“He’s going to make a big difference for us,” Young said of Joseph. “We’ve been lacking big plays in the passing game, and that’s really where he’s going to help us out. We felt really comfortable making that move. If we didn’t have [Mitchell] and didn’t feel safe doing that, it wouldn’t have happened. We feel good at both spots now, and I think it’s going to make us better.”
Joseph, meanwhile, is excited about the move.
“I just wanted to help my team,” he said. “I knew I had what it takes to play receiver and I know I can help out both ways. I just love playing. I want to be on the field as much as possible. I just jumped into it.”
The deciding play in Thursday night’s scrimmage came on a 9-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Minnis from freshman quarterback Josh Jackson. Playing mostly against the second-team defense, Jackson made a few impressive plays with his feet and engineered the game’s only scoring drive — an eight play, 74-yard march that included a 37-yard completion to Tyler Hull and a 31-yard pass to Timothy Williams.
Despite the low-scoring affair, Young seemed confident that Lake Dallas is headed in the right direction.
“Our red-zone offense was a really big problem last year, and a lot of that was our offensive line,” he said. “When you get to that area of the field, defenses tend to blitz and do a lot of things that gave our younger guys problems. This year, they’ve got a year’s worth of experience together and that’s going to make us a lot better.”
MARSHALL MOORE can be reached at 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is email@example.com .