By Dave Wagner
BLACKWATER DRAW — Eastern New Mexico University’s first football scrimmage of the season on Saturday was probably about the way a coach would like it — some good things to talk about, other areas that need work.
The Greyhounds, in full pads for the first time, went about 2 1/2 hours at Greyhound Stadium as they prepare for their Sept. 6 season opener at New Mexico Highlands. While redshirt sophomore running back Jeremy Doucette went down with what may have been a serious ankle injury, third-year coach Josh Lynn said his staff was able to get a good look at where its relatively veteran team is at this point.
“I thought our first-team offense executed like they needed to,” he said. “We had two throwing touchdowns (by returning starting quarterback Jeremy Buurma).
“I thought the first-team defense did a good job. They created a couple of turnovers.”
Included was a pick-six by senior cornerback Darrelyn McCloud and a fumble forced inside the 10-yard-line by senior linebacker Seth Bailey.
“The scrimmage was a little sloppy,” said senior safety Tim Foley of Rio Rancho, a transfer from the University of New Mexico. “We had a lot of plays where we did what we were supposed to do. We’ve just got to keep our eyes on our keys.”
The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Foley was a cornerback and punt returner at UNM, but is transitioning to safety since coming to ENMU in the spring and is in competition with several others for a starting berth. He said it’s been a relatively smooth adjustment.
“The coaches have talked about having fresh legs out there,” Foley said. “Spring (football) was a little rough, but now it feels like I’m getting it.”
The scrimmage also included a couple of brief player skirmishes.
“That just gets into the intensity (of practice),” senior tight end Evan Tooley said. “Guys are probably a little tired of beating on each other.”
Play was stopped for about 20 minutes when Doucette, a redshirt sophomore running back from St. Martinville, La., who is converting from linebacker, was taken by ambulance after getting his foot caught while being tackled on a running play.
“He’s really come a long way,” Buurma said of Doucette. “I don’t know the extent of the injury, but it didn’t look good.”
While the offense seemed to move the ball pretty well, Lynn noted there were five three-and-outs and he counted five quarterback-center exchange fumbles. He also said three plays of 35 yards or more were called back by penalty.
“We definitely need to get that cleaned up,” he said.
Tooley, from Truth or Consequences, believes the offense is pretty much on track.
“We had some pretty big plays,” he said. “We just have to work on little timing things and not get complacent.”
The Hounds have scrimmages on tap at the stadium at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Lynn said.