Charles Page High School hosted the Claremore Zebras Thursday evening for a varsity football scrimmage and defeated their guests 7-0 in a two-quarter preview of the season to come.
Sand Springs competes in Class 6A-II and is coming off a 7-5 season, while Claremore went 6-5 last year in Class 5A.
The scrimmage was a good preview of what to expect for at least the first few games of the season. Strong defense and a whole lot of Payton Scott.
The Sandites had to replace their starting quarterback, several offensive linemen, and the bulk of their receivers, leaving Scott as the backbone of the offense in terms of experience. With more than 3200 yards and 32 touchdowns over the past three seasons, the 5'5" senior running back is gearing up for a big season as the workhorse for the Sandite offense.
Scott needed only a handful of carries to rack up more than a hundred yards and three of the Sandites' four first-downs. He also scored the lone touchdown of the game on a 34-yard run.
Junior quarterback Caden Pennington is in his first year at the helm after playing backup for two seasons. He saw limited action Thursday, making only three pass attempts. He picked up a big fourteen-yard run in the second quarter, but mostly just handed off the rock to Scott and Ben Nortey.
Cameron Smith and Jaden Weiser take over kicking duties for the new year. Smith, a junior, punted five times for a 32-yard average. Weiser, a sophomore soccer standout, kicked the lone extra point of the evening and sent it clean through the middle.
The visiting Zebras found most of their movement by air, racking up a hundred yards and completing thirteen of twenty-four pass attempts. Junior Joel Mackey showed off on defensive, picking off one of those passes and returning it nearly forty yards. He nearly picked off another on an identical play later in the game.
Sand Springs will start off the season with back-to-back home games, beginning with Pulaski Academy on September 1st at 7:00 p.m. The Little Rock team went 13-1 last year in Arkansas's Class 5A, winning their third-straight State Championship. They defeated the Sandites 56-21 in their season opener.