Prior to the start of their annual Red and Black scrimmage, Brownstown Central football coach Reed May asked that members of last year’s starting lineup to stand up.
Four athletes rose.
The young Braves lined up on both sides of the ball in a tackle intrateam scrimmage Friday.
The varsity was split in half, and the JV and freshman also played.
May said that the teams were mixed, with predicted starters, to keep a more even playing field.
The Braves, a fairly young squad, look to utilize a new offensive scheme for their 2015 campaign: the shotgun offense.
Rather than having their quarterback snap the ball from center at the line of scrimmage, the QB will stand about five yards back from the line in the shotgun before the snap.
The new scheme will cater to junior quarterback Kyle Kramer, who replaces graduating three-year starter Clay Brown.
“The biggest thing (with the offense) is the unknown,” May said. “The last five or six years, probably longer, we’ve ran the same offense. With Clay Brown for three years we had the same offense, so we knew what to do and what to expect.
“(The shotgun) has looked good at practice and at team camp; its just the unknown what it will look like in a game. What will Paoli and Charlestown do against it? We went through the schedule and will have to adjust to defenses. Timing-wise, its looked good.”
The new offense caters to Karmer’s skill set.
“He needs to be a runner,” May said. “What you didn’t see tonight is our quarterback running. I’m not going to have our players tackling him in a scrimmage. He might (run) against Jennings County. He was a running back all through 56ers and high school, and we adapted our offense to him being able to run the ball.”
For Kramer, the new offense has come together quickly.
“Everything’s going really well,” Kramer said. “I think the offense is doing well, it’s allowing me to do more running, really. The practices have been great, everyone’s getting better. I just think the team needs to know their roles and everything better before our first game.”
One of the biggest plays of the night was a 33-yard touchdown by senior Justin Donnells, off a short pass from Kramer.
However, the scoring play was than followed up with a fumble on the extra point.
Later in the evening, Donnells flashed again for a 25-yard run.
“(Donnells) needs to be one of our offensive weapons,” May said. “He also needs to be strong as a defensive end. He will play fullback in our offense, too. He’s a very big, strong kid and we expect big things from him.”
Senior John McKinney said he has embraced the changes in the offense.
“At first, the shotgun was hard to get used to,” McKinney said. “We’ve been running it time over and again, and we’re finally getting the hang of it. It’s running really well. I didn’t realize how hard it was to transition.
“With this offense, we have five different guys who can carry the ball. For this team to work we need to share the load. We just need to know our roles better. At first it was kind of scary, but everyone’s starting to get it.”
On the defensive end, senior Ryan Benter snagged an interception off a tipped ball, which turned heads.
The Braves had multiple turnovers on the night, and May said it was because of both poor execution by the offense and solid reads by the defense.
“The (fumble) turnovers were on the offense,” May said. “On the interceptions, I felt like some of it was the defensive schemes working really well. We will make adjustments as the season goes on. I will probably make some adjustments (from the scrimmage) based on film.”
On Friday, the Braves will play in a scrimmage against Jennings County. The game is set to start at 7 p.m.
The Braves will open their season at home against Paoli on Aug. 21.