JACKSONVILLE – Clay High junior wide receiver last year, quarterback possible this year Spencer LeSage looked a bit rough with his passing arm in the Blue Devils’ 7-on-7 scrimmage against Ed …
JACKSONVILLE – Clay High junior wide receiver last year, quarterback possible this year Spencer LeSage looked a bit rough with his passing arm in the Blue Devils’ 7-on-7 scrimmage against Ed White High on June 21, but sophomore quarterback T.K. Kocak ignited a few highlight passes (to LeSage) that may have clarified some of the offense decisions for Clay coach Joshua Hoekstra.
“Spencer will tell you himself that he likes catching the ball, but we have three guys; LeSage, Kocak and senior Turner Erstad, who comes back from an injury, to see what pans out at that quarterback,” said Clay coach Joshua Hoekstra. “Though we did pass a bit more last year, passing has not been a major part of our offense, but I like these scrimmages to let guys see other athletes.”
Without their vaunted run game to bolster offensive production, Clay looked a bit tentative in the passes-only scrimmage that saw untimely dropped passes and routes run the wrong way for LeSage. Mostly rolling out to throw against the highly athletic White secondary, LeSage was victimized by numerous “coverage” sacks, with no receiver finding open turf, and forced to gently scramble downfield to a play-ending whistle.
“We were missing a couple guys to summer things, but we wanted to show up and compete,” said Hoekstra. “Christian Sweatt will compete for a wideout spot with Jared Glisson, who caught a touchdown against White, and some others.”
With passes complete to 6’-4” wideout Austin Anderson with passes to Derrek Holt and newcomer Will Kendrick, son to twice Clay wrestling champion William Kendrick, coming in the early offensive series, LeSage switched with Kocak after four series and slotted himself off the scrimmage for a look at Kocak’s ability in the pocket.
On the sideline was projected starter Turner Erstad, a senior, who is set to return from a 2017 injury.
Kocak, as agile and mobile as LeSage from the pocket, found his Lake Asbury Junior High counterpart with a long scoring pass in one of his early series with LeSage making an acrobatic over-the-shoulder grab behind the White secondary. Kocak almost connected with LeSage on a second long pass, but the pass was a few inches off LeSage’s fingertips.
In one other completion between the pair, LeSage gathered in a timed pattern to the sideline for a quality gain.
On defense, White exploited deep routes against the Clay defense with deep post patterns that got big chunks of yardage. Crossing patterns worked as well as Commanders’ coach Kevin Sullivan has had good success over the summer in his upcoming second year at the helm. Sullivan took over after leaving Atlantic Coast High School and commented that his group has become a quality bunch of athletes after two years of turmoil under numerous coaches.
“Senior Dylan Taylor was missing to a wrestling competition and is our main guy at safety,” said Hoekstra. “He gets everyone in proper position prior to the snap.”
Clay did get one interception late in the scrimmage from defensive back ????.
Clay had a scrimmage set for Tues., June 26 at Creekside with one more in early July before starting preparations for the fall.