’Jack concludes spring practice with scrimmage

The Patterson Lumberjacks participated in their spring scrimmage Thursday when they played at Central Lafourche. Patterson first-year head coach Chad Blanchard especially was complimentary of his defense, which is learning a new scheme this year. The Lumberjacks now will turn their attention to their summer conditioning program and 7-on-7 play. Above, Lumberjacks work during spring practice last week. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)

We installed a brand new defense that none of these kids have ever run before, and we spent a lot of time just teaching all the fundamentals of the defense.

The Patterson Lumberjacks concluded its spring football work with a scrimmage at Central Lafourche Thursday, and first-year Patterson head coach Chad Blanchard was pleased, especially with the defense.
Blanchard said his defensive unit, which is switching to a 3-4 defense this spring from a 6-1 look a year ago, performed well Thursday.
“We installed a brand new defense that none of these kids have ever run before, and we spent a lot of time just teaching all the fundamentals of the defense,” Blanchard said.
The new head coach and former Patterson assistant said that his players were open to learning the system and showed great effort during the spring.
“It ended up showing pretty well in the spring game,” he said.
Offensively, Blanchard said the Lumberjacks struggled to get in a groove early Thursday but were able to get going later.
“That usually happens in scrimmages, especially the first time you start to do everything live again after such a big layoff,” Blanchard said. “Offenses are usually behind defenses anyway. That’s just usually how it works out.”
However, the Patterson offense did reach the end zone via a long run on its first offensive series.
“The second set, we were much better, got into a groove a little bit more, moved the ball up and down the field and did score,” Blanchard said.
The scrimmage was broken down into two 15-play series with the first-teamers, two 10-play series with the second teamers and then a 12-minute quarter.
In the 12-minute quarter, Patterson scored two more times.
“I think overall we scored five times, they scored twice,” Blanchard said. “Our two’s (second team) scored once, and their two’s didn’t score at all.”
On Central Lafourche’s two drives that ended in scores, Blanchard said they were long drives.
The Patterson coach said he thought the Lumberjacks accomplished what he wanted to get out of the spring game while also staying injury free.
Patterson has several holes to fill from a year ago, including on the offensive and defensive line, linebacker and at quarterback.
Blanchard noted several players who have had solid spring performances, including Tyrik Singleton on the defensive line and Malik Bass, Dariont’e Brown, Blake Dreyer and Shundren Johnson at linebacker.
Jalen Antoine, who the coaching staff moved from offensive to defensive line, probably had the best spring game of all the Lumberjacks, Blanchard said.
“He’s a big kid, filled in a much needed spot because we lost a defensive lineman last year, and we’re hoping he can fill that area,” Blanchard said.
Sirbatain Charles, who Blanchard said is coming off an injury in a junior varsity game a year ago, will be the Lumberjacks’ starting quarterback this year.
“We expect a lot out of him because he’s a pretty talented kid,” Blanchard said. “He’s a good quarterback. He’s been in our system for a while. He’s got guts. He’s a tough kid. He understands the system. I thought the first 15-play block he was trying to get his feet wet because it’s been such a long layoff for him. It was a little bit tough on him — not bad — but once he kind of got himself going, he really, really played well. He had a really good spring game.”
Heading into the fall, Blanchard said the Lumberjacks need to build depth at defensive back, outside linebacker, and he would like more depth on the offensive line, too.
Now that spring practice is complete, the Lumberjacks will turn their attention to offseason conditioning that will start at the beginning of June as well as 7-on-7 play.
“Our kids get a lot of work during the summer … They definitely don’t have summers off,” Blanchard said. “Not only do they lift three days a week, we usually go 7-on-7 with another team at least once a week, sometimes twice a week.”

By GEOFF STOUTE gstoute@daily-review.com

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