UNION CITY – Even without pads or tackling, Mississinawa Valley football coach Mike Griffin was encouraged by the physicality the Blackhawks showed Thursday evening.
Mississinawa Valley hosted a seven-on-seven scrimmage with Covington, Meadowdale and Parkway in preparation for the upcoming football season.
“The best thing that I saw today is our kids played physical with everybody that we played,” Griffin said. “They didn’t back down any way. We jammed guys at the line – last year that didn’t happen. They didn’t whine about it when they played physical back; there was no whining. One of our guys got lit up and got right back up and ran back to the huddle. Didn’t even faze him. Sophomore. Little guy. Max Dirmeyer. I mean that was the greatest thing I saw tonight. We were physical without even having the pads on. I’m hoping that translate to when we actually do get the pads on.”
The seven-on-seven scrimmages don’t include offensive or defensive lines. They also don’t have rushing plays or blitzes.
Despite the limits of the seven on sevens, it still provided a great opportunity for Mississinawa Valley to work on the timing in its passing game, which will be beneficial as the Blackhawks anticipate throwing the ball a lot this fall.
“That’s the catch-22 about this,” Griffin said. “You don’t have anybody coming at you, you don’t have anybody in your face, but for us everything is about timing of the routes and this and that. They had four seconds to throw the ball, and I don’t think we ever took more than three. So ours is all about getting the ball out of our quarterback’s hands as quickly as humanly possible based off their pre-snap reads and reading one or two guys off their snap.”
In the Cross County Conference the Blackhawks won’t see many opponents throwing the ball a lot, but it still was a good experience for the MV defense.
“Defensively, let’s face it, we’re not going to see a ton of passing in our conference, but we’ve got to be ready for it in passing situations so we like to see it,” Griffin said. “Seven on sevens for us is mainly focused around our offense, which we scored quite a few touchdowns today so I’m pretty excited about that.”
Having Covington, Meadowdale and Parkway – three teams each with different styles on offense and defense – was extremely beneficial for Mississinawa, Griffin said.
“Good competition, different looks from each team, different defenses from each team,” he said. “Saw a 3-4, we saw a 5-2, we saw a 4-3 so you saw it all right there. Lots of different looks for us.”