HELENA — Carroll College football coach Troy Purcell huddled his team in the east end zone of Nelson Stadium and reassured everybody that they learned something on Friday afternoon.
The Saints just got finished with an hour scrimmage that featured many different game-like situations.
After all, they only have 14 days until they take the field in Dillon to take on Montana Western.
“It was good for our operation,” Purcell said. “It was really good to see where we are at, even with the coaching staff up in the booth and on the sidelines and what job everybody has.”
All four offensive and defensive groups got time on the field.
The first team started the scrimmage with transfer quarterback Devan Bridgewater completing an 11-yard pass to wide receiver Shane Sipes.
Bridgewater missed on his next four passes, including an interception, but the running back trio of Major Ali, Kaleb Adams and Matthew Burgess made up for it with a combined 42 yards on the ground.
“I just wanted to hit my assignments and do things right,” Burgess said.
Even though Burgess finished with a 10-yard touchdown run, Purcell said there were too many penalties. The offensive line was called for two straight false starts.
“We penalize them and make them run hills, but penalties like this are going to happen early,” Purcell said. “This just helps reinforce the learning we need to do.”
Later on, Purcell sent out the second team, led by junior quarterback Kolby Killoy.
Killoy and Bridgewater have been battling for the starting quarterback position since the start of fall camp, but it was Killoy’s day to shine.
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He completed his first five throws, including a 15-yard pass to junior Kyle Pierce and a 19-yard pass to William Noce-Sheldon.
“I was just looking at what the defense gave me,” Killoy said. “We have some good receivers here and they were getting open. I just wanted to get them the ball as quick as I could.”
Killoy finished last season completing 52 percent of his passes, but was 5-for-7 on the afternoon.
No decision has been made as to who his starting quarterback will be for the Montana Western game, but Purcell said the quarterbacks are neck and neck.
“It’s always been a battle, Purcell said. “Both those kids are playing well, but consistency will be the key. The other thing is leadership off the field. They need to have that relationship with the other players.”
The scrimmage concluded with special teams, with sophomore kickers Josh Kraft and Stephen Powell taking turns on field goals.
Last season, Kraft made 4-of-8 field goals with a long of 35 yards and was 3-for-5 on the afternoon. His only two misses were blocked.
The team also practiced punting and punt returns, but Purcell said there were difficulties due to practice set up.
“Half of our special teams were on one sideline and the other half was on the other sideline and the music was blasting, but I don’t mind having chaos,” Purcell said. “Kids need to respond in a chaotic situation.”
Carroll’s scrimmage signaled the end of the fall camp, and Purcell said the team now needs to look forward to the start of the season.
While the depth chart is beginning to take shape, it shouldn’t be too long before questions of who the starters are will be answered.
“Once we grade the film and evaluate that this weekend, we will have our two deep in every position and on special teams,” Purcell said. “This gave us a good clue on where the kids are at so we can be crisp come game time.”