McDonogh 35 coach Wayne Reese and Helen Cox coach Willie Brooks left Hoss Memtsas Stadium pleased Thursday afternoon.
And both know there is still plenty of room for improvement.
It was McDonogh 35 team that capped off the spring with a 6-0 victory in the scrimmage.
“Spring is to figure out what you’ve got,” Reese said. “Our defense is ahead of the offense right now. Our whole offensive line is made up of new guys. But the potential is there, and that’s a good thing. They played aggressive at times, and that’s a good thing. They didn’t play aggressive at times, and that’s a bad thing. But overall I think we did well.”
McDonogh 35 running back Darius May scored the only touchdown on a 1-yard run. It capped off an impressive 70-yard, 16-play drive for the Roneagles. May, who will be a junior in the fall, finished with 77 yards on 14 carries.
“Darius is a track guy who runs the 100 and the 4x100 and 4x200 relay,” said Reese. “He is going to be something to deal with.”
Reese said he was most impressed with the play of fullback Torey Jenkins.
“And overall, I thought the defense did a tremendous job of containing their quarterback,” Reese said.
Cox quarterback Dion Ray, who is committed to Louisiana Lafayette, completed 8 of 13 passes for 129 yards. He rushed eight times for 38 yards.
“I though Dion played really well,” Brooks said. “He threw the ball well. I thought a lot of times he could have taken off and ran with it to take advantage of things. But he did a real good balanced job.”
Each team started with the ball on its 30-yard line and was given 12 offensive plays during the controlled scrimmage. After that, the teams’ second units were given eight offensive plays.
The starters then returned for another 12-play series before the teams played a normal scrimmage.
“We moved the ball consistently,” Brooks said. “I think with the 12 plays, we could have finished a lot of drives.”
Jamal Cooper caught three passes for 66 yards and Allen Thompson caught two passes for 42 yards for the Cougars.
Rejean Wright led the running game with 31 yards on six carries during the 12-play series portion of the scrimmage before losing 14 yards on his two carries during the second part of the scrimmage.
Brooks would like to see improve the running game.
“I thought (McDonogh) 35 was big up front defensively, so we will have to work on that running game,” he said. “I thought Rejean had some good runs in the beginning, but then he had some runs where he tried to bounce it outside and go for the home run.”
Brooks was also pleased with his defense, that was anchored by linebacker Jahmal Tillman, who made several jarring tackles and was tough to block at times.
“He is aggressive and he is relentless and he is a smart football player,” Brooks said. “He is definitely on the radar of a lot of Division I programs.”
Louisiana-Monroe has offered the rising senior.
McDonogh 35 was led on defense by Sci Martin, an end rated as one of the state’s top players in the Class of 2016.
Both teams are looking to improve on their 2013 seasons. The Cougars finished 4-6 and missed making the Class 5A playoffs. McDonogh 35 lost to eventual champion East Jeffeson in the first round of the 4A playoffs.
The Roneagles won just two games, but made the playoffs because of a strength of schedule aided by playing in one of the state’s toughest football districts with Karr, Warren Easton, Landry-Walker and Belle Chasse.
“We just have to go back and do some more lifting, some more drills and get ready for that tough district,” Reese said.