Crook County struggles to sustain drives and score in jamboree
The Crook County Cowboys struggled with consistency Friday during the Redmond jamboree.
At times the Cowboys moved the ball well, but they struggled to continue drives, scoring just one touchdown in their 36 offensive plays.
Defensively was more of the same as the Cowboys would shut down their opponent for several plays in a row only to give up a big play.
"We did some things well, but there are some things that we have got to get better at," Crook County head coach Ryan Cochran said. "We didn't have any major busts, but it was a little thing here and a little thing there, and that kind of adds up."
Still, Cochran was pleased with much of what he saw at the jamboree.
In the jamboree's format, each team played three other teams, with each team getting 12 offensive plays per quarter with play beginning at the 40-yard line.
Two teams played at one end of the field, while two other teams played on the other half.
Coaches were allowed on the field during play, as well as offensive substitutions.
Fumble recoveries and pass interceptions were immediately dead, with the offensive team regaining possession on the 40-yard line.
The Cowboys opened the jamboree against Redmond and were able to score a touchdown on their last offensive play.
For most of their defensive plays against the Panthers, the Cowboys played well, but they gave up a pair of big plays for touchdowns as the Panthers took a 12-6 win.
Next up for the Cowboys were the Sisters Outlaws.
Crook County struggled to move the ball against the Outlaws, never getting past the 20-yard line.
Sisters scored on a 24-yard run on their third play from scrimmage, then scored two plays later on a 40-yard run. The Cowboys were able to totally contain the Outlaws as they lost yardage in their remaining six plays.
However, the damage had already been done as Sisters won 12-0.
The Cowboys closed out the evening with a matchup against The Dalles Riverhawks.
Crook County quickly moved the ball to inside the 1-yard line against the Riverhawks. However, The Dalles stiffened on defense, keeping the Cowboys out of the end zone.
The Dalles was also unable to score, gaining just one first down in their 12 offensive plays as Crook County looked stout on defense.
"I would say the jamboree was a success overall with our varsity guys," Cochran said. "We gave up some big plays because we weren't lined up right, so we saw the importance of getting lined up right against different formations. Conditioning was also a factor, so we would look good and then we would have a breakdown. Those are the things that we have got to get fixed."
The JV matchups were a different story. Crook County moved the ball at will during the JV portion of the jamboree, scoring at least two touchdowns against each opponent, while allowing just one touchdown.
"Across the board, we were excited about their effort," Cochran said. "There were a lot of our young guys that had really good jamborees. We just got out of a meeting where we talked about that. There are some guys on JV that are definitely going to get a lot of varsity time subbing in, which is going to create depth for us."
Cochran added that the primary purpose of jamborees is to try different combinations of players and to see which areas the team needs to improve.
"Being able to have a jamboree and run plays against another team and a different color uniform was a great warmup coming into your first game," he said. "In the old system, we would have a zero week game, which was really tough coming off of two weeks of practice, and I think this jamboree kind of schedule is very helpful. It's a way to get a good warmup before your first game."
The Cowboys open the season this Friday when they go on the road to take on the Phoenix Pirates.
The Pirates struggled to a 2-6 record in the Skyline League a year ago, while the Cowboys finished their season with a 1-7 mark.
The JV squads will square off beginning at 4:30 p.m. with the varsity game to follow beginning at 7 p.m.
The Cowboys return home the following week when they take on the Sweet Home Huskies in a 7 p.m. game on Friday, Sept. 8.