Community bonds in 'Red and White' scrimmage

The rain held off Thursday and several hundred football fans turned out for Newton-Conover’s second annual “Red and White” intrasquad scrimmage.

The Newton-Conover varsity and junior varsity programs both played in two 10-minute quarters.

Points were given on offense for touchdowns (six), first downs (one) and plays of 30-plus yards (two).

Defensive points were awarded for touchdowns (nine), turnovers (three) and three-and-outs (two).

At the final buzzer, the Red squad defeated the White squad, 59-36.

The game went beyond the field itself, though, and involved different aspects of the community.

Members of the Newton-Conover Middle School football team patrolled the sidelines during the contest.

Catawba Co. Sherriff Coy Reid and Steve Hunt, executive director of Catawba Valley Community College’s Multicultural Affairs, served as honorary coaches at the scrimmage on opposing sides.

Two students from Conover School — Nicholas Snyder and Jimmy Ross — both got to live out the dream of being honorary Red Devils for the game.

Both young men scored a touchdown during the game.

“We want to make this into a community event,” said Newton-Conover head coach Brint Russell. “The ‘Red and White’ game officially kicks off football season for us. As it grows and goes year in and year out, it is going to get bigger and bigger. There were 200 people out this year. We started selling food in the concession stands. We didn’t have those last year. Hopefully, next year we can hire some referees and start making it bigger hopefully to where the whole community is celebrating the start of the football season.”

Newton-Conover will hold one final football practice today before it starts preseason play on Saturday.

“Friday is going to be really light,” Russell said of his team’s final practice of the week. “We want the practice to be relatively short. We aren’t going to be in full gear. It’s going to be light contact and more checks. It’s what you would anticipate in a Thursday walkthrough for a Friday game. We just went at it pretty hard out there. The kids are going to be a little tired tomorrow. We want to make sure we run some of the soreness out. We want to make sure we are assignment ready.”

The Red Devils travel to Boiling Springs, S.C. on Saturday to take part in the FCA State Line Showdown.

The event features three teams from North Carolina and three from South Carolina scrimmaging against one another.

Newton-Conover takes on Chesnee (S.C.) at 8 p.m.

“They run a no-huddle offense, kind of like East Lincoln,” Russell said of Chesnee. “They are going to spread it out and throw it around. We are going to get a workout in. Defensively, they are a 3-4 team. It’s nothing we haven’t seen. Most of the teams we play run a 3-4 against us or some version of a 50 (defense). That’s nothing that is going to be new to us. The kids are really excited.”