Red Devils host Panthers in their second scrimmage

After a crazy schedule on Saturday, Newton-Conover’s second football scrimmage against Forestview on Tuesday went much smoother .

The Red Devils hosted the Panthers in the second of their three scrimmages this preseason at Gurley Stadium.

Newton-Conover was set to play Chesnee (S.C.) at the State Line Showdown at Boiling Springs High School near Spartanburg on Saturday.

However, the day included part of the Newton-Conover football team being stranded in a broken down bus.

Rain also caused its scrimmage against Chesnee to be cancelled.

Head coach Brint Russell eventually set up a makeshift road scrimmage against Shelby High School, which started at approximately 10:15 p.m.

Russell liked the progress he saw from Saturday’s scrimmage to Tuesday’s action against the Panthers.

“We played a little bit better than we did Saturday night against Shelby,” Russell said. “Forestview is a really good football team. I felt like we did a lot of things offensively that I was happy with in terms of moving the football up and down the field. We didn’t take care of the football as well as we wanted to. We’ve got to get that cleaned up.”

Two quarterbacks took snaps in the scrimmage, including senior Thomas Corpening and sophomore Cameron Stanley.

Both players were part of Newton-Conover’s lone offensive score — a 13-yard pass from Stanley to Corpening in the right corner of the end zone during the second quarter.

“Coach called it in the huddle,” Corpening said of the scoring play. “The receiver ran the perfect post. I got in behind him and hit the wheel. Our quarterback put it on the money. From there, I knew it was all me.”

Russell saw positives from both Corpening and Stanley.

“We’ve got an entire team of triple option offense athletes,” Russell said. “We have to learn to distribute the football. I would say there is a bona fide position battle. Thomas runs the football a little bit better than Cameron, and Cameron throws the football a little bit better than Thomas. It is who is going to work on their weakness the best that is going to get the starting nod.”

Special teams was also a bright spot for the Red Devils.

Both Newton-Conover kickers — Franklin Wepner and Gustavo Loza — saw playing time on the field during kickoffs and extra point attempts.

The biggest special teams play, though, came from Red Devils kick returner Anthony Clontz, who sprinted 78 yards for a touchdown in the scrimmage’s final quarter.

“I saw a hole, and I just kept trying to find a blocker,” Clontz said. “Once I found that hole, I started sprinting.”

Russell was impressed with the 5-11, 167-pound junior.

“Anthony is one of the fastest kids on our team,” Russell said. “He does track all year round. The kid can run. He got a seam and exploded it. I tell him he runs like he doesn’t want to get tackled and runs scared. It doesn’t matter how he runs as long as he scores.”

Newton-Conover takes part in one final scrimmage on Friday at West Iredell against former CVAC rival South Iredell.

Russell plans to focus on defense during the team’s final preseason tune up before hosting Chase next Friday night in the regular season opener.

“Defensively, we are still looking for a vocal leader,” Russell said. “Jordan Martin, our starting inside linebacker, was scratched about 15 minutes before today’s game. That’s always something that is rough to overcome. He is our defensive leader. Some other kids had an opportunity to step up and play. We’ve got some video we get to review and get better before Friday against South Iredell.”