Scrimmage tests Summit football team ahead of season start

Jack Schierholz watches his team face off against the Grand Junction Central Warriors on Saturday, August 20. Schierholz participated in a possession and a half before watching the rest of the scrum from the touchline. Schierholz had a touchdown pass in the Tigers’ 21-14 win over the Warriors.
Cody Jones / Daily Summit News

It’s not quite football season in Summit County, but on Saturday, August 20, the Summit High School football team hosted the Grand Junction Central High School Warriors for an early season scrimmage. .

Like all teams in the National Football League, high school teams must be given the opportunity to play in a low-pressure preseason scrimmage before the official start of the season.

Saturday morning’s scrimmage provided a low-stakes atmosphere for both 4A-rated teams, with the Tigers sending their first team onto the field to start the two-quarter game.

Behind center for the first time this season, senior starting quarterback Jack Schierholz lined up. Schierholz had a stellar junior season, not only serving as a leader for the team, but racking up a plethora of stats in the process.

In Schierholz’s 10 games last season, the quarterback threw for 1,968 yards and scored 23 touchdowns, including six rushed.

On Saturday, Schierholz – in his first practice as a senior – marched the Tigers onto the field at a steady pace. Schierholz showed his versatility – rushing for rushing yards while throwing well-thrown balls to Summit’s wide receiving unit.

After three minutes and 15 seconds, the Tigers’ practice ended with a Schierholz shot into the top left corner of the end zone where freshman Tyler Hodges was able to put the Tigers down 7-0.

After landing at the top, the Tigers defensive unit landed on the field in an attempt to stop the Warriors.

The Tigers looked well prepared on defense, but the Warriors put together a solid drive that ended with a rushing touchdown in the red zone, tying the score at 7-7 in the first quarter.

In the final moments of the first quarter, the Tigers handed the ball to the Warriors. The turnover ended Schierholz’s time in the field for the day, securing one and a half possessions before allowing Summit junior quarterback Hank Chabot to get some shots.

After the Warriors scored their second touchdown of the game, Chabot moved forward behind center to throw a clean pass to a Summit receiver that carried it over the sideline for a nearly 60-yard touchdown.

The Warriors encountered a fierce defense from the Tigers in their next drive – being forced to punt after failing to get to the first line marker.

On the Tigers’ next practice, Chabot again found an open wide receiver who took the ball to the end zone for Summit’s third passing touchdown of the day.

The score was enough to push the Tigers past the Warriors in its scrum, beating the visiting team 21-14.

Beyond the team’s unofficial victory, head coach James Wagner and Schierholz were happy with how the team presented less than a week before their first official game of the season.

“I feel really good,” Schierholz said. “A lot of us guys are seniors and we’ve been here before, but I think us seniors were leaders today and we upped the intensity. All in all, it was a great day. Young guys are stepping up, guys who have never played football are stepping up.

“Super happy that we were able to come out here and compete again,” Wagner said. “I felt good about it, glad everyone stayed healthy.”

Wagner was impressed with the leadership of Schierholz at quarterback, Eli Krawczuk on the offensive line and Zach Elam on defense.

Wagner said the team will spend the next few days reviewing the film, coming up with a game plan, and then executing the game plan in practice before the Tigers start their season next Friday.

“Our three things are going to be assignment, roster and accountability,” Schierholz said of what the team will focus on heading into its season opener. “We were there most games, but there were games where we were all over the field. We have to clean up how we are when we step onto the pitch because on Friday those mistakes can’t happen, but it was a good place to see where we are.

Summit will host Woodland Park on Friday, August 26 at Tiger Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Summit Daily News will livestream the entire game on its Facebook page.

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