Walker Valley quarterback Noah Davis hands the ball to Mustangs running back Nolan Cawood early in Saturday’s jamboree game against Red Bank at Finley Stadium, in Chattanooga. (Banner Photo: Lynnae Roberts)
CHATTANOOGA — Walker Valley football fans hoping to catch a glimpse of what the Mustangs have to offer for 2016 will have to wait a little longer.
Head coach Glen Ryan chose to leave his starting offense and defense on the sidelines — for the most part — during Saturday’s dress rehearsal at Finley Stadium and let the reserves battle the Red Bank Lions, who rolled to a 21-0 win in the 30-minute jamboree period.
“We didn’t do very well with our younger guys. But, it’s a good learning lesson for them,” Ryan said. “It was a good experience for the younger guys to get in under the lights and see what they can do.”
The Mustangs open the season Thursday on the road against Bradley Central and with the quick turnaround, Ryan felt it best to protect his starters against unforeseen circumstances.
“With the short week we just felt like we didn’t need to put our 1s out here and run the risk of somebody getting a rolled ankle or something crazy,” he said. This doesn’t count. Thursday night counts. That’s what we’ve got to be ready for. We know we’ve got some work to do.”
Red Bank scored on three of the Lions’ five possessions during the 30-minute running clock session.
Walker Valley’s Noah Davis handled duties under center for the Mustangs and provided the lone highlight on defense with an interception that put an end to a Lions drive into Mustangs’ territory.
“Anytime you step on the field I want to see guys compete. That’s the name of the game, compete. That’s what I’m disappointed in most, we didn’t go out and do a good job of competing. Win, lose or draw, just compete.
“I felt like we played real timid out there on both sides. We told the younger guys they have to step up and quit letting the older guys carry the load. They are a play or two from maybe having to go in and play some on Fridays.”
The Mustangs go back to work today, game planning for Thursday’s trip to meet up with the Bears inside Bear Stadium.
“We’ve got to tune up a couple of things Monday and Tuesday, and kind of sharpen it up on Wednesday and get ready to play Thursday,” said Ryan.