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Sports Briefs: O’Connell Looks Sharp in Scrimmage

If its first two possessions of an Aug. 27 scrimmage against Yorktown were any indication, the Bishop O’Connell football team should hit the ground running when the Knights open their season Aug. 4 at home against Bishop Ireton.

O’Connell and its ground-oriented double-wing offense needed just five running plays to travel 70 yards for a touchdown on the scrimmage’s opening possession. The Knights’ second possession started on the Yorktown 12-yard line. Four running plays later and O’Connell was back in the end zone.

O’Connell rushed for 199 yards in the first half, led by Joshua Trimble’s 77 in six carries. Trimble set up the Knight’s first touchdown with a 40-yard run on the scrimmage’s fourth play.

"I think we did all right. I think we’ve got a long way to go, though," O’Connell head coach Steve Trimble said. "We’re still a young team, especially up front. We’ve got some really good backs."

The coach said senior Joshua Trimble (6 feet 1, 195 pounds), senior Michael Katz (6-3, 225), senior Patrick Simms (6-0, 205), freshman Marvin Stewart (5-11, 160) and senior Jason Makoutz (5-7, 170) are each threats out of the backfield for O’Connell, which returns six starters on offense.

On the offensive line, coach Trimble said junior center Joe Bender (5-11, 190), senior right guard Colin Scott (5-8, 225) and senior left tackle Rishi Sharma (6-3, 240) will play a prominent role.

Senior Nick Morabito (5-9, 188) returns at quarterback. Coach Trimble said he wants to open up the passing game in 2010, saying the Knights were one-dimensional in 2009. Morabito completed 2 of 4 passes during the first half, including a 44-yard touchdown strike.

Defensively, the Knights return seven starters. Coach Trimble said Katz is key to the defensive line, Simms is a standout at middle linebacker and Joshua Trimble is a standout at safety.

Coach Trimble said he wants the Knights to be playing well when they enter Washington Catholic Athletic Conference play.

"We’re in such a tough conference," he said. "You look in the paper and you see Good Counsel [ranked No.] 1, DeMatha [No.] 2 and then St. John’s has got talent. We’re just trying to win our initial games — first three games are non-conference — and then when we get in conference we want to be competitive. We want to play hard and do what we need to do and take a chance — see if we can play with the big boys."

Last season, O’Connell won its three non-conference games before losing its WCAC opener against Good Counsel. After beating Archbishop Carroll, the Knights closed the season five-game losing streak, scoring a combined 21 points.

— Jon Roetman

<b>Yorktown Enters Second Season with Spread</b>

The Yorktown offense enters its second season operating primarily out of the spread formation after head coach Bruce Hanson had run the wing-T for more than 20 years. Against O’Connell, the Patriots scored two touchdowns in six possessions, five of which were led by junior quarterback Jordan Smith. Yorktown operated out of the spread, wing-T and T formations.

Smith, who saw playing time as a sophomore when start Sam Nottingham was out due to illness, completed 4 of 6 passes in the first half for 99 yards and one touchdown. He also scored a touchdown on a quarterback sneak.

"Compared to last year, I know more this year," Smith said. "I know the plays, where everyone’s going to be. It’s faster-paced now."

Yorktown opens its season at home at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 against Wilson. The Patriots open district play on Sept. 24 against Hayfield.

<b>W-L, Wakefield Football Openers</b>

The Washington-Lee football team opens its season at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 at McLean. The Generals’ first home game is Sept. 16, when they open National District play against Hayfield.

Wakefield opens its season at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 at Lee. The Warriors first home game is Sept. 16 against McLean.