Fielding football thoughts
BISMARCK -- Ever wonder how many pickup trucks can back into parking spots in the end zone at high school football complexes where vehicles are allowed that close?
The answer, at least if you were at Bismarck-Henning on Friday night, is 12. The lucky 13th spot on the north end at Bismarck-Henning was saved for the ambulance -- which didn't back in -- and fortunately, it wasn't needed.
You never know who you'll run into at these games. On Tuesday, I covered a volleyball tournament at Schlarman High School and one of the referees was Alex Giuliani, from Catlin. On Friday, he was on the football officiating crew at Bismarck.
I halfway expected to hear him say he'd see me bright and early Saturday at Chrisman's Cowchip Classic cross-country race -- my next stop -- but instead, he'll return to volleyball and call some matches later today in Centennial's invitational.
For the second week in a row, the prep game I watched was played on a field with hash marks, which makes charting statistics so much easier and also allows them to be more accurate. Why don't all schools mark their fields in this manner?
As for what I saw on the field, I'll take credit for knowing in advance who would win: The Blue Devils were my choice, all the way.
It turned out that Bismarck-Henning's Blue Devils scored first, but Villa Grove's Blue Devils scored more often and posted a 46-18 non-conference triumph.
The Blue Devils -- the ones from Villa Grove -- run an interesting option attack with three athletes who could be the featured backs at many schools. Rob Renfrow, Jake Palmer and Travis Parsley are solid ballcarriers, mixing a degree of toughness with some swiftness and elusiveness. They helped Villa Grove amass 626 all-purpose yards.
If there's an area of concern, it could be on the defense where 7 of the 11 starters are underclassmen. B-H moved the ball effectively throughout the first half and totaled 482 all-purpose yards (counting returns).
Brian Clapp and Ian Marx are a formidable duo in the backfield for B-H's Blue Devils. If there's an area of emphasis offensively for coach Mark Dodd's squad it would be in the passing game. It's improved from 2007, but still not up to the level of the top contenders in the Vermilion Valley Conference.
Now that Week 2 is in the books, it's time to start anticipating next week ... which will mark the one-third mark of the regular season.