Elkton was the only team last year in the surrounding area to start their six-man football campaign and this year they have been followed by former league-mates North Douglas and Yoncalla as they both joined six-man leagues.
North Douglas was the host of a jamboree this past Thursday which included the Cruisers from Powers and the Elkton Elks.
The jamboree was formatted with two series of nine plays for each team on offense and defense starting at the 50-yard line going toward the end zone.
The rules for six men are different than eight-man or the traditional eleven-man games.
Instead of 10 yards required for a first down, 15 yards are required. After a touchdown, point-after conversion runs or passes are worth one point while conversion kicks are worth two. Field goals are worth four points, and every player (including the quarterback) is an eligible receiver.
Powers and North Douglas last year had both joined forces with other schools to continue to play eight-man football and this jamboree would be the first test for both teams as individual six-man programs.
The Warriors squared off first against the Cruisers to start the night and Powers jumped on North Douglas quickly.
Out of their two series, on offense Powers was able to score a total of four times and forced two turnovers from North Douglas.
On offense for the Warriors senior running back, Palu Raycon-Wilder showed his skills in open space as he made defenders miss on his way to score the only touchdown for North Douglas against Powers.
Next, Elkton got ready for their turn against Powers, whose offense kept cruising as they scored four more times against the Elks.
With fewer players on the field, there is obviously more space to account for and this was evident in one specific play when Powers fumbled a snap and turned that broken play into a score when a couple of tackles for the Elkton defense were missed.
Finally, North Douglas and Elkton saw their rivalry rekindle as they battled for the first time since 2019.
Junior running back for Elkton Nathan Rausch continued to roll when he scored three times against Powers and added two more against North Douglas; scoring a total of 5 times.
Raycon-Wilder provided another score for the Warriors ending his night with two and the Warriors ended the scrimmage by scoring on the last play.
“Biggest positive signs, I’d say that our kids really bought into what we’re doing. And they had a great time doing it,” said Elkton head coach Jeremy Lockhart. “And so that’s going to be critical for us to build some more cohesion as we go through the season because we definitely have a lot of young, inexperienced guys. To see them really enjoy the jamboree and then be like, ‘Okay, this is what we’re doing, fantastic,’ and then try to execute it. That was probably the biggest positive takeaway.”
While no official winners came out of the jamboree, all reps for the players were important for their development as all teams started official practice only 10 days prior.
Elkton and North Douglas will see more of each other very soon as the first official rival game is on Sept. 3.
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