With the opening week of football season just three weeks away, the East Robertson Indians hosted the Portland Panthers in the opening scrimmage of fall camp Friday evening.

In an hour of varsity play, Portland tallied six total touchdowns, while East Robertson added two touchdowns. 

“The thing I wanted to do was to work on our technique and fundamentals and see if we could get after people, and I think we did a good job there,” Portland coach Greg Cavanah said.

The Panthers scored on their first three offensive possessions with touchdown runs from Evan Towles, Caden Box, and Caleb Mandrell.

“Portland’s a physical football team and they’re a bigger school, but even though we’re a 2A school, we play teams in our region that are really gifted physically so I think it was important to find out what we’ve got,” East Robertson Atlee Pond said.

Several drives later, the Portland defense came up with a big play as Jovie Lugo recovered a fumble and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown.

“I felt like we were ready to hit somebody new other than ourselves, which was good,” Cavanah said. “I think East Robertson is going to be a really good team before it’s all said and done. It surprised me how big they were.”

The Indians got on the board after a 70-yard touchdown run from Dylan Stroud. On the next drive, quarterback Drake Alsup scored a rushing touchdown.

“There were a couple of question marks and a lot of competition, so once we watch the film, we’re going to see what needs to be fixed, but I think we’ll be okay,” Pond said. “The main thing I wanted to see is for them to be physical. We have a lot of talent, but we just need to continue to execute.”

The scrimmage was Alsup’s first official action as the new starting quarterback. After playing wide receiver last season, Alsup replaced Cameron Swift, who suffered a torn ACL during spring practice.

“I think Drake handled himself okay tonight,” Pond said. “We’ve been going against ourselves for so long and haven’t seen anyone else other than in 7-on-7s. He’s got a good attitude, and as long as he continues to work, I think he’ll be fine.”

East Robertson faces Cheatham County and Creek Wood in a three-way scrimmage Friday at Creek Wood. Portland hosts Macon County Thursday at 6 p.m.

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