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Dougherty's first scrimmage ends in 0-0 tie

Dougherty High football coach Jesse Hicks saw some good -- and some bad -- during Thursday's scrimmage against Central Macon, which ended in a 0-0 tie.

Dougherty High football coach Jesse Hicks saw some good -- and some bad -- during Thursday's scrimmage against Central Macon, which ended in a 0-0 tie.

ALBANY -- What do you take from a 0-0 scrimmage?

Plenty if you're Dougherty High and looking for a fresh start.

That's what the Trojans saw Thursday in a scoreless tie against Central Macon at Hugh Mills Stadium, where they made some big plays, had some moments and walked away looking at both ends of the tie.

"I saw some good things and I saw some bad things,'' said Dougherty coach Jesse Hicks, who is now in his second season at Dougherty. "I didn't like what I saw in the first half, but I liked the way we came out in the second half. But we can't wait until the second half to play.''

Dougherty fans have to like what they saw in freshman quarterback Willie Jones, who looks and throws as if he has been in high school for years.

Jones lit up the stadium on Dougherty's first drive with a 40-yard pass to Tavares Nelson, who might be one of the surprise players in the city this season.

"He's one of those guys who is a basketball player who hasn't played football,'' Hicks said. "We're looking for good things from him.''

Jones had a solid night, completing 7-of-11 passes for 84 yards. He didn't throw an interception, and he also scrambled for 12 yards.

Dougherty is counting on youth to score points because Jones is joined in the backfield by freshman Demetrius Reed and sophomore Alfred Brown.

Reed had his moments, especially on the opening drive of the second half when he ripped off runs of 16, 14 and 7 yards to open the second half.

"I thought Reed and Brown and Ricardo Sloan (who had four receptions) did a good job,'' said Hicks, whose team opens the season next Saturday at Hugh Mills against city rival Albany High, which looked impressive last week in a 42-0 scrimmage win against Kendrick.

Albany High beat Dougherty on a last-second field goal in the season opener last year -- a field goal that came after a missed field goal, but a Dougherty penalty gave Albany High a second chance to kick home the winner.

"I know Albany High is coming in with momentum,'' Hicks said. "They beat us last year (on a field goal at the gun) with a double kick (because of a penalty by us). If they saw us (Thursday night), they probably think they can manhandle us because of the way the offensive line played. But our offensive line played much better in the second half. We came out and drove the ball down their throats.''

Hicks had nothing but praise for his defense, which also played better in the second half Thursday.

Central Macon had one scoring drive, but Dougherty stopped the Chargers just before halftime when linebacker Josh Fuller came up with a fumble recovery at the Dougherty 4-yard-line. Fuller, a senior, also had an interception in the second half.

"Defensively, I'm very happy with what we got,'' Hicks said. "When we needed to make a play, we made it.''

Dougherty's defense had a couple of sacks and in both cases there were a number of Trojans in on the sack, and Demario Barney made a big play for a 5-yard loss when he made a solo tackle in the Central Macon backfield. Then there was Fuller.

"Josh is going to make big plays,'' Hicks said. "I know what he can do. I'm going to push him, but that's because I know what he can do.''

Hicks can live with the scoreless tie.

"You have a scrimmage so you can get better,'' he said. "I really wanted my young kids to play. We made some mistakes, but I saw a lot of good things.''ns the season next Saturday at Hugh Mills against city rival Albany High, which looked impressive last week in a 42-0 scrimmage win against Kendrick.

Albany High beat Dougherty on a last-second field goal in the season opener last year -- a field goal that came after a missed field goal, and a Dougherty penalty gave Albany High a second chance to kick home the winner.

"I know Albany High is coming in with momentum,'' Hicks said. "They beat us last year (on a field goal at the gun) with a double kick (because of a Dougherty penalty). If they saw us tonight they probably think they can manhandle us because of the way the offensive line played. But our offensive line played much better in the second half. We came out and drove the ball down their throats.''

Hicks had nothing but praise for his defense, which also played better in the second half Thursday.

Central Macon had one scoring drive, but Dougherty stopped the Chargers just before halftime when linebacker Josh Fuller came up with a fumble recovery at the Dougherty 4-yard-line. Fuller, a senior, also had an interception in the second half.

"Defensively, I'm very happy with what we got,'' Hicks said. "When we needed to make a play, we made it.''

Dougherty's defense had a couple of sacks and in both cases there were a number of Trojans in on the sack, and Demario Barney made a big play for a 5-yard loss when he made a solo tackle in the Central Macon backfield. Then there was Fuller.

"Josh is going to make big plays,'' Hicks said. "I know what he can do. I'm going to push him, but that's because I know what he can do.''

Hicks can live with the scoreless tie.

"You have a scrimmage so you can get better,'' he said. "I really wanted my young kids to play. We made some mistakes, but I saw a lot of good things.''