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GHS beats Luverne in spring game

When Greenville head coach Ben Blackmon walked onto the practice field for the first day of spring football training he thought one thing: It’s going to be a long year.

The Tigers entered spring with tons of questions and very little answers after losing 20 seniors from last year’s 11-1 team.

But the Tigers concluded two weeks of football drills on Friday night with a 32-0 win over Luverne, and Blackmon said he’s a bit more comfortable with how well his team has progressed over the last two weeks.

“From top to bottom, you can see improvement,” he said.

Friday’s scrimmage provided a glimpse of the Tigers’ future. While GHS was aided early by Luverne’s inability to hold onto the football, (GHS went up 16-0 in the first quarter), the Tigers’ offense showed flashes of potential. Greenville lost three-year starting quarterback Ryan Smith to graduation, but rising sophomore Kent Riley is a speedster out of the Tigers’ backfield.

Riley has an arm as well: he zipped a ball to Darius Watson between two Luverne defenders for a 21-yard gain in the second which led to a five-yard touchdown run by Patrick Bedgood.

“We’re going to get him out there and let him use his ability,” said Blackmon. “We’re going to continue to work with Kent to improve, but I was proud of the way he performed.”

Blackmon said several players caught the coaches eyes this spring, including offensive/defensive linemen Anthony “Shaq” McMeans and Marquiste Coleman, Bedgood at running back (he had a 19-yard TD run as well), Terrance Thompson at linebacker, and backup quarterback and free safety Brandon Smith.

What the scrimmage also provided, said Blackmon, was an idea of which players would show up come Friday nights in the fall.

“It was a good experience for our guys to play against an opponent,” said Blackmon. “One thing I was proud of was the effort. You coach and you can correct mistakes, but one thing you can’t coach is the effort.”