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Doggs get in reps at Central Gwinnett 7-on-7

POSTED: June 11, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Adam Wynn/Barrow County News

Occasional quarterback and wide receiver Brandon Hayes takes a few practice snaps during Winder’s spring game.

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Winder-Barrow participated in the 4th annual Gwinnett vs Georgia 7-on-7 tournament at Central Gwinnett on Saturday. The Bulldoggs took on Central Gwinnett, North Gwinnett, Norcross twice and Kell and although they did not come away with a win, Coach Heath Webb hopes the opportunity to work and compete against some of the best athletes in the state will pay dividends come this fall. 

“The whole reason we were out here was to see Gwinnett County AAAAAA football and what it takes to play at that level,” Webb said. “We came out and lined up against some of the best in the state. This will make us better for the regular season.” 

In the 7-on-7 format there are no lineman and the ball carrier is down with any contact from a defender. The quarterback has four seconds to release the football and the offense has three opportunities to gain 10 yards for a first down. Failure to do so results in a defensive stop which is two points for the opposing team and the opposing offense takes over. Extra points can be earned after touchdowns by completing a conversion from the five yard line. Three points are awarded to the defense for an interception. 

Winder-Barrow opened its scoring on the day with a defensive stop against Central Gwinnett. It was the first of 10 times the Doggs earned points on a defensive stop on the day. Then Noah Chapman got the offense on the board with a touchdown pass to Landon Brown while Braydn Randall caught the extra point. 

Against North Gwinnett, the defense again got Winder-Barrow on the board first with an interception by Joey Junius. Chapman would also throw his second touchdown of the day to Deon Williams, but this time the extra point was no converted. 

In the third game of the day, Winder-Barrow squared off against two-time defending state champion Norcross and had their most competitive contest all afternoon. After the Blue Devlis got out to an early lead, the Doggs got within a possession with a pair of defensive stops on either end of a Ryan Evans touchdown pass to Cale Horne. Winder-Barrow ended the game with a terrific touchdown pass from Chapman to Javon Hughes. 

“I liked our competitive mentality we showed today,” Webb said. “The will to compete was there. We had some blown assignments that we need to clean up, but I loved how we competed.” 

After the fourth game scheduled against Buford was cancelled, Winder-Barrow got some more reps against Norcross and, again, the Bulldoggs kept the contest competitive. The Doggs were able to pull within three on a touchdown pass from Chapman to Randall. After a long break and their fifth game in the hot June sun, Winder-Barrow closed the day against Kell. 

Chapman and Evans will continue to compete for the starting quarterback job into the fall. Webb said both quarterbacks showed signs of improvement Saturday, but he will be looking for more as the off-season progresses. 

“The biggest thing for our quarterbacks is learning what it means for their guys to be open,” Webb said. “You have to throw guys open. You can’t wait for guys to get open against competition like this because they cover so well. You have to throw them open and they learned more about that and how to throw the ball on time today.”



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