VINITA - Honing the ground game will be a priority for Miami during its final pre-season scrimmage here Thursday night.
“We've got some things we need to solid up on that we weren't real happy with coming out of the Muskogee scrimmage,” Miami head coach Chris Risenhoover said. “One of those is moving the football on the ground. We didn't get near what we wanted as far as the push up front.
“A little of that had to do with Muskogee and a lot of it had to do with us,” he said. “We're tying to iron those things out and get those big guys up front to play with intensity it's going to take with our schedule.”
Muskogee picked up a 24-10 “victory” in the scrimmage, which was played in game-like conditions in both halves but with a running clock.
Miami opens the season at home Sept. 5 against Wagoner.
The varsity portion of the scrimmage, which will include a pair of 12-play sets for each team, will start at about 7 p.m.
Seventh graders will scrimmage starting at 4:30 p.m., followed by eighth graders at 5:15 p.m. and freshmen at 6 p.m.
In addition to the two series for the varsity teams, Risenhoover said JV players also will get at least one 10-play series.
“We need to rally up and run the football well,” Risenhoover said.
Just who goes for the Wardogs is still up in the air. A number of starters were held out of the Muskogee scrimmage due to injuries.
“We might see a little of Josh White and there is a possibly Grant (Longcrier) may play a little,” Risenhoover said. “It probably won't be as much as we would like, but it's possible we may see them.”
White and Longcrier have been hobbled by injuries throughout training camp.
Risenhoover did say that Jeff Meeks, who had missed the Muskogee scrimmage with an ankle sprain, would play Thursday.
But the Dogs took another shot Monday when offensive guard Chris Chase suffered a high ankle sprain. His status for the Wagoner opener is not certain.