MIAMI —Plenty of room for improvement was the biggest takeaway from Miami’s three-way scrimmage with Locust Grove and Dewey Friday, Aug. 17, at Red Robertson Field.

“We had some bright spots, but there’s definitely lots of room for improvement,” said Miami head coach Zach Gardner. “Big plays were our Achilles’ heel. We just didn’t do a very good job of wrapping up and tackling.”

This was the only preseason tune-up for the Wardogs: they open the season Thursday, Aug. 24 at Claremore Sequoyah.

Gardner, who helped Afton win a Class A state championship, now is in charge of the Wardogs, succeeding Andrew Rice.

“Our kids competed well there at the end in a crucial situation with Dewey and were able to come out on top with a defensive stop,” Gardner said.

The Wardogs had “scored” earlier in the 12-minute quarter against Dewey, but the Bulldoggers mounted a drive that took them inside the red zone in the final 30 seconds.

MHS was able to keep Dewey out of the end zone as time expired.

“We kept our ‘1s’ in for the scrimmage trying to prepare for the short preseason,” Gardner said. “We’ve got to be ready for next week. Some of the kids didn’t see the field as much as what we would have liked, but we were preparing for the short turnaround. We were just trying to get ready for week one.”

The teams used the traditional scrimmage format then finished the evening with the timed quarters.

The teams also had a chance to work on extra points and kickoffs, minus defensive pressure.

“We’ve got to move the chains. On one possession, we had a holding call that brought us back (and forced a punting situation),” Gardner said. “We were our own worst enemy with just the little knick-knack holding calls.”