Lawrence’s Chris Dow, left, chases down Cony’s Aidan Coulombe after he caught a long pass during a scrimmage Saturday at Alumni Field in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — The Cony football team’s season ended in early November, and at first, coach B.L. Lippert could see the upside to having some time to relax and unwind.

That didn’t last long, however.

“By Thanksgiving, I’m ready for the next season to start,” he said. “We live for this stuff.”

Nothing beats the excitement of the opening week to the season, but Cony and Lawrence got a pretty good appetizer Saturday in the form of a morning scrimmage. There was no score kept, there were no penalties enforced and there were no turnovers on downs, but there was enough to remind those on the field that the season is quickly approaching.

Lawrence’s Paul Morneau runs the ball against Cony during a scrimmage Saturday at Alumni Field in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

“It’s good for coaches, players, fans, everyone gets to see, and we’re all dying to play football,” Lippert said. “We’ve been waiting all year to get to here, and that’s really the primary thing. Football’s here, and we’re all film junkies so now we’ve got film to watch. It’s just a kick start to the season.”

Teams began practicing Monday, but it took only a few sessions for the players to long for a chance to put on pads and face an opponent.

“It’s a good conclusion to the first week,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “This is a hard game when you don’t have an opportunity to play very often. We really feel like we’re fortunate to have a game at the end of the week, and then certainly to be tested and realize where are some of the areas we really need to focus on.

“It is good to have it at the end of the week, because if they had to wait for two weeks before they could play, they would be kind of pulling their hair out.”

The players said as much.

“It’s a great feeling when you realize the season’s about to start,” Lawrence quarterback Dylan Coombs said. “Most of the team was pretty excited to get back on the field and finally get to hit people.”

No one expects it to look perfect. Everything’s still new, from the plays to the players.

“We knew we’d be kind of a little bit unsure with some things,” Hersom said. “We’ve got guys in new positions, we’re trying to put in a new system for our defense. Only having 10 practices doing those new things or working guys into new positions has been a little more challenging this particular preseason than some of the others. We knew that we would have some ups and downs today.”

The scrimmage, though, gives the coaches a sense for what could work, what won’t, and how players look at game speed.

Lawrence quarterback Dylan Coombs hands the ball off to a teammate against Cony during a scrimmage Saturday at Alumni Field in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

“From a physicality standpoint, you get to see who’s put on some size, and the weight room kind of shows up a little bit more here,” Lippert said. “And then some different schemes, offensively and defensively, (you) see what it looks like. Everything looks good on a chalkboard in February, but you get out here with the bullets flying and sometimes you go ‘Eh, maybe that one doesn’t look as good.’ ”

Plenty of what Cony tried on offense looked good. The Rams got touchdowns on each of their first two possessions, with quarterback Riley Geyer slinging a nice pass on a rollout to Adrien Larrabee on the way to the first score, and Geyer hitting sophomore Aidan Coulombe in stride for a 40-yard hookup on the second series before Jamal Cariglia (five carries, 51 yards) took a screen pass 16 yards to the end zone.

Geyer said he was pleased with how the offense ran, but that the return to the game setting was the biggest gain.

“It feels good to hit someone that is not the same color,” said Geyer, who completed his first seven passes and 10 of 14 for 125 yards and the touchdown, and also got snaps at safety. “We (got) to bring people to the ground, hit as hard as we can … and just see the competitiveness. Who wants to really hit, who wants to be out there.”

Lawrence got some good throws on the move from Coombs (4-for-7, 59 yards) and some impressive runs from a backfield led by Nate Regalado.

“It seemed like we got a little more comfortable as things were going on throughout the scrimmage,” Hersom said. “That was a good sign for us.”


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