When Columbus North dives into the regular season beginning next week, Mitchell Burton is expected to carry the bulk of the load.
But in Friday night’s preseason scrimmage, it was the Triston Perry show. The senior quarterback completed 13 of 20 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bull Dogs to a 4-1 victory against Greenwood.
“Make no mistake about it — the offense is going to go through Mitchell Burton,” North coach Tim Bless said. “But with the athletes we have on the perimeter, we have the ability to quick strike and always make the defense play honest.”
Junior Jaylen Flemmons, who has been primarily a quarterback in his younger years, led the receiving corps with six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. Senior James Garrett added four catches for 36 yards and a score.
Neither Flemmons, who played mostly defense last year, nor Garrett, who as a JV player caught a varsity pass last season. Another newcomer, junior Trey Vincent, caught three passes for 30 yards.
Meanwhile, Burton had a quiet night on the offensive side of the ball. The Miami (Ohio) recruit, who also saw action at safety, carried only 10 times for 44 yards.
“He’s a known commodity,” Bless said. “As much as anything, we’re saving him, keeping him fresh for Week 1.”
The scrimmage format contains three varsity series for each team, followed by two JV series for each.
The first series featured 18 plays beginning at a team’s own 35. The Bull Dogs scored on the 12th play, a 6-yard run by Burton.
The second series consisted of 12 plays beginning at midfield. North scored on the sixth play, a 15-yard pass from Perry to Garrett.
The third series saw teams run 12 plays beginning at the opponent’s 35. Perry hit Flemmons for a 9-yard touchdown on the second play, and Burton ran 2 yards for a score on the 10th play.
The Woodmen scored their lone touchdown on the third play of their third series.
The Bull Dogs’ defense came up with a couple of big plays. Harley Huser intercepted a pass, and Evan Linville recovered a fumble.
“Obviously, we weren’t perfect out there yet, but nobody is,” Bless said. “But I thought we ran the offense really well. I thought we were clean with the football. Defensively, I’m really pleased with how we attacked and forced some turnovers.”
North didn’t make it out of the scrimmage completely unscathed. Standout defensive tackle Coleman Tennyson injured a kneecap and did not return. He could be ready to play next week, when the Bull Dogs host Franklin.
The Bull Dogs outscored Greenwood 3-0 in the JV portion of the scrimmage. Trenton Kelley threw scoring passes of 45 yards to Peyton Pike and 13 yards to Jackson Kerber. Grant Byers returned a fumble for the final touchdown.