Columbus North senior wide receiver Tristan Bailey said it was great to see the New Albany defense in three-way scrimmage against New Albany and Martinsvillle on Tuesday night.

The Bull Dogs, who face New Albany in the upcoming season, went 7-on-7 against both teams on both sides of the ball before running plays with a full 11-man lineup. There was minimal contact with no full tackling going on, but North coach Tim Bless felt his team came out and played fast.

“That’s one thing about our squad this year,” Bless said. “I think we’ve got more perimeter speed than we’ve had in quite some time and you saw that. Athletes getting out in green grass and making plays. Now with the format of a scrimmage you never take it all the way to the end zone. Some of them may have been touchdowns; some of them may not.”

One play that would have been a certain touchdown was the pass and catch from quarterback Trenton Kelley to Bailey that would have gone for 40 yards and six points. Those are plays that Bless said will keep the engine running. North just needs to execute those types of plays in an actual game.

“To have to drag the football down in ball control possession football, there is an awful lot that can go wrong,” Bless said. “If you’re athletic enough to make chunk plays that can make life a whole lot easier, and Tristan is certainly among one of our better athletes.”

Bless also was impressed with his defensive players. North’s defense came away with a handful of interceptions and deflections from multiple defenders during the scrimmage. Although scrimmaging is not the real deal, Bailey said it feels great to finally be back in pads again. Slowing down the pace in a scrimmage setting helps players pay attention to the smaller details, Bailey said.

“It definitely helps us control ourselves a lot better,” Bailey said. “I think it helps us with our fundamentals a lot more. In a game, it’s just hit as hard as possible, but now you have to break down properly and be able to get in front of the man so that you can make the tackle.”

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.