Although Cleburne’s first-team offense racked up nearly 400 yards and scored six touchdowns, head coach Phil Young is more excited about the up-and-coming defenders on his squad.

“We have had a lot of young men step up to be hitters and they are playing very hard,” Young said after a 60-play controlled intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday at Yellow Jacket Stadium. “We want to earn a reputation as being hitters. And we have a lot of enthusiasm and excitement in our program heading into the summer.”

The defense looked solid early on, forcing a turnover in one of the first three plays. The remaining nine plays of the series saw the defense allow only 22 yards, while intercepting a Scotty Walden pass.

During the next set of 12 plays, the offense got on the board with a touchdown.

Walden opened with a 12-yard completion to Desean Thomas, before completing a 42-yard swing pass to get to the 21. Two plays later, Walden raced in untouched from 15 yards out for the score.

But after those four plays, the defense tightened up and allowed only 26 yards.

The ensuing set of 12 plays belonged to the defense as they limited the offense to just 12 yards and intercepting Walden twice.

Walden responded by completing 9-of-10 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown on the next series of 12 plays. In fact, the offense scored twice on the series.

The final series of 12 plays began at the 20-yard line as the team worked on a short field. Walden fired a pair of touchdown passes in this drill, while Robert White showed speed and power as he rambled for a 20-yard touchdown run on one of the plays.

For the scrimmage, Walden completed 20-of-40 passes for 276 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He also had a touchdown run.

The Jacket running backs combined for 115 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns.

Young said Cleburne would likely use a running back by committee approach.

“All of our running backs play on defense, so they will split the carries at running back,” Young said. “They all run the ball hard, but they are also key players for us defensively.”

Young was also pleased with Walden’s development over the spring campaign, especially with his leadership skills.

“Scotty has so much confidence in his teammates,” Young said. “And they have a lot of confidence in him. Today, his protection was good and that allowed him time to throw the ball.”

On the junior varsity side of things, Bubba Oakes had a solid day at quarterback, completing 5-of-6 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns, including one for 60 yards. Ty Taylor, in just three days of workouts, completed one of his two passes for 44 yards and ran for a touchdown.

The Yellow Jackets will likely go through 7-on-7 drills this summer before returning to the fields on Aug. 13, the first day Class 5A and 4A teams with spring practice can open fall camp.

Daniel Green can be reached at 817-645-2441, ext. 2334, or

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