I saw the East Madison High School Purgolders play the James Madison Memorial Spartans.  What is a Purgolder you ask? It’s an abbreviation of Purple and Gold – their colors.  They do have “Pepe the Purgolder” as an indistinguishable animal on a few fan shirts.

The Purgolders are a small roster, both in terms of numbers and roster size.  This is especially noticeable on their offensive line where they could not provide time for their QB to pass.  They also often just blew assignments and let rushers come free.  They were even worse on special teams where the longsnapper missed so many hikes they pulled him.

The Purgolders big star is runningback/returnman Ebrahim “Speedy” Amara (22).  But the line could not open many holes for him to get him in the open.  And they overuse him.  The coaches need to get a little smarter with him.  For example they put him the Wildcat for a whole series rather than a play, but did it deep in their own end so the Spartans had time adjust before they got a score – why not spring that when you have a short field (which they had earlier in the game but came away with nothing – and were shutout in the game)?  Their defense also looked lost lining up a few times – the coaches were screaming from the booth above me.

A few other players other players stood out.  Jordan Daminguez (3) made few good plays as a DB, but was erratic.  Steven Williams (35) on the DL – mainly nosetackle in a 3-4, which worked fairly well – got good penetration one several plays.  So did Max Larson (8).  Their grittiest player was Travis Turnquist (26) who was one of, if not the, best receivers they had (because the other guys dropped several balls) as well as one of their best/most consistent defensive backs.

But their most impressive player was defensive back Austin Knorr (80) who was a great tackler.  He got everyone to the ground in an instant.  And he’s not that big – listed as 5’11” 150.  But he had the best fundamental tackling skills I have ever seen on a high school field.

Memorial’s quarterback, Joe Ferguson (6), was a good scrambler.  There best offensive play was when the passrush forced him to scramble.

Overall neither team was very impressive, I’ve seen several high school teams in Maine and Florida that were noticeable better.

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