Cardinals test aerial talents in summer football

Broncos 7-on-7 tourney puts premium on passing

Posted 6/28/18

Elizabeth athletes exhibited passing skills as they competed in the Denver Broncos 7-on-7 tournament held June 12-16 at All City Stadium in Denver. “We have about the average number of players …

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Cardinals test aerial talents in summer football

Broncos 7-on-7 tourney puts premium on passing

Posted

Elizabeth athletes exhibited passing skills as they competed in the Denver Broncos 7-on-7 tournament held June 12-16 at All City Stadium in Denver.

“We have about the average number of players coming back, including several who play our skill positions,” Cardinals Coach Mike Zoesch said during the June 14 tournament session. “Up front we do have kids coming back. They are not very big but they are tough, so we should definitely be competitive this fall.”

One strong point for the team is the returning veteran skill position players, including Nicholas Ball at quarterback.

“I think we'll be stronger this season throwing the ball because most of our starters were juniors last season so they are all back, including the receivers I threw the ball to last year,” he said. “Our system finding an open receiver is like a ladder. I look to the primary receiver first. If he is covered I move to down the line of receivers to find one who is open.”

Ball saw some time as Cardinals varsity quarterback as a sophomore and was the starter last year. He said he loved playing sports and he plays football, basketball and runs track for the Cardinals.

“Playing sports all three seasons keeps me in top physical condition for all the sports I play,” Ball said. “It also strengthens the bond of friendship with the other guys on the team because are together, not just in games but in practices and in the weight room.”

High school football teams take part in 7-on-7 to sharpen their players' aerial offensive and defensive skills in the all-passing competition. However, the receiver can gain additional yardage running the ball after catching a pass until he is touched by a defender. It is supposed to be non­-contact but there are heavy collisions when the defender and receiver both go for the ball.

The game is played on a 50-yard field and a team has to gain 20 yards for a first down. Teams earn seven points for a touchdown and three points for an interception.

The teams play two 10-minute halves. The first half is a running clock and the clock stops in the final two minutes of the second half for first downs or when a ball carrier goes out of bounds.

Zoesch said the Cardinals had already played about 15 or more 7-on-7 games so far this summer.

“The 7-on-7 helps our defensive backs the most because our offense doesn't throw the ball a lot,” the coach said. “But it is good to go against other team because we get experience working against systems we may not see in the regular season.”

Teams at the Broncos tournament were divided into four-team pools with the pool winner advancing to the playoffs June 17 at the Dove Valley complex. Elizabeth played hard and went 2-1 in pool play but didn't win the pool or advance to Dove Valley.

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