CRESTVIEW— A bolt of lightning midway through Crestview High School's football practice Tuesday temporarily forced the Bulldogs inside.
When the team returned to the field 20 minutes later, there was still lightning popping on the field, courtesy of the red-clad Bulldog defense.
"We had a good aggressive defensive practice," Crestview coach Tim Hatten said. "I think we've got a really good defensive front, and it's a challenge for us (the Bulldog offensive line) to block that defensive front. To be able to execute against a front that's dominant, as a quarterback and as offense, you've got to be able to get the ball out of your hand fast and we are not doing that right now.
"We've got some inconsistent snaps where we are just not snapping the ball real good. That's the rhythm of the whole play. We do a lot of things on rhythm, and if you don't get a real good snap, that's what happens."
Hatten said the defense caused several problems, and he hopes it does the same thing when Crestview takes the field this season.
"They come at us hard and provide us with a challenge every day," he said. "Hopefully, they'll provide the other team with a challenge.
"Right now they (the Bulldog defense) is just ahead of us. And we have to work to get caught up. We've got to equalize it with the quick passing game and the perimeter passing game. At times we did a good job of that today."
As a rule, defenses usually have an edge on the offense this early in training camp, and Hatten believes the Bulldog offense will catch up with the defense.
Senior wide receiver Ronnie Baylark knows getting better is part of a process.
"We are taking it one practice at a time," he said. "We are gradually getting better in practice. We are working on passing and running plays.
"We are just progressing. The team is doing all right."
Denzel Ware, Crestview's highly touted defensive end, thinks it's just a matter of time until the pieces fall into place.
"Defensive-wise, I think we are going great," Ware said. "We've still got some ups and downs on the offensive side, but by the time we play Milton (in the regular season opener on Aug. 30) we are going to be hard to deal with.
"Every game, everybody is going to have to be ready to go to war. I think by the first week of the season, we will be one of the teams to beat."
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Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.