Carbon High defenders Dallyn Mower (34) and Braxton Jones (12) look to stop Blue team running back Jackie Byrge (5) from breaking away from the defense as Mark Larsen (11) provides help down field.
For the Carbon High football team, the wait is now over.
After the months spent in the weight room, practicing two-a-days in the hot weather and learning the nuances of the newly-installed run-based attack, the Dinos will open 2013 on the road against Grand on Friday night at 7 p.m.
It's also a chance for the Dinos to avenge last season's 42-0 loss in the opener to Grand that started a downward spiral that saw the team finish with a 1-9 record. Grand scored five of their six touchdowns on the ground and took a 28-0 lead into halftime before completing the shutout of the Dinos.
Carbon High players and coaches were relieved to finally get out and scrimmage under the lights with a large crowd in attendance at the Blue-White game last week.
"You can only practice for so long," said CHS head coach Jeff Blanc. "It was good for us to finally get out there and play under the lights in front of our home crowd."
Blanc said he was pleased with the effort among players at the scrimmage and noticed that the offseason work was paying off in multiple areas for the team.
But real game situations can be different from a scrimmage. Once the whistle blows on Friday night, all of the long practices and offseason work will need to be put to use by the Dinos.
Turnovers and penalties hurt the Carbon too many times last season, Blanc said, which cost them opportunities to win a few close games.
"This season we've got to stop the penalties and cut down on the turnovers because they kept us from winning some games last year," he explained.
With a new offense in place, Blanc is hoping that the run-based offense will help keep Dino defenders from being on the field for too long. Chewing up game clock, moving the chains and holding onto the ball will be keys for the Dino offense.
"I think the new offense will do well for us this year," said wide receiver Zac Hathaway. "Running the ball successfully can get me isolated for 1-on-1 coverage down the field for a pass."
With the start of a new season, Blanc wants the team to remember that everyone is 0-0.
"We want to show we can be competitive in every game this season," said Blanc.