BROCKTON — Things were just a little bit different Sunday when St. John's of Shrewsbury visited Brockton for the annual scrimmage between the two schools.
Whereas this matchup usually takes place in the hot sun of August, the temperature Sunday was around 30 degrees.
The teams participated in a game scrimmage with mostly the first units playing each other, although each second group had a series late.
St. John's got the better of it with a 27-15 advantage. Each offense had its moments, and while the defenses didn't shut down the offenses, the hitting was solid on both ends.
Here is what we saw:
— Both St. John's and Brockton had the type of size on the offensive line to grab attention. The Pioneers are huge at tackle with Sean Sullivan and Colin Leblanc, as Cam Nolan, Joe Pallotta, and Brian Brennan round out the starting group. The unit mostly blocked well, and created some solid lanes for the backs and quarterbacks to run through. With those five as the jumping off point, St. John's coach John Andreoli has to be happy with where his offense can go from there.
Brockton also had some impressive size up front with Noah Moore, Makhi Boston, Naziah Armor, Xavier Warren, and Jose Depina. A few of those players also lined up on the defensive line, with Depina making a few nice plays there. Overall, it's a mostly veteran group, and the Boxers are expecting big things from their big fellas.
— St. John's is replacing a lot of production from its offense, but from what we saw on Sunday, the Pioneers will not have a lot of trouble moving the ball. St. John's played two quarterbacks with its first unit in Jacques Durocher and Ryan Miller. Durocher completed about a 55-yard touchdown pass to Jake Newsham where the receiver caught it along the right sideline over the Brockton defensive back, then rumbled into the end zone. St. John's also ran the ball well, as Bobby Rodolakis rushed for touchdowns of 5 and 7 yards, and CJ Ewing had another of roughly 40. The Pioneers also executed well on some wide receiver screens that went for decent yardage.
— Brockton caught fire with its offense after its first couple series sputtered. Quarterback Devante Medley — as he did as a junior — made plays with both his feet and his arm. Medley threw a pretty touchdown over the middle to Jason Wonodi for about 20 yards on Brockton's first score. Medley ran in a 1-yard touchdown later, then hit Nayvon Reid for the 2-point conversion. If Sunday is any indication, Brockton is going to try and find Reid early and often. The 6-foot-6 Reid is off to Bentley after he completes his career with the Boxers, and will be a mismatch against almost any high school defensive back.
— Overall, while the play at times was sloppy, both teams rounded into form later on in the scrimmage. St. John's looked a bit further along, but Brockton, especially on offense, found its groove, too. It will be interesting to see how each team does in their new respective leagues. St. John's will compete in the Catholic Conference and Brockton will be in the Southeast Conference.