Parkview Christian High School 8-man football: “With God as my witness”

Story by John Schreier, NewsNetNebraska

Nathan Davenport and the Parkview Christian football team run sprints among the green and the brown and the white of their on-campus football field. A random assortment of six colors of practice jerseys hustle under the watchful eyes of the red, white and blue Patriot emblem.

While the Patriots may have steamrolled Walthill 86-20 in their opener last Friday, the victory means nothing now. Parkview’s defense allowed just one touchdown and held the Bluejays to negative yardage, but, in the coaches’ eyes, the defensive line seemed incapable of grasping simple pass-rushing schemes.

“There’s nothing worse than laying an egg after a big win!”

That explains why Tuesday’s practice – the defensive workout that the players usually viewed as a few hundred car crashes in 150 minutes – featured an hour of walkthroughs.

A frayed blocking dummy lie face down among the clover as the Parkview coaching staff takes the first-string defense through every possible permutation of the Nebraska Lutheran offense.

One of Nebraska Lutheran’s keys is a speed option right. Davenport – a contact-seeking missile whether he’s playing fullback or linebacker – wants to smack the scout running back hard enough to create a crater where an opponent once stood.

Davenport isn’t allowed to crush his teammates, but he veers away from breaking a teammate in half at the last second.

And before the Patriots break off for positional work, the coaches want them to remember one thing: Don’t repeat last week.

“With God as my witness, I’m telling you you’re going to get your fannies spanked straight up! If I’m in a good mood – a good mood – I’d have given you a D-plus, a C-minus – maybe!

Then came the contact – and the coach, who may have had some fullback in him in his younger days, with dark, parted hair lining up at fullback.

The first-string defensive line lined up against the backup offensive line, as most defensive starters played both ways. They were promptly stuffed by a group with a coach twice as old as his players.

Fifteen pushups.

“If you’re first-string, you can’t take that long!”

And on the second try, they didn’t. The line collapsed.

Fifteen pushups for the offense.

Third try, the unofficial rubber match.

The defensive line rallied past an awkward start to just brush a couple fibers of quarterback Jake Kramer’s jersey.

The coach-turned-fullback paused while he pondered punishment.

Seven pushups for each side.

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