CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham football coach Dan Czepiga was happy with the effort. He just didn't like the way the Cougars carried themselves in a quad-scrimmage with Allentown, Rahway and Randolph on Wednesday morning.
After the session at Cougar Field, Czepiga gathered his team and pointed to the three opponents, citing each team's playoff credentials from 2018. He then compared it to Chatham's 2-8 mark and noted the improvement that needed to be made.
"The effort was good," Czepiga said. "It's our first scrimmage. I don't care about the outcome, I'm more disappointed about the way we reacted to certain situations and kind of our behavior. I think we have to be a little above that.
"Losing teams celebrate the average. Celebrating a catch is nice, but that's what a receiver is supposed to do. A running back is supposed to get positive yards, a quarterback is supposed to run the offense. When a receiver makes a catch he's supposed to make, you don't celebrate a five-yard catch. The defenders shouldn't be celebrating tackles 10 yards down the field. We want to be great and great players just keep working. They celebrate at the end of the year when they achieve their goals."
Czepiga limited senior running back Peter Schelling to just six carries (see Schelling run below) in the controlled scrimmage. Schelling is coming off a 2018 season in which he rushed for 850 yards and 11 touchdowns.
"Basically, I know what Peter can do," Czepiga said. "The thing is, who can come in behind him when he needs a break. We're trying to find that next guy."
Jack Kuppenheimer runs the ball for Chatham
Czepiga is also watching the battle for playing time at quarterback between junior Luke McAloon and senior Ryan Coughlin.
"They each had their moments and they each made poor decisions," the coach said. "It's always difficult the first scrimmage because you're trying to get everything together."
Ryan Coughlin scrambles for yardage against Randolph's defense
Chase Carlin pulls in a pass from Luke McAloon
Sean Pellegrin recovers a fumble for Chatham vs. Rahway
"We have a lot of work to do," Czepiga said. "We'll clean it up. The key thing here is to see if guys can step up and play right now. I take it with a grain of salt that what we had out there today might not be what we have out there against Morris Hills (Season opener on Sept. 7). We have three weeks to figure out who's going to be the starters."
The Cougars travel to scrimmage Bergenfield Friday at 10 a.m.