Comets roll off preseason highlights in scrimmage against Bulldogs
By John Burbridge
HAMPTON — Regular viewers of vintage NFL Films might agree that Charles City sophomore Ian Collins’s “circus catch” during Friday’s controlled scrimmage against Hampton-Dumont-CAL is similar to Lynn Swann’s famous reception in Super Bowl X.
One of the few differences was that Collins was able to stay on his feet and take it to the end zone … or rather on the way to it.
The play was one of several highlights for the Comets during their annual scrimmage agains the Bulldogs.
Charles City senior quarterback Marcus Cranshaw lofted a pass downfield in the middle of H-D-C’s secondary.
Collins turned back to the ball and was able to get his hands on it after leaping and reaching behind a Bulldog defender, who lost sight of the ball.
Knocking the ball upward while still in the air, Collins displayed uncommon athleticism and concentration when securing the ball on the way down.
Then it was off to the races as Collins proceeded to outrun the defense while heading toward paydirt only to be stopped short of the goal line by the officials’ whistles.
During the controlled scrimmage, whenever a play broke open with “he … could … go … all … the … way” potential, it was stopped and brought back to the line of scrimmage so both teams could run more plays.
That was the second would-be touchdown of the controlled scrimmage for Collins. Earlier, he burst through a hole in the line during a counter running play and seized a fast lane to daylight.
Several plays before, Collins double-toe-grabbed the sideline while hauling in a roll-out pass from Cranshaw.
This wasn’t the first time Collins has wowed the audience at Hampton-Dumont’s football and track field.
Last spring during the Bulldog T&F Invitational, Collins became the center of the attention when he tied a meet and Charles City school record with a high jump clear of 6 feet, 6 inches.
Collins would later break the school record in the high jump while placing second at the State Track and Field Championships.
During the first few defensive series, the Comets were able to stuff and contain the Bulldogs with junior Trever Heitz recording several tackles for losses.
Heitz is also due to be a factor on the other side of the ball as he is coming off a 1,000-yard rushing season.
Charles City will open the season at home on Friday against Crestwood. Kick-off is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
At the start of last season against the Cadets, Charles City lost 7-6 during a downpour.